§ 4. Mr. Brockway
asked the Minister of Defence what proposals are under consideration for the establishment of a base for nuclear weapons in Cyprus.
§ Mr. Brockway
I have read that paragraph, but does the right hon. Gentleman really mean that we are going to establish the island of Cyprus as a nuclear base without consultation with the people of Cyprus? Would it not be the last tyranny to impose upon them something which may mean their annihilation in war, without any discussion with them at all?
§ Mr. Sandys
—what the hon. Gentleman means by "nuclear base". The White Paper says that there will be bomber squadrons based on Cyprus which will be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. That does not mean that they will not be equipped with conventional weapons as well. [HON. MEMBERS: "0h."] The hon. Gentleman must face the reality of the present day, which is that if one has an air base at all anywhere, one is bound to have aircraft there which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
§ Mr. Strachey
Is it not the Minister of Defence who is failing to face realities in this matter? After what has happened in Cyprus, is it not quite unrealistic, apart from anything else, to suggest that we can make an exclusive British nuclear base there or base some nuclear weapons there? There may be some possibility of a N. A. T. O. base when agreement has been reached with our N. A. T. O. allies about Cyprus, but until and unless that 1898 happens, surely the Minister, as in the White Paper also, is simply talking nonsense on the subject.
§ Mr. Sandys
If I am talking nonsense, then it accords very closely with what the right hon. Gentleman has just said. If there were to be a N. A. T. O. air base, its aircraft would certainly be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.