HC Deb 23 November 1965 vol 721 cc237-8
Q1. Mr. Blaker

asked the Prime Minister whether the public statement made by the Foreign Secretary in New York on 7th October at a Press conference about the Atlantic Nuclear Force represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Blaker

In that case is it not regrettable that in the House yesterday the Foreign Secretary appeared to reaffirm his support for the A.N.F.? Is is not clear that there are better ways than this for arranging for a German share in nuclear matters? Will not the Government now come out clearly and drop the proposal?

The Prime Minister

We have not heard from the Opposition what better way; they have of arranging this matter. The hon. Gentleman said that there are better ways. We consider the A.N.F. to be the best way of dealing with this problem and so far half the party opposite has been supporting the M.L.F. and half has been against it. I am not sure what better way the hon. Gentleman has in mind.

Mr. Paget

Is not the best way of obtaining parity with the Germans for neither of us to have it? Have the Americans in fact offered to bring about this arrangement by purchasing the Polaris submarines from us, and would not this be an admirable export?

The Prime Minister

There has not been this proposition from the American Government, although I am aware of the Press reports to the effect that this may be coming up for discussion. The House will recognise that there has been no opportunity yet within the alliance to discuss the problems of A.N.F. and M.L.F. because of the long delay owing to the German elections,