HC Deb 01 February 1960 vol 616 c634
58. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why Germany is being allowed to commission a 2,000-ton submarine in contravention of the Paris Treaty of 1954 which limits German submarines to 350 tons.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Robert Allan)

There has been no contravention of the revised Brussels Treaty. By it, the Federal Republic of Germany undertook not to manufacture submarines of more than 350 tons displacement. The submarine of 1,600 tons to which the hon. Member refers is an old one that has not been salvaged for active service.

Mr. Allaun

Is that not a quibble? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this submarine has been completely re-equipped, carries six torpedo tubes and can be switched instantly to warlike use? Is that not as dangerous and as illegal as making a completely new vessel? Is it not another encouragement to Germany to break the limitations on arms which at present exist?

Mr. Allan

The information I have is completely in conflict with that given by the hon. Member. In any event, the submarine would be subject to inspection by the Arms Control Agency of W.E.U.

Mr. Warbey

Is it not the case that the Council of Ministers of Western European Union has received a communication from the Assembly that Western Germany should be allowed to manufacture submarines up to 2,000 tons? What is the attitude of the Government to this Recommendation? Do they approve or oppose it?

Mr. Allan

I understand it has not yet been received by the Council of Ministers.

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