HC Deb 13 December 1967 vol 756 cc412-3
20. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will give an assurance that British-owned nuclear weapons will not at any time and in any place be operated under independent British control.

Mr. Mason

No, Sir. I can, however, assure the hon. Member that it remains Her Majesty's Government's policy to internationalise all our nuclear weapons and that we can conceive of no situation where it would make sense for this country to use these weapons independently.

Mr. Jenkins

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but would it not be more sensible to carry the policy to its logical conclusion and get rid of the Polaris missiles altogether?

Mr. Mason

I remind my hon. Friend that the programme is now nearly complete, and such a nugatory expense would be astronomic.

Mr. Marten

Is it not correct that we have, nevertheless, the right to withdraw our strategic nuclear weapons if our national security is in danger?

Mr. Mason

That is right.

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