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Cease-Fire (Ussr Proposal)

Volume 526: debated on Monday 12 April 1954

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26.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the official proposal of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that there should be a cease-fire in Indo-China before the Geneva Conference.

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Government have received no such official proposal from the Soviet Government.

Do not Her Majesty's Government read the newspapers? Have they not observed that "Izvestia," which is an official organ of the Russian Government—no unofficial newspapers are allowed in Russia—has proposed a ceasefire in Indo-China? Will not the Government remember that when a cease-fire was proposed by the Russians for Korea, a cease-fire followed? Will they bear this very closely in mind in discussing the matter with Mr. Dulles and at the Geneva Conference, because if they think about it diligently and read the newspapers they might get somewhere?

The hon. Member's Question speaks of "the official proposal." We are not yet prepared to regard statements in newspapers as official proposals.