HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 cc241-2
Q2. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the undertaking he gave in February, 1962 that he would accept personal responsibility for directing the part to be played by Her Majesty's delegate in the Eighteen Nations Disarmament Committee, what instructions he has given concerning the time to be devoted in the Committee to the discussion of procedure, a test ban, collateral measures, and a treaty for general and complete disarmament, respectively; and what proportion of the debates over the last year has been given to each of these subjects.

The Prime Minister

I have complete confidence in my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to decide the amount of time the British delegate spends on each of the subjects mentioned. The time actually devoted by the Committee to these subjects is of course the responsibility of all the nations represented at the Conference. It is not possible to give an answer to the second part of the Question because many meetings, and, indeed, individual speeches, cover more than one subject. But the single subject to which most attention has been given is a Test Ban Treaty.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Does the Prime Minister think that we might make better progress on a test ban if we gave more attention to general disarmament rather than allowing the Russians to think that we are ready for the arms race to go on for a generation, as the right hon. Gentleman implied after he came back from Nassau?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. The Committee arranges its own business, but I think that if we could only make progress on this and reach an agreement on it, it would be a tremendously big help towards further movement.

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