HC Deb 18 July 1960 vol 627 cc26-8
35. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will propose to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council that no West German forces assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation shall be equipped with weapons which the German Federal Republic is not permitted by the revised Brussels Treaty to manufacture on its own territory.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

No, Sir.

Mr. Warbey

Was not the rearmament of Germany sold to the British public on the clear understanding that West Germany would not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons or their means of delivery? Are not the purchase of the Mace missile, the plans for Polaris and the manufacture of the Starfighter long-range fighter bomber all steps in the process of evading the clear spirit and intention of the Brussels Treaty?

Mr. Lloyd

The general principle, which I have repeatedly stated to the House, is that in an alliance there should not be discrimination against the troops of one particular country. Manufacture is quite a different matter.

Mr. Healey

Is it not the case that under the Paris Agreements, which were presented by the right hon. and learned Gentleman and ratified by this House, there is discrimination against the West German Government in relation to both the weapons which they produce and the number of forces which they maintain? Will the Foreign Secretary really drop this totally untenable argument.

Mr. Lloyd

I was dealing with the troops. I do not think it is a practical possibility to have in the line troops of one country armed with a different weapon from that of allied troops, which are next door to them. The W.E.U. treaties deal with the number of troops, which is quite a different issue, and also with the manufacture of weapons, which is another different issue.

Mr. Bellenger

In view of the series of Questions in relation to Germany which the Foreign Secretary is now being asked to answer, would it be possible to put the House in possession of the facts not only in relation to West Germany but in relation to N.A.T.O. and perhaps the opposing forces against which N.A.T.O. is supposed to be a barrier?

Mr. Lloyd

I will certainly consider what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Shinwell

Do I understand that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is seriously considering abandoning the provisions of the Brussels Treaty? Surely he knows what the provisions of that Treaty are, and if he does not propose to abandon them, surely he can interpret them only in the manner suggested by my hon. Friend?

Mr. Lloyd

The Brussels Treaty deals with the manufacture of certain types of weapons, and there is the undertaking of the German Government not to manufacture nuclear weapons in Germany. But that is quite a different issue from the question of the provision of nuclear weapons or of the means of delivery of nuclear weapons with the warheads under the "key of the cupboard" arrangement.