HC Deb 08 June 1989 vol 154 cc232-4W
Mr. Speller

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those countries in addition to the United States of America, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, France and the United Kingdom which he assesses as having a nuclear weapon capacity, a ballistic weapons delivery capacity or both nuclear capacity and ballistic delivery capacity.

Mr. Waldegrave

I have been asked to reply.

No other country has declared itself to have a nuclear weapon capacity, although certain other countries may have the technological capability to produce nuclear weapons. We strongly support the principle of nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, and as a depositary power, we work actively for the widest adherence to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. It is not possible to draw up a precise list of countries possessing a ballistic weapon delivery capacity, since different weapons programmes are at different stages. However, the spread of ballistic missiles is a subject of increasing concern. The problem is widespread and as a founder member of the missile technology control regime (MTCR) the United Kingdom urges all countries to adopt the guidelines formulated by the seven governments to control the transfer of equipment and technology which could make a contribution to any missile system capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.