HC Deb 16 May 1962 vol 659 cc1312-3
2. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Defence whether, in relation to stocks of American missiles held in the United Kingdom, he is given full information by the United States Government as to their number, location, nuclear capacity and possible targets.

Mr. Watkinson

I have full information about the Thor missiles in the United Kingdom. As for the Polaris missiles, I am satisfied with the information which I receive under the arrangements for the use of the Holy Loch by Polaris submarines.

Mr. Lipton

Can the Minister give an assurance, with reference to the information referred to in the Question, that this country is not being treated as a junior partner but as an equal partner, and will he say also whether, and to what extent, the decision at Athens to receive and exchange information about N.A.T.O. nuclear defences increases the amount of information available to Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Watkinson

The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is that we are treated as an equal partner. The N.A.T.O. Nuclear Committee is, of course, designed to give more nuclear information to non-nuclear members of the Alliance. I do not think that it is likely to increase the knowledge of the nuclear members of the Alliance.

Mr. Mason

Has the Minister had recent conversations with the Americans regarding the gradual dismantling of the Thor missile bases?

Mr. Watkinson

I have had no recent conversations on this subject, but I said in the defence debate, I think, that the future of these particular missiles must be reviewed from time to time.