HC Deb 29 January 1985 vol 72 cc138-9
4. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, in the light of the recent accident involving American service men handling Pershing II missiles in Germany, he will review safety precautions for handling missiles with nuclear warheads in transit in the United Kingdom.

The Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Mr. John Stanley)

As I told the hon. and learned Member on 13 November, the arrangements for the safe transport of nuclear weapons remain constantly under review.

Mr. Janner

Recognising, as I hope the Government do, the anxieties about the dangers inherent in the handling and transport of nuclear missiles, will the Minister answer a simple question: are local fire and police authorities informed when missiles are to pass through their areas?

Mr. Stanley

As I told the hon. and learned Gentleman previously, guidance is issued to some chief constables and fire officers. I cannot go further than that, because it is not the Government's policy, any more that it was our predecessor's policy, to give any information about the routes or methods of transport of nuclear weapons.

Mrs. Currie

With regard to the movement of nuclear weapons and their resting places, did my hon. Friend notice the comments of Mr. Roger Spiller, the male vice chairman of the CND, that the campaign at Molesworth, unlike the unsuccessful campaign at Greenham common, will not be left to women this time because Molesworth is more impOrtant than Greenham common"? Does my right hon. Friend agree that that shows that the philosophies and practices of the CND are not only wrong and foolish, but sexist to boot?

Mr. Stanley

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I assure her that the addition of a male element will make this campaign no more successful than the previous one.