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North Atlantic Pact

Volume 463: debated on Monday 4 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking to convince the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that the Atlantic Pact is for purely defensive purposes.

It is apparent from the text of the North Atlantic Pact that it is purely defensive in character. This has also been made abundantly clear by my right hon. Friend both in this House and outside.

Can the Minister explain whether we are still bound by the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship which was signed in 1942 for 20 years; and will he also explain how we can fulfil our obligations under the Anglo Soviet Treaty of Friendship and our obligations under the Atlantic Pact at the same time?

The Pact is not directed against any State and is fully compatible with the Anglo-Russian Treaty. The Treaty is still technically operative.

As to the defensive nature of the Pact, is not the acid test of our sincerity in this matter contained in the question: "Would the Government welcome the adherence of Russia to this Pact?" and will my hon. Friend answer that question?

Is the Minister aware that, according to his own statement in this House, the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) is not in favour even of defence?