HC Deb 26 March 1958 vol 585 cc402-3
7. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Air to what extent the existing arrangements with the United States Air Force fix the maximum number of hydrogen bombs to be kept in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Ward

The arrangements with the United States Government do not include restrictions on the number of weapons to be stored in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Lipton

Is not this an unsatisfactory, if not an almost lunatic, state of affairs? Has nobody in Her Majesty's Government—the Secretary of State for Air, the Defence Minister, or the Prime Minister—come to some understanding or made some appreciation of how many H-bombs are required in this country? Is it necessary to have more of these devilish weapons than is absolutely necessary in the opinion of the Chiefs of Staff, or whoever it may be?

Mr. Ward

As I explained to the House last week, the storage for the weapons is actually built by the Air Ministry, and we, therefore, naturally, know where the stocks may be deployed; but information about the actual number of weapons which may be stored here at any one time is not essential for mutual defence purposes.

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