HC Deb 01 July 1958 vol 590 cc1075-6
46. Mr. A. Roberts

asked the Prime Minister what approach has been made by the European Atomic Energy Community to Her Majesty's Government on the possibilities of the United Kingdom supplying atomic power plants.

The Prime Minister

I understand that nuclear power plants are unlikely to be bought by the European Atomic Energy Community itself, but rather by individual undertakings in member countries. United Kingdom manufacturers have received a number of inquiries from such undertakings, and a letter of intent has been signed between an Italian undertaking and a United Kingdom group. Her Majesty's Government hope to conclude agreements with the Community and, as appropriate, with member Governments, which will provide the necessary framework within which such exports can take place. An agreement of this nature with the Italian Government is already in force.

Mr. Roberts

Does not the Prime Minister agree that a close relationship between Euratom and the United States of America without the United Kingdom could be disastrous? Is not it high time that the United Kingdom Government's policy were more clearly defined?

The Prime Minister

I think there is confusion as to the character of the pro- jects. The supply of United Kingdom reactors would be governed by circumstances very different from those which have led to the recently announced United States-Euratom agreement. The American agreement provides the framework for joint construction of prototype reactors of American design which are still in the development stage and which will, of course, be partly American-financed. The United Kingdom offers a fully developed power reactor system which is already available for use in this country and for export on ordinary commercial terms.