Satisfactory answers on Chemical and Biological Warfare?
TC Thomas, Mountford Hall, March 9: ‘This University never had a policy on C.B.W. and I hope it never will have’.
What did he mean? Did he mean anything? Is it really a reply to our demand that the university ceases to accept Ministry of Defence contracts? Thomas gave the titles of 4 Min of Defence sponsored research projects at present being worked upon in the university, and inferred that they were quite inocuous. He did not say what were the conditions attached to these grants: whether the Min of Defence will control tho direction of the research or forbid publication of its results.
Neither did he mention 2 theses prepared at our university which were revealed in the written answers in Hansard, the parliamentary record (Vol. 765, May 29,1968).
Mr. Dalyell asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the research sponsored in British universities and institutions by his Department relating to chemical and microbiological warfare.
We are assured by people involved in one of these researches, completed last autumn,that their work is – again – quite innocuous. This may be so, but wo have no guarantee that the Min of Defence will not use their results for CBW purposes.
In an American university a contract into the development of aerosol sprays (seemingly harmless) was discovered to be specifically aimed at utilising these sprays for the dispersion of toxic germs.
To ensure that the research facilities of our university are not abused in a similar way is to demand, as some Labour and Liberal M.P.s are demanding concerning Porton Down, that all work of this nature should function under the Min of Health rather that the Min of Defence, and that it should all be declassified. This would make sure that all research is directed towards preventative medicine, rather that to tho promotion of disease and genocide.
We therefore demand that the university undertakes a policy on C.B.W, now! It must not bo a matter for individual depts to decide – Senate must take a policy decision not to accept any more Min of Defence contracts in Liverpool.
This would be a start, but we must not forget the strong links between this university and Porton Down. The fact that Professor A Wilson sits on one of Porton’s committees. The fact that Liverpool scientists held a meeting here with Porton scientists in 1969. The fact that Porton collaborated with Liverpool in a study of the transplant of nerves and muscles.
The links with Porton must bo severed.
“The dark side of progress is man’s spectacular skill at devising better and better ways to kill other men”
– S Rose on CBW.
DO YOU WANT LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROGRESS?