§ Mr. Mellor
We are fully supportive of arms control measures that genuinely enhance stability and improve security, but we shall continue to resist proposals that would have the effect of constraining freedom of action on the high seas, an area in which the Alliance has a particular interest given the need, which the Warsaw pact does not have, to reinforce Europe by sea in times of crisis. Moreover, given the legal, definitional and other problems involved, it is difficult to see how a viable regime covering the movement of naval vessels could be constructed.
§ Mrs. Fyfe
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, following the progress made in inspection of land-based missiles, agreed between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Warsaw pact, he will make it his policy to pursue similar agreements for sea-based missiles.191W
§ Mr. Mellor
There is no agreement between NATO and the Warsaw pact on the inspection of land-based missiles. The bilateral United States/Soviet agreement on INF missiles contained verification provisions covering the elimination of ground-launched missiles of intermediate range and the United States and the Soviet Union are currently considering verification arrangements for sea-launched nuclear missiles in the START negotiations.
§ Mr. Gerald Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement following the third United Nations special session on disarmament, 31 May to 25 June.
§ Mr. Mellor
The special session which ended on 26 June provided an important opportunity for the consideration of arms control issues. We regret that it was not able to agree a final document. The United Kingdom delegation played a full part in the debate and negotiations and put forward a number of specific proposals. The United Kingdom position was outlined in a memorandum dated 23 May which was printed and distributed as a United Nations document.
In my right hon. and learned Friend's speech to the special session on 7 June he pressed for wider accession to the 1925 Geneva protocol, which bans the use of chemical weapons in war, and proposed measures to enable immediate investigation of CW use and international action against violators. We shall pursue these proposals in the appropriate fora.
As my right hon. and learned Friend also made clear in his speech, we have a full and practical arms control agenda in the nuclear, conventional and chemical fields. Despite the disappointing outcome at the special session we shall press ahead with this work with the aim of achieving balanced and verifiable agreements which are consistent with the maintenance of the United Kingdom's security.