§ 19. Mr. Macdonald
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many organisations have 19 made representations to him that the proposed Convention for the Prohibition of Microbiological Methods of Warfare should be extended to prohibit chemical methods of warfare.
§ Mr. George Thomson
Since August, 1968, we have received ten letters mentioning both chemical and biological warfare. None made the specific proposal mentioned by my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. MacDonald
Between the wars, successive British Governments took the view that the use of gas in international conflicts was banned by international treaty. If the Government have changed their mind because the use of CS gas in internal disputes is more humane than bullets, would it not be more straightforward to say so?
§ Mr. Thomson
The question of CS gas raises a different point. I am aware, as my hon. Friend is, that the British position was laid down in 1930 following Questions in the House. But our present policy is to seek to make practical progress, and we feel that the best way of doing so is to concentrate on the draft Convention on biological warfare, which I hope enjoys my hon. Friend's support.