HC Deb 07 November 1966 vol 735 cc973-4
41. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made in agreement on a nuclear non-proliferation pact within the last few months.

Mr. George Brown

It is clear that the major nuclear powers are anxious to conclude a non-proliferation agreement. I am trying hard to build on this in order to achieve a treaty. But much hard negotiating still remains ahead of us.

Mr. Hamilton

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that so long as mainland China is not in the United Nations such an agreement is highly unlikely? Will he press that view on the United States?

Mr. Brown

I would not accept the view that such an agreement is highly unlikely in those circumstances. That does not detract from what I said earlier. I think that China should be seated as rapidly as possible in the United Nations.

Lord Balniel

As the N.A.T.O. Defence Ministers' meeting next month will be a crucial step towards this non-proliferation treaty, will the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that the A.N.F. proposal, which has been an impediment towards achieving the treaty, has been withdrawn from the current proposals?

Mr. Brown

No, Sir. That remains on the table for consideration, but there are many things to be taken into account. The hon. Gentleman may be sure that we are very busy on them at the moment.

Mr. Zilliacus

Does not my right hon. Friend recall the strong objection made by the Prime Minister when he was in opposition, that an international nuclear force was an insuperable obstacle to an agreement with the Soviet Union on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons? Will he also bear in mind what the Soviet leaders have been saying about the impossibility of reaching agreement on these matters so long as we go on supporting the American war in Vietnam?

Mr. Brown

I am afraid that my hon. Friend has mixed up the M.L.F. with the A.N.F., but he may take it that I take into account all that he says.