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Strategic Defence Initiative

Volume 78: debated on Tuesday 30 April 1985

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21.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the implications of the strategic defence initiative for the deterrence theory on Her Majesty's Government's policy of deterrence.

24.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what implications the strategic defence initiative has for the Government's reliance on the theory of deterrence.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear in the statement issued after her meeting with President Reagan on 22 December 1984, the overall aim of the strategic defence initiative is to enhance deterrence, the maintenance of which is central to the security of NATO.

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to be able to announce whether the United Kingdom intends to devote resources to research on a strategic defence initiative.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement to my hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Mon (Mr. Best) on 5 March 1985.

29.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if, in considering his response to the invitation by the United States Government of participation by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in the research programme for the strategic defence initiative, he will propose examination of the percentage of missiles destroyed which would be satisfactory.

This is a question for consideration in the longer term. The United States initiative relates to participation in a research programme only.

33.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what implications the strategic defence initiative has for the Trident programme.

44.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if the strategic defence initiative will affect the Trident programme.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Houghton and Washington (Mr. Boyes).

35.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his Department's present policy on the strategic defence initiative.

The Government's policy on the United States strategic defence initiative was set out in the statement issued by the Prime Minister following her meeting with President Reagan on 22 December 1984.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with other European Governments about participating in the United States strategic defence initiative research programme; and if he will make a statement.

The Government are now considering a response to the invitation from the United States Secretary of Defence to indicate areas of research within the SDI programme in which the United Kingdom would be interested in participating. We are naturally in close touch with all our allies on all aspects of this important subject. Most recently, the subject was discussed at the WEU ministerial meeting in Bonn. A copy of the communiqué from that meeting is in the Library of House.