§ 16. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Lord Privy Seal if the strategy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to provide front-line units with tactical nuclear weapons has been altered following the recent meeting between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States of America.
§ 20. Mr. M. Foot
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on his recent visit to the United States of America, made or 402 received any new proposals from the United States Government about the future supply of tactical nuclear weapons to the West German armed forces.
§ Mr. Heath
As I reminded the House on 27th March, it is already accepted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation strategy that the shield forces should be equipped with nuclear weapons for tactical use. No new proposals in this field were made during the recent Washington talks. Moreover, any alteration to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation policy is a matter for the North Atlantic Council as a whole, not for the United Kingdom or the United States in isolation.
§ Mr. Allaun
Has not President Kennedy recently and publicly expressed his desire to keep N.A.T.O. forces to non-nuclear weapons? On this occasion, as opposed to several others, is not the President absolutely right, in view of the increased danger of war by accident if numerous front-line commanders have their fingers on the trigger?
§ Mr. Foot
Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that, before the Federal German Chancellor paid his recent visit to Washington, it was widely suggested that he would ask, or demand, a great or considerable increase in the supply of these tactical nuclear weapons to German forces? May we take it from the right hon. Gentleman's reply that these proposals by Dr. Adenauer were not even discussed in Washington with the Foreign Secretary, or that the German Chancellor's proposals have been turned down flat?
§ Mr. Healey
Why is the right hon. Gentleman being so coy about this? It is being widely publicised in the United States that the American Government 403 have persuaded the West German Government to accept Pershing missiles instead of Mace missiles, which have a much longer range. Is this not at least a step, even though a small one, in the right direction? Will not Her Majesty's Government support more steps like it?
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the term "tactical nuclear weapons" is a euphemistic expression, because they include weapons several times more destructive than those used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is that right?