HC Deb 29 October 1956 vol 558 cc1039-40
2. Mr. Parkin

asked the Minister of Supply how many times recent test explosions in Australia were postponed on account of meteorological reports; and what was the total period of delay.

Mr. Maudling

Two of the four test explosions had to be postponed on account of unfavourable meteorological conditions. In one case the delay amounted to sixteen days and in the other three days.

Mr. Parkin

Have any calculations been made as to what delay might be necessary in more thickly populated areas, such as Europe, before it would be safe to the users to launch such weapons? Is it not possible that these weapons may be the last to be used instead of the first and thus give Field Marshal Montgomery plenty of time to ask questions before letting them off?

Mr. Maudling

The Question refers to test explosions. I cannot conceive of anyone carrying out test explosions in thickly populated areas of Western Europe.