HL Deb 27 September 1976 vol 374 cc163-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proposal their representative at the Geneva Disarmament Conference has made for the fixed application of measures to ban chemical weapons of warfare and for the eventual reduction of stock piles.


On 12th August 1976 the British Ambassador to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament tabled a working paper containing the text of a convention on the comprehensive prohibition of chemical weapons. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House. The draft convention is phased in application. In the first stage, signatories would provide information on their stocks of chemical weapons and production facilities, and would stop further production. In the second stage, which would come into effect once an agreed minimum of States had ratified, the main provisions of the convention would apply. In the third and final stage, stocks of CW agents would be destroyed or converted to peaceful uses. The treaty would set up a consultative committee to arrange for verification, inspection and the exchange of information. We hope that when the Conference of the Committee of Disarmament resumes its work in Geneva in February 1977, all delegations will be ready for detailed discussion of our draft.