My right hon. and noble Friend has set up to assist him a research unit in the Foreign Office and an advisory panel, and with their help has been examining the whole field of disarmament policy. He has made wide contacts on disarmament, particularly in the United States and Scandinavia. He has attended the United Nations Disarmament Commission, and is now attending the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference at Geneva. There, as the House will know, we hope to take an initiative on the non-dissemination of nuclear weapons, which my right hon. and noble Friend recently discussed in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
As I have already informed the House, we are concerned also to get a comprehensive test ban treaty, a freeze of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, possibly some measures against surprise attack and other matters which are relevant to the Question that I have just answered.
Have Her Majesty's Government made an explicit statement to the Soviet Government that if a non-dissemination agreement were achieved Her Majesty's Government would oppose any arrangement of N.A.T.O. nuclear arms in contravention to any such non-dissemination agreement?
Certainly, if we are able to conclude a non-dissemination treaty we should not wish to enter, and we should not enter, into any arrangement which was inconsistent with it. But, as I have told the House, I do not accept the view—and I do not think it can be maintained—that the A.N.F. proposal as it now stands is inconsistent with non-dissemination.
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the supplementary question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker), asking what the Government have done? The right hon. Gentleman replied saying that the Government were concerned about many things That may be wise, but what have they done?
If the right hon. Gentleman has been following these affairs, he will be aware that my noble Friend is now engaged at the Geneva Conference in endeavouring to get an agreement on non-dissemination. I do not think that we should wish to embarrass him in that task.
It is not correct to say that they have failed to come off. It is still understood in principle that these visits will occur, but a date was not at any time fixed and has not yet been fixed.
Will the right hon. Gentleman now take the opportunity to answer the supplementary question which I addressed to him earlier and say what new initiatives the Government are taking?
I am quite sure that my right hon. Friend and I will be prepared to take any action which would be useful in promoting the negotiations at Geneva. But I think it is agreed that my noble Friend there is presenting a good case, and I think we should wish him well.