HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 cc1081-2
Q4. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will propose to President Kennedy that the scientific advisers of both governments should consider and report on the minimum number of automatic "black box" recording instruments and on-site inspections necessary annually in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, respectively, to ensure the adequate policing of a test ban treaty, together with the actual methods of carrying out such inspections.

The Prime Minister

As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, there is close co-operation and consultation on these matters between Her Majesty's Government's scientific advisers and those of the United States Government. The benefits of these continuing exchanges are reflected in the advice they tender at any time. The present Western position on the issues referred to in the Question is no exception and I do not think that any special measures are called for.

Mr. Henderson

Is not the present deadlock due to the fact that the Soviet Government insist on three on-site inspections whereas the United States Government desire seven or eight? Would not the right hon. Gentleman consider proposing both to President Kennedy and Mr. Khrushchev that the number of automatic seismic stations should be increased to nine or ten whereas the proposed number of on-site inspections should be reduced from seven or eight to four or five?

The Prime Minister

All these matters, of course, are for negotiation. The present position, as I understand, is that Mr. Kuznetsov has returned to Moscow and is discussing certain suggestions which have been made for a settlement. I am hoping that it will be reached satisfactorily.