HC Deb 20 July 1955 vol 544 cc348-9
2. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he has taken during the last month, and is now taking, to stop experimental explosions of atomic, hydrogen and thermo-nuclear bombs.

Mr. Nutting

Her Majesty's Government hope that the Four-Power Meeting of Heads of Governments at Geneva will contribute to a reduction of tension and eventually to comprehensive disarmament. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary told the House on 13th June, we do not believe that any useful purpose would be served by attempting to isolate this matter of test explosions from the whole question of disarmament.

Mr. Hughes

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask whether he is taking into account the declaration and expression of hopes by the world's greatest scientists and politicians in this matter with a view to discontinuing these explosions?

Mr. Nutting

Yes, I am indeed, and I am delighted to observe from that declaration that those great scientists of the world agree that what we want is to abolish war. That is precisely the policy of the Government, and that is precisely why we are going for, and will continue to go for, an international disarmament agreement.

Mr. Warbey

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government are basing their view of the effects of nuclear radiation on the original reports of the American Atomic Energy Commission or upon the statements of Dr. Libby, which envisaged a much wider spread of radiation, over an area greater than that of the British Isles?

Mr. Nutting

That is a different question, and if the hon. Gentleman would like an accurate answer to it, I should like him to put it on the Paper.