HC Deb 02 July 1959 vol 608 cc61-2W
Mr. Vosper

asked the Prime Minister what declarations have recently been made by Her Majesty's Government on the suspension of nuclear tests.

The Prime Minister

Before the Geneva Conference on the suspension of nuclear tests began last autumn, Her Majesty's Government and the United States Government undertook to suspend tests for a period of one year from the opening of the Conference, provided that the Soviet Government did the same. In fact the Soviet Government held tests after the negotiations had started, and thereby formally released us and the Americans from our undertaking. Nevertheless, on the 7th of November, 1958, my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary said: "In spite of the Soviet Union action, we do not propose at present to resume tests."

I regret that I did not make it clear, in reply to a Supplementary Question from the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition on the 30th of June, that Her Majesty's Government and the United States Government have not made any formal declaration that they would not resume tests so long as the Conference continues. Nevertheless the fact remains that, so far as we know, there have been no nuclear tests for the last eight months.