HC Deb 27 April 1961 vol 639 cc619-20
40. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about his conversations with President Kennedy relating to Polaris missiles, and particularly their test failures.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answers which I gave to the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly) on 25th April. I made it clear then that I did not think it would be proper for me in answering Questions to go beyond the points contained in or arising out of the joint communiqué issued by President Kennedy and myself after our meeting. I see no reason to depart from that in this particular case.

Mr. Allaun

Did the President mention that of the eighteen underwater tests of the Polaris missile, eight have been failures according to United States Navy spokesmen? Does not that mean that our country is being made even more vulnerable by the use of an unreliable weapon?

The Prime Minister

If I were to answer that question either in the positive or the negative, I should be departing from the principle I set myself in the original Answer.