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Nuclear Tests (Geneva Conference)

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 16 November 1961

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Q5.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will communicate with Mr. Khrushchev express. ing the readiness of Her Majesty's Government to participate at once in a resumption of the Geneva tests conference, as called for in the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 9th November, and inviting Mr. Khrushchev to participate.

Her Majesty's Ambassador at Moscow and the United States Ambassador delivered Notes on 13th November to the Soviet Government, inviting them to take part in resumed meetings of the Conference on the Discontinuance of Nuclear Weapon Tests to begin on or about 28th November. I do not consider it necessary for these negotiations to be opened by Heads of Governments.

May I ask the Prime Minister, first, whether any reply hag been received from the Soviet Government, and, secondly, whether it would be the policy of Her Majesty's Government to maintain the tests moratorium provided the Soviet Government return and participate in the Geneva Tests Conference?

As regards the first question, we have not yet had a reply. As regards the second one, we have been fooled once and I am not sure that we ought to allow ourselves to be fooled again.