HL Deb 29 July 1985 vol 467 c151WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are in favour of seeking agreement on a verified nuclear freeze.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)

A freeze would not address the essential problem, which is to negotiate substantial reductions in the nuclear weapons held by the United States and Soviet Union. This is the United States' objective at the Geneva talks, which we fully support. A freeze would also perpetuate the present imbalance in Soviet favour in a range of improved systems and reduce the incentive for the Russians to negotiate reductions. On intermediate nuclear forces, we and our allies have agreed to a number of criteria in addition to provision for effective verification, which would be necessary for an acceptable agreement. A freeze of the type suggested would not meet these requirements.