§ 20. Mr. Macdonald
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his policy on the retention of land-based short-range nuclear weapons.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
The Government fully support NATO's policy, as set out in last year's London declaration. Though reaffirming the need to maintain 177W up-to-date nuclear weapons in Europe for the foreseeable future, the alliance acknowledged that there would be a significantly reduced role for sub-strategic weapons of the shortest range. Once negotiations begin on short-range nuclear forces, the alliance will propose, in return for reciprocal action by the Soviet Union, the elimination of all its nuclear artillery shells from Europe.