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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Soviet Note)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a further statement on the progress of his consultations with the Governments of other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in respect of the intimation by the Soviet Government of its desire to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what answer he proposes to send to Mr. Molotov's Note of 1st April; and if he will set out clearly in that answer the matters on which he deems an immediate agreement essential as steps towards European security.

An answer to the Soviet Note is being prepared, in consultation with the United States and French Governments and with other directly interested Governments. The North Atlantic Council is considering the question, and will, of course, be fully consulted before any reply is sent to Moscow.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in fact, this House will know the conclusions reached by the drafting committee?

Yes, certainly. We shall follow the same procedure as we have with all these Soviet Notes, and I expect that in due course another White Paper will be laid.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will propose to the United States, French and Soviet Governments that the recent Soviet Note on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the proposed European Security Organisation shall be discussed by the Foreign Ministers of the four Powers when they meet at Geneva in April.

No, Sir. It was agreed between the four Foreign Ministers in Berlin that the Geneva Conference is to discuss the problems of Korea and Indo-China.

As the Soviet Note mainly stresses European security and carries on discussions which were started at the Berlin Conference on that subject, will the right hon. Gentleman not be content with sending Notes in reply but suggest arranging a meeting at which these matters can be further discussed between the four Powers, either at Geneva or elsewhere?

The hon. Gentleman asked me about Geneva. I told him that the agenda had been agreed between the four Powers. The agenda cannot be varied except by another agreement between the four Powers. I do not think that it will be very wise to try to get that in the next week or two before we go to Geneva.

I fully agree with what the Foreign Secretary says about Geneva, but may I urge him to make it perfectly plain that we are prepared to talk to the Russians about a new system of all-in collective security, combined with armament reduction and international control?