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Great Britain And Russia

Volume 415: debated on Monday 12 November 1945

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17.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking to remove the differences of policy between the U.S.S.R. and His Majesty's Government.

It is very important that the differences between His Majesty's Government and the Soviet Government should not be exaggerated. It would indeed be miraculous if agreement could at once be reached on all the great matters which in this after-war period arise for decision between the victorious Powers. His Majesty's Government will use the various normal means of discussion between governments, as and when appropriate, in order to reach agreed solutions, by a process of give and take on both sides, in the spirit of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of Alliance and Collaboration.

Can the right hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that matters are not being allowed to drift, and that active steps are being taken by His Majesty's Government to bring about a settlement of the differences? Can he say whether there are any prospects of a Big Three meeting soon?

The hon. Member's Question was very wide, and I gave him a considered answer. I will only add that in a number of international meetings we are working with success with the Soviet Union delegates, and I hope we shall continue to do so.

What is the use of asking other people to put their cards on the table, face upwards, if we keep an ace up our sleeves?

Is it not desirable that steps should be taken to ensure free access in the territories at present under the control of Russia, so that information can be made public as to what is happening in those countries?

I have answered questions previously on that point, and I have shown that a considerable number of Press representatives have been allowed or will be allowed access.