New Forest East

DEFENCE – DISARMAMENT – 25 January 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: I congratulate the Secretary of State on having at last confirmed that the actual reduction in the number of warheads per submarine is 20 percent, not 50 percent as has sometimes been glibly claimed in the past. Will he acknowledge that, in 1972, the world thought that it had achieved the global abolition of germ warfare and biological weapons, but that, 20 years later, President Yeltsin admitted that, in fact, the Russians had reintensified their biological warfare programmes after that treaty? In the unlikely event of the right hon. Gentleman ever managing to achieve global nuclear disarmament, will he have done anything more than make the world safe once more for all-out conventional warfare between major powers, instead of keeping nuclear weapons where they belong, in the hands of democratic powers and used to deter dictators?