HC Deb 10 April 1962 vol 657 cc1128-9
33. Mrs. Butler

asked the President of the Board of Trade if his Department will examine the export and economic problems which would be involved in a discontinuation of arms exports from Great Britain.

Sir K. Joseph

No, Sir.

Mrs. Butler

In view of the political dangers and the fact that our stake in the arms trade must inevitably impair our will to disarm, is it not vitally important that we should undertake a study of possible alternatives to promoting exports by selling weapons of death?

Sir K. Joseph

I cannot accept that our will to disarm would be weakened in any way. Exports of arms represent only a very small proportion of either our total output of these goods or of our total exports, and all the while we are facing changes just as big as or even bigger in normal commercial practice than would be represented if the export of arms were to stop altogether from this country.