Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I am grateful for that reply. Did the Prime Minister receive any undertaking that France would consider rejoining N.A.T.O.? Does he agree that this would be a highly desirable, if not essential, element in any terms agreed, both from the point of view of European security and as an earnest of France's good intentions?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: As my noble Friend has been looking into the problem of travel warrants for separated families, will he consider the problem of men serving in Northern Ireland when they have come from battalions posted in Germany and when their wives are living in Germany? When I was in Northern Ireland recently, this was one of the complaints raised with me. I was told that soldiers based in Britain but...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: The right hon. Gentleman said that the Conservative Government followed the policy laid down by the Labour Government. What was it that made the Labour Government change their mind? They had been intending to stay out there until 1975, but suddenly they changed their mind. Can he explain how this happened?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: The hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) mentioned the matter of defence secrets and the need for hon. Members to know more of these matters and to be better informed. It is my impression that there is very little that one will not know if one looks for it. I am not suggesting that I have access to any more information than the hon. Member. There is a disadvantage if one is privy to...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of State for Defence what is the maximum number of major units, normally stationed in the British Army of the Rhine, which have been on temporary duty in Northern Ireland at the same time.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Can my hon. Friend say at what period this maximum effort took place, how many periods there were and what proportion of B.A.O.R. strength this represented?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Minister of State for Defence how many major units stationed in the British Army of the Rhine have served on short tours in Northern Ireland; and how many of them have served more than one tour there.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: To what extent does this interfere with the training side of these units stationed in B.A.O.R.?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent amendment to the Treaty of Rome is now considered necessary by Her Majesty's Government.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. As the full implications, if Britain is to join, cannot clearly be foreseen, will he press for an amendment to Article 240 of the Treaty of Rome to limit the binding effects which may arise for us as a result of the passage of time and to protect our overriding national interest?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: The Amendment has detected a weakness since the manager of an airport is not particularly interested in minimising noise. He is interested in the increasing commercial prosperity of the airport and in increasing traffic and the frequency of movements. I am therefore wondering whether he has enough incentive to comply with these provisions if there is no further encouragement for him to do so....
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I think that the right hon. Gentleman was unjustly accusing my right hon. Friend, because he is, to my knowledge, the most sympathetic Minister responsible for aviation and aircraft noise that there has yet been in this House. What steps did the previous Government take to solve this problem?
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: In Committee my right hon. Friend, referring to a similar Amendment, said that powers like these are kept only over airports licensed for public use, whereas noise affects communities many miles distant from the immediate neighbourhood. Perhaps he could explain the reason for that Statement. There must be an equal problem from small aerodromes of the sort mentioned by my hon. Friend the...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: The hon. Gentleman said that 70 per cent. of the inshore fishing fleet fishing was outside the area. I was out in the North Sea for two days last week with the fishery protection patrol and I was told by the British fishermen that 90 per cent. of their catch is inside the limit.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I have sat through four days of the debate and have heard many powerful speeches. I hope that the hon. Member for Lanarkshire, North (Mr. John Smith) will forgive me if I do not take up any of his points, but time presses. I should like to single out in particular the speech of my right hon. Friend and neighbour the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), which reflected the...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I was fascinated by the speech of the hon. Member for Berwick and East Lothian (Mr. Mackintosh), and in particular by the way in which he look each solution in turn and proved that it was not the answer to the problem. As he went along the road and considered each solution in turn I wondered what he would come to in the end. I had not expected him to suggest that the solution lay in direct...
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but I wish to point out that I was in Palestine at that time and can testify that the Army was impartial. The fact was that the Army was being attacked by the Haganah and the I.Z.L. and had to defend itself. That was the situation.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Q12. Mr. Mather asked the Prime Minister whether he will now consider a bar to the General Service Medal for troops serving in Northern Ireland.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: Is my right hon. Friend aware that this news will be received with widespread satisfaction as justice being done to the rôle of the troops in Northern Ireland? Is he further aware that this is not just a campaign medal: this is a General Service Medal and is "service" in its truest sense.
Lieut-Colonel David Mather: asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the disappearance of the Piper Cub G-AYPN which took off from Lasham airfield on Saturday, 28th August, 1971.