HC Deb 20 November 1972 vol 846 cc907-8
29. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what communications Her Majesty's Government have received from the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics regarding the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks agreement;

(2) to what extent Her Majesty's Government have been consulted by the United States Government about the progress of the Strategic Arms Limitation talks.

Mr. Amery

The United States Government have been in close touch with their NATO allies in the course of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.

We have received no communication about the talks from the Soviet Government.

Mr. Jenkins

As it would breach the letter and the spirit of not only the SALT Agreement but the Non-Proliferation Agreement if there were to be any proposal of discussions between the French and British Governments about the idea of a Western nuclear armament agreement, will the Government undertake that no such discussions between the French and British Governments on this subject will take place?

Mr. Amery

The United States have made it clear in all their discussions that their talks are concerned solely with Soviet-United States relations and have no hearing whatever on any other aspects of nuclear policy.

Mr. Sproat

Will my right hon. Friend seek to ensure that whatever reductions in armaments may take place in Europe, for which we all hope, there will be no further disruption of the balance of power particularly in favour of the Warsaw Pact countries?

Mr. Amery

We shall have this consideration uppermost in our minds.

Mr. Frank Allaun

Would not the prospect of the SALT Agreement be absolutely ruined if there were a third force, a Western European military nuclear force, because either of the big two Powers would then fear that this third force might ally itself with either of the two and this fear of two against one would prevent the prospect of parity or even the reduction of nuclear arms which we hope will result from the SALT Agreement?

Mr. Amery

I do not think there is any quesstion at present of any third force in this sphere. The talks between the United States and the Soviet Union are purely bilateral.

Mr. Jenkins

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise this matter on the Adjournment.