Her Majesty's Government will be ready to ratify the Treaty on Principles governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies, as soon as a common date for the ratification can be agreed with the United States and Soviet Union who are the other two depository States.
While welcoming my right hon. Friend's reply, may I ask whether, in view of the very considerable importance of this Treaty, particularly in its ban on the use of nuclear weapons in outer space, my right hon. Friend can give any more precise information as to when the ratification may be looked forward to?
For the reasons given by my hon. Friend, we attach great importance to avoiding undue delay in bringing the Treaty into force, but the Treaty itself provides that it can come into force only when the three depository Governments and two other Governments signify ratification. That is why we are hoping to urge the other two depository States to agree on a common date as soon as possible.