asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action has been taken to secure the release of the British officer and other ranks apprehended by Soviet military authorities in the British sector of Berlin on 22nd April, 1949.
These men were released on 30th April, following our representations to the Soviet Chief of Staff.
While in no way imitating the example of the Opposition in asking for action without specifying what kind of action ought to be taken, may I ask my hon. Friend whether there have not been far too many incidents of this character, whether he has taken that into account, and whether some form of retaliation may be considered?
I am not asked for any specific action in that Question, and I will not comment on this incident further until we have received the report which we are expecting from our authorities.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the nature of the conversations recently held with the representatives of the Soviet Union with relation to the Soviet blockade of Berlin; and what result has been achieved.
Exploratory conversations have taken place between Dr. Jessup, United States Ambassador at large, and M. Malik, the Soviet representative on the Security Council, regarding the possibility of lifting the blockade. M. Malik has indicated that the Soviet Government are prepared to agree to the simultaneous lifting of restrictions on communications, transportation and trade between Berlin and the Western Zones of Germany and between the Western and Eastern Zones of Germany, followed by a Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers. If it is confirmed that this represents in practice the position of the Soviet Government, the way should be clear for a raising of the blockade, followed by a Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers.
In view of the undesirability of purely bilateral negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, may we be assured that His Majesty's Government have been consulted in every stage and brought into co-operation at every stage of these negotiations?
There is no question of bilateral consultations. We have been fully informed at all stages, and all four representatives are meeting today.