Here is the former defence minister Lord Gilbert speaking in the Lords that day:
I draw your Lordships' attention to what used to be called the neutron bomb. It is a very misleading description. It was not necessary a bomb. It was a warhead that could be attached to a torpedo or a missile. The main thing was that it was not a standard nuclear warhead. Its full title was the ERRB-enhanced radiation reduced blast weapon.
I can think of many uses for it in this day and age. It is something that we could go and talk to the Chinese about. Building on the example that I just gave your Lordships about the Straits of Magellan, you could use an enhanced radiation reduced blast warhead to create cordons sanitaire along various borders where people are causing trouble.
I will give an example. Your Lordships may say that this is impractical, but nobody lives up in the mountains on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan except for a few goats and a handful of people herding them. If you told them that some ERRB warheads were going to be dropped there and that it would be a very unpleasant place to go, they would not go there. You would greatly reduce your problem of protecting those borders from infiltration from one side or another.
These things are not talked about, but they should be, because there are great possibilities for deterrence in using the weapons that we already have in that respect.If you ever doubted the need for reform of the upper house, John Gilbert here makes an eloquent case for it.