Bacteriological Warfare

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd April 1958.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 2nd April 1958

asked the Minister of Defence if he proposes to continue preparations in respect of bacteriological warfare.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

For defensive purposes, it is necessary to continue research into possible methods of bacteriological warfare.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Does the Minister recollect that about a year ago he gave me an assurance that he would examine this branch of so-called defence with a view to economy? Can he tell us what its purpose is and whether it is necessary after dropping H-bombs to drop bacteria?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

I cannot put myself into the mind of a possible aggressor, but an attack by bacteriological methods is not something which any responsible Government could altogether ignore.

Photo of Dr Edith Summerskill Dr Edith Summerskill , Warrington

Does the right hon. Gentleman's Answer mean that he is merely doing research into the antidotes for bacteriological warfare?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

The purpose of the research is defensive, but in order to study defensive methods one has to study what the other fellow can do to you.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that Answer, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment.