HC Deb 07 July 1958 vol 591 cc30-1
51. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Air what precautions are taken to ensure that aircraft based on Royal Air Force stations in the United Kingdom are subject to such security control as to make impossible the unauthorised dropping of atomic bombs in the North Sea.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

The normal precautions are entirely adequate.

Mr. de Freitas

In view of the widespread speculation in the Press last week, why did not the Air Ministry issue a statement pointing out that security precautions at R.A.F. stations used as American bases were such that the alleged threat by the alleged American airman was not just very difficult indeed but impossible to carry out? Why was not an immediate statement made by the Air Ministry?

Mr. Ward

The House is well aware, because it has been told so many times in the past, that the precautions taken are very thorough and the procedures, both on the ground and in the air, need the co-operation of large numbers of people.

Mr. de Freitas

While that may be true, was it not right that a statement like this should have been made by the Air Ministry? After all, the Air Ministry has the facts and should tell the public about them.