HC Deb 19 December 1963 vol 686 c1433
Q1. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister if he has now been informed whether, and when, the proposed French nuclear tests in the South Pacific are to take place; and what representations on the health hazards to the population of British territories arising from such tests have now been made by Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)

I have had no communication on these points from the French Government, but from published information it seems that any tests in the South Pacific will not take place before some time in 1965. As for the second part of the Question, I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Gentleman on 3rd December.

Mr. Driberg

While we are certainly relieved by the Prime Minister's announcement about the probable timing, can I ask him whether he will none the less make representations, since, obviously, it would be no good leaving these until the last moment before the tests? It is better to make representations well in advance.

The Prime Minister

The French Government is perfectly well aware of our wish that it should sign the nuclear Test Ban Treaty and of the anxiety which we share with New Zealand and Australia. But whether we should make representations now about possible tests which may take place in two years' time is a much more doubtful proposition.

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