HC Deb 10 November 1981 vol 12 c70W
40. Dr. 'Mawhinney

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what specific steps he has taken in the last six months to promote that aspect of his policy which is to seek multilateral disarmament; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Blaker

The Government remain committed to working for realistic and verifiable agreements on arms control and disarmament. In the last six months we have played a full part in the work of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and of the Forty-Nation Committee on Disarmament in Geneva. We have participated in the preparatory committee for the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament which is to be held in New York in 1982. We have also taken part in the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in Madrid, and have strongly supported French proposals for a mandate for a conference on disarmament in Europe. We have played a major role in consultations between the United States and the Soviet Union on limitations on long range theatre nuclear forces due to start at the end of the month. We have also welcomed the intention of the United States to continue with the SALT process in the near future. We have continued, with our allies, to seek agreement in the Vienna negotiations on mutual and balanced force reductions on Central Europe; on 23 July the West made important new proposals directed at resolving the continuing deadlock over the level of Warsaw Pact forces.