CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE DISARMAMENT – 7 December 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: I follow the excellent question of the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Kali Mountford) by drawing to the Minister's [Peter Hain's] attention the fact that, in the past, treaties which we thought that everyone had signed in good faith – I refer in particular to the 1972 biological weapons convention – were subsequently systematically flouted, by the former Soviet Union in the case of the 1972 treaty. When the Minister makes statements as to the desirability of strengthening non-proliferation, will he be cautious about referring to a nuclear-free world as the eventual outcome? We must always bear in mind that, desirable though treaties are, people can always cheat on them afterwards.