§ 31. Mr. John Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department will be responding to the Soviet proposal to withdraw 500 nuclear warheads from eastern Europe.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
We welcome the Soviet announcement that they will withdraw 500 nuclear warheads from eastern Europe, but believe that this probably represents as little as 5 per cent. of the total number of Soviet nuclear warheads deployed within the European theatre. In contrast, since 1979 NATO has withdrawn 2,400 nuclear weapons from Europe, leaving only approximately 4,600 within the theatre. The Soviet Union will, therefore, have to make further very substantial reductions if they are to come down to the size of NATO's nuclear stockpile in Europe.