HL Deb 30 July 1985 vol 467 c261WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they reconcile the statement in the Defence White Paper that first strike "plays no part in the thinking of NATO, the United States or the United Kingdom" with the statement by the United States Under Secretary for Defence that Trident D5 has "a counterforce—even pre-emptive—capability".

Lord Trefgarne

The Government have acknowledged that Trident D5 is a more capable weapon system than Polaris. This does not however mean that it is intended to be used as part of a first strike attack by NATO. Indeed such an option forms no part of NATO strategy and the US Government has not suggested otherwise.