HC Deb 19 March 1958 vol 584 cc1256-7
31. Mr. Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Air what report he has received from the United States Air Force on the accident on 11th March, resulting in the accidental dropping of an atomic bomb; and what new instructions he will therefore give regarding the carrying of hydrogen bombs on patrol over Great Britain or on towing them over British roads.

Mr. Ward

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister yesterday.

Mr. Allaun

Are the components ever towed through built-up areas and, if so, is there no danger of purely T.N.T. explosions?

Mr. Ward

If the hon. Gentleman is referring to the carriage of these weapons by road, I would remind him that I have just explained about this in reply to a previous Question.

Mr. Chetwynd

Where nuclear weapons are carried by air, is it possible to fix a parachute arrangement to the bomb so that in case of accident it can come down safely, in the same way as pilots are ejected from their seats?

Mr. Ward

The safety precautions we take to see that the bomb is not jettisoned are very much more effective.