§ 45. Mr. Beswick
asked the Prime Minister what form of political machinery it is proposed to institute to be responsible for making the decision, in the event of attack against a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country, for putting into operation the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence plans which involve the use of atomic and thermo-nuclear weapons.
§ The Prime Minister (Sir Winston Churchill)
As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in his statement to the House on 22nd December, responsibility for putting into operation the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence plans rests with Governments. But, he said,It will, for obvious reasons, not be possible to publish the detailed arrangements finally arrived at."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd December, 1954; Vol. 535, c. 2768.]
§ Mr. Beswick
Whilst we cannot expect to have the detailed arrangements, does not the Prime Minister understand that it is difficult for us to accept the Foreign Secretary's assurance unless we know, in general at any rate, what the machinery is going to be? Will he recall the difficulties which we experienced during the Korean campaign when we had diffused political authorities trying to direct orders to a centralised military command? How does he propose to overcome these difficulties, unless we have some idea beforehand as to what the machinery is going to be?
§ Mr. Beswick
Would the Prime Minister at least say this: even if the House is not to be told in detail what the machinery is to be, can he assure the House that he himself knows what it is to be?