HC Deb 22 June 1955 vol 542 cc1310-1
46. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will associate Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with the programme recently officially announced by President Eisenhower to assist other nations to obtain atomic research and power reactors, with a view to furthering the peaceful use of atomic energy.

The Prime Minister

Her Majesty's Government have repeatedly indicated their willingness to co-operate with other countries in promoting the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will recall that we have taken a leading part in sponsoring the proposed International Atomic Energy Agency, whose purpose is to assist under-developed regions to share in the benefits of the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and we have offered to contribute twenty kilograms of fissile material.

I should prefer not to say more about the specific proposals made by President Eisenhower in his speech at the Pennsylvania State University until there has been more time to study them.

Mr. Henderson

Does the Prime Minister agree that the policy of bilateral agreements may lead to a dangerous situation? It will not solve the special problem of Germany nor will it meet the needs of many of the under-developed countries in Asia and Africa; and does he not consider it is vital to the development of the peaceful use of atomic energy that it should be organised on an international or regional basis? In these circumstances would he not agree that this is a matter which should certainly be discussed at the forthcoming conference in Geneva?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. and learned Gentleman probably knows that we have a series of bilateral agreements about atomic energy, with a number of countries, and we certainly do not exclude the possibility of multilateral agreements. For the moment the Atomic Energy Agency is the body which is helping the under-developed countries and is the body which we support.