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Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 16 May 1961

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asked the Prime Minister to what extent he discussed the situation in Cuba during his recent talks with President Kennedy.

As I have already said, I do not think it would be proper for me in answering Questions to go beyond the points contained in or arising out of the joint communiqué issued by President Kennedy and myself after our meeting.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of us read with great approval his remarks the other day about the importance of not "going it alone"? Does he not agree that it is most important for the solidarity of the Western Alliance that none of its members should take action anywhere in the world which is likely to have grave international repercussions without consulting its allies, and that this applies particularly in the case of Britain and the Cuban affair in view of Britain's great responsibilities in the Caribbean area?

I think that as a general proposition that is unexceptionable, but I still prefer to hold to my Answer.

Can the right hon. Gentleman at least tell us whether Her Majesty's Government are still satisfied that the United States had nothing what- ever to do with the affair in Cuba, since the Foreign Secretary said that he was satisfied when the matter was discussed in the United Nations? If the answer to that question is "No", will he ensure that our representatives at the United Nations change the attitude which they mistakenly based on that false assumption?

No, Sir. All these matters, including our position in the United Nations, have been discussed in question and answer, and I understand that they are to be debated in the next two days.


asked the Prime Minister, in view of the importance of events in Cuba, if he will visit Cuba in order to gain first-hand information about the position there.

Is the Prime Minister aware that, even in America, there is not complete confidence now in the "man in the White House" owing to the conflicting statements? Is he aware that there is strong criticism of United States' action in Cuba in Canada, India and many other countries of the Commonwealth? Does not he think it would be a good thing if he went and had a look himself?

No, Sir. It is quite a task for the man in No. 10, or No. 10 temporarily under repair. I cannot answer also for the occupant of the White House.

If the Prime Minister has full confidence in our man in Havana, can he tell the House whether our man in Havana advised the British Government that the attempted invasion of Cuba would be repelled and whether he passed on that information to the United States Government?