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Nuclear Weapons

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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13.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on the implications of his policy of flexible response for the stage at which nuclear weapons are used.

Since the beginning of the year five letters have been received on the general issue of flexible response but I am not aware of any recent representations on the specific aspect referred to by the hon. Member.

Will the Minister confirm that there have been representations from NATO that the remaining stockpiles of nuclear weapons should be upgraded, and will he give some indication of when Her Majesty's Government intend to ensure the effectiveness of the remaining stockpile by upgrading those nuclear weapons?

I think that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the decisions take at Montebello. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I dealt with that in detail in our answers on 24 March. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has said, no decisions affecting the modernisation of the theatre nuclear weapons in service with British forces have yet been made.