HC Deb 05 March 1952 vol 497 cc414-6
24. Mr. Desmond Donnelly

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what official representations were made to Her Majesty's Government by the West German Chancellor, regarding German research into atomic energy developments and bacteriological warfare; and what was Her Majesty's Government's answer.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

There have been no such representations, but these matters have been discussed in the contractual negotiations between the three Western Governments and the Government of the Federal German Republic as part of the wider question of security safeguards.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that on his return to Germany after the London talks Dr. Adenauer said that he had permission to undertake research into atomic energy and into bacteriological warfare? Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say, first, whether that is true, and, secondly, where one draws the line when it comes to research into bacteriological warfare and to manufacturing weapons for that purpose?

Mr. Lloyd

It is not correct, in fact, that the German Federal Chancellor stated what it has been suggested in some quarters he did say. I have here a text of what he actually said. It is rather long, and I should be pleased to show it to the hon. Gentleman afterwards if he would like to see it.

Brigadier Terence Clarke

Has my right hon. and learned Friend's attention been drawn to reports appearing in the Communist Press regarding the use of bacteriological warfare by the Americans, and will he deny such reports?

Mr. Lloyd

A statement has been made on that matter by the United States Secretary of State denying that fact.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Would the Minister perhaps circulate the German Chancellor's statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir.

Following is the statement:

Extracts on Security Controls from the Federal Chancellor's Press Conference in Bonn on 20th February.

A very long discussion took place on the question of the creation of armaments industries. In this connexion the following should be borne in mind. First, that the Federal Republic is not even in a position, and furthermore is not even inclined, to set up industries such as, for example, atomic or bacteriological industries or factories for "V" weapons or anything of that sort. Apart from this, war industries must naturally be situated where they are least vulnerable in the event that things should really become serious. This point of view naturally plays a large role as well. In the Treaty regarding the European Defence Community, according to the present draft, it is laid down that the manufacture of weapons is forbidden for all members unless they receive specific orders from the Defence Commissioner. Otherwise, our economy will be free, and our scientific research in these fields will equally be free, and certainly as far as medical or economic aspects are concerned. Furthermore there are to be further negotiations here on this subject.

Question: You said that the industrial controls would cover almost exclusively bacteriological and other fields. In the foreign Press there has been talk of much more extensive controls. Is all this still to be clarified in negotiation or were concrete proposals for controls discussed in London?

Dr. Adenauer: I do not believe that I only spoke of bacteriological and atomic controls, but I said that in many cases, as for example in the case of atomic weapons and bacteriological weapons, it is a matter of things which we would not even wish to manufacture, even if we could manufacture them. We do not even possess the facilities for such manufacture. We have not even got the money. I said the same about "V" weapons, and I would like to add that the same applies to large warships. Small coastal defence vessels are another matter. But those are the essential points, and on them there is agreement. On other points there will be further negotiations, because the definitions in the proposals put forward by the Western Allies were still too imprecise, so that we should certainly have run into difficulties there. But in all these connexions scientific research is free.

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