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Nuclear Weapons

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what agreement was reached at the NATO Defence Ministers' meeting in October with regard to (a) increasing the number of nuclear strike aircraft based in Great Britain, and (b) fitting neutron warheads to existing missiles and shells based in Western Europe.

There was no discussion of nuclear strike aircraft based in the United Kingdom at the ministerial meeting of NATO's nuclear planning group in October. The United States' Defense Secretary did, however, inform his colleagues that President Carter had decided to give technical effect to his decision on enhanced radiation weapons in April. This involves no change to the policy announced in April which the Government fully support.


asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is satisfied that neither tactical nor strategic nuclear weapons owned by the British Government can be fired in the absence of a decision first taken by the Prime Minister and his senior colleagues.

The Government are indeed satisfied that their arrangements ensure that all British nuclear weapons are subject to the most stringent political control.