HC Deb 02 June 1959 vol 606 cc32-4
48. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister whether, in default of a White Paper on the whole problem of nuclear tests and fall-out, he will present a White Paper containing all the information of which Her Majesty's Government have cognisance concerning, first, the total fission yield from nuclear tests by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, respectively, in each of the years 1945 to 1958, secondly, the estimates supplied to him by the United States Atomic Energy Commission, under the information exchange agreement, of casualties due to nuclear tests and, thirdly, the new data on nuclear tests conducted underground and in outer space.

The Prime Minister

With regard to the first part of the right hon. Gentleman's Question, I have nothing to add to what I said on 14th May. With regard to the second part of the Question, which I assume refers to the estimated somatic or genetic effects of radiation from fallout, such information is not technically covered by the exchange agreement. It does, however, reach us from the United States through a variety of channels. With regard to the third part of the Question, a full statement was issued by the President of the United States on 5th January last, the day on which the data about underground tests were tabled at the Geneva Conference. No new data on high altitude tests have been tabled at the Geneva Conference, but the question of these tests is a matter for the Conference, and I am hopeful that their consideration will proceed.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is this not all new information which is essential to the proper understanding of the issues at stake at the Geneva Conference? Does the Prime Minister not think it right to make it available to hon. Members?

The Prime Minister

No. This is by way of being a private conference, although I know that it has been more or less agreed on all sides that certain statements should be put forward. I am very anxious that the conference should succeed. We are approaching a very important part of the conference on the scientific side, and it would be a mistake automatically to publish data which are made available to the conference as a whole.