HC Deb 28 June 1962 vol 661 cc1353-4
Q2. Mr. Swingler

asked the Prime Minister, in the light of recent failures of high altitude tests, what consultations he has had with President Kennedy and other heads of governments concerning the danger of an accidental nuclear explosion and the steps to be taken to prevent widespread devastation.

The Prime Minister

In certain recent tests there has been a failure in the missile system. The missile has then been deliberately destroyed as a safety measure. There is no danger of an accidental nuclear explosion in these circumstances, and the latter part of the Question does not therefore arise.

Mr. Swingler

Nevertheless, is it not alarming in the extreme to hear of projectors going astray and getting out of control, as has been reported, in the course of these tests and of the warheads having to be prematurely exploded? Will the right hon. Gentleman say what advice he has received from British or American scientists, or from any other scientists, that it is absolutely impossible for a terrible accident with devastating consequences to occur?

The Prime Minister

I think that the arrangements, the mechanisms, for doing what I have said are perfectly satisfactory and are regarded as safe.