HC Deb 18 April 1956 vol 551 cc1006-7
46. Mr. Moss

asked the Lord Privy Seal what official negotiations have taken place with West German authorities in respect of the West German atomic energy programme.

Mr. R. A. Butler

There have been a number of discussions between the Atomic Energy Authority and representatives of the West German Authorities on collaboration on atomic energy. No commitments have been entered into, but, as my right hon. Friend the then Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, said on 19th December, in reply to Questions from my hon. Friends the Members for Abingdon (Mr. Neave) and Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro), it has been made clear to the German Authorities that when they are in a position to make firm requests for assistance in the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, the Atomic Energy Authority will consider these sympathetically, subject to the availability of resources.

Mr. Warbey

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that if West German industry is allowed to develop its own nuclear reactors independently of any international organisation, such as the proposed Euratom, there will be nothing to prevent Germany from developing the nuclear weapons which are forbidden under the Paris Agreements?

Mr. Butler

The hon. Member will be aware of Dr. Adenauer's own statement on this point, which may be reassuring. He may also be aware that there is to be a visit by the Federal Minister for Atomic Energy, who is coming to this country shortly, and we shall be able to discuss these matters with him.

Mr. Moss

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the British Ambassador is reported in Nuclear Engineering to have addressed a thousand businessmen at Hamburg, offering British help in the construction of nuclear power stations?

Mr. Butler

I have not the details of that, but I was aware that such a meeting had taken place.