HC Deb 10 April 1957 vol 568 cc1127-8
46. Mr. Bellenger

asked Minister of Defence what knowledge he has of the risks to this country of fall-out occasioned by nuclear explosions in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in recent months.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

The risks to health from nuclear explosions were assessed in Command Paper 9780. The explosions since its publication could not have perceptibly affected the situation.

Mr. Bellenger

While being somewhat reassured that the Russian explosions are not different from our own test explosions, may I nevertheless ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will consult his right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary in the hope that he may represent to the Russian authorities some of the apprehensions felt by hon. Members about test explosions, whether British or Russian?

Mr. Sandys

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, these are matters which are being continuously discussed.

Mr. Stokes

Will the Minister of Defence tell the House whether the Russian explosions are nearer Japan than the British explosions will be, if they take place?

Mr. Sandys

I should think much nearer.

Mr. Mason

As it seems that we know what takes place in Russia, how does the Minister reconcile that with the statement made by the Prime Minister that there are tests which cannot be detected?

Mr. Sandys

I was, of course, referring only to those which have been detected.