HC Deb 18 February 1969 vol 778 c207
Q5. Mr. Judd

asked the Prime Minister what action he is taking to co-ordinate the responsibilities of the Ministry of Technology and the Foreign anl Commonwealth Office in the control of international aspects of thermonuclear and gas centrifuge developments.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friends are already in close consultation on these matters.

Mr. Judd

Does my right hon. Friend agree that these developments provide a loophole through which the proliferation of nuclear weapons could take place, and that the international form of cooperation proposed could unfortunately result in increased East-West tension? Has not the time therefore come for the Ministry of Technology and the Foreign Office to get together in proposing ways in which the scope and powers of inspection of the international atomic energy agency could be extended?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friends have been very close together on all these matters from the very outset of the problem. I have been very much concerned with it myself from the moment that my right hon. Friend the then Minister of Technology informed me more than two years ago of the breakthrough British scientists had achieved in this respect. I do not share my hon. Friend's anxieties about the possible proliferation of nuclear weapons arising from the tripartite co-operation which we are having in the civil use of nuclear energy.