The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1979-1983 Parliament

Mr Major’s Written Question on Defence Policy – 20 November 1981

Below is the text of Mr Major’s Parliamentary written question on Defence Policy, published on 20th November 1981.

Mr. Major Asked the Secretary of State for Defence if, in the light of the assertions contained in the publication of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament entitled “Nuclear War and You”, a copy of which is now in his possession, he will publish for the use of the general public a factual pamphlet on Government defence policy, their desire for multilateral disarmament, and the role envisaged for ground launched cruise missiles with particular reference to the way in which their dispersal at Molesworth and Greenham Common will affect the local population.

Mr. Blaker The CND brochure to which my hon. Friend has referred contains a number of serious factual errors and misrepresentations. With regard to the Government’s defence policy, there is a range of official publications explaining this policy, including the role of nuclear weapons, which is available to the general public. Government policy is set out in detail in the annual Statement on the Defence Estimates – Cmnd. 8212-1. In addition, the Ministry of Defence has produced a. number of leaflets on various aspects of nuclear policy for distribution to the public, copies of which have been placed in the Library. These include several which deal with the role of ground launched cruise missiles, one of which covers the effect on the local communities at Greenham Common and Molesworth. Government policy on arms control issues is explained in the Arms Control and Disarmament Newsletter, published quarterly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.