France to back total test ban
Friday 11 August 1995
The test ban proposal was tabled by French representatives at the Geneva disarmament conference, and accompanied by a strong publicity pitch from Paris for foreign and domestic consumption. As it stands, the draft treaty would ban nuclear tests above one kiloton, leaving open the possibility that the nuclear powers could continue to conduct weaker tests after the end of 1996. Some observers believe that the purpose of at least some of the French tests this autumn is to develop a smaller nuclear weapon.
Yesterday's change of position by France seems to have been designed specifically to scotch this speculation and to please Australia, which has long pressed for the test ban treaty to be total. The Australian foreign minister, Gareth Evans, was quoted as saying it was was "exactly the kind of pledge we had wanted from the French".
In many ways, the propaganda onslaught mounted by France in the past week has only emphasised the depth of the hole it has dug for itself.
French officials have tried several times to relaunch three of the main points of President Jacques Chirac's original pronouncement: that the tests would be the last, that France would sign the test ban treaty in the autumn of 1996, and that new uses would be sought for the South Pacific test site and for the nuclear missile centre in southern France. But they are still drowned out by the simple message from the opposition - that France is to resume testing.
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 4 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
- 5 Barack Obama fist bumps Texas restaurant employee in support of gay rights
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
- < Previous
- Next >
Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role exists for a...
£25000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: My client are l...