Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th July 1989.

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Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:00 am, 11th July 1989

Of course we welcome the reduction in tension between East and West—we were among the first to do so—but that does not mean that the reductions in arms now being negotiated will come about quickly. For several years the Soviet Union will have a great superiority over us in conventional, nuclear and chemical weapons. The only safe course for all who believe in freedom and justice is to ensure that we, with NATO, have a proper and full defence.

The Soviet Union is not reducing its arms sales capability in any way. It is increasing its arms sales to the middle east.