HC Deb 12 November 1957 vol 577 cc778-9
53 and 58. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, in view of the statement on 22nd May by Sir Christopher Steel, Her Majesty's Ambassador in Bonn, that the stationing of United States nuclear bases in this country would make it a target for nuclear attack, and also of his reply to the hon. Member for Gorton on 31st October, he will renounce the manufacture of hydrogen bombs, prohibit the use of British territory for launching nuclear missiles, and propose a summit conference to discuss proposals for unifying Germany within an all-European treaty, but outside the rival alliances;

(2) whether he will take the opportunity of President Eisenhower's forthcoming visit to Paris and of Mr. Khrushchev's proposals for a summit conference, to issue invitations for a conference of the 1955 Geneva Powers to discuss the banning of hydrogen bomb tests as a first step to general disarmament, and the unification of Germany within an all-European Treaty based on the Charter but outside the rival military alliances.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Government have made clear to the Soviet Union in the United Nations Disarmament Sub-Committee their views on nuclear disarmament and the suspension of nuclear weapon tests, but the Soviet Delegation has rejected the Western proposals without discussing them.

My right hon. and learned Friend put forward in some detail our views about the usefulness of what is called a summit conference in the debate on Friday. I have nothing to add.

Mr. Zilliacus

Is not the present position that the stationing of American nuclear bases in this country, on the Government's own showing, attracts nuclear attack, and that the Government have given up any attempt to defend this country against nuclear attack and have concentrated on defending the nuclear bases? Furthermore, is it not a fact that by insisting on the inclusion of Germany in N.A.T.O. the Government have made impossible any settlement in Europe which would obviate the danger of such attack?

The Prime Minister

Those are all propositions of considerable importance, but they are very debatable. With regard to American bases, the policy dates from the Government of the present Lord Attlee. I inherited and continued it. With regard to the second proposal. I should think that the general view of this House was that the inclusion of Germany in N.A.T.O. was in conformity with all the purposes of that organisation.