§ Mr. Kirkhope
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current imbalance is in chemical weapons between NATO and the Warsaw pact.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
The Soviet Union commands the world's largest and most sophisticated chemical warfare capability. It has produced and stockpiled a wide variety of chemical agents and munitions and has a massive tonnage of nerve agents alone. No chemical weapons are declared to NATO, but by comparison the United States possesses a limited and aging retaliatory capability, which it plans to modernise. Given the overwhelming Soviet superiority, the Government place the highest priority on the negotiation of a comprehensive and verifiable worldwide ban on chemical weapons.