Skip to main content

Marshal Join

Volume 526: debated on Monday 12 April 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

17.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations he has received from the French Government or from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council on the position of Marshal Juin as Commander of the Land Forces in Europe.

Does that mean that our representative on the Council has not asked for any instructions, or has made no comments about the position that is likely to arise?

What it means is that no representations have been received from the French Government as regards Marshal Juin. That is the answer to the Question on the Order Paper. As to the action of the British representative, he referred the matter to the Government directly the item was inscribed, and he voted for the motion of censure, which was made public, on the instructions of the Government.

Does that mean that Marshal Juin's position as Commander of the European Land Forces is likely to be questioned by the Government?

Our view was expressed in the motion of censure for which the British representative on the N.A.T.O. Council voted. Marshal Juin's future position is primarily a matter for the French Government, who appointed him to that position under N.A.T.O. in the first place.

Is not this another illustration that generals placed in such high commands as this should keep to their military job and not enter into political matters?

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the British representative on the North Atlantic Council concurred in the decision to censure Marshal Juin for his statements about the proposed European Defence Community; and whether this matter was referred to the Governments of the Treaty Powers before being placed on the Council's agenda.

The answer to the first part of the Question is, "Yes, Sir," and, to the second part, "No, Sir."

Since it is not the intention of the Government to join E.D.C. and the French Parliament has not yet ratified E.D.C. is it not undesirable, even indecent, that a British representative should criticise a French military commander for expressing a view on a subject that has not yet been decided in France?

The hon. Gentleman is not quite accurate in describing Marshal Juin in this connection as a French military commander. He is a N.A.T.O. commander. The policy of N.A.T.O. has been affirmed and reaffirmed at several meetings as to the need for the early entry into force of E.D.C. Marshal Juin's statement that was censured at the N.A.T.O. Council was clearly and completely at variance with this policy.

Am I not right in thinking that Marshal Juin favoured a German contribution to Western defence, but without the restrictions of E.D.C?

It is not clear precisely what Marshal Juin's alternative policy was, any more than it has been in any other criticism that I have ever heard of E.D.C.