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Chemical Weapons

Volume 100: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1986

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what machinery exists within the NATO Alliance for deciding about the use of chemical weapons in war.

No chemical weapons are declared to NATO and no machinery has been established within

Royal NavyArmyRoyal Air Force
Administrative discharge72324
Dismissal/Dismissal* with disgrace563
Court martialled†3193
Summary trial†7
Prison sentence‡6||11||3
DetentionPrisonDetentionPrisonDetentionPrison
Minimum sentence days28 days (suspended)56 days2 years70 days90 days
Maximum sentence90 days9 months6 years84 days90 days
Average sentence42 days4 months4 years77 days90 days
* The term "dishonourable discharge" does not exist in the British Armed Forces; it is assumed that dismissal and dismissal with disgrace are referred to.
† Figures refer to number of cases brought, not to the number of convictions.
‡ Relates to detention in Royal Navy detention quarters only.
|| Includes military detention and civil prison sentences.

NATO specifically to decide on the use of United States of America chemical weapons in war. However, were consideration to be given to using such weapons in the NATO area, there would no doubt be consultation at the highest political level. In NATO headquarters, the defence planning committee would be the appropriate forum.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if the deployment of chemical warheads for cruise missiles in the United Kingdom will require the prior approval of Her Majesty's Government;(2) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards the NATO force goal that includes modernisation of the United States share of a NATO chemical deterrent.

I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave to the right hon. Member for Llanelli (Mr. Davies) on 28 April 1986 at column 665 and 15 May 1986 at column 546.