Kenya (Nuclear Weapons)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury 12:00 am, 16th November 1960

asked the Minister of Defence whether nuclear weapons and warheads are now stocked at the military bases in Kenya.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

As the hon. Member knows, it is the practice not to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons at particular sites.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

Is the Minister aware that that reply, which does not deny a much-quoted report which appeared in the Express, will be received with some dismay in Kenya, in view of the fact that the people of Kenya want to be assured that they are being consulted in this matter of life and death? Wild he ensure that before any decision is made about the stocking of nuclear weapons in Kenya there will be the fullest possible consultation with representatives of local opinion?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I must make plain what I said, and that is that it is a longstanding practice in this House not to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Whether the right hon. Gentleman confirms or denies this, will he tell us that he is taking every step to distribute our deterrent as widely as possible? Is he aware that for the last ten years I have urged that this island is an unsuitable base for the deterrent and that it should be dispersed throughout the Commonwealth?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I think the hon. and learned Gentleman's supplementary question is quite happily accommodated with the previous answer I gave.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

On a point of order. In view of the Minister's failure to answer the second part of my supplementary and to give an assurance on the question of consultation——

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. I have repeatedly asked hon. Members to confine themselves to the traditional formula.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall seek leave to raise this question on the Adjournment.