§ Lord Jenkins of Putney
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware that the Soviet Minister of Defence has said that the probability of a nuclear conflict has increased following the deployment of American medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe and what action they are taking in the light of this;
Whether they are aware that the Soviet Minister of Defence has said that a nuclear attack on the USSR will lead to a retaliatory strike both on the European states in which American missiles are 483WA deployed and on the United States and what action they are taking in the light of this; and
Whether they are aware that the Soviet Minister of Defence has said that the USSR is not striving to attain military superiority over the West but does not recognise that the USA has a right to achieve military superiority over the Soviet Union, and whether they agree with these propositions.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)
Yes, but we disagree with Mr. Ustinov's conclusion. The deployment of Pershing II and cruise missiles in Western Europe (in the absence of Soviet agreement to dismantle its SS20 missiles) is improving prospects for stability between East and West by removing the Soviet monopoly on484WA this class of missile. If the Soviet Government are sincere about not wanting military superiority we urge them to return to the negotiating table and seek an agreement providing for balance.