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Salt Ii

Volume 974: debated on Tuesday 27 November 1979

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46.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what impact the non-ratification of SALT II is likely to have on Western defence.

SALT II is an important step in the continuing process of arms control which aims to stabilise the strategic balance while safeguarding the essential security interests of the North Atlantic Alliance; its non-ratification would represent a serious check to this process. Western defence planning would, therefore, have to be undertaken against a background of greater unpredictability in East-West relations. The United Kingdom's firm commitment to NATO will, of course, continue whatever the outcome of the SALT debate in the United States Senate.