§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will explain the statement of the Under-Secretary of State for the Army on 13 June, Official Report, c. 1095, that the United States of America has committed itself to consult its allies about a decision on the use of cruise missiles, time and circumstances permitting; and if he will describe what will happen if time or circumstances do not permit, and specify who will decide whether or not time and circumstances permit.
§ Mr. Pym
At the North Atlantic Council meeting at Athens in 1962, both the United Kingdom and the United States specifically committed themselves to consult their allies, time and circumstances permitting, before releasing their nuclear weapons for use. The Council also adopted guidelines on the degree to which political consultation on such use might be possible. It would not be in the public interest to reveal the precise details of the arrangements.
The separate arrangements for joint decision over the use of United States bases in the United Kingdom were set out in the reply of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Harlow (Mr. Newens) on 20 December 1979.—[Vol. 976, c. 321.]