§ Sir David Price
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list in the Official Report which countries are known to maintain stocks of chemical weapons.
§ Mr. Stanley
The Soviet Union is capable of engaging in chemical warfare on a very large scale. Among the NATO allies the United States currently possesses a limited retaliatory capability. The French Government have recently announced that France should possess an appropriate deterrent capacity of chemical weapons. A UN fact-finding mission in 1986 has concluded that Iraqi forces used chemical weapons in the Gulf conflict. Worldwide, there may be more than 20 nations which now either possess chemical weapons or are looking at the option of acquiring them. I cannot provide further details on a non-classified basis.