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United Nations (International Force)

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 November 1950

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45.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the new situation arising from the fact that the United Nations organisation is now engaged in military operations and is contemplating setting up an international force to put down aggression and save peace by military means, His Majesty's Government will consider limiting the British quota of that international force to men volunteering to serve under the flag of the United Nations.

No, Sir. The relevant clause of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 3rd November, to which I presume my hon. Friend refers, recommends each member state to maintain within its national armed forces elements so trained, organised and equipped that they could be made available promptly in response to a recommendation of the General Assembly or the Security Council. I do not consider that a limitation of the composition of such elements to volunteers would be either practicable or desirable.

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that some of the countries attached to the United Nations have already accepted the principles set forth in my Question? Will he reconsider the matter?

Does not the Prime Minister agree that the number of volunteers for Korea was negligible, and will he consider limiting our foreign commitments to those who are prepared to join up?