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Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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Is the Prime Minister aware that if she visited Longbridge she would hear expressions of deep concern about her Government's proposal to invoke more nuclear missiles into this country? Does she not realise that this country and the world were placed in danger by the nuclear alert on 9 November? Will she accept that the more nuclear missiles there are in this country, the greater the danger? Is she aware there is absolutely no freedom anywhere if we all finish up in a radioactive cinder heap?

The greatest danger to any country is weakness in defence. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to have the numbers of nuclear missiles and certain nuclear forces reduced, the first thing that he should do is persuade the Soviet Union to withdraw the 120 SS20s that are already in service.

Will my right hon. Friend take note of the recent opinion poll published in a news magazine, which indicated that 91 per cent. of the population approved of an increase in defence spending? Of those members of the Labour Party who were interviewed, 87 per cent. came to the same conclusion.

I believe that the vast majority of people in this country wish to see our freedoms properly defended. They wish us to have enough troops, equipment and nuclear forces to deter any potential aggressor at each and every level.