Guided Missiles

Oral Answers to Questions — Germany – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr James Hutchison Mr James Hutchison , Glasgow Scotstoun 12:00 am, 27th July 1959

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what official request he has received from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to vary the terms of the Western European Union Treaty to enable the German Government to manufacture all or part of the Hawk guided missiles.

Photo of Mr John Profumo Mr John Profumo , Stratford-on-Avon

In accordance with the terms of the Revised Brussels Treaty, the Supreme Allied Commander has recommended the Council of Western European Union to make certain modifications in the Treaty, the effect of which would be to permit the Federal German Government to take part in the manufacture of Hawk missiles. As I said to the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Warbey) on 13th July, the Council has now given its permission in principle.

Photo of Mr James Hutchison Mr James Hutchison , Glasgow Scotstoun

I take it that there is no question of the Western German Government manufacturing the whole weapon? This being so, is it not rather a significant advance—perhaps the only advance that has been made—in interdependence between the Western European Union countries in the manufacture of weapon parts in each country? Has-Great Britain no part to play in this?

Photo of Mr John Profumo Mr John Profumo , Stratford-on-Avon

The answers to the first two parts of my hon. Friend's supplementary question are, "Yes, Sir".

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Is this the thin end of the wedge? How long will it be before the Supreme Commander recommends that the Federal Government should be permitted to manufacture atomic weapons? What sort of nonsense is this?

Photo of Mr John Profumo Mr John Profumo , Stratford-on-Avon

The right hon. Gentleman is entirely wrong. This is not the thin end of any wedge. This is a defensive weapon which is being made in cooperation with other countries in the West. It is a weapon which has no atomic connotation at all.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Was this action taken on the initiative of the Supreme Commander himself or at a political level?

Photo of Mr John Profumo Mr John Profumo , Stratford-on-Avon

This sort of action has to be initiated by the Supreme Commander himself.