In Brussels-- ministers from the countries making up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, have agreed to modernise their nuclear forces in Europe with single warhead cruise missiles, and they have called on the Soviet Union to join the West in negotiations to reduce continental-range missiles.
GV France Pym, British Defence Secretary, arrives for meeting
SV Dutch and Belgian delegates arrive
GV AND SV Delegates around table inside, including British and American representatives (4 shots)
CU Francis Pym speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT: WAYNE: "When the politicians arrived today it was supposedly to give a straight "yes" or "no" to the cruise missile plan. In the event it proved too difficult a choice for two of the five countries involved. The Dutch--faced with a Parliamentary revolt--said "no..but" and the Belgians, who have also got a shakey Government, said "yes..but". The Dutch said they couldn't agree now but they wanted to review that decision in 1981. The Belgians said they might take the missiles but they want to review that decision in six months time, in case there's been a new peace move by the Warsaw Pact."
SEQ. 4: FRANCIS PYM (BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY): "It's a major decision affecting 14 countries. It's a most important decision and everyone is on board and we're all agreed about the production of these weapons and their deployment and also, of course the arms control negotiations that go with them. At the conclusion of the day it really is a satisfactory outcome."
WAYNE: "You said everyone's on board, but the Dutch and the Belgians aren't quite as much on board as the rest of you?"
PYM: Well, almost as the Dutch have reserved their position for a couple of years but the Belgians have taken their decision and want to review it in six months, to see what progress has been made in arms control. So, i think that's pretty good and, as you know the weapons themselves don't arrive until 1982 or 1983. But I think it shows the strength of the alliance and this decision will have added further strength to it."
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REPORTER: CHRISTOPHER WAYNE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Brussels-- ministers from the countries making up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, have agreed to modernise their nuclear forces in Europe with single warhead cruise missiles, and they have called on the Soviet Union to join the West in negotiations to reduce continental-range missiles. Josef Luns, Secretary General of the 15 nation alliance, said West Germany, Britain and Italy agreed to accept new U.S. cruise missiles and Belgium and the Netherlands may follow them later. From Brussels, the BBC'c Christopher Wayne reports.