§ Mr. Maudling
I have been asked to reply.
The Agreement with the United States for co-operation in the civil uses of atomic energy, concluded in 1955 and extended in 1956, provides for mutual assistance and exchange of information over a wide range of subjects. Under this Agreement, detailed arrangements have recently been concluded for transmission of information on nuclear propulsion of submarines and on nuclear reactors of the Calder Hall type; but these arrangements were concluded as separate transactions and did not constitute a direct exchange of the nature suggested in the Question.
§ Mr. Gower
Can my right hon. Friend reassure the House that what informa- 34 tion has been exchanged so far has proved good business from the point of view of this country and that we have not been giving away information which, in the long run, might be much more useful than the information we have obtained?
§ Mr. Maudling
In agreements of this kind for the regular exchange of information, it is wrong to try to balance one item against another. Over the period of the operation of these agreements, both sides have derived great benefit from them.
§ Mr. Peyton
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, for one reason or another, the United States Government have been extraordinarily niggardly in their co-operation since the war? Will he assure the House that our hard-won advantage—it was won at great cost—will not lightly be cast away?