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Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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asked the Prime Minister what representations he has received from Mr. Khrushchev with regard to early discussion on disarmament.

If I had received any message, it would, of course, be confidential. But I have received none since our talk in New York last autumn.

In view of the statement published in The Times of 8th March purporting to come from Washington, to the effect that these bilateral talks would start in May and in mid-June would proceed to a consideration of the composition of the main conference to start in August, may we take it that Her Majesty's Government will have the opportunity of offering their suggestions as to the composition of the conference in relation to the presence of neutrals and the Republic of China?

We have been consulted. I understand that there are to be bilateral talks between the Soviet and United States Governments, perhaps in June or July, to try to find a proposal, which the two Governments may make to their colleagues, for an acceptable basis for the resumption of multilateral disarmament discussions. In all this we are in close touch with the United States Government.