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Geneva Conference (India, Ceylon And Pakistan)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 11 May 1954

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48.

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the message sent by the Foreign Secretary regarding the problem of Indo-China to the Prime Ministers of India. Pakistan and Ceylon during their recent meeting at Colombo; and whether he will also indicate the nature of the reply received.

I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the reply given to the hon. Member for Swindon (Mr. T. Reid) yesterday.

Would the Prime Minister say whether the message of the Foreign Secretary to the Asian Prime Ministers was confined to the under- writing of a settlement of Indo-China or also related to the wider issue of some collective security arrangements in South-East Asia?

No, Sir, I am afraid I could not undertake to do that without careful and specific examination of the message.

Would the right hon Gentleman, perhaps, give it careful and specific examination, and would he also appreciate that many rumours are being published in the Press about this and the reply? Would it not be desirable to clear up the matter by a statement at the earliest possible moment?