HC Deb 16 May 1960 vol 623 cc888-9
6 and 7. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) why, in view of the West German undertaking of 1954 to submit to supervision to ensure that she does not manufacture atomic, biological, or chemical weapons, no such supervisory action has been taken by Her Majesty's Government;

(2) if he is aware that the Brussels Treaty has been nullified by the failure of the West German Government to ratify the Convention signed by them on 14th December, 1957, indemnifying private firms which might suffer damage through test checks at production plants and depots designed to prevent the manufacture of certain types of armament; and if he will enter into negotiations with that Government to secure their ratification of the Convention.

Mr. Profumo

Her Majesty's Government are not empowered to exercise supervision in these matters. The Arms Control Agency of Western European Union performs this rôle.

The Convention to which the hon. Gentleman refers has not yet been ratified by any member state of Western European Union; but this does not nullify the Brussels Treaty nor has it, so far, prevented the Arms Control Agency from carrying out its tasks. I understand that the Federal German authorities intend to submit the necessary legislation to Parliament in the near future.

Mr. Allaun

Is it not a fact that uninvited surprise inspection of private armament factories is not at present allowed? Will the British Government therefore urge Bonn to ratify this Treaty without any further delay? I hope that the Minister of State will not give us the excuse that this is a matter solely for Bonn's concern. It concerns all of us.

Mr. Profumo

So far consent to inspect private factories has always been given.

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