HC Deb 08 July 1968 vol 768 cc7-8W
59. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has sent to the official Soviet proposal for a ban on chemical warfare.

Mr. Mulley

We are carefully studying all the proposals, naturally including that relating to chemical and biological weapons, in the recent memorandum setting out the Soviet Government's views on the measures that should be agreed following the conclusion of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. These proposals will be considered by the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee when it reconvenes on 16th July. Her Majesty's Government's own views on the action that should be taken in regard to chemical and biological weapons were explained in my answer to my hon. Friend on the 1st of July.—[Vol. 767, c. 167.]

Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what initiatives have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to secure the outlawing, by international agreement, of all forms of chemical and bacteriological warfare; and to what extent are the results of British research in these fields made available to other nations.

Mr. Mulley

Proposals to deal with chemical and biological weapons were included in the Western plan for general and complete disarmament tabled at the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee in 1962. As I told my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on 1st July, we think that when the Committee reconvenes, it should consider among other urgent tasks, what can be done in regard to these weapons with a view to strengthening and bringing up to date the existing agreement in this field, the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

On the second part of the Question I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply my hon. Friend the Minister of Defence for Equipment gave to my hon. Friend the Member for the Hartlepools (Mr. Leadbitter) on 2nd July. Apart from the research generally published, we make some classified information available to nations with whom we have arrangements for mutual co-operation in defence.— [Vol. 767, c. 767; Vol. 767, c. 211.]