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Non-Proliferation Treaty

Volume 894: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now make a statement on the result of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

The most important achievement of the conference was the adoption by consensus of a Final Declara- tion, copies of which have been placed in the Library. I believe that the support shown for this constructive declaration demonstrates the will of the great majority of Governments to increase the effectiveness of this vitally important treaty and will encourage non-parties to join.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for depositing that declaration. Does he agree that it indicates that no real progress has been made towards further restriction of the proliferation of nuclear technology? Will he reconsider the opposition expressed by the British Government at the review conference to the proposal that the sale of nuclear technology should be restricted to parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to the proposal that the reprocessing of nuclear fuel should be placed under international control? What view did the Government express to the Government of West Germany at the recent London talks on the proposed contract with the Government of Brazil, which will give that country a nuclear weapon capability, although it has consistently refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

I cannot accept the desirability of changing the position we took at the conference, nor can I accept that the disappointments at that conference were as great as my hon. Friend supposes. The joint declaration shows some progress, which we should all welcome.

The hon. Member will have to give me notice of the second part of his question.