HC Deb 22 June 1966 vol 730 cc551-2
3. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what investigations he has made into a suitable site for a Polaris submarine base in the area of the Indian Ocean.

Mr. Healey

None, Sir.

Mr. Digby

Are we to understand that in conversations with the Americans this was not thought of last year, in view of the importance which the Government attach to policy east of Suez?

Mr. Healey

We think of a great many things which we do not discuss with our allies. There are no plans by the Government to put Polaris boats east of Suez.

Dr. Gray

Would my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the Indian Government will not be subjected to nuclear defence against their wishes either from Polaris submarine bases or by Prime Ministerial nuclear umbrella?

Mr. Healey

I can assure my hon. Friend that the Indian Government will receive no defence assistance which they do not request.

Mr. Powell

How, then, is it proposed by the Government to provide any nuclear defence of the kind to which the Prime Minister frequently refers, in the event of its being agreed to?

Mr. Healey

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has repeatedly made it clear, not least in the notable speech which he made in another room a week ago, that there is no proposal by Her Majesty's Government unilaterally to provide nuclear defence for India.