Yesterday Parliament debated for the first time in 20 years an obscure treaty between the UK and US on mutual support for their programmes of nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)
It ought not to be obscure, as it underpins the entire Trident nuclear WMD project.
Let me put this in a historical context, as its importance in 2014 can only be understood by comprehending what happened to lead us to this important moment for security policy, diplomacy and Parliamentary scrutiny of British nuclear weapons of mass destruction
When the United States detonated the first atomic bomb in anger over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on that fateful day of 6 August 1945, the then British Prime Minister Clem Attlee and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a joint statement.
It revealed that:
“under the general arrangements then in force for the pooling of scientific information, there was a full interchange of ideas between the scientists carrying out this work [on the atom bomb] in the United Kingdom and those in the United States.”
“It is now for Japan to realize in the glare of the first atomic bomb which has smitten her what the consequence will be of an indefinite continuance of this terrible means of maintaining a rule of law in the world.
This revelation of the secrets of nature long mercifully withheld from man should arouse the most solemn reflections in the mind and conscience of every human being capable of comprehension. We must indeed pray that these awful agencies will be made to conduce to peace among the nations and that, instead of wreaking measureless havoc upon the entire globe, they may become a perennial foundation of world prosperity.”.
[STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ATTLEE AND FORMER PRIME MINISTER CHURCHILL ON THE ATOMIC BOMB http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1945/1945-08-06c.html
kind of message does that send the increasingly insecure world?