HC Deb 12 April 1967 vol 744 cc1192-3
31. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken to implement the policy of internationalising the British nuclear weapons; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Healey

Our policy remains to internationalise our nuclear forces. Discussion of the N.A.T.O. nuclear sharing problem is now concentrated on improving consultation and planning, and the United Kingdom is participating actively in the machinery which has been set up in N.A.T.O. for this purpose.

Mr. Jeger

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this has been the subject of a number of firm pledges over the last few years and that very little action appears to have been taken? Will he issue a statement to say exactly what action is being taken and who, apart from ourselves, is really interested?

Mr. Healey

This matter was very fully covered not only in the defence debate, but in the Defence White Paper. The existing strategic nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and the planned nuclear forces of Polaris will be assigned to N.A.T.O. and targeted by the appropriate and suitable N.A.T.O. authorities.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will my right hon. Friend explain whether he is proposing to internationalise the Polaris submarines and, if so, what other nations have offered to pay any of their cost?

Mr. Healey

I have just answered that question.