HC Deb 15 April 1958 vol 586 cc34-5
58. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made for him to be consulted before President Eisenhower gives the order to United States aircraft, flying from Great Britain under the Dewline warning system, to use the hydrogen bomb.

The Prime Minister

Our understanding with the United States Government ensures that no such order would be given unless the agreement of Her Majesty's Government had first been obtained. It would not be in the public interest to reveal the detailed machinery of consultation.

Mr. Stonehouse

Has the Prime Minister read the long reports which came from the United States control centre in Nebraska last week which described the Dewline system and in which there was no mention about consultation with himself? Does he know that that has created great alarm here because there is a strong feeling that no consultation is to take place and that there is to be no control over the use of American aircraft flying from bases in this country?

The Prime Minister

If there is confusion, I shall be very glad to try to set it at rest. The consultation between the two Governments is an obligation which is of very long standing regarding any American bombers that operate from British bases. The Dewline system is a radar chain in Northern Canada.