HC Deb 21 May 1957 vol 570 cc1029-31
43. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister whether he has yet received the resolution, dated 7th May, sent to him by the Presbytery of Aberdeen of the Church of Scotland concerning the suspension of hydrogen bomb tests and the registration, limitation and cessation of nuclear explosions; and what reply he has sent, or proposes to send, to the Presbytery.

The Prime Minister

I have received the resolution to which the hon. and learned Gentleman refers and have informed the writer that I have taken note of its contents.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Prime Minister realise that before undertaking lethal tests of this sort any Government, as a condition precedent, owes a duty to the people who may be injured to decide upon and state what protective measures are available to them?

The Prime Minister

Yes, but that was not the Question. I was asked whether I had received a resolution and whether I had acknowledged it—which I have.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Is the Prime Minister aware that since he spoke in the defence debate about these tests eminent scientists in seven countries, the Prime Ministers of two Commonwealth countries, and the Parliaments of Japan and Germany, with the endorsement of their Governments, have all asked for the cessation of tests with a view to rapid progress in nuclear disarmament? Do the Government recognise that they cannot know— as they pretend they can—that the tests are not dangerous?

The Prime Minister

As the right hon. Gentleman has observed, we discussed all this a very short time ago, and I have no doubt that we shall be discussing it again soon.

45. Mr. Mason

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a full statement about the first hydrogen-bomb test; whether it was of the alleged clean bomb type; and to what extent it has increased the radio-activisation of the atmosphere.

46. Mr. Rankin

asked the Prime Minister if he will now make a further statement on the explosion of a British nuclear device in the Central Pacific.

49. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister if he will now make a further statement on the results of the nuclear tests in the Pacific.

The Prime Minister

As the Answer is rather long I will with your permission, Mr. Speaker, answer these Questions at the end of Questions.

48. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether, following the recent hydrogen bomb explosion in the Pacific, Her Majesty's Government will propose to the United States Government the pooling of all information about nuclear weapons with a view to avoiding duplication of test explosions.

The Prime Minister

This will be carefully considered.

Mr. Henderson

Now that both countries are, technically at least, on a basis of equality, would it not be in the common interest to avoid duplication of test explosions and thus to reduce the amount of radioactive fall-out?

The Prime Minister

I will consider that point, but the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows that a good many problems, some legislative as well as administrative, are involved in this question.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Prime Minister aware that it is not without the bounds of possibility that the United States would change their legislation in order to make this possible?

The Prime Minister

Of course.