§ Lord Brockway
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will urge within NATO the acceptance of the offer by the Soviet Union to reduce to a comparable level the number of its medium-range nuclear systems based in its western regions in return for the non-deployment of cruise and Pershing missiles.
§ Lord Trefgarne
No. NATO at present has no long-range land-based missile systems in Europe; deployments of cruise and Pershing missiles are not planned to take place until 1983. Thus, any unilateral reductions made by the Soviet Union short of the dismantling of all their long-range land-based missile systems within range of NATO-Europe could not therefore remove the massive superiority which the Soviet Union currently enjoys. As was made clear in 1979 NATO is prepared to review its theatre nuclear force modernisation programme in the light of concrete results reached through negotiations. We hope that these negotiations due to start on 30th November will achieve equal ceilings at the lowest possible level.