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Commonwealth Prime Ministers (Consultations)

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 29 April 1954

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48

asked the Prime Minister whether, having regard to the desirability that the British Commonwealth of Nations should pursue a common policy in the present critical juncture of international relations, he will summon a conference in London of Commonwealth Prime Ministers to see how far the several lines now being respectively pursued may be co-ordinated and harmonised.

No, Sir. I should have thought that there was quite enough going on at the present time. The closest exchange of views with other Commonwealth Governments is continuous.

Will the Prime Minister bear in mind that in Geneva there are discussions going on to which the Foreign Secretary of this country is a party but at which there is not represented any Asian country within the British Commonwealth of nations, and, at the same time, there is proceeding an at least equally important conference at Colombo between the Prime Ministers of countries concerned with the same matters, at which there are represented Asian countries within the British Commonwelath of nations? Surely, after both conferences are over, an attempt ought to be made to have a common meeting in London to make sure that all members of the British Commonwealth of Nations are really going the same way about the same matters.

The hon. Gentleman speaks of "after the present conferences are over." No doubt the results of these conferences will be reviewed and collated in the usual course.