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Disarmament

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 14 April 1954

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89.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, having regard to the fact that atom and hydrogen bombs are now produced in more than one country, if he will instruct the British representative at the forthcoming meeting of the United Nations Disarmament Commission to press for a policy of progressive and rapid reduction of armaments; and if he will give proof of Britain's good faith by announcing a reduction in armament expenditure by one half in the next year, the ending of Britain's position as a strategic base, and the removal of all foreign troops from this country.

The Disarmament Commission met last Friday at our request. It is to meet again today. Her Majesty's Government's representatives on it will continue to press for agreement on progressive and balanced disarmament.As regards the second part of the Question, I cannot accept the implicattion that Her Majesty's Government have not been acting in good faith, in the light of their persistent efforts in the face of Soviet obstruction. The answer is "No" Unilateral disarmament would only increase the danger of war.