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Hydrogen And Atom Bomb Tests

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 13 May 1954

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47.

asked the Prime Minister whether information has now been received from the United States Government with regard to the hydrogen test series of explosions which took place during March and April; and whether he will make a statement.

I am not prepared as at present advised to give any information beyond that which has appeared in the Press.

In view of the great public concern over the development of the hydrogen bomb, would the Prime Minister consider proposing that there should be a suspension of all hydrogen tests and explosions pending the outcome of the Disarmament Commission, which began its deliberations this morning?

I think we dealt with that at an early stage in the experiments. I have no power to give directions on the subject to the United States or to the Soviet Union.

I did not ask the Prime Minister to give directions. What I asked him was whether he will consider proposing the suspension of these tests?

I do not think it would be much use deciding to propose such a course without some consideration of whether it was likely to be adopted or not.

49.

asked the Prime Minister how many underwater atomic or hydrogen explosions have been recorded by the scientific instruments at the disposal of Her Majesty's Government; and which of them appear to have been connected with experimental explosions by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The answer to this Question would reveal the degree of efficiency of our apparatus for the detection of atomic explosions and this would not be in the public interest.