§ Mr. Denzil Davies
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will set out the reasons for his view that the proposed sale by the United States of America to the United Kingdom of the Trident missile system will not be in breach of the treaty on the non—proliferation of nuclear weapons.
§ Mr. Blaker
Article I of the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons requires each Partynot to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly".
It does not refer to nuclear capable delivery systems and, as is the case with Polaris, the warheads for the United Kingdom Trident force will be of British design and 145W manufacture. As was made clear in the memorandum published at the time of the announcement of the choice of Trident to succeed Polaris ("The Future UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent Force"—Defence Open Government Document 80-23—July 1980) nothing in the treaty requires existing nuclear powers unilaterally to abandon their capabilities or let them decay.