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Hydrogen Bomb

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 13 April 1954

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52.

asked the Prime Minister if he will give the House all the information he receives officially from the United States Government concerning the explosive power, radius and effect both of the last bomb detonated in the Pacific and of any similar weapon that Government proposes to test in the near future.

The United States Government do their best, within the limits laid down by the United States legislation, to give us as their close allies such useful information on these subjects as is possible under their law. They might well be discouraged if they knew that it was immediately to be conveyed to the Soviet Government by public declaration in Parliament.

If there is very serious information given to the Prime Minister at some time should we not have knowledge of that? Using all his discretion, cannot the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that from time to time he will tell us of any developments in this dangerous weapon?

No, Sir. I cannot promise to tell all the information that is given to me in confidence by another country.

53.

asked the Prime Minister to what extent Her Majesty's Government intends to emulate or transcend the United States Government in the development of atomic and hydrogenic explosive weapons; and where it is proposed that further tests of these weapons should be made.

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) on 23rd March, 1954.

Does the Prime Minister appreciate that that reply was quite inadequate? Will he not at least refer to the last part of my Question in regard to the place in the world within our orbit where these experiments may take place under our auspices?

I am afraid I must abide by my answer, which was not given without much consideration.

Has the attention of the Prime Minister been called to the report in "The Times" that the United States are proposing to drop a bomb at the end of the month of 10 times the theoretical power of any bomb so far dropped? What steps has the Prime Minister taken to implement the Motion agreed to by this House last week so that we can get these very important matters dealt with quickly?