HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 c560
10. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Defence what consultations there have been with General Norstad and his successor in regard to a nuclear policy for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in the light of the possession of independent nuclear weapons by the United Kingdom and France.

Mr. Thorneycroft

General Norstad's views on nuclear policy are well known to the North Atlantic Council. No doubt the Council will wish to know the views of his successor in due course.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the Minister of Defence resist any attempt to create a N.A.T.O. nuclear organisation? Is he aware that while I am somewhat sceptical of the value of what is called the independent nuclear deterrent, I would rather have that than have us place the whole of our nuclear defence in the hands of N.A.T.O., which would include various Continental countries about which I am very suspicious?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will certainly bear the right hon. Gentleman's suggestions in mind.

Sir J. Duncan

Is the statement in the Question accurate—that France has an independent nuclear weapon?

Mr. Thorneycroft

She certainly has the capacity to make an independent nuclear weapon, and the knowledge of how to do so.