2 MARCH 1962, Page 14

NUCLEAR TESTING Sta,—It seems at present likely that nuclear tests

may be resumedpossibly in the atmosphere— because the Western powers cannot contemplate the possibility that the East may have gained some scientific advantage from the recent series of Russian tests. • If Western tests take place this spring, presumably the East will feel justified in resuming tests on the grounds that the West may have gained some scientific advantage from a new series.

If nuclear tests are ever to cease, they must do so at a time when one side or another has some slight advantage in scientific data. It seems to this layman that the present potential of nuclear arms is' so vast that any advantage possessed by the Russians at this moment may be relatively negligible.

That being so, wouldn't it be possible--even de- sirable—for the West to stop testing now? I would really be very grateful to anyone who could advance a credible argument for continuing tests, for despite all evidence to the contrary, I still wish to believe that the Government has some right on its side in this matter.