He (Mr. Watkinson) questioned whether the Opposition’s Censure motion was on the Government or on the whole NATO Alliance. He and the Government believed the NATO Alliance was and must remain the core to our defence strategy.
If he were to accept the provisions of the motion and some of the arguments put forward by Opposition members, he would have to go to the Defence Minister’s meeting and propose a complete reversal of present NATO policy—(Opposition cries of “Why not?”)—“The consequence would be that I should have done the maximum to weaken the Alliance.”
(Guardian report of the Debate on Nuclear Weapons for West Germany. 12/2/60).
it is only when we think of the terrible sub-industrial wastes along the stretch of road between Reading and Slough that we have any misgivings whatever about the Third Aldermaston March. In our more sober moments, everything that has happened in the field of nuclear diplomacy during the last three months confirms the need for a greater demonstration of opposition to the nuclear ‘scatter’ than last year’s 15,000. If anything, the politics of the Bomb have taken a distinct turn for the worse. Driven by the logic of their own position, the NATO powers are now lolling in the itchy palm of Dr. Adenauer. The only question now is whether German nuclear weapons are to be developed independently by Germany, or be supplied and ‘controlled’ by NATO through the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. If these are indeed the real alternatives, there is something to be said (at last) for NATO! Dr. Adenauer is now the supreme controller of the European heartland: and until the United States have completed their crash programme for nuclear armed and powered submarines, the heartland holds sway. Adenauer has successfully dictated the pace of the West’s unwilling creep to the Summit, vetted and pruned the Agenda, kept Berlin hanging over the Head of Whitehall and Washington whenever it seemed that peace might be in the air. Never has the recovery of a defeated power been so rapid or so disastrous.
In the meanwhile, Napolean IV has touched off his ludicrous nuclear device, scattering the radio-active particles of the Sahara to the four corners of the African continent. “France”, he reports, “is both powerful and proud”. The French Test, dictated by the logic of the arms race but symptomatic more of the Rottenness of France than of her Grandeur, must be one of the greatest—and perhaps one of the last—obscenities practised by a European power against the continent of Africa. When the history books are written in Accra and Nairobi, General De Gaulle will be remembered as one of the Great Europeans who brought the terrors of science to Africa when what that continent needed most were its benefits.