A move to have Hertfordshire declared a nuclear free zone was turned down at last week’s meeting of the Hertfordshire County Council.

When county councillor Sydney Purkiss, chairman, refused to accept that the proposal should be referred to committee and insisted on an immediate debate, county councillor Dr David Billing complained this downgraded the importance of the subject.

County councillor Billing said such a declaration was important because Cruise missiles could easily be sited in the county which would make it a prime target in the event of nuclear war.

He said there should be no static sites and as a nuclear free zone, moving mobile missiles into the county could be prevented.

He also wanted to prevent nuclear waste being transported through the county by road and rail because of the danger of spillage.

He said there should be no manufacture of components for nuclear weapons in Hertfordshire.

County councillor Colonel Robert Humbert said World War Two might have been prevented if there had been sufficient rearmament in the 1930s. He said the country was now part of NATO with strong American support.

He said: “The knowledge we in Britain are prepared to contribute to a positive deterrent against aggression, as all governments have done in the last 30 years, will demonstrate our will to fight for freedom.”

[From the Watford Observer of March 11, 1983]

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