HC Deb 27 July 1982 vol 28 cc914-5
10. Mr. Trippier

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if his Department will produce a film to explain the nuclear defence strategy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Blaker

We have already provided a short audiovisual presentation entitled "A better road to peace", which is available through the Central Office of Information, and we hope to have a film ready later this year. The aim of these is to explain why we need to possess nuclear weapons, how our defence policies preserve the peace and why we believe that multilateral and not unilateral disarmament is the right course to follow.

Mr. Trippier

Is my hon. Friend aware that the news that he has announced will be warmly welcomed by the vast majority of people, who recognise that Britain's nuclear capability is solely to maintain peace? A film such as that will correct the impression given by the CND and like-minded organisations which only serves to confuse and mislead the public.

Mr. Blaker

I agree with my hon. Friend that there is a great deal of misinformation in this area. It is the primary purpose of these two productions to correct that misinformation and to give the true facts.

Dr McDonald

Has the Minister seen the recent statement by an eminent American nuclear physicist, Dr. Richard Garwin, who denounced the Trident plan as unnecessary, useless and unrealistic? How can the Government justify such a plan for school children or anyone else? As Trident 2 is only in the research and development stage, how can the Government justify the claim in their recent White Paper about the cost of the Trident project?

Mr. Blaker

The Government justify the Trident programme on the same basis as the previous Government justified the Polaris programme. I commend to the hon. Lady the excellent full-page advertisement issued in 1969 by her right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) extolling the merits of Polaris and nuclear deterrence.