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Nuclear Tests

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the announcement by the Soviet ambassador to the United States of America, that his Government are prepared to implement a moratorium on Soviet nuclear tests on 6 August; and if he will make a statement.

The Soviet proposal calls for a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing by all states. Declaratory statements of this nature do nothing to resolve the outstanding problems of verification which continue to surround any agreement on nuclear testing constraints. These problems we believe to be as great in the case of a moratorium as in a comprehensive test ban. The Soviet announcement also appears to overlook the problem of peaceful nuclear explosions which must be covered by a comprehensive test ban. We continue to seek progress towards the latter at the Geneva conference on disarmament.