§ 13. Mr. Warbey
asked the Lord Privy Seal what reply he has made to the official Russian protest against British acceptance of the proposal for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation force of Polaris-carrying surface ships with West German participation.
§ Mr. Warbey
In view of the terms of that reply, and of the American Government's reply, can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that the American Government have now finally and definitively withdrawn their original proposal that the Polaris missile carriers should be of the cargo type, possessing the advantage of considerable anonymity through being able to count on the identity protection of as many as 4,500 merchant ships operating every day in the waters in which they would operate? Have they withdrawn that proposal and, if so, as this was put forward in order to meet the criticism of vulnerability, what now becomes of the argument of vulnerability?
§ Mr. P. Williams
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the British protest against British acceptance of any multilateral force—mixed-manned or whatever it may be—and that many of us think that the best thing is a national, sovereign contribution to the defence of the West?