§ 37. Mr. Watkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a further statement on mutual and balanced force reductions.
On 8th June, the Warsaw Pact direct participants in the negotiations on mutual and balanced force reductions tabled counter-proposals in response to the West's initiative in April. These proposals are complex and certain aspects require clarification, but it is already clear that they represent the most significant move by the Warsaw Pact countries since the negotiations began. I welcome the fact that these proposals make some effort to meet concerns expressed by the Western participants. However, many issues remain unresolved, most notably the crucial question of the size of forces to be reduced.