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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 14th November 1996.

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Photo of Robert Key Robert Key , Salisbury 3:31 pm, 14th November 1996

I know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State would not deploy British troops lightly, and I am confident that the Government are right in that difficult decision. Will he bear it in mind, however, that we are inviting our troops to leave home over the Christmas and new year period? Will he therefore ensure that there is adequate communication between the troops and their families over that period? That will be of great importance to their morale and to their families at a time of great overstretch.

Will my right hon. Friend also ensure that the civilian force that he employs all over the country—a force on which the troops will depend—has all the resources necessary now and in the future, beyond the Budget?