HC Deb 10 November 1960 vol 629 cc1216-8
40. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Prime Minister if, at his meeting with Dr. Adenauer on 10th August, he discussed the handing of nuclear weapons to West Germany, referred to by Dr. Adenauer on 26th August.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

My conversations with Dr. Adenauer on 10th and 11th August were confidential. It would not be proper to add to the communiqué which was agreed.

Mr. Allaun

Will the Prime Minister tell the House and Dr. Adenauer whether he will resist this terrible proposal to spread nuclear weapons deliberately to more countries, especially to Germany, thus increasing European tension, which the Prime Minister himself has said that he wishes to reduce?

The Prime Minister

I know of no such proposal. If there were any proposal—and there is none at present before N.A.T.O.—it would have to be agreed by the N.A.T.O. Council, and the deployment of any missiles would be subject to their agreement.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the Prime Minister consider supplying hon. Members with information about the important discussions on the abolition of all nuclear weapons which have been going on in the Assembly at the United Nations for the last two or three weeks? Nothing is reported in the Press about them, owing to the time lag, and there is only one copy in the Library, which arrived a week late?

The Prime Minister

I will certainly see whether hon. Members can be given more up-to-date information on these discussions, through the Library or by other means. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will let me communicate with him the result of anything I am able to do.

Mr. Noel-Baker

May I express my gratitude to the Prime Minister and ask him to agree that it is very important that hon. Members and the Press should receive more adequate information about what is happening in the Assembly of the United Nations?

The Prime Minister

I cannot control what the Press does, but if there is any method by which we can obtain copies by air, or obtain them earlier than at present, I will certainly see that that is done.

Miss Lee

Will the Prime Minister give us a clear statement here, as his own views and his Government's views, about any proposal which might be made for nuclear weapons for the German forces? Will he give an assurance that he will not be afraid to have a British voice in the N.A.T.O. Council and the United Nations Council and that we shall not have a repetition of what happened in the United Nations recently?

The Prime Minister

There is some confusion about this. There are, of course, tactical nuclear weapons in the hands of German troops, just as there are such weapons in the hands of British, American, French and all other N.A.T.O. forces, but they are not in the hands of the French or British or German forces as nuclear weapons—at least, not entirely in their hands, because under these arrangements the warhead is in the control of the United States' officers. I have seen reports, as no doubt has the hon. Lady, that there is a possibility of some wider deployment of missiles in Europe. That, of course, is for N.A.T.O. to decide, but, again, the warhead—I would imagine; no precise proposals of this kind have ever been made to N.A.T.O., as far as I know—would be in American hands.

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