§ 27. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the progress made at the Geneva Conferences on the discontinuance of nuclear tests and safeguards against surprise attacks, respectively.
§ 31. Mr. Swingler
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made at the Geneva Conference on the discontinuance of nuclear tests.
As regards the Conference on the Discontinuance of Nuclear Weapons Tests, some further progress has been made since my right hon. and learned Friend informed the House on this subject on 4th December, and the first three Articles of a draft treaty have been agreed.
The Conference on Measures against Surprise Attack has not so far reached any agreement, although extensive discussions have taken place. It is expected that an agreed statement will be issued on the position in the near future.
§ Mr. Henderson
Can the Minister throw any light on the reasons why the Conference on Measures against Surprise Attacks has resulted in a deadlock?
I do not wish to say anything on this matter in view of the statement which will be made in the near future.
I have nothing to add to what my right hon. and learned Friend said in his intervention in the right hon. Gentleman's speech in the last debate.
§ Mr. Bevan
A great deal of public interest has been taken in this matter, because then we were left in doubt about whether in fact the conference might be rendered abortive because of a failure of agreement on a wide measure of disarmament. If agreement cannot be reached there, will the other document be signed?
As my right hon. and learned Friend said, this is a negotiation and we are not prepared to make our position clear at this moment. I fully agree with the right hon. Gentleman that this is a most important matter and that there is great public interest in it.
§ Mr. Swingler
Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that progress made at the nuclear test conference is very much to be welcomed? May I ask whether it is now the position that all the Governments concerned in the negotiations have expressed willingness to make an agreement for the complete cessation of tests provided a satisfactory control apparatus is established? Is that now the position?
As I said just now, the position is that three articles of the treaty have been agreed—one on the discontinuance of tests, one on control and one on machinery. But the hon. Member will realise that there is a very great deal of detail to be filled in before there is a complete agreement.