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International Relations

Volume 531: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1954

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asked the Prime Minister in view of the result of the Geneva Conference on Indo-China and the effective participation by the Foreign Secretary, what steps Her Majesty's Government now intend to take directly and through the United Nations to explore the possibility of a general pacific settlement of outstanding matters causing international tension in the Middle and Far East.


asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a further statement regarding his meeting with Mr. Malenkov.


asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the success of the Geneva Conference in arranging a ceasefire in Indo-China and the proof that negotiations can succeed, he will now attempt to arrange a big three conference to discuss international difficulties.

I have nothing to add to my previous statements on the subject of a top level conference. Her Majesty's Government intend to take all possible steps to decrease tension, whether through established bodies or by special methods.

On a point of order. Do I understand that repetition is not permitted in this House, and that, when the Prime Minister says he has nothing to add, that is repetition?

Does not the Prime Minister consider a hard negative rather disappointing, and, in the circumstances, seeing that the omens are rather encouraging at this time, cannot he give us a more definite assurance on what he might do in the near future?

Will the Prime Minister explain to the House what he has done to the official Opposition, who now regard him as the world's great apostle of peace when three years ago they were accusing him of being the warmonger?

In view of the fact that in subject-matter Questions Nos. 45, 48 and 49 may be said to have been partly covered by the recent Note from Russia, will the House be told the Government's answer before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

I cannot guarantee that the complexities of the situation will be cleared away within the next few days. The recent proposal which has been made by the Soviet Government raises important questions connected with conferences, all of which must be discussed between the three allies.

Would it not be extremely undesirable for the House to disperse for the Summer Recess without knowing what the answer will be on a matter of this sort?

The House does disperse at different seasons of the year, and I understood that the right hon. Gentleman himself had made his plans for distant journeys. We should not wish to interfere with them.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he really believes that he and the other nations concerned cannot make up their minds on this very important matter before 9th August?

The Soviet answer to our message of May took over two months to prepare, and was delivered only two days ago. I really think that we must have an opportunity of considering it.