HC Deb 15 March 1955 vol 538 cc1122-3
48. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minster whether, in view of the increasing danger of genetic effects of increased radioactivity resulting from the explosion of nuclear weapons, he will propose a general suspension by all nations of further test explosions during the United Nations discussions on disarmament.

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to the replies I gave to Questions on this subject last Thursday, 10th March, which were very carefully considered.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is the Prime Minister aware that almost every day authorities and responsible scientists on both sides of the Atlantic are gravely disturbed about the increasing radiation in the atmosphere in the world if these tests continue, and will he not examine the question of proposing the suspension of explosions that cause dangerous radiation?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, the matter is always in my thoughts and in those of the competent officials who are charged with watching this matter. I think I should make a mistake if I tried to give a resume of the position up to date every day at Question time.

Mr. Strachey

Would the Prime Minister explain the meaning of the very cryptic statement of the Foreign Secretary last night on this subject? Does it mean that even if experiments were stopped stockpiles of this weapon might go on increasing, and, even if that were so, would not the stopping of the experiments be a most valuable first step?

The Prime Minister

I think that is a question which might well be put on the Paper.

49. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Prime Minister how many atomic explosions have been detected in the world by the scientific instruments at the disposal of Her Majesty's Government, and where, since the explosion of the first atomic bomb.

The Prime Minister

If I were to answer my hon. and gallant Friend's Question I should have to make disclosures which would be of the greatest value to other countries in forming their own opinion of the effectiveness of our intelligence methods. They would see what we had stated and they would know what they had got. I regret therefore that I do not feel able to give him the information for which he asks.