LONDON (Dec. 21)
R. A. Butler, Lord Privy Seal and leader of the House of Commons, told Parliament here today that he has information showing that Israel’s nuclear reactor construction, in the Israeli Negev area, “is not so advanced that it could be used for military purposes.”
“There is nothing to suggest,” he stated, “that progress is so advanced that the reactor could be used for military purposes in the near future.” Mr. Butler made his statement in answer to statements in the House by both Laborite and Conservative members who discussed the reports that Israel has developed the capability of building an atomic bomb.
The leader quoted from the British press to cite statements by the Israel Atomic Energy Commission denying publicly that Israel is producing atomic weapons. He said also that “the French Foreign Ministry has declared that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the Israeli installation, which has been assisted by the French, would be used exclusively for peaceful purposes.”