HC Deb 16 May 1957 vol 570 cc567-9
45. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the latest proposals of Her Majesty's Government for the registration of tests, it is the intention of the Government to inform the Secretary General of the United Nations of the number and types of nuclear explosions shortly to take place in the Pacific.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

No, Sir. If Her Majesty's Government's proposals for the registration of tests are accepted by the other powers concerned, then the Disarmament Sub-Committee will no doubt discuss how they should be put into effect.

Mr. Henderson

Is not the Prime Minister well aware of the widespread concern which has been caused at the prospect of an unspecified number of explosions taking place? Now that the Government have had their one bang, will he not undertake to halt all further tests—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—until discussions have taken place with a view to securing an international ban on all tests?

The Prime Minister

The latter part of that supplementary question raises another matter. We have made a proposal about registration, and we think that it should be applicable to all the Powers concerned.

47. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Prime Minister if he will suspend the Christmas Island test explosions while the Stassen proposal for a stop to all production of nuclear weapons is under consideration by the Disarmament Sub-Committee.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Allaun

Following yesterday's explosion and the 115 sessions of the Disarmament Sub-Committee, which, because of mutual distrust, has failed to reach agreement on a single point, will the Prime Minister try limited unilateral action and suspend further tests on Christmas Island?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Stokes

Will the Prime Minister set people's anxieties to rest to a certain extent by telling us whether the explosion which took place yesterday had any harmful fall-out?

The Prime Minister

I have only the very first results. The Leader of the Opposition has given me notice of a Private Notice Question and I do not want to do him the discourtesy of saying in reply to Supplementary Questions now what would come more properly in answer to his Private Notice Question.

54. Mr. Healey

asked the Prime Minister what reply he will make to the German Government's appeal to him for a suspension of hydrogen bomb tests.

The Prime Minister

The German Federal Government have not sent any appeal to Her Majesty's Government on this subject.

Mr. Healey

Is the Prime Minister not aware that within twenty-four hours of the termination of his three-day discussions with Dr. Adenauer, the West German Prime Minister himself moved a resolution in the Bundestag asking for a suspension of these tests, which was accepted unanimously by all Members? Does he feel that the answer given to that appeal at Christmas Island yesterday is calculated to win friends and influence people?

The Prime Minister

I would point out that the hon. Member has not given the full story of these Parliamentary discussions. A motion by the Social Democratic Party calling upon the Federal Government to renounce atomic weapons for German forces was rejected. Then there was a resolution of a general character, which certainly included the desire that there should be a universal system of disarmament, such as the one we have been discussing. But the important part of that decision by the German Parliament was to reject—as so often happens—the view of the Opposition against atomic weapons.

Mr. Gaitskell

The Prime Minister is quite unnecessarily confusing the issue. Of course, it is quite true that there were various parts to that motion. The point is that it contained a demand for the suspension of tests and it was passed unanimously by the German Parliament. We should like to know what the Prime Minister proposes to say, if anything, to that decision.

The Prime Minister

If the German Government should send any note or request to us, of course we shall deal with it. It is interesting that they have not done so.