HC Deb 29 April 1958 vol 587 cc189-90
49. Mrs. Castle

asked the Prime Minister whether the bomb to be exploded in the forthcoming British tests will be a clean bomb.

The Prime Minister

The weapons and devices which we test, and the methods of testing, do not add significantly to the existing level of radiation; but I am not prepared to disclose the nature of these weapons and devices.

Mrs. Castle

Is the Prime Minister aware that American scientists now admit that there is no such thing as a clean bomb? Dr. Libby of the Atomic Energy Commission admitted the other day that the bombs to be tested in the Pacific this year will be twice as dirty as the Hiroshima bomb, from which Japanese citizens are still dying. Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the Government's decision to conduct a British test, which has just been held, before exploring the Russian offer to suspend tests and thus wantonly throwing away the chance of international agreement to end the tests, has shocked public opinion in this country?

The Prime Minister

I find it difficult to follow the hon. Lady's logic. If the scientists are right in saying that there is no such thing as a clean bomb, I do not know why she asks if our bomb is a clean bomb.