§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the implications for his policy on nuclear modernisation in the light of General John Galvin's announcement that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is prepared to scrap up to 1,000 artillery shells, provided member countries agree to modernise other nuclear armaments; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
I am not aware of any such announcement by Saceur. However, the Government continue to believe that it is essential that we maintain an up-to-date stockpile. NATO's nuclear stockpile in Europe254W is today at its lowest level for 20 years, having reduced by some 35 per cent. since 1979. Any further reductions will be welcome provided we retain a fully effective, reliable and survivable deterrent.
§ Mr. Sean Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is his policy, in the event of the breakdown of nuclear deterrence, towards North Atlantic Treaty Organisation initiating the use of tactical nuclear weapons;
(2) if he will define the Government's understanding of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's doctrine of flexible response;
(3) whether, in the event of the breakdown of nuclear deterrence, the use of tactical nuclear weapons is an option which the Government might take;
(4) whether, in the event of the breakdown of nuclear deterrence, limited nuclear war is a possibility under the strategy of flexible response.
§ Mr. Neubert
I refer the hon. Member to the annual statement on the Defence Estimates, in particular the essays on NATO strategy in 1985 and 1987, which contains the information he seeks.