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Volume 930: debated on Thursday 21 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Soviet Government to inquire into their intentions in relation to the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear missiles with multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicle warheads in positions where they could be used against Western Europe.

I doubt that any such inquiry would elicit a useful answer. We must continue to rely on our own assessments of Soviet military intentions. The new Soviet SS20 which, as well as being MIRVed, is mobile and very powerful, poses some new problems for Western defences. But it represents an advance in Soviet nuclear weapon technology, rather than necessarily any change in intention.