§ 22. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will now take steps to secure agreement between the Powers which have tested, or are in a position to test, atomic, hydrogen or thermo-nuclear bombs, so as to entitle all Powers involved to give notice of the intention of any such Power to make an experimental explosion of any such bomb.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
I am not persuaded that it would be wise to isolate this issue, at any rate at present. Our efforts should rather be directed towards seeking a 255 general disarmament agreement which would provide a solution to this and other problems relating to nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, both the United States and the United Kingdom do give notice of any forthcoming tests.
§ Mr. Hughes
In the absence of notice, what protection has Britain against the experimental explosion of a thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb in the North Sea or in the Straits of Dover? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] On a point of order. That was a question which might affect the people of this country, and I want an answer to it.
§ Mr. Macmillan
The only protection at the moment from any such test in any such place is that I hope and believe it is very unlikely that the Soviet Government would do anything so foolish.
§ Mr. Hughes
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this is not a laughing matter and that the country wants it to be treated as a serious matter?