Research and Development Programme

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1955.

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Photo of Mr William Warbey Mr William Warbey , Ashfield 12:00 am, 16th November 1955

asked the Minister of Defence what instructions he has issued on the development of chemical, biological and radiological weapons with a view to their use as a deterrent or in actual warfare.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

It would not be in the public interest to disclose information of this kind concerning the defence research and development programme.

Photo of Mr William Warbey Mr William Warbey , Ashfield

Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman's attention been called to an announcement by the American Army Secretary calling for the development of these new horrifying weapons without inhibitions, partly on the ground that they destroy human lives without destroying property? Will he give an assurance that that does not represent the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Her Majesty's Government have, of course, no responsibility for statements made in other countries. As to our position with regard to bacteriological and chemical weapons, we are governed by the Geneva Protocol and the reservation with which we signed it.