§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will refrain from participation in the underground testing of nuclear weapons, 1783WA pending the negotiation of a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, and urge other governments to do likewise.
The Earl of Caithness
As my noble friend the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs explained to the noble Lord on 17th May, for the foreseeable future, our security will depend on deterrence based in part on the possession of nuclear weapons. That will mean a continuing requirement to test our nuclear weapons in order to ensure that they remain effective and up to date. A comprehensive test ban remains a long-term goal to which progress can only be made on a step-by-step basis.