HC Deb 23 May 1985 vol 79 cc498-9W
Mr. Frank Cook

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish a list of the nuclear weapons tests conducted by or for the United Kingdom at the Nevada test site in the United States of America or jointly conducted by or for the United Kingdom and United States of America at the Nevada site; if he will give code names and dates for these tests; and whether these were above ground or underground.

Mr. Butler

The United Kingdom, jointly with the United States of America, has conducted 17 nuclear test explosions at the Nevada test site; all tests were conducted underground. A list of the tests, detailing the event name. date and yield range is as follows:

enquiry about HMS Splendid's signals log (Hansard Vol. 68, column 335) on which, due to an oversight, you were riot told that we would be replying by letter.

As I told the House on 15th November, signals logs are not retained permanently: HMS Splendid's signals log for the Falklands Campaign was destroyed on 2nd October 1982 in accordance with standing instructions.

I assume that your questions about HMS Submarines Superb, Warspite and Courageous relate to your allegation, reported in The Times on 3rd April, that they were protecting a Polaris submarine in the South Atlantic. In fact, of the three submarines, only HMS Courageous was involved in the conflict (as stated in both the Falklands White Paper and Admiral Fieldhouse's Despatch). As the Prime Minister told George Foulkes (in her letter of 19th September 1984 which was published in Hansard on 22nd October), there was no change in the standard deployment pattern of our Polaris submarines during the conflict; moreover, the Government gave a categorical assurance at she time that nuclear weapons would not be used in the Falklands conflict.

As to the logs of these submarines, I can confirm that my Department has in its possession the control room logs covering the period of the Falklands Campaign for Superb, Warspite and Courageous. I have given careful consideration to providing the information on signals logs which you requested and which overlapped a request from George Foulkes for information concerning all naval vessels which participated in the Falklands Campaign. I have concluded that no useful purpose would be served in checking whether each has destroyed its signals in accordance with standing instructions.

Yours ever,