HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 cc438-9
26. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for War what was the total expenditure last year on the Microbiological Research Establishment, Porton; how much was spent in developing or manufacturing cholera, typhus, diphtheria, parrot fever, dysentery, plague, and botulinus germs and viruses, respectively; and if he will stop any further preparation for germ warfare.

The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Christopher Soames)

It would not be in the public interest to give the figures asked for. With regard to the future, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence on 23rd March this year, when Government policy in this respect was plainly stated.

Mr. Allaun

Is it public security which prevents an Answer or is it public revulsion? Will the Minister admit that such research has taken place and, secondly, that stocks of botulinus toxins have been built up?

Mr. Soames

Research is taking place constantly. I noticed a piece by the hon. Member in a periodical recently in which he said, I confess that my blood ran cold as fact after fact about germ warfare was driven home at meetings in the House of Commons. In view of that, I thought that he would be glad to know that steps were being taken to ensure that we keep abreast of movements in this field in order to be able to protect ourselves.

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