§ 26. Mr. Prentice
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the position reached at the Disarmament Conference at Geneva.
§ Mr. P. Thomas
The Disarmament Conference has, at its Tuesday meetings, given further consideration to proposals for the reduction of nuclear delivery vehicles, and its Thursday meetings have been devoted to the study of various 28 confidence-building measures. On 26th March, I circulated a United Kingdom paper designed to facilitate discussion of the technical problems involved in a system of observation posts.
§ Mr. Prentice
Could the Minister of State define those aspects of the discussions which the Government feel ought to have particular attention in the weeks ahead? Arising from what he has said about last Tuesday's meeting, could he say something more about the progress made at the discussions on delivery vehicles? Is it not a fact that most of us recognise that President Johnson's proposal on this is one of the most hopeful in the current session? What specific steps are the Government taking towards any agreement on delivery vehicles—their numbers and types? Or are they inhibited by their intention to have Polaris submarines?
§ Mr. Thomas
No. I certainly agree with the hon. Gentleman when he talks about the importance of President Johnson's proposals for a freeze. The Disarmament Conference has not as yet received full details from the American representative. We hope to have that before very long. As to the other matters which are being discussed, we are dealing with what are sometimes called the Gromyko proposals. There is a lot of detail to discuss, and it looks as though this will carry on for two or three weeks. Thursday's discussions are on collateral measures, and there is no restriction on what collateral measures we refer to.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
Would the hon. Gentleman say what action he or other representatives have taken to give full support to President Johnson's freeze proposals?
§ Mr. Speaker
We must try to make some progress, although I appreciate the importance of the matter. Dame Irene Ward.