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Federal Republic (International Status)

Volume 530: debated on Monday 12 July 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the proceedings of the Anglo-American Committee which is studying plans for the granting of full sovereign rights to the West German Federal Republic.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary explained the terms of reference of the working group set up to consider the international status of the German Federal Republic on 7th July, in reply to the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Steward). I am not yet able to say anything in amplification of that statement.

Could we have an assurance on this point? If a proposal is put forward for granting sovereign rights to the West German Federal Republic before the ratificaion of E.D.C. by France and Italy, will Her Majesty's Government seek a guarantee that this does not necessarily authorise the creation of a purely national German army, with all the dangers that that might entail?

That is a hypothetical question, as the hon. Gentleman no doubt realises: but it is one of the factors that are being considered.

Does not the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question illustrate the dangers that we run into if we miss E.D.C.?