AS convener of the SNP branch in Helensburgh and the Dumbarton Constituency Association in whose territory weapons of mass destruction are stored, the issue of nuclear weapons is a very real one ( "SNP says nuclear-free Scotland could still be in Nato", The Herald, April 17).

It is right that supporters of nuclear disarmament should expect our Government to ensure that its promise to rid us of this menace is fulfilled. Without it, many would see independence as an empty vessel.

On the day after independence, Scotland, as one of its successor states, will still be party to all international agreements to which the UK was a signatory.

Scotland will then negotiate the terms under which it will either remain a party to these agreements or cease to be a member. That position applies to Nato.

Whatever the outcome, I am confident that any policy which the SNP embraces will have the removal of all nuclear weapons from our land and waters as a fundamental condition. Whether that involves the rest of the UK housing these temporarily at a US base until a permanent base is created in the south or leaving them to the Scots to decommission, we shall see.

Nuclear weapons are not a bargaining tool in the independence settlement.

Graeme McCormick,

Redhouse Cottage, Arden.