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Orders Of The Day

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 18 May 1961

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Considered in Committee.

[SIR GORDON TOUCHE in the Chair]

Civil Estimates, 1961–62

Class Ii

Vote 1 Foreign Service

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That a sum, not exceeding £10,624,800, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1962, for the salaries and expenses of the Department of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, including Her Majesty's Missions and Consulates abroad, and the salary of a Minister of State. [£8,250,000 has been voted on account.]

Whereupon Motion made, and Question, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again—[ Mr. Redmayne.]— put and agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.

Foreign Affairs

Order read for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment to Question [ 17th May]

That this House supports the efforts of Her Majesty's Government to strengthen the unity of the free world and thus to create, in cooperation with the Commonwealth and with their allies, greater opportunities for the improvement of relations between East and West and for the promotion of conditions of peace and order throughout the world in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.—[Mr. Heath.]

Which Amendment was, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:

"in view of the dangers to world peace which have recently arisen in areas of political instability, particularly Cuba, Laos, the Congo and Angola, regrets the failure of Her Majesty's Government to cancel the visit of H.M.S. Leopard to Angola, and calls upon all Governments to base their foreign policies on the Charter of the United Nations, to seek the peaceful settlement of international disputes, and to promote positive co-operation between the Communist and Western Powers as the only means of ending the cold war and halting the arms race".—[Mr. Healey.]

Question again proposed, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question.

3.43 p.m.

I start by emphasising some of the things which my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) said in his admirable speech yesterday afternoon. By chance, I heard the Prime Minister's speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to which a number of hon. Members have referred. Like others in his audience then, I had not the slightest inkling, when he had finished, of what the Government's policy might be.

This debate has by no means cleared it up, and it is essential that the House should have another discussion, in the early future, on the problems of Europe, E.F.T.A. and the Common Market. I hope that the Government will take up my hon. Friend's suggestion and will send a message of good wishes from the House to the negotiators at Evian who are now trying to settle the long and terrible Algerian war.

I hope that the Government will listen to my hon. Friend's appeal for a larger contribution from our country to the Indian Five-Year Plan. India still needs £80 million. If the Indian experiment in democracy should fail, it would be a disaster to us all. If it failed by our refusal to give the help for which she asks, it would be a mockery of the Commonwealth partnership of which we boast.

Angola. Africa today is seething with new passions, new hopes, new ambition and, alas, with hatreds which are very old. There may be dark and very bloody chapters in its history close ahead. The only chance that they might be averted lies in the policy of racial partnership for which our nation stands. In many places in Africa today that policy hangs in the balance. What white men do in one place may disastrously affect what black men do in others.

That is why we deplore the sending of a warship to Luanda and the projected visit of the Foreign Secretary to Dr. Salazar to celebrate his assumption of dictatorial power. We think that black men may all too easily conclude that that is a gesture of approval for what Dr. Salazar is doing in Angola, and if they do, we, like Africa, may pay a heavy price.

I want to add a little to what my hon. Friend and other hon. Members said about Cuba. I was in Washington when Cuba was invaded by anti-Castro refugees. The main facts as I learned there are not disputed. The enterprise was organised and planned and executed under the aegis of the C.I.A. who trained the refugees. The C.I.A. gave Batista men positions of command and arranged the take-off places in Guatemala and elsewhere and helped to find the ships and arms. It told the President, against all the evidence, that the people of Cuba would rise in welcome and would sweep Castro from power.

The truth was and is, as British witnesses have recently attested, that Castro has widespread popular support and that many thousands of Cubans would die in his support. I think that American opinion has now begun to understand that that is true. I think that Mr. Walter Lippmann and other Liberals have made it plain that the invasion and its preparation by the C.I.A. on American soil was a violation of United States domestic legislation, of a treaty between the United States and Cuba, of an inter-American convention of 1928, of Article 15 of the Charter of the Organisation of American States, the O.A.S., signed in 1948, of Article 1 of the N.A.T.O. Pact, and Article 2, Sections (3) and (4), of the Charter of the United Nations. That is a veritable holocaust of American national law and international obligations.

When Britain and France struck at Nasser over Suez, in 1926—[HON. MEMBERS: "1956."]—1956—President Eisenhower used the words for which his name will live in history:
"We cannot and we will not condone aggression, no matter who the attacker, no matter who the victim."
It is essential in the interests of Anglo-American good understanding that the true friends of the United States should repeat those words today.

There are other things which should be said. First, the Monroe Doctrine does not justify the unilateral use of force. It is subordinate to the Inter-American Convention, which I have mentioned, against the preparation of sponsored civil war, and by Article 103 it is subordinate to the overriding obligations of the Charter of the United Nations.

Secondly, no dispute between American States can be transferred from the U.N. to the O.A.S., unless all the parties so agree. The Lord Privy Seal confirmed the other day that that is true. I was in the U.N. Assembly for the last debates on Cuba. I regret that the British delegation made such efforts to canvass votes for a reference of the matter to the O.A.S. I think that it should have learned the lesson of Guatemala, in 1954. It was that event which made the Latin American people spit at Vice-President Nixon on his ill-fated good will tour. Much worse, it was this precedent which made the C.I.A. believe that it could carry through a similar conspiracy in 1961.

Thirdly, we must keep in true perspective the Russian threat in Cuba. True, the Russians have bought Cuban sugar. They have given Castro loans and arms; they have done precisely what we have done in Yugoslavia since Tito quarrelled with the Kremlin in 1947.

True, Cuba is only 90 miles from the territory of the United States. But consider what the United States has done in Turkey. It has provided 3,000 million dollars, very much of it in military aid, since 1948. Turkey has a lengthy common frontier with the Soviet Union. It is full of American bomber and missile bases. They are close to the Caucasian oilfields, the Black Sea ports, and other vital points. Turkey has a dictatorial military régime.

I believe that Cuba can never be a real military danger to the United States, but perhaps its fears may bring home to the American people what the Russians feel about the N.A.T.O. bases by which they are surrounded on every hand.

Fourthly, the Cuban venture was urged on President Kennedy by the C.I.A., with the powerful support of the United States Chiefs of Staff. The fact that in a great military country they could mount an illegal conspiracy of that kind and could secure permission to carry it out surely shows the dangers of the present struggle in the world for military power. How can we uphold the Charter, and strive faithfully for the rule of law, if legal obligations are thrust aside like this? Like my hon. Friend, I wish that the British delegation had said these things in the Assembly a month ago, as Mr. Dulles and President Eisenhower said them in 1956. Perhaps it will serve a useful purpose if those who opposed the Suez venture say them now.

What is the main lesson of this Cuban story? Surely that there might never have been a crisis but for the fears and tensions which the arms race has produced. I believe that the same is true of Laos and the Congo. The arms race is not the only cause of tension, of course it is not. But would any of the current crises have happened if the arms race had not been going on? I will spare the House a lengthy argument on that point.

I believe that in Cuba, Laos and the Congo the difficulties have arisen very largely, if not entirely, because of fears that these territories might be used as centres for military power and infiltration. The same anxiety now besets us, as my hon. Friend said yesterday afternoon, about Persia, South Korea, other Latin American countries, and elsewhere.

I could adduce a lot of evidence to support that view, but I believe that it is shared in the highest quarters. Mr. James Reston, who sometimes knows what Presidents are thinking, tells us that President Kennedy has now come to the conclusion that what he calls
"the great turning point of history today"
is not Cuba, or Laos, but nuclear power.

The Commonwealth Prime Ministers said in March that disarmament was the most important question facing the world today—four of them Conservatives, and six from uncommitted nations. Mr. Khrushchev has been saying for years that disarmament is "the question of questions" on which all else depends. It is this consensus of opinion on the major problem of today which gives such high significance to the declaration of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers on disarmament last month.

The Prime Ministers broke loose from all the talk about "partial" measures, about limiting war, and about arms control with which we have been obsessed in recent years. In the United States it has become a kind of fashionable "don's delight". The Prime Ministers finished off those theories when they wrote these words:
"In view of the slaughter and destruction experienced in so-called 'conventional' wars, and of the difficulty of preventing a conventional war, once started, from developing into a nuclear war, our aim must be nothing less than the complete abolition of the means of waging war of any kind."
In other words, war of any kind is an absurd, a monstrous, anachronism in a world in which the barriers of time and space have been destroyed by scientists. We can afford no more wars, neither limited, nor peripheral, nor percentage, nor wars, so often talked of, fought with our tactical nuclear armoury alone. Not only talked of, but prepared and rehearsed.

Last September, N.A.T.O. had an exercise in Schleswig Holstein, called "Holdfast". Whenever Red or Blue force got into trouble, it made a nuclear strike. More than fifty bombs were used. I wonder what would have remained of that small province if it had been war.

The Commonwealth Prime Ministers have called for the ending of all wars by the abolition of national armaments. They said:
"All national armed forces and armaments must be reduced to the levels agreed to be necessary for internal security."
This is not a policy for a far-off tomorrow. The Prime Ministers declared that a
"favourable opportunity was now at hand for a fresh initiative towards a settlement."
They said that an agreement for general and complete disarmament should be initiated as soon as possible.
"Once started, the process of disarmament should be continued without interruption until it is completed…. Disarmament should be carried out as rapidly as possible in progressive stages, within specified periods of time."
There must be verification, inspection and control at every stage.
"At the appropriate stage, a substantial and adequately armed military force should be established, to prevent aggression and enforce the observance of the disarmament agreement."
This force must be under an international authority
"created in association with the U.N."
This is a revolutionary programme which will completely change the whole basis and conduct of international affairs—a revolutionary programme appropriate to the revolutionary age in which we live. I believe it to be an event of profound importance that the Prime Ministers—the leaders of 650 million people; more than the combined populations of Russia and America—should have declared that nothing less than this can save mankind.

But we must face the question: is it simply a declaration, or is it business? Can we hope that Mr. Khrushchev, when he speaks of peaceful co-existence, really means something that we should recognise as peace? My hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney), in his very able speech yesterday afternoon, answered with a resounding "No". He said that Ernest Bevin shared his view. I worked with Ernest Bevin in the Foreign Office for eighteen months, and I saw him every day for three more years while I was along the passage in the C.R.O. Ernest Bevin said to me a hundred times, "I will never give up. Some day they are bound to change." It is one of the tragic mis-timings of which history is so full that Ernest Bevin died before Joseph Stalin, and did not remain alive to see Mr. Khrushchev come to power.

I ask my hon. Friend whether President Kennedy was wrong to say, in his message on the state of the Union, that we must increase our support of the United Nations as an instrument to end the cold war instead of an arena in which to fight it. I do not dissent from anything that was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East about the Kremlin; it has a long way still to go in understanding what co-existence means. But no one will deny that Mr. Khrushchev has made great changes since the days of Stalin, both inside Russia and in his conduct of international affairs.

I will not deal in detail with his record from the time of the Korean truce until now.

The right hon. Member is putting forward a very interesting proposition which we must take into careful consideration. From his past work with Ernest Bevin, did he ever come to the conclusion that the Soviet Union would accept a supranational authority at any time?

In the days of Stalin we never came to any very useful conclusions. Stalin was intent on carrying out an international cold war. But I submit that Mr. Khrushchev, whatever wrong he may have done, has made great changes, and that perhaps we had better negotiate with him while we have him, lest worse befalls.

I shall not deal with Mr. Khrushchev's record from the Korean truce until now, but I recall that after his visit to Camp David he went straight to Peking and told the Chinese—who did not want to hear it—that the Americans were not imperialists and that President Eisenhower wanted disarmament and peace. I recall that he made a veritable crusade through the territories of China's neighbours, saying the same thing. I recall that the former Foreign Secretary—now the Chancellor of the Exchequer—told us in February of last year that there had been a great relaxation of the cold war and that it was due to the personality of Mr. Khrushchev. The former Foreign Secretary often told us of his conviction that the Russians would keep the treaties which they signed. The U.2 incident and the way it was handled were a smashing blow to Mr. Khrushchev's policy of peace and disarmament, and to his position in the Communist bloc.

The Chinese, who still believe in the inevitability of war, are now certainly exerting very heavy pressure on him. The struggle in the Communist conference in Moscow in November—I was at another conference at the time and I heard the echoes—was very bitter. I believe that that pressure, the U.2 incident, and what happened in the Congo, together with the harsh memories of long ago, all combined to make Mr. Khrushchev put forward his unacceptable proposal about the Secretariat of the United Nations. I want to face the question of his tripartite system, and of what is called his triple veto, and to suggest how the problem may be solved.

I say at once that Mr. Khrushchev's attacks upon the Secretary-General have deeply offended us all. We can never accept his plan for a triumvirate to head the Secretariat; it would destroy the whole conception of the international loyalty of the Secretariat, enshrined in Article 100 of the Charter, on which the whole functioning of the United Nations now depends. Mr. Khrushchev is proposing an amendment of the Charter—an amendment which I am certain he can never carry, and which we cannot accept if we are ever to get the kind of co-existence which he says he wants.

Secondly, we must ask ourselves why he is putting this amendment forward. Not many of us have asked this question. He explained his reasons in some detail in his speech to the Assembly last September, when he said that both East and West had agreed that in a disarmed world there must be an international force. But in the Congo there was already an international force; it had been placed under the command of a single man—the Secretary-General; the Secretary-General had made decisions with which the Communists and many neutrals disagreed; this showed the danger of leaving the control of an international force to any single man. It was a system to which he could never agree.

If we recall the way in which the West treated Soviet Russia between the wars—and I lived through them with Dr. Nansen, of Norway—from our intervention in support of the Czarist generals, in Russia's civil war, right through to the Abyssinian and Spanish crises and up to the time of Munich, it is easy to understand the fears which Mr. Khrushchev feels. Between the wars the capitalist countries all too often showed the deep hostility to the Soviet Union which Karl Marx had taught the Communists that they would.

Let us forget all that. Let us look at Mr. Khrushchev's proposal on its merits. Does any one of us think that it would be a good plan to place an international force, in a disarmed world, under the sole control of an international official, however wise? Certainly, the present Secretary-General would not say that. He has repeatedly complained that the Assembly has failed to set up a committee to assist him in the Congo—to share the vast responsibilities which he bears.

I believe that an international force should be controlled like this: there should be a commander-in-chief, with two deputies, all chosen from middle and smaller Powers. The commander-in-chief should be directly responsible to a very strong standing commission of the Assembly of the United Nations. The commission should give the commander-in-chief all his political directions, and if the commission disagreed on controversial points it should submit them instantly for decision to the full Assembly.

I believe that on those lines, if Mr. Khrushchev gave up his attacks on the Secretary-General, his preoccupation with the international force could be reasonably met. I believe, though I will not recite the details, that an analogous arrangement might be possible for the inspection of a ban on nuclear tests.

I wish to add one other thing about the conference on nuclear tests. We all ardently desire a test ban treaty, but, no doubt, with every month the Chinese pressure on Mr. Khrushchev not to sign a treaty is growing stronger. I believe that if Mr. Kennedy's fourteen points had been put forward a year ago, we might have had a quick success. But in spite of the present situation, I hope that we shall go on making every effort to bring Mr. Khrushchev round. But I hope also that we shall not allow the test negotiations to hold up a start in negotiations on real disarmament.

I found, when I was in the United States, that two very high authorities, that must be nameless, shared my view that the establishment of an inspection system for a test ban, taken by itself, without disarmament, was by far the hardest single part of a disarmament system. They agreed that with general disarmament and general inspection many of the difficulties which now impede a settlement would disappear. They agreed that a test ban inspection system would be costly and would take years, perhaps four years, to bring into operation.

I view with grave alarm four more years of the present arms race. It is a very long and very dangerous period. Herman Kahn, whose work on thermonuclear war is so much discussed, tells us, with the authority of the Rand Corporation behind him, that in the next four years we shall have another total revolution in the weapons system and in the general machinery of war. Will the Government look back to 1955, when there were no inter-continental missiles and no thermo-nuclear warheads, and remember how much easier it would have been to make a treaty then than it is today? Every difficulty about a test ban conference is a reason not for holding back on wider negotiations, but for pressing forward in them with all our power.

Just before he entered on his new office, Dr. Wiesner, M.I.T., President Kennedy's chief science adviser, said that we could not afford to leave disarmament until later. He said that science and technology were moving too fast. He was discussing the problem with fellow scientists engaged in military research. He said:
"Each of us has hundreds of thousands of people working under us on the development of weapons. You cannot control this and bring it into a tractable form by fooling around with minor things."
How can the Government get on with real disarmament? I have said that the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' declaration is an event of the most profound importance, and I believe that to be true. But it is still only words on paper. The bombers are still taking off with their nuclear loads. The missiles are being tested and put into hardened sites. The submarines, so deadly to Britain and Europe, are being multiplied. The Minister of Defence is still planning his weapons for five, seven and ten years ahead. How are we to get some action that will save us from the waste and danger that all this must involve?

The real difficulty of disarmament is not the technical complexity of the treaty clauses. They are relatively simple, as I have so often said. The real difficulty is getting a political decision to disarm. But it is also true, as Mr. Foster Dulles once said in the Assembly, that technical solutions, the drafting of model treaty clauses, a paper showing in detail how the thing could actually be done, may greatly help to get the political decision. It would make it all practical and real. Perhaps this was the Prime Minister's idea when he proposed an international committee of experts to study how inspection of general disarmament would work. On that basis, I am afraid that his proposal is predestined to defeat. The Russians will never accept it if the Government confine it to inspection alone. Let them widen it to include disarmament as well, and let them give the U.N. Committee of Experts a British draft on which to work.

I would guarantee—I speak from long experience going back to the disarmament of Germany by the Treaty of Versailles—that given the right instructions, Whitehall could prepare a scheme, first stage, second stage, third stage, Army, Navy, Air Force, conventional weapon reduction, manpower reduction, abolition of mass destruction weapons, abolition of the means of delivery—all the lot.

Whitehall could prepare a scheme in time for August next. It would be a draft and nothing more. No one would be bound to any detail, not even ourselves. Everyone could make the reservations and amendments he desired. But, at long last, it would get us down to business. It would save us from another tide of contradictory words and slogans. It would give at least a hope of a relatively early practical result.

If we want to be realists about the world in which we live we all have to face a profound adjustment in our thinking. Disarmament is not a distant dream. As the Commonwealth Prime Ministers asserted, it is an urgent necessity of today. It is the first step to what many hon. Members on both sides of the House most sincerely desire—world government. I do not believe in catch phrases that disguise the problems to be solved. I do not believe in the efficacy of paper constitutions if the will to work them is not there. But consider how disarmament would advance us towards an effective world authority in the United Nations.

By Article 2 of the Charter—here I follow my hon. Friend the Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice)—we have given up the right to use or threaten force to settle international disputes. A great slice of national sovereignty has gone. By disarmament treaty we should give up the right of each Government to decide what armed forces it would maintain. Another great segment, and a decisive segment, of national sovereignty would then be gone. The logical result of giving up the arbitrament of force would be to let the International Court of Justice have obligatory jurisdiction in all our international disputes. Another segment of sovereignty would be gone.

Disarmament would release the men and funds required to fight the real enemies of us all—ignorance, poverty and disease, and the needless hardships that still affect so great a number of our fellow men. It is thus that a world authority may, by treaty and by custom, come about. It is thus that we may make the world society of friendship, mutual help and understanding that for two generations has been promised and which the rising generation now so ardently and so generously desires.

4.20 p.m.

I begin by adding my congratulations to those which have already been offered by a number of hon. Members to my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) on his excellent maiden speech yesterday. We all listened to it with interest and we shall look forward to his further contributions to our debates.

We have also listened with interest and respect, as we always do, to the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker). We all acknowledge his sincerity and keen interest in these problems. I shall seek to return during my speech to one or two of the points he raised. At this stage, I wish only to say how glad I was to note the particular reference he made to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' declaration on disarmament, a very important document. The right hon. Member read various passages. I would remind him and the House of the final words in that declaration, because I think that they put the matter into context:
"Therefore, while striving for the abolition of armaments, all nations must actively endeavour to reduce tension by helping to remove other causes of friction and suspicion."
That is the wider aspect in which I think that this must be considered.

The hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) complained about the length of time spent by my right hon. Friend on our relationship with Western Europe. I agree that when we discuss foreign affairs the variety of subjects is immense and that it is difficult to get a cohesive debate. I must remind the hon. Member, however, that our relationship with Western Europe has been a basic element in our foreign policy certainly since the Battle of Hastings, if not before.

I should like to make clear the point I made on this. Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it would have been greatly for the convenience of both sides of the House if the Government had indicated their intention to have this subject thoroughly discussed? If they did not wish to put down a Motion on it, or to allocate a day for it to be debated, they could have told the Opposition that they wished to allocate one of these two days to this subject. By smuggling it into a general debate under cover of a Motion which does not refer to Europe, the right hon. Gentleman succeeded in raising the issue without giving any chance whatever to focus the debate.

I think that the hon. Member might allow me to develop my speech before he embarks on a large intervention.

I remind the hon. Gentleman that the greater unity of Western Europe must play a very important part in strengthening
"the unity of the free world"
which are exactly the words in out Motion. It is quite reasonable that this should have been introduced. Indeed, in spite of what the hon. Member has said, I think that it was quite clear, from the speeches which followed on his side of the House, that many hon. Members were anxious to take part in a debate on this matter at this stage. I am sorry if he feels he was inconvenienced, but there was certainly no intention——

That certainly was not shown by the way in which the debate continued.

I want to devote most of my speech to other matters, but before I do so I want to deal briefly with one specific aspect of our discussions with the Six which was raised by one or two hon. Members, and particularly by my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Sir A. Hurd), namely, the position of British agriculture in this problem.

Quite clearly, joining the Six or, indeed, a close association with them which embraced agriculture would mean considerable changes in our system of support in this country. On the other hand, if we are to get a fair comparison, we should consider how things are likely to develop if we remain outside the Six while they develop their intended policies in this sphere.

By the very nature of our present policies, Britain tends to be the residual market to which world food surpluses gravitate at the present time. It follows, therefore, that if production in the Six were to increase, foodstuffs they had hitherto been importing would tend to be diverted to our market and any surpluses that arose within the Six would incline towards us, with a resulting pressure on our market and on the cost of Exchequer support. It is important that this should be realised so that it may be seen that the comparison is not really between our position within the Six and our position as it is now, but between our position in the Six and our position as it would be outside the Six after their joint agricultural policy had begun to take effect. This is an extremely important distinction.

On the other hand, if we were able to make some arrangement with the Six whereby we were able to contemplate, over a period of years, some harmonisation of agricultural policy which involved bringing our method of agricultural support and that practised on the Continent more into line, we could no longer be looked upon as an external residual market but as part of the Community.

Is it the policy of the Government to object to cheaper food for this country because of the cost of Exchequer subsidy to the farmers?

No, I am trying to put the picture in relation to what the change would be. One has to draw the balance between our position now and our position in the Community, and I am trying to develop the point.

The maintenance of fair prices to producers in this country, as in the Six, would be a matter of concern to the Community as a whole. It follows from this that decisions affecting these prices will be taken collectively. This, of course, is not peculiar to agriculture, but is inherent in the whole idea of the Common Market and applies across the board.

Let us not forget that we are not the only country determined to safeguard its agricultural interests. It is significant that every one of the countries of the Six has a much larger proportion of its population involved in agriculture than we have and, politically speaking, this strengthens rather than weakens agriculture's power favourably to influence decisions taken by the commission or the council on farming matters. Added to this is the intention, written into the Treaty of Rome, to safeguard and protect the standard of living of those engaged in agriculture in the Community.

Of course, there would be certain commodity problems, but, bearing in mind the fact that the Community as a whole has not yet taken any firm decisions on agriculture, if we went in we should be in a strong position to influence any decisions on these matters in a way that would be helpful to our farming community. Furthermore, when one looks at the high cost of production in some parts of the Six, one is bound to ask: if the countries involved are able to contemplate membership of the Six, need we necessarily feel that such an approach is beyond our power? I was very interested to read, in this connection, a recent pamphlet produced by the National Farmers' Union dealing with this subject. I thought it a valuable contribution to our general thinking on this matter, but I was left with the impression that it posed the question too much in terms of black or white, that is, accession to the Treaty of Rome as it stands as opposed to maintaining our present position. Quite clearly, if we were to join or link up we would want to safeguard our own producers, and indeed our Commonwealth also, and a special arrangement in relation to this would be necessary.

Furthermore, a link-up with the Community would presumably mean adoption of the common external tariff for most commodities against other countries outside the Six, the Commonwealth or E.F.T.A. This in itself would inevitably reduce the pressure on our market in certain commodities and I do not think that this was fully taken account of in the production to which I have referred.

Is my hon. Friend aware that what disturbs us at the moment is not so much the nature of the alterations to the 1947 and 1957 Acts, but that by joining a common external tariff we would increase costs of production and have dearer food in this country?

That is an aspect which, of course, has to be considered and it is an essential part of the policy of the Community which would have to be watched carefully. Undoubtedly, very big issues would be involved for our farming community if we were to link up with the Six, just as they would be for the rest of the Community as consumers. Undoubtedly, some changes in emphasis in our production policy might follow, but there is no reason to assume that, in total, our farmers would stand to suffer under a system which would be worked out between the Six and ourselves. Indeed, it is very difficult to explain how Western Germany, with its high-cost production, can accept membership of the Six in the agricultural field if Britain cannot.

British farmers have a right to a full and fair measure of support. In this respect, they have the Government's pledges, which would still stand. The real question is whether, in fact, their long-term objectives could not be as well safeguarded within the Community as without. I have dealt with this matter in some detail, because of the interest shown by my hon. Friends, but my right hon. Friend will be dealing with other matters——

On a point of order. I have no doubt that the hon. Member's speech would be very appropriate at a meeting of the Agriculture Group of the Conservative Party, but is it really in order, when we are debating the Motion and Amendment on the Order Paper, to discuss details of the National Farmers' Union statements?

I have just taken the Chair, and so far I have heard nothing that would not be in order on the Motion and Amendment which we are now debating. I shall pay full attention to what is said.

As we have just had some blinding flashes of the obvious, which many people have been urging on the Government for many years about the situation in agriculture and the Six, can the Government tell us whether they now propose to get into the Six and negotiate about the future of agriculture, so that the matters which the Minister has been mentioning might be taken into account before the Six reach their final conclusion about their agricultural policies?

On a point of order. Before the question is answered, may I put this point to you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker? On the footing that this discussion of the Common Market was relevant to the Motion moved yesterday, there has since been moved an Amendment, and the debate is about the issues raised in the Amendment. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Is this relevant to any of the issues raised in the Amendment?

If the hon. Member will allow the debate to continue for a while, I will pay full attention to what is being said.

Further to that point of order. We are quite willing to allow the debate to continue, but I hope that, while you are thinking about it, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, you will take into account the feeling which is growing among a number of us that this is becoming almost a farce—this tremendous concentration on an aspect which is not mentioned in either the Motion or the Amendment, to the exclusion of everything else. It is beginning to look as though the Government are quite determined that there shall not be a foreign affairs debate at this time.

I think it is reasonable to allow the Minister to continue with his speech. I will listen to what he says, and if it seems to me that it is my duty to interrupt him, then, of course, I must do so.

I am sorry that hon. Members opposite feel so impatient about this. These matters were referred to, and I was seeking to reply to points raised in the debate yesterday. In any case, I had already clearly indicated, before hon. Members got up to interrupt, that I was leaving this matter and was seeking to get on to other matters which they wanted to be discussed. Therefore, it is rather unfortunate that they have delayed my return to them.

In reply to the point raised by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), I would say to him that I am sorry that he was not here to hear exactly what my right hon. Friend said yesterday, because he dealt with it in great detail. No doubt, the hon. Member can read it in HANSARD.

If I may now turn from Europe, I should like to deal with the question of nuclear tests, on which we had a most interesting contribution from the right hon. Member for Derby, South this afternoon. After an immense amount of patient negotiation, all three parties at Geneva had agreed at the end of last year on the main shape of the control system and its organisation, and, in particular, on the concept of genuinely international staffing and a single neutral administrator. But, against this background, when the conference reopened on 21st March, the Soviet delegate put forward his proposal to replace the single administrator, to whom he had previously agreed, by a three-man council representing the West, the Communist bloc, and the neutrals, able only to act when all three representatives were in agreement.

Such a provision would paralyse the workings of the whole agreement. He put this forward before he had heard the new proposals of the United States and ourselves, although it was generally known that we had been working very hard at a review of our positions to speed the conclusion of a Treaty. We had agreed on proposals which went very far to meet previous Soviet objections. These were put to the Soviet delegate after his speech on the same day. Subsequently, they were explained in detail, and on 18th April the United Kingdom and United States delegates tabled a complete draft treaty incorporating these proposals, together with the treaty articles—17 in all—and the preamble and annexe, on which the conference had already agreed.

We are prepared to sign this treaty at once, but it is not a "take-it-or-leave-it" draft. It is a picture of how we view the treaty, and we have told the Soviet delegate repeatedly that the document is open to negotiations, and we are very ready to consider any positive response from him. But, so far, there has been none.

Here, I should like to explain what was involved in the new Western Proposals. When the conference reconvened on 21st March, all three Governments had already agreed in principle to the idea of a phased treaty. By this, there would have been a verified ban for all time on those tests which could be detected by existing methods. Small tests, which might escape detection by being conducted underground, would have been subject to a temporary and unverified ban. This would have depended on voluntary and unilaterally declared abstention while a research programme was carried out to improve the capabilities of the control system in this field.

As to the way the research programme should be carried out, the Soviet Government accepted the idea of carrying out experimental nuclear explosions, but they were not satisfied with the safeguards which were proposed for ensuring that these explosions were not used to gain information of military value. To meet this objection, therefore, the United States Government proposed, on 21st March, to allow Soviet scientists to inspect the internal details of the American nuclear devices which it was intended should be used for seismic research. This concession would, of course, be subject to the approval of Congress, since United States law is involved.

This, I suggest, was an important concession. Another one related to the moratorium. It had been agreed that there must be a considerable period during which a research programme on detecting underground explosions could be carried out, and it was proposed that there should be a moratorium on underground weapon tests during this period. Initially, the Russians said that such a research programme would take four to five years, whereas the Western side claimed that it could be carried out satisfactorily in two years.

We and the Americans suggested a period of twenty-seven months, but, to try to meet the Soviet point of view, we have now proposed that the moratorium should last for three years, starting from the signature of the treaty, on the basis that this will allow ample time for the necessary research to be carried out. The Soviet Union has so far rejected this offer, although it has produced no scientific arguments to show that the research programme could not be completed in this period.

Both these concessions—the research programme and the moratorium—were important and substantial. But in addition, we proposed that, if the other features of the control system were agreed, the Soviet side should have equality of representation with the Western side on the Nuclear Tests Control Commission which is to direct the work of the control organisation. Inspection of devices in the research programme, the programme itself, the moratorium, and equality of representation on the Commission—these are the main positive proposals which we and the Americans have made.

In addition, we have made a number of lesser but still important points. We have agreed to reduce the number of control posts on Soviet territory from 21 to 19. We are willing to grant the Russians a veto on the budget as a whole. We agree to doubling the quota of inspections in the Western countries; that is to say, that the United States and Britain will each allow the same number of inspections in their territory as in the Soviet Union. We have also made concessions with regard to the peaceful uses of atomic energy and a complete ban on high altitude tests.

I do not think that I need to go into further detail to show the very real efforts which we have been making to meet the Russian point of view in our search for agreement. There is, however, one further point to which I should like to refer before I leave this subject, and on which I find myself in very broad agreement with what the right hon. and learned Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson) said yesterday. This is the question of French nuclear weapons tests.

The House will recall that when the Conference first met in October, 1958, only three Powers—the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union—had tested nuclear weapons. They were, therefore, the only Powers qualified at that time to negotiate. Her Majesty's Government continue to believe that far the best course is to conclude an agreement as soon as possible between the present negotiators, considering how far we have got in our arrangements, and then open such an agreement to accession by France and all other countries. The French have, in any case, indicated that for their part they have no wish to take part in the conference.

The Soviet delegate knows that there is a treaty text already agreed in Geneva by which the parties to the treaty would undertake
"to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in, the carrying out of nuclear weapons test explosions anywhere."
The Soviet delegate knows that the United States and the United Kingdom Governments, at a time when they have temporarily and voluntarily suspended their own testing in order to further the negotiations, are fully observing the undertaking I have just quoted. Yet he suggests that we and the United States are deriving advantage from the French tests. I suggest that this is a ludicrous misrepresentation which cannot but cast doubt on the sincerity of Soviet desires to conclude an agreement.

The French tests cannot possibly be significant for British and American nuclear weapons development. Indeed, it could legitimately be deduced that France has tested for precisely the opposite reason, namely, that the United States and the United Kingdom have not given her the information about nuclear weapons which would enable her to dispense with tests. So long as there is no effectively safeguarded treaty to stop nuclear weapons testing, to which other countries can adhere, the Soviet Government should not be altogether surprised that other countries wish to test. If, therefore, they are so apprehensive of French tests they should rapidly make constructive proposals which will make the conclusion of the present treaty possible.

Is it, nevertheless, the view of the Government that the treaty should be signed and that Soviet adherence to the treaty should continue even though the French tests continue, or will the hon. Gentleman go so far as to say that the actual operation of the treaty would be dependent on the French tests ceasing?

I am just coming on to the effect the treaty, once it is signed, could have on the further developing countries, not only France. When a treaty is signed, then by all means let the three of us approach France and China, and any other countries in the world which are likely to be coming forward to the testing stage, and seek their adherence to a controlled ban on nuclear tests. That is what we have to do—get a concrete treaty in being and then try to get the adherence of others.

The hon. Gentleman does not quite answer my question. During the period when the accession of France to the treaty is being sought, do the Government regard the treaty as binding on the Soviet Union?

We would certainly hope that the treaty would be absolutely binding on all three parties. We have no wish to see nuclear testing start again by the major Powers. I emphasise that it would be our hope and intention that there would be no question of tests by the three, otherwise there is no purpose in their signing the treaty.

This is a very important issue. I understand that Mr. Dean raised it during the negotiations at Geneva. Is it not the case that the American Government are seeking to include in the treaty a provision by which its members will not be bound by their obligations necessarily if certain other Powers begin to test? For example, does the hon. Gentleman think that the American Government would consider themselves bound if it were found that a large number of tests were taking place in China?

No. That is exactly the point. Of course, they would not consider themselves bound in those circumstances. The intention is to try to get the treaty and then get the adherence of France and China. If these other countries were not willing to join, it would clearly be extremely difficult to maintain the treaty in force. That is no reason for not trying to get the treaty in force first. One must take this a stage at a time. As the whole House will agree, the important thing is to try to get the treaty into effect now.

In view of the latest developments. I should like to make it quite plain that Her Majesty's Government are gravely concerned at the completely negative and destructive attitude adopted by the Russian delegate since the conference reconvened, of which there is further evidence on the tape at lunchtime today in the reports of this morning's meeting. If this indicates that they are determined to wreck this conference, with all that that could entail, they will incur, and rightly incur, the condemnation of the whole world. In such an atmosphere the prospects for full disarmament discussions would be dismal indeed.

I should like to say, at this point, how very much we welcome, as I am sure the whole House welcomes, the reports, which have already been referred to, that a meeting between President Kennedy and Mr. Khrushchev is likely in the near future. Obviously, there could be a possibility, if such a meeting takes place, of clearing the air, which could lead to improving the atmosphere for future international negotiations in this, as in all other, fields. I am sure that we all hope very much that the meeting will take place.

Mr. Khrushchev has said that the Soviet Government are making serious preparations for their coming talks with the United States Government on disarmament. It is as well to bear in mind the developments leading up to these talks. First, we must go back to the breakdown of the previous disarmament negotiations last summer. As is known, the Russians walked out of the Ten-Power negotiations at a time when the West was about to present new and constructive proposals which took into account points made by the Soviet Government in the course of the negotiations.

It was a great disappointment to us that the Soviet Government should have chosen to walk out at that stage, particularly when they were aware—it was well known at the time—that the West was about to make new proposals. There was never any opportunity to negotiate or discuss with the Soviet Government the disarmament plan which the United States delegate tabled on the day when the talks broke up.

Our first object thereafter was to bring about the resumption of substantive negotiations. The United Nations Disarmament Commission, consisting of all the members of the United Nations, was convened for that purpose in August. The question was then referred to the General Assembly. During the course of the Assembly's proceedings my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made what we considered to be a practical and constructive proposal for bringing about fruitful negotiations. He put forward the idea that, after the pattern of the successful discussions of experts which preceded the present Nuclear Tests Conference, there should be meetings of experts from both sides to consider and make joint recommendations on feasible methods of ensuring compliance with and verification of various kinds of disarmament measures. Unfortunately, this idea did not find favour with the Soviet Government at the time. But we are not without hope that some procedure on these lines may be adopted when disarmament negotiations are resumed. Various other proposals were put forward at the General Assembly, but up to the time of its Christmas adjournment no agreement had been reached on how to proceed.

The position then changed with the change of Administration in the United States. The new Administration there made it known that they were carrying out an extensive review of United States disarmament policies as well as the position reached at the Nuclear Tests Conference, about which I was speaking a little while ago. Naturally, they gave priority to the nuclear test discussions because the conference was current, and the disarmament review would necessarily take time.

A further development was the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, to which the right hon. Gentleman rightly drew attention and to which I have already made a passing reference. The conference agreed this notable declaration on disarmament, which should form, I hope, the basis of our policy in this field in the future.

Against this background the United States and Soviet Governments found it possible to agree at the resumed session of the General Assembly to continue exchanges of views during June and July
"on questions relating to disarmament and to the resumption of negotiations in an appropriate body whose composition is to be agreed upon."
We fully support the agreement between the United States and Soviet Governments to have these discussions, about which, of course, we were consulted beforehand. Indeed, the agreement received the unanimous support of the United Nations General Assembly.

The object of these coming talks between the United States and Soviet Governments is to find a basis for the resumption of multilateral negotiations in the whole field of disarmament and, in particular, a practical and acceptable forum for fruitful negotiations. The United States Government have stated that they will be ready for substantive negotiations at the end of July, and it is our earnest wish that these negotiations will materialise as a result of the talks between the statesmen so that we may yet again give expression to our striving for general disarmament under effective international control.

That, of course, is the great problem, and I notice here, again, that this is one little bit of the Commonwealth Prime Minister's declaration that the right hon. Gentleman did not read out. The Prime Ministers made it quite clear, in paragraph 8 of their declaration, that disarmament without inspection would be as unacceptable as inspection without disarmament; the two must go together. This is where we get discouraged by what is happening at Geneva in relation to nuclear tests. Unless we can get agreement to inspection on small things, what hope is there of it on large——

I tried to argue that inspection for tests alone is a much more complicated and difficult problem than general inspection, and I believe that that cannot be contested.

Whatever view one holds on this, there has to be willingness to have inspection, and that is what we have not yet really seen——

Again, with deference, Mr. Khrushchev has constantly made it plain over the last five years that he is ready for full inspection if we have disarmament. His interruption of the Prime Minister's speech in the General Assembly last year was to say, "If you will accept our approach to disarmament, we accept your inspection."

Yes, I know that he has said these things in public on a good many occasions, but the difficulty is to tie the Russians down on these things. That is the difficulty, and it has to be faced——

No, I have given way a lot, and I do not think that it is reasonable to give way now.

All I can say here is that we are anxious to make our full contribution at multilateral disarmament negotiations and, in doing so, we shall follow very closely the principles laid down in the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' declaration.

I should now turn to one or two other items that have been touched on. Angola has been referred to by some hon. Members, but has certainly not formed the dominating feature of our discussion. I should like, therefore, to refer to the disturbances that have been taking place in the northern part of the territory, and which have been on a large scale. The latest information from our consul-general in Luanda is that the disturbances are still continuing. We do not have any exact figures of the casualties.

Naturally, we hope that the present disturbances are brought to an end with a minimum of human suffering, and this hope will be reflected in any consultations we may have in the normal way with the Portuguese Government or with our other allies. We regret the present difficulties, and do not disguise from the Portuguese Government that our colonial policy is quite different from theirs. We are always ready to share with the Portuguese Government our own experience in colonial matters.

Then there is the particular point, which was put down in the Amendment, and which was, I think, the cause of the Opposition's censure—the visit of the frigate H.M.S. "Leopard" to Luanda this week. Frankly, I am amazed at the way in which the Opposition have tried to represent this as a major incident. Visits by ships of the Royal Navy are taking place all over the world the whole time, and I am informed by the Admiralty that there have been no fewer that 818 calls at foreign ports during the first four months of this year.

As my hon. Friend the Civil Lord of the Admiralty has already explained to the House, this particular call at Luanda was part of a programme of visits being made by H.M.S. "Leopard" on its way back to Simonstown from the Sierra Leone celebrations. The visit was of a purely routine nature and had no political significance whatever. It does not imply any attitude on our part to the policy the Portuguese Government have been following in respect of their overseas territories. I have already said that we do not agree with them on their approach to colonial matters. I think that it is better left there.

The hon. Member for Leeds, East asked two specific questions. He asked, first, whether Captain Galvao has been refused a visa for this country. I under stand that Her Majesty's Consul at Sao Paulo received an application from Captain Galvao for a visa to visit this country. In accordance with the instructions he had already received, he refused to grant a visa. The whole question of visas is a matter for the Home Office and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, it is not the practice of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to give reasons for these refusals——

Secondly, the hon. Member asked that my noble Friend should cancel or postpone his visit to Portugal. My noble Friend's visit to Portugal is in return for the visit of the Portuguese Foreign Minister here last year. Visits of this kind are made irrespective of the internal form of government or overseas policy of the countries concerned. It is only by personal contact that we can explain our point of view, and try to reach closer mutual understanding over questions of common concern to both Governments.

The date for the visit was chosen purely as a matter of mutual convenience, having regard to my noble Friend's very heavy programme of visits abroad——

Can the hon. Gentleman inform me whether the Foreign Secretary proposes on 28th May to attend the celebrations in Lisbon of the anniversary of Mr. Salazar's accession to power?

The Foreign Secretary will carry out the programme that has been arranged for him. I am not precisely informed of what activities he will be attending but, clearly, he will take part in such normal civic celebrations to which he is invited——

I cannot keep on giving way.

I have explained why my noble Friend is going to Portugal and, quite clearly, when one goes as a guest one accepts the wide majority of invitations given. Without notice, I cannot give an answer on this specific point. The hon. Gentle man's main question yesterday was whether the visit would be amended or postponed. I have given a specific answer to that, and I think that is as far as I can take that matter——

The point of the question has been noted, but I have given an answer on the main issue, which, I think, is the important point, of my noble Friend's visit.

I do not think that hon. Members should try to read into these visits all sorts of extraordinary motives that are not, in fact, intended. If visits between Ministers of different States are to be hemmed about in this way, it will be extremely difficult for my noble Friend to make visits at all—[Interruption.] It is not suggested that there is civil war in Portugal at the moment——

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. The hon. Member has just said that he is not suggesting that there is a civil war in Angola—so what are we discussing?

Order. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will make clear how his last question is a point of order.

It may be that I am wrong, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and in deference to your position I am prepared to be instructed. If the Minister denies what every one in this House knows to be the fact—that there is something akin to civil war in Angola at the moment—and one wants to raise the matter and the Minister will not give way, how else does one do it except to ask you to give us the chance of getting at the facts?

I referred to conditions in Portugal itself; I did not mention Angola.

I am dealing with the point in terms of conditions in the Metropolitan area of Portugal, which is where my noble Friend is going, and I think it would be improper to try to restrict his activities in this particular courtesy visit or to read wider issues into them.

From one area of present anxiety I switch to another area which has figured in some speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite, namely, Cuba. Criticisms have been levied against the United States. This matter has been fully debated in the United Nations and, as is well known, we supported the Argentine resolution which was passed by a large majority. Perhaps I could remind the House of what the British delegate said in the first Committee on this debate. He said:
"Whatever the underlying reason for these hostilities, my delegation naturally deplores bloodshed and strife and hopes for the early restoration of peace and tranquility to the people of Cuba".
In order to see this problem against its proper background, and, indeed, in judging the whole of this matter, hon. Members should remember that among the scores of thousands of refugees who have left the shores of Cuba since Castro came to power two years ago there were many who fought with him against the Batista dictatorship. Their disillusionment with Castro is understandable, for despite repeated promises to the contrary, no elections have been held since he came to power. Indeed, on 1st May he announced that no further elections would be held. They were, he said, no longer necessary. Although he has brought about many valuable reforms in Cuba, these have been put through at a price which most hon. Members would not regard as acceptable.

I should inform the House of the position of British subjects who were arrested by the Cuban authorities during these disturbances. Since 17th April, eleven British subjects have been arrested and detained by the Cuban authorities without any charges being preferred against them and, for the most part, under very arduous conditions. Ten of these have now been released and one other, Mr. Robert Geddes, is still under arrest. Although more than a month has elapsed, no charge has been brought against him.

Our Ambassador and his staff have followed up all these cases with constant representations to the authorities. We have left the Cuban Government in no doubt as to the grave concern which is felt in Britain at this series of arbitrary arrests. In the case of Mr. Geddes, we have strongly urged that if a charge is not brought against him he should now be released.

In coming to the subject of help to under-developed countries, I remind hon. Members that this is help which is vital to their well-being and is necessary to enable them to raise their standards of living and to play their full part as independent states seeking to move forward into an era of greater opportunity. The question of aid looms far more largely in our minds today than it did even a decade ago. We in Britain have been increasing our effort in this field in a striking way as part of the large sum of aid from Western countries to those in need.

The total figure of Western aid at the present time is running at about £2,100 million a year. The United Kingdom has made, and is making, a full and increasing contribution to this enormous effort, and that has to be seen in the context of our balance of payment position. Three years ago we were contributing about £80 million a year from Government funds for the development of the poorer parts of the world. By 1960 this had risen to about £150 million. When it is remembered that to this total must be added about £150 million invested privately by British citizens in the developing countries of the world, then the total outflow of our resources in 1960 reaches a total of £300 million.

Most Western aid, and practically all aid given by the Communist bloc, is extended bilaterally from one Government to another. This is true in our case. The bulk of our economic aid goes to the countries of the Commonwealth. We have a special responsibility for their development, and I do not think that any hon. Member would dispute that they should have the lion's share of what we have to give. Even so, all that we can spare is far less than what these countries need, and we welcome the aid which other countries have given, and are giving, to members of the Commonwealth.

In particular, we acknowledge the vast and generous contribution which the United States, whose resources so far exceed our own, have extended to the Commonwealth. This point was mentioned yesterday by the hon. Member for Leeds, East and I must add that particularly valuable has been America's aid to India. This question is being handled through what is known as the Indian Consortium, a group of the countries concerned, under the auspices of the International Bank. A meeting took place in Washington last month and these discussions are to be resumed in Washington at the end of this month. The question of commitments of assistance towards India's third Five-Year Plan is still under consideration, and I cannot make any statement about the possible outcome. But let me make it clear that our assistance to India, in spite of our limitations, is substantial. Towards her second Five-Year Plan we made loans totalling £80 million, which was drawn in the two and a half years between 1958 and March of this year. We have already concluded loan agreements totalling a further £40 million, which were signed on the 1st of this month, as initial contributions towards the third Five-Year Plan on which India has now embarked.

Apart from such bilateral arrangements as this, we are also among the first in our support of the various international aid organisations. The United Kingdom is the second largest contributor, after the United States, to the United Nations Special Fund and Expanded Programme for Technical Assistance, as we are to the newly-established International Development Association.

What is the attitude of the British delegate to this United Nations Special Fund with reference to the Cuban request for a loan of 1 million dollars?

No doubt that will be considered, but I cannot state our attitude on that subject now. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that it will receive our full consideration.

Britain is the third largest contributor to the funds of the World Bank. In contrast to these figures, it is only fait—in view of the massive propaganda put out by the Soviet bloc about their aid programmes—to point out that the total aid from the United Kingdom alone for 1960, including private Investment came, according to our records, to more than the total aid disbursed by all the Communist bloc countries from the beginning of their aid programme in 1954 to the end of 1960.

I would not for one moment wish to give the impression, in saying that, that I am opposed to aid from Communist countries to under-developed States. Indeed, where it is given without political obligations, I am sure we should all welcome it. The needs of the world are very great in this sphere and there is room for everyone to play their part. In the light, however, of Communist propaganda on this subject, I felt it necessary to bring the true position clearly into perspective.

I need hardly remind the House that, apart from the development aid which this country provides, we are now proposing to set up a new Department of Technical Co-operation which will coordinate, develop and, I hope, expand what this country is already doing in this direction. We have a great tradition in this, and I feel confident that the establishment of this new Department will help us to do even more.

In our work to develop the O.E.E.C. into the new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the enthusiastic participation of the United States and Canada has been a heartening encouragement. It means that North America and Europe, the two greatest industrial units in the world today, are working closely together to strengthen the economic bonds between them. It means that this force can be harnessed to help the industrially less developed countries, and that the best use can be made of the enormous resources at the disposal of the West.

Moreover, new opportunities are provided for political consultation in which countries like Sweden and Austria, which have felt themselves unable to join N.A.T.O., will be able to take part. The participation of the United States and Canada in the Organisation represents a further step towards the binding together of these countries, which have a common purpose and ideal.

Extending beyond our continent and our alliance with those whose interests most closely match our own, there is the vital necessity for effective machinery for international co-operation on the world scale. This is why, of course, we have always given wholehearted support to the United Nations, and shall continue to do so.

One of the most important achievements of the United Nations has been to build up a Secretariat of international officials pledged to serve impartially the interests of all members, great and small. It has been fortunate in finding as Secretary-General a man of great integrity and outstanding capacity, and I was very glad to hear what the right hon. Gentleman had to say about this. We, of course, deplore the really vicious attacks made on the Secretary-General by the Communist bloc in an endeavour to discredit him and to set up a triumvirate which would destroy the effective position of the head of the officials of the United Nations.

Inevitably, of course, the machinery of the United Nations is still far from perfect. We are convinced, for example, that some changes are called for, and I think that the hon. Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice) particularly mentioned one or two yesterday, including the expansion of the Security Council to take account of the new situation—the larger number of countries—and the Economic and Social Council. These are badly needed to bring the present situation into balance. After all, the existing ones were started in 1945.

The important fact is that the Organisation exists and can be made to work, provided that member States have the will to see it does so and to accept the financial and other obligations as well as the benefits. I emphasise the financial obligations because there are difficulties in that respect at present.

As the Prime Minister said in his speech to the General Assembly last September:
"The United Nations is the best—indeed the only—organisation which we have available."
It is in the interest of every free nation to make this Organisation more effective as a means of preserving peace and security, limiting the area of international disputes and developing cooperation in every field. It is in accordance with their principles that Her Majesty's Government, in co-operation with the Commonwealth and their allies, have been unremitting in their search for every opportunity to improve relations between East and West, to strengthen the unity of the free world and to promote conditions of peace and order throughout the world.

I have tried to deal with certain of the aspects which have not been dealt with previously. I hope that hon. Members will feel now that they have the opportunity to discuss other matters besides Europe, but I also hope that they will not feel inhibited from discussing Europe because of its important relation to this debate. I hope that when the time comes they will feel that the Amendment which we are now discussing could well be withdrawn, and I commend the original Motion to the House.

5.14 p.m.

This debate has certainly been very much of a muddle when it could have served the most useful purpose had we concentrated on what, I think, the majority of those present feel is the most important issue over which this country has some influence and control—the future of Europe today.

I was really astounded when I listened to the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) apologise, after he had only had a cursory look at Europe in two columns of HANSARD, for dealing with it at such length and then go on at great length to talk about his hopes of what might happen when President Kennedy meets the Russian leader. That seems to me to epitomise the abysmal rôle which the Official Opposition have proclaimed for themselves over this difficult problem of Europe during the last ten years.

It could be understood, and it can be understood, why the Conservative Party should have been so hesitant and reluctant to take what is a very great and historic decision—if eventually it takes it—to join the Common Market. But one would at least have hoped that a party on this side of the House that claimed for itself the position of the Official Opposition and, sometimes, has even called itself a Radical party, would have had something to say on most occasions about Europe. Its policy seems to have been one of myopic nothingness in such an important and historic matter, apart from some very honourable exceptions, including those of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) and one or two others.

As far as the Lord Privy Seal was concerned yesterday, I wish to take up one or two points which he made, and, particularly, I wish to begin by referring to the Amendment which the Liberal Party has on the Order Paper and which I know, Mr. Speaker, you will not be calling. The first part of the Amendment refers to
"the misjudgment and hesitation which has characterised the attitude of Her Majesty's Government towards European unity".
Whilst I do not want to harp on this at a stage when it seems to me that at last the Government are getting very near to taking a very important decision, and which I hope I shall be able to welcome, I think it is necessary to put on record what some of this "misjudgment and hesitation" has been.

I do not think that any of us in the House at the moment who have been the keenest advocates of European unity have not eaten a good deal of the words that we have spoken about what we would and would not agree to during the last six or seven years. I think that a lot of us have moved quite a long way since then. There is some excuse for back benchers not always to know the facts, but I think that it was really a great tragedy that in the negotiations which took place concerning the idea of the original Free Trade Area, those who represented the Government did not realise that they were missing the fundamental point which was driving on those on the Continent who wanted the Common Market of the Six.

I remember some while ago being tremendously impressed by this when talking to a group of officials in Brussels, and also in Strasbourg. Some other hon. Members of the House were with me at the time. I left with the impression deeply embedded in my mind that the one thing about which those people were concerned was that the Six should be so tied up that never again, in any circumstances, could it be broken. The driving force for this were the French and Germans, who wanted to see their nations tied up for ever. They were not concerned in the slightest about anything outside the Six. If Britain got together in an Outer Seven and tried to form some association, then there was a danger that in some way this might weaken the Six and distract the members of the Six. If at any time they came under tension, then perhaps some member countries, perhaps Belgium or Holland, might ask, "Why cannot we develop more like the Outer Seven?" As I say, I left with the feeling that this sort of thing would be absolutely fatal. It was this fear of any distraction from outside of the Six which made this driving force within the Six so great that they would not have anything to do with any group outside.

I am sure that this is really the root of the problem, and if there is any criticism of the Government and of any other hon. Members who have been interested in the matter, it is that we have not seen this danger early enough. However, when the negotiations for the original Free Trade Area broke down, a few hon. Members of the House, and my party certainly, realised that this was the trouble, that it was no good then starting to negotiate an Outer Seven, but that the Government should sit down and rethink their arguments as to whether it really was true that our own agricultural policy could not be aligned with the policies of the Common Market. The Government should have decided whether it was true that the problems of our Commonwealth trade could not be solved and whether they were obstacles preventing our joining the Six. The Government did not do that. In the debate which we had to ratify the treaty of the Outer Seven, the Liberal Party voted against that treaty, and several hon. Members told me that they thought that we were quite mad. In fact, we have been proved right, and the treaty has been an added difficulty to overcome in realigning our policies in order to bring us nearer the Six.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer was honest enough to admit at Strasbourg a year last January that it had been a mistake for Britain not to enter the Coal and Steel Community at the beginning. But we have gradually moved on, particularly in the last few months, with much hesitation and a great deal of vagueness which has not always been a great encouragement to friends of the European movement and which has not greatly reassured those hon. Members who are frightened about going into Europe. Nevertheless, we appear to have reached a position in which, although the Government have not emphatically said that we intend to join the Six, they have all but said so.

I turn to the question whether there are four choices before us. Yesterday the Lord Privy Seal said that there were four possible courses. The first he dismissed almost straight away. He agreed that the members of the Six were not very keen about the second. The third was
"for the United Kingdom and other members of E.F.T.A.—not as a group but individually—to make a form of association with the Community."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th May, 1961: Vol. 640, c. 1398.]
But if hon. Members agree with what I have said about the driving force behind the Six, they are bound to come to the conclusion that there is only one way in which we can have an association, and that is by going into the Six with the intention of working for its principles and objects in the same way and with just as great an enthusiasm as the French and the Germans.

As the hon. Member for Stechford said yesterday, we should be no less full members than France, Germany or Italy or any of the other three members of the Community. We may negotiate on our special problems, but it is most importhat to get over to the members of the Six now that it is on those things that we want to negotiate. For example, there is the question how we shall gradually harmonise the two different methods of dealing with our agriculture, on the one hand our deficiency payment system and on the other hand their method of higher fixed prices. We should make it clear that it is on these matters that we want to negotiate and not on the main articles which form the Treaty of Rome, because if anyone thinks that the main treaty is negotiable, then I am afraid that he does not understand the attitude of the members of the Six.

This is the point which the Liberal Party has constantly been trying to make and to which it refers in the Amendment, when it speaks of deciding to apply for membership. We want it understood that in Britain we are at last just as keen about the ideas, principles and articles which are in this treaty as are those people who are already members of the Six. Some hon. Members laugh, but that is certainly my view and the view of my party; and if we are to get into Europe, it must also be the Government's view.

I agree entirely with the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones) who said yesterday that it must not appear that we are reluctantly accepting the objectives of the Six. If that were so, it would set up all kinds of tensions within the Six, because one of the difficulties in this situation is that there are many very important and grave political implications about the Six. But if I were asked to say what they are, I should have some difficulty in telling hon. Members. I do not know whether in the next ten or twenty years we shall evolve some new form of federalism in Europe which is unlike that of the Americans or of any other federalism, or whether it will be some kind of confederation. This is something which will have to be solved by the members of the Community, enlarged if we join, when they continue to try to achieve their objects of uniting Europe and making it into a real community. It seems to me that it cannot be solved at the moment.

Geographically I suppose that it does, tout for this discussion it seems to me that it does not. Our immediate concern is with free Europe. I would point out to the hon. Member that there is an article in the treaty which says that any European State is free to apply for membership.

As far as the treaty is concerned, that is so. I am talking about the Treaty of Rome. But this is a slight diversion from my argument.

How does the hon. Member reconcile that statement with the statement which he made a minute ago that the treaty is not negotiable?

Do I understand that it is the policy of the Liberal Party that Britain should sign the Treaty of Rome as it now is, without regard to the political terms of that treaty, with the exception of the reservation which he made about agriculture?

The basic principles of the Treaty of Rome, which cover such things as a common tariff, a central fund, free movement of labour, the harmonisation of social services, are not negotiable, as I understand the treaty. They are matters which one either accepts or does not accept. We say that Britain should accept them. There appear to be some misconception——

I would prefer to continue with my argument at the moment. There is some misconception which may have arisen from a misinterpretation of the French translation into the English.

The vital article is Article 237, which provides:
"Any European State may apply to become a member of the Community. It shall address its application to the Council which, after obtaining the opinion of the Commission, shall act by means of unanimous vote. The conditions of admission and the amendments to this Treaty necessitated thereby shall be the subject of an agreement between the Member States and the application State. Such agreement shall be submitted to all the contracting States for ratification in accordance with their respective constitutional rules."
I am advised that the word "amendments" would be better translated from the French as "adaptations". This really refers to matters like the alteration in the voting system which would be required, membership of the European Parliament, of the court, of the economic and social committees, etc. That articles does not mean that we could negotiate a basic alteration in the treaty. It is extremely important to have that clear. If one were to try to interpret in the other way, the interpretation would be promptly resisted by the Europeans because of the chain reaction which it might set off.

It is something of a miracle that the Six was ever formed. It is something of a miracle that it has gone on so well. It is not that the countries of the Six have not had their difficulties. If another country were to come in now and seek to make a major alteration in the treaty, Holland might start raising questions about her agricultural produce, her inability to get as many exports as she had expected into the other countries, and so on. That kind of thing is just not on.

Article 236 deals with the possibility at some time of a revision, but that revision is to be undertaken by the members of the Community who are in at the time. It is not something which would take place on the joining of a new member.

However, all this does not mean that we cannot undertake considerable negotiations on our own special problems so long as we stick to the basic principles of the treaty. For this purpose, as the House knows, there is an arrangement for attaching protocols to the treaty. It is by means of the protocols that we can deal with our special problems in regard to agriculture, Commonwealth trade and the like. Because of the necessity to accept the basic principles, the idea, the political conception of unity embodied in the Treaty of Rome, we have constantly said that the Government must announce that they are prepared to do just that. We never accepted it before. Because we said we could not do it, we started negotiating the original Free Trade Area idea. For us to accept the ideas embodied in the Treaty of Rome is something quite new.

If the Government would only announce their readiness to accept the basic conception, they would not, in fact, be weakening their negotiating position but strengthening it, because this is what the Europeans want to hear. They want to hear that at last we are on their side wholeheartedly. If that were done, there would be no doubt at all that we could come to a very speedy solution of many of the still difficult but not insoluble problems in regard to our Commonwealth trade and agricultural policy which would remain.

5.34 p.m.

I rise to speak in the House for the first time with a very real feeling of trepidation. In the first place, I realise very well that the former Member for The High Peak, now Lord Molson, whom I succeeded, established a very high reputation in the House and in his constituency over twenty years. It is only right that I should today express my appreciation for that record. I feel trepidation, also, because I had originally regarded the subject of this debate as, perhaps, a non-controversial one which I might find suitable for a maiden speech. Doubtless, the House will excuse my innocence in the matter when I find that that is not quite so.

Having looked at the Motion and the Amendment, I find, not entirely to my amazement, that I have some reservations about both. If it is any consolation to hon. Members apposite, I do not intend to deal at any length with the question of our entry into the European Common Market. Like some of them, I regard discussion of that matter as somewhat inappropriate in a general debate on foreign affairs. I myself would prefer that that issue should be dealt with separately. It is, of course, of great importance to those in my constituency who are concerned in agriculture, but I regard it as part of the pattern of our general commitment to Europe.

I say only that I hope that those matters which were formerly considered disadvantages in our negotiating position—our ties with the Commonwealth and our own protective system for agriculture—may in further negotiations be regarded as advantages, as bargaining counters rather than as stumbling blocks to a settlement. I hope that the House will not regard that statement as quite so naive as it may seem. I realise that I am asking Her Majesty's Government for a small and speedy miracle.

I shall deal with the general pattern of East-West relationships which I consider will be part of our lives in the pattern of foreign affairs for the next fifty or perhaps one hundred years, certainly throughout the lifetime of any hon. Member sitting in the Chamber today. It is a melancholy thought that the Motion before the House today would have been very similar ten years ago and, doubtless, will be very similar ten years hence save only for the difference in the names of the particular Communist pressure-points set out therein.

To accept that without question is to take a nineteenth century view of British foreign policy and apply it to the twentieth century, to follow the view of the Marquess of Salisbury—the one who was Prime Minister, I mean—who said that British foreign policy was a matter of drifting gently down the stream, now and then putting one's hand out to fend oneself off from either bank. While not accepting that, I think we must recognise that our field of action is of necessity limited.

The hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) spoke yesterday about co-opera-with the Communist world. I think that that is, perhaps, putting it a little too high. Co-operation suggests to me negotiations carried out on terms of some advantage to one side or the other. I suggest that in the future the advantage might lie with Her Majesty's Government. I think that peace and disarmament will come about in a climate which is appropriate for them and when both sides can see some positive advantage in peace and disarmament. I agree with hon. Members opposite, who, I am sure, say that the advantages of peace and disarmament are obvious and clear to the whole world, but I still think—it may be a cynical view—that progress towards peace and disarmament is being brought about in very much of a piecemeal way, with small moves succeeding each other, rather than in one enormous burst of good intentions.

As I understand it, the rivalry between East and West, which I have suggested might well be the permanent backdrop of our lives for many years, offers us one opportunity. Here I think that we might well take a leaf out of Mr. Khrushchev's book. The change which took place in Soviet foreign policy after the death of Stalin has been mentioned today. Stalin regarded the United Nations with very great suspicion. He confined himself to a circumscribed area which he regarded as proper for Soviet influence. Now we have Mr. Khrushchev concentrating on the new nations which have joined the United Nations and regarding that body as a sounding board for his own policy and propaganda. I should have thought that we might well take that as an example for ourselves.

I should like to quote President Houphoet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast, who said at the recent meeting of African Heads of Government in Monrovia:
"We have chosen frankly the West. We do not wish to engage in war. We do not wish to have the enmity of any group, but we know how to choose our friends, those who will not impair our liberty."
I should have thought that it was on men such as that, and men with ideals and attitudes such as that, that the British Government might well concentrate. I think that we are in a very special position in this matter. We are the prime ex-colonial Power, and our appeal to the emergent nations should be sharpened by the fact that we have seen revolutions take place in our own Commonwealth—peaceful and non-Communist revolutions, revolutions often aided by our own policy. Surely this is the counter to Soviet propaganda, which suggests that the only sort of revolution is the violent, Communist-inspired revolution.

On this point I wish to refer to Cuba. I think that the situation there rather underlines our position. I suggest that we are in a special position towards the uncommitted nations. To my mind the fiasco in Cuba tarnished the reputation of President Kennedy, which had been so sedulously polished throughout his election campaign. Certainly let us have co-operation with our allies, but I think that we must leave room for criticism if only to preserve our own position.

I have perhaps wearied the House and taken advantage of my own position. Certainly it has heard me in uncharacteristic, but, I gather, customary silence. In conclusion, in supporting the Motion, may I say that, although it is important that we should have a foreign policy suitable for our own needs, I urge on Her Majesty's Government that perhaps we need even more a foreign policy which can be shown to offer some appeal to the uncommitted nations, which is imaginative enough to interest them and which may well bring to our side those uncommitted nations that either have chosen freedom or are seeking freedom.

5.45 p.m.

It is my pleasure and privilege to offer my congratulations to the hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Walder) and, I am sure, the congratulations of every Member of the House, without distinction of party, and without distinction between those who agree with him and those who do not. He made a most thoughtful and lucid speech, which promises well as his experience in the customary atmosphere of the House develops. I am sure that all of us look forward with great pleasure to hearing him on other occasions.

It is not possible to engage in controversy with the hon. Gentleman, because it is the custom of the House not to do so. However, I think that he will not think it a breach of that rule if I pause for a second or two to share with him the nostalgic memory of an earlier Marquess of Salisbury paddling his canoe in the centre of a quiet stream and fending it off from time to time from either bank. I am not sure that I would accept the analogy as being really applicable to foreign policy in the third quarter of what the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) once called "this terrible twentieth century", I do not know what has become of that quiet stream. I know only some of the rapids and waterfalls and catastrophies that we have suffered since the passing of that great Conservative Prime Minister.

This has been a somewhat curious debate. I am reminded of the famous old story of the two stone-deaf men on top of a bus. One said to the other, "Say, what time is it?". His friend said, "It is Thursday", whereupon the other jumped to his feet in a state of great alarm and said, "Good God, this is where I get off". This has happened in speech after speech in what has been called a debate. There is no point of contact between the speeches. I suspect that one reason for this is that so many people did not want to debate foreign affairs at all.

Such channels as are not already dried up for me lead me to believe that there were at one time some doubts on this side of the House as to whether it was advisable or useful to have a real debate in which there was a clash of view between one side of the House and the other, ending in a Division. Last Thursday, one of my right hon. Friends, if I may so still call him, spoke about not dividing the House and the country. If there were any doubts about that, or if doubts linger in the mind of any hon. Member on this side of the House, I should have thought that the contrast between the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) this afternoon and the reply to it was a complete justification for moving an Amendment to the Motion and for dividing the House at the end of the debate.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South for his speech today. I can pay it no greater tribute, though it may sound paradoxical to say it, than to ask the House to consider what a galvanising effect it might have had on the country, on Europe and on the world if the speech that my right hon. Friend made at the beginning of the debate this afternoon had been made by the Prime Minister from the Dispatch Box yesterday.

Since the debate has taken this course, I should like to begin by saying one word about this Europe business. Most of us who have been in public life any length of time have been fascinated by this idea of having a United States of Europe, some wide area as large, as well endowed, and as well populated, as either the Soviet Union, on the one side, or the United States of America, on the other side. It would have, no doubt, a common market. It might some day even have a common currency, as the vast market of the Soviet Union and the other vast market of the United States of America always have had. It might—and, I suppose, must—have free trade between the various component parts. I am sure that this thing will some day happen.

What a curious thing it is, however, that so many public figures, many of them in this House, who have regarded this idea as almost blasphemy through all their lives are nowadays among its most enthusiastic and blind supporters. What a tragedy it is when people are converted to the right idea at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.

A united Europe cannot be based upon an international policy which regards a divided Europe as permanent and necessary. Half the economic difficulties that have come out in this debate from time to time would disappear if the European Common Market were big enough, if it covered the whole field. It seems to me that before we can make real progress with what I have already agreed is an idea that some day must be made to happen, we have to get rid of a great many of the more urgent difficulties with which the world is faced. I leave the question of the Common Market there and come on to what, I think, is the subject that the House must consider as a much more urgent problem than that. I say it without disrespect to those whose minds are dominated by the necessity of uniting Europe, because my own mind is dominated to some extent by it, too.

I do not know what others think. I do not want to be alarmist in any way, most certainly I do not want to deepen anxieties or to heighten tensions. There are, however, many hon. Members of the House—most, I think—who, like me, have lived through two world wars. There are many Members of the House of Commons who were Members here between. 1935 and 1939 and who remember many—I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South has not forgotten any of them—debates on foreign affairs in those years from 1935 to 1937, then the dreadful Munich year and then the final catastrophe a year later.

I hope I am wrong—I would rather be wrong than right—but in the atmosphere in which these debates are conducted, and have been conducted these past twelve months, I cannot help sensing something perilously, sinisterly similar to the later debates of that period between 1935 and 1939. I do not want to see it end in the same catastrophe. Most certainly, I do not want to see it end in the same catastrophe for the same reasons.

Look at the Motion and at the Amendment. The hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish), who concluded the debate last night, said that there was no difference between them. There is all the difference in the world between them. That was why I took the liberty of adding my name to the Amendment, since I was not represented by it in the normal way. In the Motion put down by the Government, there is not one single specific reference to any specific issue. It is an empty concatenation of platitudinous words. The Joint Under-Secretary of State, who replied to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South, was grateful to my right hon. Friend, as we all were, for bringing directly into the picture that important declaration about disarmament by the Prime Ministers' Conference. The Joint Under-Secretary said that he was very glad that my right hon. Friend had mentioned it. Why did not the hon. Gentleman mention it himself? Why was it not mentioned yesterday? Why does it not appear in the Motion? Why was there not one single word about it from the Government spokesman yesterday, There was today, I agree, because my right hon. Friend made a speech which demanded a reply on this and on other points.

My hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary read his speech, which must have been prepared in the Foreign Office several days ago.

It is not often that the noble Lord interrupts me to reinforce my argument so effectively. Why was there no reference to it in the written speech? Yesterday, also, there was a written speech. Why was it not in that one?

For the rest of it, the Joint Under-Secretary's speech today was couched certainly in a moderate tone, in a low key, but it was the characteristic cold war speech that we have had time after time, year after year. He went through a number of specific issues and was at great pains to show how our side of the argument is always and inevitably and completely right and the wicked Russians on the other side so obviously and so demonstrably wrong at every point, at every moment on every issue, even to the extent this afternoon of doubting their sincerity.

If we really doubt their sincerity we should stop the conference now. It is not a bit of good going on having conferences if we doubt the sincerity of the people with whom we are conferring. If there is one royal road to producing lack of confidence between two negotiators—and it is on confidence that successful negotiations must rely—that royal road is for each not merely to suspect the sincerity of the other but to make quite clear to the world that he does, because by that he is saying, "I do not expect the thing to succeed."

Let us look at the conference that is going on in Geneva about tests. There is one, maybe vestigial, basis on which one could have some slight beginning of confidence in sincerity about nuclear tests. What is it? It is that there have not been any for nearly three years. People who want to have tests can have them. There is no agreement not to. There is no instruction. There is no mutual understanding, and there is no bargaining. Negotiation is going on and it has been going on for a long time, but in fact tests have been suspended long ago. Are we to base no hope and no confidence on that fact? Why not a word about it just to give them a little encouragement in the progress of their negotiations?

Then there was the elaborate attack upon the Russian proposal to have a three-man leadership of the Control Commission. I understand the objections to it. I think that some of them, at any rate, are valid objections and it is not possible to say that there is anything artificial or unreasonable about the attitude which the West has adopted towards it, Certainly not. That is an arguable point of view, but the other is not so completely unarguable as has sometimes been pretended. My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South suggested some modification of the Secretary-Generalship which might meet what he described as perfectly reasonable objections which not merely the Soviet Union but others have to its present mode of working.

The Observer is not written in the Kremlin, but it had a most interesting article last Sunday which invited us to distinguish between a triumvirate in this respect and a triumvirate in the United Nations and argued that whereas the one in the United Nations was now and would for ever remain unacceptable, this was not true of the test Commission. This is therefore an admission, a concession, a realisation that it is not necessary to suppose that because the Russians are obstinate about this—if hon. Members like are unreasonably obstinate—we must therefore immediately conclude that there is no hope and that we must not attach to them any confidence but we must destroy all belief in their sincerity and throw up the sponge.

Suppose we throw up the sponge. What happens then? I should have thought that it was common ground among all of us that the last thing in the world to do at this moment in world history is to throw up the sponge about any kind of negotiation and any kind of agreement. We must go on patiently negotiating until in the end success is achieved. [An HON. MEMBER: "For whom?"] Not in the interests necessarily of anyone but ourselves. We have a quite selfish material interest of our own in seeing that peace is preserved, and so has every country, including the Soviet Union. If this were being put forward on all hands as some vague expression of an idealistic sentiment there would be much less confidence and belief in it than there is when we know that it is dictated by the hard, practical, self-interest of every country concerned.

What does the Government Motion do about all that? What is the difference between the Motion and the Amendment? The Motion says:
"That this House supports the efforts of Her Majesty's Government to strengthen the unity of the free world …"
and all the rest is held to follow from that. All we have to do is to establish the unity of the free world and then all the other difficulties and problems resolve themselves like snow on Midsummer Day.

I am glad to see that there is not a word about the unity of the free world in the Amendment, because this is a cold war phrase. It does not mean anything. It is only a way of saying again in a mild and inoffensive way how right our gang is and how wrong all the others are. That is all one means by talking about the unity of the free world. If the Government mean more, let us go on to examine what is the more they mean.

There is not a word in the Government Motion about Cuba, not a word about Laos, not a word about South Korea, and not a word about South Vietnam. Not all of them are in the Amendment. Some of them had not happened when the Amendment was drafted, but some of them are in. Would it be unfair to say that the Government's silence about all these matters is because what they are really saying is, "We dare not do anything other than we do because otherwise we might disturb the unity of the free world."? Or is there any better reason?

Let us take the Cuban situation. The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in his speech this afternoon, referred to the United Nations debate and what was done in our name and on our behalf, without our having been consulted. Whatever it was, it was based on an allegation which we swallowed hook, line and sinker and which everybody in the world knows is untrue. It was that the United States Government had nothing whatever to do with this idiotic folly. And our attitude in the United Nations was justified in the House by the Lord Privy Seal on the ground that we accepted that assurance.

I do not know who is to reply for the Government, but would he please tell the House, frankly and sincerely, whether he still believes that the United States Administration had nothing to do with the invasion of Cuba and the attempt to get rid of Castro? Perhaps the Lord Privy Seal will tell me now. Does he still believe that? I shall assume, until he contradicts me, that he does not.

I have known the right hon. Gentleman for many years and have great affection and respect for him, and I am sure that he is not the sort of man to stand up alone, holding that the world is flat, against all the other inhabitants of it who know that it is not flat. If he tells me that he still believes that the Americans had nothing to do with the invasion, I will believe him. I do not know whether anybody else will, but I will. But, of course, he does not believe it. The Americans no longer say it. But if it is not true that they had nothing to do with it, there should have been some modification, some reorientation of what has been said in the name of Great Britain in the councils of the world about Cuba.

One could justify what was done if it were true—or even if one believed that it was true—that the United States Administration had nothing to do with the invasion. Now we know, however, because they say so, that the United States Administration not only had a great deal, or nearly everything, to do with it, but are still of the same mind and are waiting only for another opportunity. Once we know that, is there not a need that the Government now should tell us what their view is?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State made an attack upon Castro and his administration. I hold no brief for Castro or for his administration. I have never met him, and have never been to Cuba. But quite apart from the formidable list of statutory prohibitions which make what the United States did illegal, both domestically and internationally, there is an historical fact. Castro's Government is an autocracy; be it so. The Cuban people are to have no more Parliamentary elections; be it so. Cuba is not a democracy as we understand it; be it so.

But, when the landings took place on the beaches, the invaders got no assistance from the population. When Castro landed on the beaches during Batista's administration, he got a lot of support from the population—and he could not have succeeded without it. So, if it be tyranny for tyranny, there is no doubt which tyranny the Cubans prefer. And, after all, it is a matter for them.

There is not one word that anyone can say in favour of the American attitude to Cuba that could not equally be said, with exactly the same force, by the Chinese Government about Formosa. If there is a difference, I am willing to give way while somebody educates me and tells me what it is. Cuba is only 90 miles from the American coast, and the American case is perfectly simple and comprehensible. It is that if Cuba is to be turned into a Communist base, American security is endangered and they are entitled to disregard domestic and inter-nation laws, and to intervene, because the safety of the United States comes first. That is the American case.

Formosa is 100 miles from the Chinese coast. There is one difference in the Chinese favour, and that is that, whereas Cuba has never been part of United States territory, there is an international decision by the great Powers that Formosa is part of Chinese territory—so much so, that it is the basis of the American case for supporting Chiang kai-shek, and for giving him the Chinese seat in the Security Council, that he is in control of Formosa, and that Formosa is part of China.

So let us understand that this is a situation in which, if one side or the other puts a foot wrong in any one of these tense areas, world war three may inadvertently happen. In that situation, do let us toe careful not to defend in our friends what we would regard as a casus belli in our enemies. That way lies catastrophe.

We are hoping that the situation in Laos may now be settled. How passionately devoted to the idea of neutrality so many people are when Laos is concerned—but apply the same principle to Germany and one is regarded as a pro-Communist right away. Of course, we may still get German neutrality. If we were all neutral, except for our obligations to the United Nations, we should be nearly at the end of a very dangerous road.

How did the situation in Laos develop? We had an agreement about neutrality and a neutralist Government as long ago as 1954. It was said to be one of the great triumphs of Sir Anthony Eden, the "man of peace", that he brought about peace in Laos on the basis of neutrality. What became of it? The neutrality looked to somebody as though it might be neutrality on the wrong side, and so the Americans intervened to upset the neutralist Government and replace it with one that would be aligned with them. Now the Americans will be very glad to settle for what they recklessly threw away two years ago—and I hope that we will assist them to get it, for it would be good for them, for us, and for the world.

What about South Vietnam? Even as we see our way towards a settlement in one focus of catastrophe, our American friends are starting something else. They say that they are. They have many troops and advisers in South Vietnam and are pouring in more money, more aid and more support. Why? It is to maintain in power a Government—if that is the word for it—that is infinitely more tyrannous than Castro's—indeed, compared with it, Castro's is a bourgeois liberal democracy. South Vietnam is the next focal point to be deliberately stirred up.

I shall not start on the story of South Korea. I was almost alone in the House—not quite alone, I am glad to say—in 1950 in thinking that the political assessments of the Korean struggle, which had then broken out, were wholly wrong. I think that if they had the job to do again, as they had in 1949 and 1950, many of my hon. and right hon. Friends might take a different view, but one cannot job backwards with history. The result of it was that they lost power. I will not bother or take time to spell out that part of it now, but at the end of the struggle with all the cost, years afterwards what has become of the South Korea which we were going to save for the free world? Have we any friends in it any more? Have the Americans any friends in it any more?

What is the cause of all this? Some wickedness on the part of the Americans? Some inherent villainy? I do not believe it. I am absolutely certain that they no more want war than anybody in the House, or anybody else, wants war. I am perfectly ready to agree, but I think that they are hopelessly mistaken, that they sincerely believe that this really is the way—maintaining the unity of the free world—to create greater opportunities for the improvement of relations between East and West and for the promotion of conditions of peace and order throughout the world, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Why do they believe it? They believe it because they have misconceived the whole situation. When people rise in Angola, or in Cuba, or in Laos, the Americans do not look round to see what are the inherent evils in the social order against which those people are rebelling. They look for the Communist under the bed. If any black man, or brown man, or yellow man rises against his feudal oppressors and is attracted by the example of Western society with all its amenities and conditions and tries to strike a blow to secure some of the advantages of a free democracy and social justice for himself, there is no need to give the Communists all the credit for it. It pays them a compliment which they do not deserve. But the result of such an attitude is that that is made true by leading those people to believe that the Communists are their only friends.

In their own opinion, the Americans are keeping the free world free as well as united, and when the Government put down their Motion in these terms they are saying, "We agree with them and that is why we do not oppose them, at any rate openly, in Cuba, or in Laos, or in any of those other places." That is why I rejoice that my right hon. and hon. Friends have put down this challenge to them in this Amendment, because we do not believe it.

Not all revolutions need be Russian. Not all Socialists need be Communists. On these benches we believe, or used to believe, and I hope still believe, that there can be a free society which is not capitalist. We go further and say that there can be no really free society which is capitalist. Our quarrel with the Russians is not over their attempts to socialise their industry and their resources and to build up a collective economy in the interests of the community. I do not know how far they have succeeded, but if they have not succeeded, we wish them well and hope that they will.

Our quarrel with them is about their sacrifice in individual and personal and civil democratic liberty. All these revolutions have taken place exclusively in countries which have never known those things and which have had to find their own way to social liberties through economic freedom first, just as we have our own civil liberties and hope to use them to establish our economic freedom and social justice as we understand it here.

What a difference it would make to the world—and, if one may make so trivial a point, what a difference it might make to this party—if we were to set ourselves at the head of movements of this kind, to let it be known that, wherever men are fighting for liberty, for social justice and for freedom, we are on their side and not against them, that we are not prepared to hold them down with American dollars for the sake of making more American dollars, or for the preservation of a way of life in which the Americans believe and we do not.

That is why there is at last a real challenge to the Government's foreign policy. That is why we rejoice at it. That is why all of us, whether we receive a piece of paper once a week from the Chief Whip's office or whether we do not, will go as a united party into the Division Lobby tonight, in support of the things which we have in common and which we work for in common, no matter in what different ways. The challenge is here.

I finish by saying one word to the Government. They cannot believe that the world can go back to the mid-nineteenth century, to the quiet stream and the little canoe, fending ourselves off first from the right bank and then from the left bank. We are in a different world. We recognise that we have to remake our society, and we must recognise that these movements in Africa and in Asia and elsewhere are genuine movements among oppressed people who do not want to take sides with this system or that system, this bloc or that bloc, but merely want to do something for themselves.

Do not let them go on believing that they have no friends in that endeavour outside the Soviet Union. They have some in this country. Let us take the initiative into our own hands to build a more creative way of dealing with the problems of the world.

6.28 p.m.

If the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) will allow me to say so, I think that that was a most brilliant speech, brilliantly delivered, immensely persuasive, and wholly corrosive and indigestible.

We have all waited a long time for this debate and here we are, three-quarters of the way through, still with many Members who wish to speak. It is clear that in their Amendment Her Majesty's Opposition have risen to the occasion. They seem to have looked around the world for convenient pegs on which to hang their case. It is true that they have found Cuba, a former French protectorate in the Far East, and Angola, the only country they have quoted twice by name in their Amendment, a Portuguese colony of our oldest ally, a place with a population totalling less than that of Scotland, and of which we do not know even the name of the townships, but which will serve for the occasion.

The Amendment is flexibly drafted, as indeed it would have to be to collect the signatures that it has from what I might call the two Opposition front benches. The Amendment can best be described as a "two-way stretch." Rather than follow a tour of world irrelevancies, I will come back to Europe.

The Lord Privy Seal's speech yesterday was the most interesting speech on this subject that I have heard in this Chamber. I sense that there is a fund of good will and sympathy for him personally in all parts of the House. His responsibility is complex and difficult. By comparison, I am sure that he looks back nostalgically on those days when he was Chief Whip. If only the Continentals would respond in the way that the Conservative Party would respond, his life would be very much easier.

Having said that, I admit that I find it a little difficult to agree with some of the things my right hon. Friend said. For instance, he said that we in this country had made a full contribution to wards the recovery of Europe. I have never really been under that impression. Those of us who came here only at the General Election are conscious that Europe has been endlessly debated and discussed in this place—

Royal Assent

6.33 p.m.

Message to attend the Lords Commissioners:

The House went:—and, having returned;

Mr. SPEAKER reported the Royal Assent to:

  • 1. Home Safety Act, 1961.
  • 2. Oaths Act, 1961.
  • 3. Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act, 1961.
  • 4. Republic of South Africa (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1961.
  • 5. Private Street Works Act, 1961.
  • 6. Berkshire and Buckinghamshire County Councils (Windsor—Eton Bridge, &c.) Act, 1961.
  • Foreign Affairs

    Question again proposed, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question.

    6.44 p.m.

    Black Rod descended between Europe and myself. I am rather hesitant to speak on this subject, because those of us who came here after the General Election are very conscious that these issues have been debated up hill and down dale ever since the war. Nothing is easier than for a late arrival to point to what could have or should have or might have been done. I am hesitant, too, because I believe that too much discussion and too much speculation on this subject, at this moment, could be harmful. If the Lord Privy Seal has some negotiating cards up his sleeve it is desirable that they should not all be laid face up on the table.

    If there have been faults in the past, those faults have not been confined to one side of the House. When the war ended we had our own troubles, and plenty of them. It is true that we had our occupation zones in Germany and Austria, but it was asking a lot that we should take on the troubles of the whole of Europe as well. The fact remains that at the end of the war we failed to get into the business of rebuilding Europe. Many hon. Members can remember the early days of liberation, perhaps with short spells of leave in Paris, Brussels or Rome. There is no doubt that the atmosphere of welcome which then existed continued for some years. For some years we could have had the leadership of Europe on terms that we could state, but we were busy, preoccupied, and perhaps indifferent.

    When the Council of Europe was first mooted we were deeply suspicious. It smelled too much of a European federation. Again, when the idea of a unified market for iron and steel for Western Europe was put forward, despite the fact that our steel industry is among the most highly competitive in the world, we shied away from it. It was another European adventure. When the European Defence Community was suggested we rejected it out of hand, because it was unthinkable that our Army should be added to a European Army. We had our worldwide commitments. As was pointed out in the debate yesterday, in 1955 we declined to send a Minister to Messina. Perhaps it was rather an inaccessible place, and perhaps we never believed that France would agree to a free market, or would throw open her frontiers to German competition.

    Then, when the Treaty of Rome was signed, with 400 pages to read, perhaps we were too preoccupied with the Middle East. Perhaps we failed to grasp the significance of that treaty—the fact that countries with centuries of protective tariffs round them had agreed to trade freely, as one nation.

    Nothing is more enjoyable or less constructive than jobbing backwards like this, but if it is true that we could have had the leadership of Europe then, it is equally true to say that today Europe goes it alone. In the last nine months the whole issue has come welling up again. Are we to go into some association with the Common Market?
    "Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?"
    Some here have consistently favoured marriage with Europe. Yesterday my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones) spoke of a bride, a full-scale wedding and signing the register. But others have pointed out, quite rightly, that we are already married. They have therefore suggested that we can only contract what is called a "looser form of association." Yet others still shrink from any relationship with Europe at all. They think the only good thing between us and France is the English Channel.

    Clearly, one school feels that the closer we get to Europe the more we shall have to share America with Europe. There is another school which fears exactly the reverse; that the longer we remain an offshore island the greater is the likelihood of America transferring her interest to the mainland. The Lord Privy Seal touched on that point in his reference to the trends in American investments.

    That there is a lack of enthusiasm for Europe today is understandable. After all, we are faced with something of a change in our historic loyalties. In this country during the war we did not suffer the same political convulsions as they did across the Channel, where institutions capsized and perished and they were ready for new loyalties and new institutions. Here we have no partiality for written constitutions, elaborately drafted institutions. Our systems have evolved through long years of growth.

    We have never relished European entanglements. We have no appetite for a closer integration of social and economic policies. We realise that this decision, in so far as it is our decision, is a matter of balance, of weighing arguments and counter-arguments. We realise that we cannot see quite where this road is leading. We realise that of necessity we cannot have complete assurance, and that in some degree it must be an act of faith—
    "Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, …".
    What is the answer?

    We have deliberated this point for a good many years now. We have made a snail's progress in our deliberations. On balance, and I repeat on balance, the answer may lie further down on the same page in the same nursery rhyme:
    "The further off from England, the nearer is to France
    Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance."
    It has been pointed out in this debate—rightly I think—that the whole trend today is towards a larger grouping or an association of States. Of course, in this the French may set the subscription too high. In those days when they invited us in we were very busy. But today the position has changed. Basically, our great mutual interest lies in fighting Communism. A divided Europe means a weakened N.A.T.O. I think that the Lord Privy Seal has pretty long odds against him. I do not rate his prospects very high. The French believe that they have got rid of British industrial competition from the Common Market and I think that they want to keep things that way. If the French industrialists and the Quai d'Orsay dig in their heels, what then?

    I think that there should be no recriminations. In any case, we should not be in a strong position to throw stones. Certainly the matter could not be allowed to rest there. We must throw the net a lot wider than the area which was supposed to be covered by our free trade proposals. It must be the West or nothing. We must think in terms of an economic N.A.T.O. if we are to match the productive capacity of the Soviet bloc. I believe that, in any case, time will force this greater market on us. I look upon a closer union with Europe as no more than an interim measure. It is no use pretending that today we are at peace, and if these current discussions, or negotiations, or whatever they are, founder, as they may well, then we must go on to the next step. We must aim for a still wider coalition of the Western community patterned on the lines of the Common Market. I cannot persuade myself that what these six nations—including France and Germany, historically such bitter enemies—have done is beyond the power and will of the West itself to organise.

    6.58 p.m.

    The hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. M. Hamilton) referred in the earlier part of his speech to the fact that we could have had the leadership of Europe years ago and that we failed to take advantage of an opportunity which now has gone. Whether that be so or not, may I submit to the hon. Member that certainly we have offered a lead for Europe if not of Europe. In saying that I bring as evidence first, the manner in which we utilised Marshall aid in this country compared with the way in which similar aid was used in other countries in Europe. Had they used it economically in the same way as we did immediately after the war, there would have been a speedier progress towards the better times that now prevail.

    Secondly, I submit that the manner in which we liberated India gave a tremendous lead which unfortunately was not always followed by the countries of Europe, particularly by our neighbour, France. In those two respects we have made an impressive contribution not only to the world in general but to Europe in particular. Nevertheless, I understand, as we all understand, why it was that the Lord Privy Seal yesterday spent such a large part of his speech emphasising the need, implicitly if not explicitly, to enter into the Common Market.

    I do not share the criticism advanced from some quarters about the alleged indecision of the Prime Minister and the Government regarding entry into the Common Market. After all, he is turning, as hon. Members of this House are turning, from other considerations and loyalties. We must recognise that, though it is probable that we shall enter into the Common Market and join the big Six, or achieve some other kind of European economic co-operation, apart from other aspects of a very complex problem, that may mean—I do not put it higher—some diversion from support for the integration of the Commonwealth. That in itself would be a calamity. Undoubtedly it will appear from what evidence has been adduced that our economic interests today may lie with the Six and the Common Market and with an economically integrated, free Europe, but I am sure that most hon. Members will agree that that is not the only consideration nor the only criterion.

    We have another criterion, a moral one. I am not pretending that it is the only criterion or necessarily the predominant one. It is the one that has relevance to the Commonwealth. Our obligation is to advance and encourage the Commonwealth particularly now that it has relieved itself of part of its previous incongruity by the secession of South Africa. I am not saying that with great delight because, in common with other hon. Members, I very much regret the circumstances which led to that secession. Although there are some remaining local incongruities and paradoxes—for the whole of the Commonwealth is not at present under what we call a free democracy—such incongruities are subordinate to the basic, paramount fact that the Commonwealth as a whole represents an invaluable contribution to the democratic peace of the world as distinct from other types of peace.

    I say that because, although all nations and peoples want peace, that is not enough. The real issue is, what kind of peace is it they want? Russia has peace within its orbit at the expense of free political democracy. The conqueror wants peace when he subjects his adversary to his heel and keeps it on him. There is the peace of the prison compound. That is not the kind of peace we desire, nor would it be a true peace. The peace we want is peace consistent and consonant with certain democratic principles, even though they are variable in their expression and application.

    That is why I refer to the Commonwealth today. I believe it is, and can be still more in the future, a very great influence on the moral plane for the peace of the world. It presents to the world a remarkable and impressive phenomenon of a free association of a variety of peoples, most of whom are Asian and coloured, who are bound by no legal or economic tie at all but who accept as their symbolic head the Queen of this country. In every other respect they associate together purely and solely on the basis of friendship, although there may be certain secondary economic considerations.

    I believe that the United States of America presents another example of great influence in the world. Although we can criticise, and I certainly do criticise, the paradox of America having within itself the economic contradiction to the very peace and world co-operation which it advocates in the world as a whole, although there is this brash affluent idolatry in America, it is an impressive fact that there are fifty different States within a federated community. The States of America are in some respects almost as distinctive entities as are the sovereign States of Europe. They have their own law courts, and in many respects their own laws. One can pass from one State to another and find an entirely different atmosphere.

    It is well for us to remember that the United States of America is a country of united States and not the United States of America. If we think of the 180 million in the United States of America and six or seven hundred million in the Commonwealth, we see that in two areas there has been some degree of success in the achievement of what I call a democratic peace. The moral strength of those two examples, I am sure, is bound to tell in the long run. In fact, I am sure it is telling now.

    Since the war and before the war, I have been fortunate in being able to travel to many parts of the world. I well remember the impression I had in the Far East where there is a considerable Chinese population to some extent indoctrinated or under the influence of Communism. I found everywhere signs that were a counter-balance to the permeating effect of the Communist faith—for that is what it is—through the fact that India, and not only India, was pursuing a democratic pathway to a democracy as we understand it within the Commonwealth.

    I should not under-estimate the tremendous influence of the Commonwealth in the way I have explained in counter-balancing the spread of Communist ideas and influence throughout the Far East. Yet it is true that underneath all subsidiary complex conflicts the real issue today is between the Communist world and another world. I do not say the free world because within what is called the free world there are all kinds of sociological paradoxes. I suppose that in the free world some include Spain and Portugal, which I should hardly classify as free countries. As I see it, the conflict primarily is between the Communist world and the Commonwealth. That may seem rather extravagant, but I ask the House to bear with me while I try to illustrate what I mean by that contention.

    I have already referred to the United States as being in some measure a counterbalance, but I believe that the Commonwealth acts far more as a counter-balance in this respect. The Commonwealth type of democracy is largely conscious of social obligations in a way in which the United States of America is not. The Commonwealth has not the same degree of what I have called brash affluent idolatory as has the United States of America. Although, of course, the politics and economies of various parts of the Commonwealth vary, nevertheless there is that appreciation of the fact that not only must we be free politically, but also use that political liberty and freedom to release millions of human beings from the tyranny of poverty. Here, again, I am certain that millions of Asians and Africans—and, indeed. Latin-Americans—are far more inclined to look to this country and the Commonwealth for inspiration and example than to the vast and significant country of the United States.

    When I was in the West Indies last year, close as those islands are to America—and also in one of the Southern States of America—I found that although there was considerable economic penetration from America almost everywhere there was an emphatic preference for British values. There was a longing, an almost poignant longing, that we should find economic resources to assist those countries in their development within our ethos rather than within the ethos of the United States.

    I am not saying this because I am stupidly critical of America. I have already borne witness to the significance to world peace of the federation of fifty States. I know too, that America has most generously poured into the backward areas of the world billions of dollars—some, no doubt, with strings attached, but for the most part, I am positive, for purely humanitarian considerations. It is not good enough merely to look at all the weaknesses, the errors and inconsistencies in America and to ignore the facts to which I have referred.

    It is still true that in India, and even in Pakistan, which at present is in a different position from India and is passing through a semi-dictatorship, in Burma, which might have been within the Commonwealth but for an unfortunate fluke, in Ceylon, in Malaya, in East and West Africa, in the Caribbean Islands, and in lands outside the Commonwealth, there is this open, quiet preference for our values rather than for the values which seem dominant in some quarters of the United States.

    We have to face the fact that the Americans and America itself have indeed been generous in the way they have poured out from their storehouses this assistance to stricken areas. Yet we have to recognise the fact that the Communist world is exploiting and will continue to exploit the great poverty which prevails throughout two-thirds of the world's population, a poverty which is getting worse rather than easier. The tragic fact is that in spite of many plans to develop resources in India and elsewhere, in spite of generous assistance from outside, they have fallen back, because of the old Malthusian problem which haunts people in many parts of the world today.

    Both the first and the second of the five-year plans in India achieved a considerable measure of success, but then it was discovered that, owing to the improvement of amenities, sanitation, medical services and health, the infantile mortality rate was startlingly decreasing, and, therefore, though the actual increase in production was substantial, it did not keep pace with the increase in population. That is true in other parts of the world, and I am not now suggesting ways and means by which the population might be limited, because that would be touching on a controversial matter. I am only stating objective facts, however we deal with them.

    The same is true, though in other respects, in Venezuela, which I had the privilege of visiting last year. When I went to Caracas, the capital, I found that in this boom town, with its skyscrapers and great highways, thousands of shanties had been put up by those who had been drawn magnetically from the countryside by the prospect of higher wages in the capital of that State, with the result that the existing democratic régime is hard put to it to know what to do in that situation. Such a situation, of course, has already provided material for Communist exploitation.

    The same is true in Cuba, and, in some measure, in the Aden Protectorate, which I have the privilege of visiting some time ago. No matter what has been and is being done in the Aden Protectorate, there is still this haunting fear of a population explosion. The same thing is true of Nigeria. We welcome the advent of Nigeria to independence at the moment, and we hope that she will also follow the same democratic pathway which India has chosen; but her economic problem may in time become serious.

    Of all the States of Africa, Nigeria, with 35 million people, stands the best chance of attaining stability and of giving the world an example of democracy operating in an African context. Even so, if the population explosion in Nigeria takes place and if it is driven, as India has been driven into the situation in which the infant mortality rate declines and the population expands at a greater rate than production, the people will as a result have a sense of frustration, and the millions of simple people, who know nothing of theories of economy or Government, will be available for Communists to explore. The Communists will not hesitate to do that.

    We have not only a greater obligation to sustain the Commonwealth, and to do so with at least as much fervour as in the past we have assisted the empire, but we have also to realise that it is not only a moral obligation, but politically expedient, simply to share our technological knowledge and our wealth in order to liberate millions from poverty. I am not saying that this is the solution of the problem of peace, but I am saying that if we can assist, and satisfy millions of people in the Commonwealth by extending to them this power to aid their social progress much more even than we are doing, we might well integrate them into the Commonwealth more effectively, and so produce a stability serving world peace which it would be very difficult for the Communist world to penetrate or overthrow.

    Communism is undoubtedly fanatically ruthless in pursuit of its aims. As I see it, it is because it is wedded to a metaphysical dogma, just as much a dogma as that for which Protestants and Catholics and Muslims and others have fought and died in times past. It is the old historic fallacy that there is an absolute dogma and that this therefore justifies the elimination of all who stand in the way, though one might have private sympathies with those who suffer. There is a peril in this conception of absolute truth, and it is into that peril that the Communists have plunged. Although this is the basic issue, as I see it, I do not believe that Communism is either impregnable or inflexible. Expediency can teach and is teaching the Communist world a great deal in the same way as expediency has taught us. That is why most hon. Members of this House now recognise that the Communist world does not want war, not simply because of any moral aversion necessarily, though, being human, I am certain that there is an element of that. Do not let us assume that because we abhor the form of government of the Communist world, the human beings living there have been transformed into devils. There is this moral aversion, but it is not that which makes it clear to the Communist world that war is the final human disaster. It is the recognition that, whatever may be our policy, once nuclear war comes to this world, either the world itself will swiftly disappear, or it will be the prelude to the final disappearance of the world in a very short time.

    I refer again to this necessity that we should make clearer to the world than we have done before, that though all nations and peoples want peace, nevertheless, the real issue is the nature of the peace—not any kind of peace. It may take a decade or generation before two things happen. Firstly, that the Communist world appreciates that the real free world is impregnable, and, secondly, before the essence and values of that truly free world can penetrate behind the resistance of the Communist world.

    I have a firm but cautious hope not only that we shall avoid war, but that in the course of time this apparently monolithic world of Sovietism will begin to change or crumble. I want to point out one psychological fact, to which I do not attach undue importance, but which is important. If the Communist world is driven, as it is being driven, to extend education and an increasing measure of responsibility that carries with it a certain amount of freedom of judgment, inevitably this will stimulate the minds of men even though they be at the present time so powerfully and comprehensively indoctrinated by Communist ideology and dogma. In other words, I believe that in the course of time, if we do not perpetrate stupidities like the Suez and Cuba campaigns, the operations of the human mind, even at the crudest level, will burst through the totalitarian barrier which surround it today. I believe, therefore, that we must avoid such stupidities as those to which I have referred. I am not over-simplifying the issue, either in regard to Suez or Cuba. There were exasperations and provocations at Suez and Cuba. But it was playing into the hands of the Communist world to do as we did at Suez and as America has done at Cuba, which is almost parallel in many respects.

    We must likewise avoid what I call subterranean pressures issuing from the United States or elsewhere. We must certainly not fall into the error of believing that the United States is to be put on a par with all the devilries in the world. Nevertheless, although there is a real desire for peace among Americans—I know them well—unfortunately there are agencies there which want to exploit the American will for liberty and peace. They want to exploit even the generous mutual aid provided by the American Government and people. There are many signs of that. Even with regard to Laos it is fairly evident.

    The task of peace-making will take a long time, more than a decade or a generation, but we must believe it is possible. We must believe it is essential. The hope to which I have referred comes from a series of objective facts. I believe in the hope represented by the Commonwealth. There is some hope even in the Congo. In spite of the criticism of Mr. Hammarskjoeld and the apparent reluctance of the Belgian Government to act as straightforwardly as it should have done, and in spite of all the internecine strife and tragedy of that unhappy area in Africa, if may be that the cumulative influence of the United Nations will yet save the Congo from chaos and lay the foundation there of better and happier times. That is a sign of hope.

    I believe that there is hope in the continuing work of the auxiliary agencies of the United Nations. Bringing together peoples of various kinds and getting them to work together for a common purpose is in itself of great psychological pacific value. Even in the actual continuation of the United Nations there is hope. The periodic gathering together of people of diverse types, including Mr. Khrushchev, though he may prefer to speak sometimes more with his shoes than with his mouth, is something. It means that they are at least talking together. Some ideas will thus inevitably flow over and through the barriers which men erect around their minds.

    I have already said that there is hope in the continuation of Indian democracy and, indeed, of European democracy, in spite of all the threats and menaces. I believe that there is hope in the increasing cultural contacts between ourselves and the world behind the Iron Curtain, though, alas, as yet not behind the bamboo curtain. I believe that all these thing give rise to hope. That is why I believe that, if we can integrate our conception of democracy and freedom in our own country and in the Commonwealth in forms of constructive service to common human need, whatever military action we may take and whether we do or do not find some economic support for entering the Common Market, that in itself will in the end outlive and outlast the Communist world, which menaces our conception of liberty today.

    7.23 p.m.

    Before the war the hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) used to provoke this side of the House to great expressions of opposition. If I may say so without appearing to be patronising to him, his speeches have undergone a marked change.

    Tonight the hon. Member delivered a speech of extraordinarily persuasive force and eloquence, and I am sure that everyone on this side of the House was much impressed with the sentiments that he expressed. I do not go all the way with him in thinking that everything can be done by wise words and understanding. Violence is regrettably necessary from time to time to achieve a satisfactory policy result. When the hon. Member spoke about the Commonwealth and the influence it has and can have to a far greater degree than now upon world events and to the benefit of the Commonwealth's parent—the United Kingdom—he struck sympathetic chords of approval on this side of the House.

    I thank and congratulate my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal for the speech he delivered yesterday. It was a courteous speech. I think that he went as far as he could in informing the House and the country as to the basic facts of the situation. He had given great care and thought to his speech. It was extensive. It was carefully canalised into the various aspects of policy which are now being elaborated as Government thinking is going forward on this subject. In general, he did a great service to the House in framing his speech in the way he did.

    However, I cannot resist the conclusion that behind it was a coming policy decision of the Government which will cause the country very great confusion and, as I think, very considerable harm. I cannot avoid the conclusion that the thoughts of leading members of the Cabinet—may I say those of a liberal point of view on world events—are now settling quietly but firmly towards a major policy decision. My right hon. Friend was careful enough to avoid at this stage, not only, I dare say, for the sake of party and country-wide feeling but also so as not to disclose his hand in the forthcoming negotiations, declaring himself in favour of Britain joining the Common Market. But we read the papers every day. These speculators of public opinion in the daily Press who are so much maligned are, none the less, most astute, able and clever individuals. They have ways of finding out what is to happen. As I remember so well over the withdrawal from Suez, the abdication of power in Cyprus, the abdication of British influence in the retention of South Africa in the Commonwealth and a great many other things, the Press and their anticipations have nearly always been right.

    I am firmly—but I hope not irrevocably, because it depends upon the circumstances—an opponent of Britain joining the Common Market. I want to ask myself and the House several questions and see if it is possible to find answers, if not in responsive echoes of thinking in the Chamber, at some stage in Governmental replies. Why do we have to go into the Common Market now? If we had wanted to shape this institution into something which serves the British purpose in Europe or, putting it a little more generously, if we had wanted to project Britain alongside Europe and see that the ensuing policy redounded to European credit, I should have thought that we would have gone in from the start. When M. Monnet began to frame these tremendous proposals for translating individual national feeling into supranational and federal feeling, I should have thought that the Cabinet at that time would have got some glimmer of apprehension of what was to happen and would have decided to take a part in it. The very opposite happened.

    At the stage when we decided that the Free Trade Area was no longer a possibility and that these Six countries were wedded to a permanent cohesive concept, one would have thought that Britain would have taken action. But we took reverse action. We sedulously began to create—on quite excellent traditional lines, as I shall show in a moment—a group of like-minded, Nordic, non-Catholic States in Northern Europe and began to arrange it in line against the philosophy of the Common Market.

    One could have said at any stage that the Common Market would come to nothing. One could have said right at the beginning that the idea was so tenuous that French nationalism or German nationalism—just as in the case of the very early and immediate collapse of the European Defence Community—might work to prevent the realisation of the Common Market. One could say the same thing today.

    I do not understand why the Government have selected this moment in time, when nothing very formidable seems to me to have happened to bring it about, to begin to gravitate themselves, and cause the Press and the country to get prepared for this sudden reversal of our policy over the last two or three years with regard to the formation of E.F.T.A. and decide to go into the Common Market.

    The Common Market is just as likely to collapse now. Do not let the Lord Privy Seal reply that the fact that the German currency revaluation the other day went through without sending a shock tremor through the whole of the Common Market has made the Government realise that this is a permanent institution that is likely to succeed.

    At any moment there may be an expression of independent French nationalism. De Gaulle is known to be full of la gloire, la patrie et la victoire for France. He is not a man permanently to be attached to this group of neighbouring states in Europe, although it may have served him extremely well in the past. And even though the currency revaluation has gone through without a shock tremor, we do not know that very serious unemployment may not arise in one or other of these European countries that may bring about a strong nationalist feeling as it is realised that the Common Market institutions are not able to help them in their difficulties.

    We are now at about the stage after the last war that we were after the First Great War when very serious unemployment began to supervene. It may be that the countries in Western Europe have risen to a level of prosperity that may be difficult, if not impossible to feed and maintain. Some of these European countries have not observed, and have not practised the techniques of full employment in a free society that we in Britain practise. Under Dr. Erhard's economics they may easily go into a situation of serious unemployment. Why do the Government not wait for that to happen, to be dealt with successfully and for the European Economic Community again to become triumphant before joining? No, for some extra ordinary reason they have decided that this moment in the month of May, 1961, is the right moment to make a move——

    I am coming to Mr. Kennedy.

    I asked myself also why we have to join this particular trading bloc. I do not suppose that anybody in this country would be extremely attracted to the idea of rushing into the Communist trading bloc and allying ourselves with it, and with nothing else. Nor, as far as I know, have we ever decided to become the 51st State of the United States of America. There is a very satisfactory, affluent, successful, commercially-competitive and capitalist trading bloc which, for some of my hon. Friends who are so keen to exemplify that characteristic in our lives, would seem to be very attractive, indeed. Nobody has suggested our doing that. The Commonwealth, as a trading bloc, has been allowed, if anything, to decline.

    It cannot, therefore, be said that Britain has been particularly interested in maintaining or joining trading blocs—until this moment. Is it because it is only twenty miles across the Channel that we have to join? Is there some aspect in this matter of a third force in Europe? I thought that the idea that Britain should join the Western European nations and constitute itself and themselves a sort of independent pivot or link between East and West, playing off the Communist world against the American nation, had been discredited a very long time ago, but perhaps that is the reason.

    If it is, as some newspapers have been telling us, a question of consolidating the civilisation of Europe, of holding together all the countries which are the parents throughout the world of great human endeavour and opportunity, I think that it is a selfish and disgraceful idea—the idea that we can walk into a glasshouse in Western Europe, and only Western Catholic Europe, leaving aside all those countries in the centre and East of Europe as of no account whatever.

    Could we ask this group of the Six to make seven—or, if we were so lucky as to take Denmark with us, making eight countries in Western Europe—and say that in these countries there is enshrined a state of high civilisation which must be perpetuated as the tablets of stone, handed down from Mount Sinai, were perpetuated? If so, what is to happen to the colonial world that we are bringing to a state of self-government, and what is to happen to the French and other colonial systems?

    It seems to me to be an incredible plan, a selfish plan, that we should stand together in a mute and tight little group in Western Europe and leave aside all our gigantic associations throughout the rest of the world. If we are to join a new trading bloc, I would much rather we went back to the idea of the Commonwealth and tried to do something to restore an economic association in this great group of nations in which we take pride, and in which the number of independent communities increases every few months.

    Is it not time to rewrite the Ottawa Agreements? They have been allowed to lie fallow for the last thirty years. They originally enshrined the idea of a preference over the home market to the Commonwealth, and a tariff between the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. I do not know what we owe—in the cohesion of the Commonwealth when it came to war and the association and development of the Commonwealth since the war—to that splendid act. If the Government wish to do something adventurous—and that would be a change—let them turn their attention to some of these great and traditional designs.

    Then I ask: Why are we prepared to do in peace what we did not do in war? The sole idea generated in the war of the association of Britain with the Continent was that put out, one fine night, without thought, by my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) when he suggested, early in 1940, the union with France. That took the nation by surprise. We would have done anything for my right hon. Friend at that moment—and we still will—but it was turned down by the French without a moment's contemplation.

    After that, our war aim became the very reverse to the union of Europe. Governments were harboured here, men died fighting for the cause of re-establishing the independence of the countries of Europe. If it had been made the war aim, at a climacteric of our history, that Britain was to go in with her allies and make a new concept of Europe, and if our men had been taught to fight and die for that, I would have believed that there was something to the idea. But to crawl in in peace, in a shamed sort of way—because we do not feel that we have the power or opportunity to stand out of it—is extraordinary and beyond my understanding.

    I do not see how the Government can do this without a General Election. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I have been turning up the Annual Register for 1931 and I would remind hon. Gentlemen that at that time, after the very much disliked Coalition, from the point of view of the opposite side of the House, of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, Mr. Snowden, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Baldwin and others on this side of the House, there was a good deal of rather rushed and pressed bargaining on the question of policy. I wish to read only two sentences from this volume to indicate just what was the position. It is discussing the question of tariffs in the election of 1931—the formulation of the manifesto for that year, and it says:
    "Meanwhile, though the desired formula had not been found, the Free Traders and the Protectionists in the Cabinet had drawn appreciably nearer. The latter had waived their demand that tariffs should be actually included in the Government programme, while the former had expressed their willingness to consider them as an emergency measure, even if Parliament should be immediately dissolved …. The programme of the National Party was to be simply a 'free hand' to deal with the crisis by means of any measures which should be judged expedient."
    The result of that was a "doctor's mandate". A free hand was requested, demanded and taken by the Coalition Government of the day and that was the basis on which they went to the country. It was not long after that that, under the influence of the larger majority of the Conservatives, it was decided to call an economic conference at Ottawa to devise a tariffs system.

    A free hand. That is precisely what the Government now have not got. They are tied to a manifesto at the last election, which speaks not at all about entering the Common Market or formulating any kind of association with the countries of Western Europe. They have no mandate whatever to go into the Common Market. On reflection, I am sure that the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House and other senior members of the Cabinet will realise that to slide in, on the basis of no mention whatever in the last General Election manifesto, is something which will infuriate the Tory Party in the country and will cause the utmost damage to their cause.

    I beg the Government to make this decision a conscious one of government, to declare their intention and to get the endorsement of the people for it.

    What is the alternative in joining the Common Market? The great Lord Falkland in the seventeenth century remarked that when it was not necessary to change, it was necessary not to change. The Government have clearly been going forward steadily on a course of assembling a considerable number of like-minded countries in the area surrounding the Common Market towards the concept of economic association with Britain. Everything we have done since the war, quite correctly, has been done on the basis of treaty-making associations—not by submergence of sovereignty, not by irrevocable concessions to the advantage of one interest or another but by pooling our intelligence, our armaments and by pooling our economic power for a common purpose.

    We have retained the right in every case, whether N.A.T.O., Western European Union or O.E.C.D., in a crisis or at will, to withdraw that element, whatever it may be—element of sovereignty, armament or money.

    To subscribe to the Treaty of Rome, unless it can toe widened so much that we can take all our associations—agriculturalists, Commonwealth and our E.F.T.A. partners—right in at an open door and establish them there—and I think it is far too much to hope for—will mean the abandonment of the principle on which Britain has been operating on all her associations since the war.

    The Common Market arises out of a defeatist atmosphere in Western Europe. There can be no doubt about that. These nations have been washed over by the tides of war to such a degree that they have lost their will to independence. But Britain has not. There may be many people who think that the position of independence and integrity is too great for Britain to sustain, but I do not think that that really represents the core and true heart of this country at the present time.

    We have not been washed over by the tides of war. We still have enormous economic, political and military power and I think that for Britain, in these circumstances, to neglect all that—her policy in the past and her position in history—and to slide in with as many associate nations as she can find to join her, is something which the great masses of this country will never be able to understand. Would it not be much better to ask the Common market to join us? They are the defeated nations. Let them become the eighth member of the European Free Trade Association. Has that invitation ever been extended?

    What conceivable opposition could they put up to it? It would give them all their internal arrangements. The Common Market countries could reduce their tariffs within the Six to nothing at all, they could keep their universal external tariff, but they would still come into the European Free Trade Association and subscribe to our rules, which are the reduction by mutual agreement of our individual tariffs with each other while keeping our external tariffs individually as we require. Why are not the Government making that request to Dr. Adenauer and General de Gaulle?

    I come now to the position of the United States of America. One has to be very careful what one says about a Head of State. President Kennedy is young, enthusiastic, honest, courageous, and learning his trade. He has not yet acquired the experienced figure of Uncle Sam with the magnificent beard and the calm and steady eye upon world events. He takes, I suppose, the sort of position that every young American would take when asked to gaze across the ocean and look at the cockpit of Europe, this association of States torn by war and rent by dissension. President Kennedy takes the view, no doubt—How correct, how purposeful, how suitable to the United States, it would be if they all lined up in a row like the horses in "Ben Hur" and drove him full tilt at the Soviet Union. I do not think that this country fits into that picture at all. I do not think that, when President Kennedy goes to see General de Gaulle, he will find that he fits into that picture.

    We must beware of our position in these affairs. I do not wish to discredit the President of the United States in any regard. I say only that there are some people in the United States, in the Pentagon, in the State Department, who find Britain and our Commonwealth just a little bit inconvenient. Nothing would please them better than for the jaws of the Common Market to open just wide enough to take Britain's head and shoulders and then snap shut at our waist-line and allow the great appendages of Empire all over the world—this great maritime Commonwealth on which we pride ourselves—to be quietly nibbled up.

    I hope that the Government will, after mature reflection, resist these proposals. If they are to set the whole apparatus in remorseless course, they must obtain the endorsement of the people. I would much rather that they kept on with their quiet system of building on traditional lines. Finland, a very significant State, came in the other day. Austria, a quite significant State, has been in for some time. There is Yugoslavia, a country of great independence and also, in some sense, a bridge in the world. Finally, though this will shock some of our friends in Europe, there is Eastern Germany. I have always agreed very strongly with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) when he has said that it is now time that we recognised Eastern Germany and regarded her as an established State. The business of trading with the Communist world and the satellites may be very difficult. It may be very complicated to turn tariffs into quotas and to translate private commerce into State trading, but it is not beyond the resources of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, a most astute and clever man.

    Let us raise our eyes to the opportunities confronting this country. Let us realise that Europe is not necessarily composed of this taut little western centre but it is a very much larger concept than that. If we look back to our historical past, we see that Britain's ties of trade, of administration, of policy and of diplomacy have embraced the lot. Let not the Government, for reasons of ideology, under the impact of a violent piece of international liberal thinking directed by the United States, neglect their opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe.

    There are those who will have it that the only way in which we can defeat the Communists is to impact ourselves into a group of Atlantic States, European States, or whatever it may be, just as powerful, just as dynamic, just as co-ordinated and just as purposeful. After the war, Mr. Speaker, a few of my hon. Friends on this side of the House were frightened about the position of the small trader. They thought that his day was done in face of the giant combines. They formed an association of small traders. It made some headway until it was realised that, of course, once the association was perfected, there would be no small traders. When that was realised, the organisation dissolved overnight.

    One of England's greatest philiosophers and poets, Milton, said:
    "They fret"—
    I suppose he was thinking of the Government—
    "and out of their own weakness are in agony, lest these divisions and subdivisions will undoe us. The adversarie again applauds, and waits the hour, when they have brancht themselves out, saith he, small anough into parties and partitions, then will be our time. Fool! he sees not the firm root out of which we all grow, though into branches: nor will beware untill he see our small divided maniples cutting through at every angle of his ill united and unweildy brigade."
    That is the fate of Communism, if we have patience and if we wait; but if we enter upon foolish designs at this time we shall find that our opportunities are lost, and with them our freedom, too.

    7.58 p.m.

    The House has listened with pleasure to the speech of the noble Lord, the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke). We are accustomed to having our intelligence burnished by his speeches. I most heartily agree with him—as I tried to show yester- day when the Minister was kind enough to give way to me during his speech opening the debate—in believing that no Government, not even of my own party were it in power, would have the right to take a major decision on such a matter as entering the Common Market unless it first had a General Election. We have argued within my own party about this very point. We have said that this was not in our programme at a certain time, and, therefore, we could not implement it meanwhile. Before a major decision like this is made, the people of Britain must have the right to debate it with all the methods of mass debate we have today, both locally and nationally. There is much more in it, to my mind, than even the noble Lord showed.

    I will admit a prejudice, because this Common Market—and we were led up the Common Market garden path yesterday—was spawned out of the cold war. It emanated from the cold war. It is an idea which looked upon an economic strengthening of certain nations within Europe linked to N.A.T.O., not with the vision and intelligence of which the noble Lord spoke, but with the hope of attracting countries like Yugoslavia and other parts of Eastern Europe into a viable economic unit inside Western Europe.

    How well I liked the noble Lord's phrase when he said that we are pretty well crawling into this set-up on our hands and knees at a time when this nation and the Commonwealth have just witnessed the freeing of great nations in Africa and new conceptions and ideas throughout Asia. Just at that moment, when there is a new vivacity and energy entering the Afro-Asian nations, Britain, who had the opportunity of building them up through its engineering "know-how" and technical capacity and could show, as in India, a certain amount of leadership because we had maintained our honesty of purpose in giving India its freedom at the right moment, is throwing all that away and is depending on some propaganda and—I say this without fear of contradiction—the majority of pressure emanating from the United States.

    I know that other hon. Members wish to speak and therefore I will not cover ground which has been covered before. If I am not interrupted, I will cut my speech to about ten more minutes to give other hon. Members a chance to speak.

    What is it that hurts those of us who like the American people quite a lot? Many of us know the American people and have had the opportunity of meeting them here and in their own country. They are a generous, magnanimous and courageous people. Why do we always find ourselves criticising American policy in Asia? Let me take Laos as an instance, a country which I know and to which I have been twice. I went there just after the Geneva Conference, when the country was struggling under Souvanna Phouma to get a neutral government. By 1950 Souvanna Phouma had managed to build up a neutral government, so neutral that the Chinese and some of the Americans on the spot were willing to acknowledge that Souvanna Phouma was doing a successful job in trying to make Laos, a marvellous little country of 2½ million people, a neutral nation.

    At that time, Chou En-lai said to me in Peking—another colleague of mine from this House was with me—"I must pay tribute to the job of work which your Foreign Secretary, Sir Anthony Eden, has done in establishing a neutral Laos". Why was that work upset? It was upset because of the Dulles policy of massive retaliation about which my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, writing in the magazine Foreign Affairs, of July, 1954, said:
    "I do not know what this speech of Mr. Dulles on massive retaliation has done to his enemies, but it certainly frightens me."
    The American people, as my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) said, want peace as much as anybody else, but the force and pressure of the China lobby, of the Pentagon and of the military élite, at that time was not allowing the real true spirit of American men to influence world affairs in Asia, and Souvanna Phouma's efforts at establishing neutrality were frustrated.

    Aid came to Vientiane and went to Luang Prabang and throughout Laos. I was told by an Asian ambassador in an embassy in Luang Prabang—I reported it over two years ago in this House and to the Foreign Office—"There will be trouble inside this country in the next few weeks. When you get home, please inform the Foreign Office of this." The British Foreign Office was well informed. I remember my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker), who made an excellent and wonderful speech this afternoon, asking for the International Control Commission and for the Geneva Conference to be recalled. If I troubled to look at my notes, I could give the reference in HANSARD, but there is no need.

    What was the answer of the Government? They said, "In our judgment, this is not an appropriate time to intervene." This was over two years ago. Had the Government had the courage to adopt an independent British attitude to Asia at that time, the situation may have been saved. Instead, we threw away all the oriental "know-how" that we had acquired over hundreds of years in dealing with the best leaders in Asia.

    The United States fails to understand why it is that aid is not transmitted to the right places. Five new millionaires were built up in two years in Laos as a result of corruption. That is where the money went, just as it went in Chiang Kai-shek's China. How long do we expect the free world to pretend that all this is for democracy, truth and justice for Asian man during this revolution of awakening expectation? Is this great assembly of debate prepared to take a lead and to say to the United States, "You must recognise the dynamic change which is taking place in Afro-Asia"?

    Twenty-nine Afro-Asians met for the first time at the Bandoeng Conference, one of the most dramatic conferences in the history of the modern world. They made statements. Nehru, Chou En-lai and leaders of the West and East were there. Afro-Asian man established a permanent secretariat in Cairo. These two great Continents are no longer going to subject themselves to the old imperialisms of the white race. If we do not cooperate with them, there will be an explosion. It is no good calling it Communism.

    Here I should like to quote President Soekarno's speech delivered at the university in Bandoeng when he gave concrete evidence—and the tragedy is that America pretends that she is not doing this—of ammunition, aeroplanes, guns and American pilots being used in the revolution in Sumatra. I have had the privilege of meeting President Soekarno and of listening to him. He said to the students at the university on 2nd May, 1958:
    "In addition, tens of thousands of weapons were dropped on West Sumatra. They fell into our hands—tens of thousands of light weapons, hundreds of heavy weapons, which could not possibly have been bought and paid for by the rebels. This is a straight attack against us from foreign quarters."
    He asserted that when Indonesia made its proclamation of independence on 17th August, 1945, it was a proclamation of Indonesia's own identity. He went on to say:
    "We want to become a nation that stands on its own identity. We will follow a policy of self-reliance, not a policy of mendicancy. It means that we maintain our active, independent stand. We do not want to be a satelite of one or the other."
    Speaking firmly, he added:
    "Don't play with fire. Indonesia is not to be made a second Korea."
    I will not quote the whole of the long and brilliant speech that he delivered to the students. There was the evidence from a responsible Asian leader.

    After the coup by General Nosavan in Vientiane—no English paper has published this, but it can be found in the library in the African Record—Captain Lae said that he was so tired of interference inside Laos by foreign troops that something had to be done for his people to live in peace. He was tired of civil war. In his own battalion, there were ten Americans or American experts in each group. That was the evidence given by Lae.

    Then, Boun Oum Champassek, the Prime Minister who was put into power by a military coup, told the world that he was being attacked by seven divisions from North Vietnam. Cheap yellow newspapers had banner headlines that may have driven the kind of boys from my constituency, and young men and women from America, who gave their lives in Korea into a major war because of a lie told by that man, who admitted two months later that he had said it to show the world that the rebels had friends in the West.

    Are they the kind of responsible men that the free world is supposed to be lining up with? Is that the kind of responsible leader in Asia that the Tory Party is asking the British people to support? Is it not time that a stop was put to this? The truth was told and our Foreign Office knows it. The Government know the truth. They have lost their backbone. To build real friendship with the true American people, the British Government should have the courage to say, "We have had enough of supporting these Syngmann Rhees and these playboys of South-East Asia. This is not the way to peace. This is the way to death"

    8.13 p.m.

    I shall follow the excellent example of the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies) and keep the House for only a few moments. I should like to revert to the situation concerning the European Common Market. I am sorry that my noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) will be going to bed frightened of so many things—strikes in Germany, events in France and Italy, and looking back on the past as the better time.

    The idea that we shall lose sovereignty if we go into the Common Market is a bogy that is being dressed up, and it has been used very much by my noble Friend. I have recently visited several of the countries in Europe and I saw no sign that they were anxious or willing to renounce their sovereignty or nationality.

    If we look at three recent happenings—the German currency changes, the French policy on Algeria, which is entirely her own, and, more recently, the new Italian petrol trading agreements—there is no sign of a renunciation of sovereignty on the part of any of these countries. It will take a very long time before we get anywhere near that stage. What we want to see is good government everywhere before we have amalgamated government. I am not frightened by the possible loss of sovereignty.

    When looking at the past, one sees that the countries were amalgamated by war. For instance, the United States of America is a country which has been amalgamated by war. Surely, it is a step forward for Europe now to take the view that it wishes to amalgamate through persuasion and negotiation. That is a better system. Only the Communists are still inclined towards amalgamation by means of armies, tanks and fighting. We in the West have taken a step forward in the direction of trying to work and to co-operate together by persuasion.

    I do not think that any treaty which we sign will quench the independent spirit of this country—that never has been the case—any more than the laws of the nation have quenched the independent spirit of the English, the Scots or the Welsh. In joining Europe now in some way, I see not a negative loss of sovereignty but a great gain in cooperation with some of the more intelligent countries.

    I am not in favour of signing the Treaty of Rome as it stands. I do not agree with those who consider it a good idea for us to go in and sign and then modify the treaty. Such a source entails a certain degree of dishonesty which I do not like. One of the points which, perhaps, has escaped notice in all our discussions is the different approach between ourselves and many other nations in the signing of treaties and conventions. We do not regard them as "scraps of paper". Anybody who has been at the United Nations will have seen the distinction clearly. There we support a number of conventions with other countries. Many countries have no hesitation in ratifying conventions irrespective of whether they are likely to put them into operation. Our policy has always been not to ratify until we have felt ourselves to be in a position to fulfil completely the terms of the convention.

    I suggest that we might proceed with the negotiations in two stages. This is a suggestion of my own. I should like to see us working on an instrument of accession. It would be a protocol or an instrument which had been drawn up on rather broad lines with the agreement of all countries, flexible enough to be modified in the next three, four or five years, and eventually it might be embodied in' a treaty, not necessarily exactly like the Treaty of Rome but a modification of it. By working in that way, we should have time to solve our difficulties on the agricultural side, which, of course, are difficulties to the European countries also, and time to solve our problems with E.F.T.A. and the Commonwealth.

    I am certain that it is necessary and good for us to join Europe in some way. I am certain that it is essential for Europe that we should do so. To me, it is strange that people should regard this as an unusual and extraordinary thing to do. In our earlier history we were invaded and were part of Europe. Later, we invaded Europe and claimed large chunks which we added to the Crown. Later, we had our wars and our alliances with Europe. It is only in recent times, with the growth of our Empire and the Commonwealth, that our eyes have turned more overseas and that we have been distracted from Europe.

    Now that the world has become so much smaller, now that our overseas commitments are uncertain and unpredictable, we must not ignore our immediate neighbours. Our neighbours have become very important. We must close the European ranks. Let hon. Members consider the effect which that would have on the Communist world and on Russia and what a tremendous sigh of relief there would be the world over if we did it. The dangers of Communism are growing. They are gathering very rapidly. The political situation in Europe is such that we should not delay too long. If one looks at the present set-up of the Governments in Europe one finds that in three big countries they are centre or right of centre and that in two there is a strong Communist Party.

    My noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South said that things were precarious in France. There is only one man there between government and chaos. In Italy there is a very able young Prime Minister, as Prime Ministers go, who will lead his country extremely well, but the political situation is such that he has to balance on a tightrope. Germany is the most stable country within the Six at present. We should take advantage of the present situation and come to some terms with the Six.

    When I was in Germany recently I spoke at the C.D.U. Conference, and I also did a television broadcast in Italy. On both occasions I made the point that concessions cannot be all on one side. There is no question of our crawling in. I cannot see our Prime Minister in that posture. I think it would be totally impossible. But the need is great on both sides, and if the West is to survive something must be done reasonably soon.

    I appeal to hon. Members opposite—and I think that I have some friends among them—not to make this subject an election issue. This will be one of the hardest decisions that any Government have made for many years. It is one which should be made in consultation and one in which we should all consider ourselves, as we did in wartime, as working together for the common good. There is no question that we are at war, a cold war which is just as dangerous. The country would expect its leaders and all its best politicians to work together over this matter. The event will be a watershed, and it would be well, if we all take a decision upon it, in the next month or in the next year or two, in such a manner that we may look back on that decision with pride.

    8.24 p.m.

    The hon. Lady the Member for East Grinstead (Mrs. Emmet) began by firmly disagreeing with the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke). Since I found the noble Lord's speech stimulating and excellent in almost every way, I am sure that the hon. Lady will not be surprised if I say that I did not find her speech to be of that same calibre.

    There have been a number of criticisms from both sides of the House of the Lord Privy Seal's speech in opening the debate and the fact that he spent so much of his time in dealing with the Common Market and Britain's entry into it, but I think that that speech has given us the advantage of now knowing more clearly than we did before the Government's state of mind on this question. There has been a period of speculation on what was in the Government's mind about their long-term plan for Europe. I think that the noble Lord was perfectly right and that it is now clear that the Government plan to join the Common Market. It is now, perhaps, an open question whether they will be able to do that, because it is well-known that there are many technical difficulties and many objections, such as our Commonwealth ties and traditional agricultural policy, and because sitting behind the Prime Minister are many supporters who are clearly identified with those objections.

    My impression from the Lord Privy Seal's opening speech was that the Government may now be intending to join almost unconditionally, although, of course, they will put up a façade of negotiation and discussion and of an attempt to safeguard our Commonwealth ties, our links with E.F.T.A. countries, and our obligations to British agriculture. But I do not believe that it will prove possible in these negotiations—if that is the word—to secure from the Six a sufficiently substantial modification of the Treaty of Rome to enable us to join and at the same time to honour the three sets of obligations. I believe that it is the Government's intention to join the Common Market irrespective of the outcome of the talks which we are told are now proceeding, and I believe that that would be a profound mistake for Britain, just as the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South indicated that he believed it would be.

    It would bring very doubtful economic advantages to us. The supposed advantages have been considerably magnified in the discussions on this question, but I believe that there would be an important political disadvantage because we would find that our capacity to act as mediator and negotiator between East and West and in other spheres would be seriously impaired if we went in completely with the Six.

    It seems to me that the Lord Privy Seal was making two assumptions, as if he thought that they were not open to question, when they seem to me to be seriously open to question. He drew for us an impressive picture of the size, strength and economic growth of the Common Market countries, but he seemed to assume that this was a direct result of the Treaty of Rome. I agree that that is probably an important contribution to the economic growth of the Common Market countries, but it is by no means the only factor in the situation. It is much too sweeping an assumption to make that, because the Six have got together in the Common Market, ipso facto their economic growth has resulted from that act.

    Secondly, when he indicated that this was a tremendous challenge—as it undoubtedly is—to our own economy, he seemed to make the too simple assumption that, if we could only find our way into the Common Market, economic advantages would automatically follow for us. That, too, I believe to be far too simple an assumption. Indeed, I think that there may be danger that, if we join, our economic difficulties will remain, while, in the process of joining, we might find ourselves, in Europe, playing second fiddle to Germany and France.

    These economic questions are complex, and I propose to leave them at that, because I want to call attention to what I consider to be a serious political disadvantage that would result from joining—that is the undesirability of this country in any way loosening the ties which it has with the neutral countries of Europe. In yesterday's debate, the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) in particular dealt with this point, and today the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South referred to it when he spoke of Finland, Yugoslavia and Austria as being particularly significant countries in Europe.

    Both the Motion and the Amendment refer to the importance, which we all accept, of improving East-West relations. If, on both sides of the House, we are genuinely intent on building bridges between East and West and removing misunderstandings, we should not underestimate the very great importance of the links which we have through our membership of E.F.T.A. with traditionally neutral countries like Sweden and Switzerland, and, in the post-war situation, Finland and Austria, which, because of their geographical situation alone, are bound to maintain a neutral position in cold war politics.

    The present talks on H-bomb tests in Geneva and the prospective summit meeting in Vienna themselves show the importance of these neutral countries, if only from the point of view of providing neutral territory in which people can meet to discuss these things. But I believe that their significance is much more important than merely as hosts to international conferences.

    There is debate in the country about whether we can or should be neutral. I doubt whether there is a very strong body of opinion in this House supporting the idea that, in the present world situation, Britain can be neutral. But, be that as it may, what is most important is that we should maintain our links with neutral countries, and that is why I am a firm supporter of the E.F.T.A. concept and why I am profoundly disturbed by several references made by the Lord Privy Seal to the possibility of E.F.T.A. coming to an end.

    He referred to Finland and expressed his pleasure that the President of Finland had recently been here, and that in July Finland will become associated with E.F.T.A. It struck me as a little ironical that these complimentary remarks were included in the same speech which, in another part, forecast the end of E.F.T.A.—because that, in effect, was what he was saying.

    I want to quote briefly from a speech by the President of Finland to illustrate my point when I say that the neutrals of Europe are of great significance. After referring to the degree of understanding which Finland had found, on the one side, in the United Kingdom, and, on the other side, in the Soviet Union, he went on to say:
    "Personally, I consider it to be an encouraging fact, from the point of view of developing international trade, that a neutral state like Finland has in this way been able to maintain her trade relations right across the lines of commercial blocks."
    That is most important from the point of view of the trading relations which he mentioned, but also, in the diplomatic sense, it is very important that these neutrals should be brought into the scheme of things in order that there can be these bridges between East and West.

    I wonder, now that the Lord Privy Seal has made his speech of yesterday, whether the President of Finland still feels the same encouragement about the position that Finland has been able to establish for herself. Will our other partners in E.F.T.A. have a feeling of encouragement about the present situation, or is it true, as I have heard suggested, that in the capitals of our E.F.T.A. partners the words "Perfidious Albion" are again being heard?

    I notice, for example, from today's Guardian that Sweden and others seem to have made up their minds about what the British Government propose to do. In Geneva, at the headquarters of E.F.T.A., Sweden is already putting forward a proposal for a smaller version of E.F.T.A. on the assumption that Britain and Denmark will walk out of E.F.T.A. into the Common Market.

    If that is the position, we will have a serious loss of good will among our partners in E.F.T.A. Part of the price we are to have to pay for going into the Common Market will be this loss of a valuable amount of good will which we have been building up in those countries on the fringe of Europe. Helsinki and Stockholm and Vienna and similar centres may not be so powerful or, in a sense, so important as Paris and Bonn, but in a diplomatic sense, in the interests of East-West relations and of world peace, those capitals and their influences are of great importance, and we lose influence there at our peril and at the peril of good international order.

    The other day, when hon. Members on this side of the House were chaffing the Prime Minister for his ambiguity and evasiveness about the Government's attitude towards Europe, an hon. Member opposite scored a very fair point when he called attention to the fact that over here we have serious differences of opinion about the Common Market and related questions. It is true that there are serious divisions of opinion on this side of the House. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) spoke yesterday in a sense very different from that in which I am now speaking. I therefore conclude my remarks by expressing a hope about my own party's attitude after hearing the Lord Privy Seal's speech yesterday.

    There were clear signs in his speech that the Government are about to abandon E.F.T.A., politely and diplomatically, no doubt, but nevertheless to do so. I hope that the Labour Party will not associate itself with that abandonment. The signs are there—and the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South referred to this as well—that the Government are preparing to sacrifice our Commonwealth links as part of the price for entering the Common Market. I hope that the Labour Party will firmly dissociate itself from any such action, for many reasons, of which I will mention one—that any such ditching of Commonwealth preference would be a serious blow for the under-developed countries within the Commonwealth.

    We in the Labour Party are proud that we gave political freedom to a large section of the Commonwealth. Having done that, and having that proudly in our history, it would be a mistake to be associated with a blow at the economic welfare of that section of the Commonwealth.

    There are signs, perhaps not in the Lord Privy Seal's speech, but in the speech of the Joint Under-Secretary of State, that the Government are prepared to make their agricultural supporters swallow what must be to them the very bitter pill of a radical transformation of the method of agricultural support in this country. Whether the Government succeed in getting their supporters to swallow that pill remains to be seen, but it is clear that they intend to try. Here again, I hope that the Labour Party will not be associated with this effort. One of the best things that we did when we were in office was to pass the Agriculture Act, 1947, and I hope that we shall not be associated with undermining the main principles of that Act, whatever the Government may be intending to do.

    For those reasons, I was considerably troubled when I heard the way in which the debate was opened, and I hope that by the vote at the end of the debate the House, and in particular this side of the House, will warn the Lord Privy Seal and the Government that they ought not to go further along this rather dangerous path on which they obviously intend to embark.

    8.42 p.m.

    The hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Oram) devoted the greater part of his speech to the question of the European Market, and he chose as the peg on which to hang his speech the speech of my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal. I also want to refer to the opening speeches of the debate, first to the speech of the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey), because I was dismayed by his references to Portugal. I do not doubt that his opposition to the colonial régime which Portugal believes to be right is genuine and sincere. I do not doubt that there is much to be criticised in the way the situation has been handled, certainly by reference to the way in which we have handled our colonial administration, but I regret that he made no allowances.

    The hon. Member made no allowance for the possibility of incitement from outside. He did not restrain himself in any way. I wish that he would sometimes be a little more self-disciplined in his criticism of friendly countries, because, having listened to his speech, I believe that far from trying to understand and help the Portuguese in the situation in which they find themselves, he was trying to foment and exacerbate an already tragically grave situation. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] Even if he did not want to do that, his remarks will achieve nothing but that. I regret that he found it necessary to speak in the way he did.

    I am glad that my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State confirmed today that my noble Friend will go to Portugal. I hope that he will not be squeamish about fulfilling the engagements which have been planned for him, and I hope that he will make it clear to the Portuguese people and to their Government that the people of this country stand firmly behind them.

    Furthermore, I hope that he will take the opportunity of his visit to offer them what help he can both here and in the United Nations, in order to ensure that order and personal security in Angola and the other Portuguese territories can be restored.

    My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal referred to the fact that there was a double theme in both the Motion and the Amendment. There was a single theme in his speech and the speech of the hon. Member for Leeds, East, namely, a readiness to have faith in the United Nations. That view has been expressed by a number of hon. Members on both sides of the House. They say, "Back the United Nations and all will be well." It is that attitude of a too ready acceptance of the so-called powers of the United Nations that I fear most. The hon. Member for Leeds, East said that he feared the confrontation of the great Powers.

    I fear much more the delusion in which the Western Powers all too readily indulge of believing that countries and even continents can isolate themselves from the struggle that now engages us all. I fear even more than the confrontation of Powers the belief of individual nations that they can contract themselves out of the cold war situation. In my opinion, there is no room in the world for uncommitted nations.

    I am coming to Laos and the speech of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) shortly. All nations are inevitably committed in the face of international Communism. Even the so-called neutral nations will inevitably look to the countries of the West for effective military guarantees in order to preserve their very neutrality against the possibility of Communist usurpation. This is a fact, whether the guarantees are given bilaterally or through the United Nations by way of the endorsement of a resolution. In any event, it must be recognised that the United Nations can be no more effective than the main powers of the non-Communist world are prepared to allow it to be. There can be no neutrality, in the sense that there is no non-alignment. This is not just a question of alignment; it is a question of survival for each and every one of these countries. More than that, it is a question of the survival of freedom itself.

    This applies equally to the situation in Laos. It would be laughable if we now pursued the policy which we tried once before, and which failed, of establishing a neutral Government in Laos and then walking out on it and doing nothing further. What have we done since 1954 to help the situation in Laos, or to help the Americans bring about an improvement in that situation? The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne seemed to favour the re-establishment of a neutral Laos, but at the same time he condemned what he believed to be the action of the United States of America in backing the insurgents who attempted to seize power in Cuba. That is merely a parallel of what is going on in Laos. With Soviet Russia's approval and backing the Pathet Lao has tried to overthrow the established Government.

    The best guarantee of the neutrality of Laos can come only if the Western Powers—the United States and ourselves in particular—work for the reorganisation of internal unity amongst the non-Communists in that territory. I fear that the situation in Laos is already virtually lost. I hope that we can retrieve something from the wreckage. I hope that the Communist influence in that area does not spread to neighbouring territories, because that would have serious consequences for us.

    I should like to turn to the question of the Congo. I believe it astonishing that the United Nations has achieved anything at all in the Congo. But it has achieved something, and I fully accept what was said by my right hon. Friend. Although it is easy to be wise long after the event, I believe that sometimes one can learn something from past events which would be of use in confronting situations which may arise in the future. One can hope that this may be the case in respect of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne, particularly after the magnificent speech he made today in which he really electrified the debate. I know that the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) was not present and that he wants me to sit down in five minutes——

    Then the right hon. Gentleman will agree with me that it was a first-class speech.

    I hope that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne and the right hon. Member for Belper, as well as my right hon. Friend, will learn something from the situation which has arisen in the Congo and which has so tragically disturbed the country for the past year. I foresee that there may be a parallel in the situation in Angola. Could not we at this stage try to help the Portuguese in the situation in which they find themselves? Could not, for example, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany together offer specific assistance to the Portuguese people, first, to restore law and order in Angola and, secondly, through such advice and assistance as we could give, to persuade them to bring about natural changes in their colonial administration? I feel that some gesture of that kind would be better than passing resolutions at the United Nations, for far too often instead of solving problems such resolutions only manage to add to them.

    I was very disturbed by the way in which my right hon. Friend handled the question of Mr. Tshombe's seizure in Coquilhatville. I condemn as supine the way in which he tried to find excuses to back out from doing anything more about it. I strongly dissociate myself from the view which my right hon. Friend appeared to hold that now that charges have been made against Mr. Tshombe there is nothing more that the United Kingdom Government could or should do. All too often one hears remarks, particularly from hon. Members opposite—now apparently to some extent endorsed by my right hon. Friend-that Mr. Tshombe, in establishing an independent Katanga, has done an evil thing. Is it the view of my right hon. Friend that the independence of Katanga could be bought and at the expense of losing Mr. Tshombe? Has my right hon. Friend had an opportunity of seeing the proposals that Mr. Tshombe himself brought to the Coquilhatville conference?

    I have a copy of them here, and I will translate quickly from the French. In Article 41 there is a proposal that the Council of States of the Confederation should fix each year the contribution that the States should pay towards the expenses of the Confederation. That is an indication that he was prepared to join with the other Congo nations, or peoples, or tribes—call them what we will—in a Confederation of States and was prepared to assist them so they might collectively agree to the amount that they might pay for the financing of the operation of the Confederation. There is a lot more in his proposals, and I hope that they will not be lost sight of, even though apparently my right hon. Friend is prepared to lose sight of him.

    I have been mildly critical of the United Nations, although I am well aware of the fact that one's main criticism of an international body should be directed to the member Governments who make up that international body. I may perhaps be forgiven for quoting from an earlier eminent Liberal statesman—a prophet one might almost say—Ramsay Muir, who said:
    "The noblest movements are apt to outlive their usefulness, when their zeal develops into formation: an ideal creates an institution and then the institution suffocates the ideal."
    That has not yet happened in the case of the United Nations, and I hope it does not, but there is a real danger that if we do not face its shortcomings and recognise its limitations it will happen.

    There is the same danger, I fear, in the case of the forthcoming association with the European Common Market. I accept in great measure the economic arguments put forward by my right hon. Friend. I think they are forceful ones and that they will lead us inevitably into some closer form of association with the Common Market countries, but what I do not accept, and what I fear, is our membership of some of the institutions which are being set up in Europe. Unlike my hon. Friend the Member for East Grinstead (Mrs. Emmet), I believe that there is a threat of a loss of sovereignty in joining some of these institutions. What we want is not so much uniformity as unity. I believe we can get unity without uniformity.

    I have slightly trespassed on the time of the right hon. Member for Belper and I apologise to him, although, in doing so, I may somewhat churlishly point out that there is many an occasion when I have to keep my seat while he occupies the attention of the House for far longer than I have thought he originally intended to do.

    I conclude by saying that I hope my right hon. Friend will not devote all his energies and all his attention to solving this question of our association with the Common Market. I hope he will keep it in perspective, because I believe there are other and greater issues which concern us. The greatest issue is that we should put the interests of this country first and foremost. In a time of nationalisms all over the world I am unashamedly a United Kingdom nationalist. I do not think it does any harm to remind ourselves that we have special interests in this country. I hope that whatever proposals may be put forward for association in future with these institutions we shall carefully preserve the freedom of this country and preserve the identity of our people, for we are a unique race. History has benefited a very great deal from that uniqueness. I hope that nothing my right hon. Friend will do will destroy it.

    8.58 p.m.

    The hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Eden) need not describe himself as churlish. On the other hand, I am sure that the Lord Privy Seal and I will share to the extent to which the hon. Member has eaten into our time, fifty-fifty-wise.

    We have had an interesting debate, in some ways a peculiar debate. It has been a debate on a Motion put down by the Government after much to-ing and fro-ing. It was not, in fact, the first Motion put down. Ours was first, but things happened so that in the ordinary way the Government Motion took precedence. The Government Motion as it appears on the Order Paper has nothing to do with the Common Market. Nevertheless, hon. and right hon. Members opposite have spent pretty well the entire time talking about the Common Market. If the Government had wanted a debate on the Common Market they should have said so. I am sure that the House would have accommodated them.

    We on our side thought that there ought to have been a debate on foreign affairs. Apart from the Common Market, there are very many things happening across the world of great complexity and great importance. I think that one is entitled to repeat at the end of this two-day debate the objection which my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) stated at the beginning—that we should have so concentrated, as it were, on one particular matter which in many ways is not the critical matter at this moment.

    What is even more interesting, is to look at what is happening to British influence and to the British impact at this moment. The Lord Privy Seal said yesterday:
    "We can then see the danger which faces us of a decline in political influence in the world at large and in our Commonwealth."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th May, 1961; Vol. 640. c. 1389.]
    Let me remind the right hon. Gentleman that I think we are witnessing a very considerable decline in Britain's political influence, both in the world and in the Commonwealth, and I think that this is happening because nowadays we never seem to take a stand on principle. We equivocate about everything.

    If a country aspires towards leadership, as this country always has done, and, in my humble opinion, always should, it must stand for principles. We must be seen to stand for particular principles. If today we assume—and there have been a number of speeches from the other side admitting this—that Mr. Khrushchev has become a sort of "Leader of the Opposition" in the world, I am bound to say that we then find the British Prime Minister as the "Leader of the Abstentionists". If we think of Mr. Khrushchev as the Leader of the Opposition, we think of the Prime Minister occupying the third bench below the Gangway.

    Nothing has happened in recent times where we have not been the abstentionists. Whether it has been in Africa, Asia or in Europe, we have been the leaders of those who did not make up their minds, and it seems to me a very important issue that on so many critical matters arising at this moment we lead the abstentionists, somebody else leads the opposition, and America leads—but not very well—the positive voices in the world.

    Most of the debate, as was most of the right hon. Gentleman's speech, has been about the Common Market. I was very surprised to hear the speech which the right hon. Gentleman made, because at the end of it I could not see what it did otherwise than to encourage the French to stiffen their terms. If his intention was so to arrange things that we would find it rather more difficult to get in, I think he made the right sort of speech for that purpose. When I was at Strasbourg recently, I did what I could to help the Government—because I was abroad and not for any other reason. I put the thing across as well as I could, but when I come back and I hear the right hon. Gentleman, I begin to ask myself how the devil one helps a Government who are so uncertain and so unsure where they want to go.

    I have a good deal of sympathy with the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Aubrey Jones), who is not with us at the moment, and with the hon. Member for Newbury (Sir A. Hurd), who also is not with us, but both of whom have addressed us earlier. I thought that the right hon. Member for Hall Green put up a very great case, speaking as an industrialist, I gathered, picking up the threads of the right hon. Gentleman's arguments for us going into the Common Market as it now stands—that is to say, signing the Rome Treaty as it now stands. I asked him if he was arguing that we should sign it unconditionally, and though he did not quite answer "Yes" or "No" to that question, I believe that, on the whole, he meant "Yes". On the other hand, the hon. Member for Newbury, equally taking his text from the Minister, gave us so many warnings against doing so that I can see each of them making the same speech which they did make, contradictory speeches, from the same text. I have a good deal of sympathy with them. This really will not do for a Britain which wants to be other than the "Leader of the Abstentionists".

    The noble Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South (Lady Tweedsmuir) said that when Mr. Ernest Bevin was at the Dispatch Box he said that we could not accept the political and federal complications involved in the original idea of a European organisation. I understand what she means. There has been a great change in the climate of public opinion and, indeed, public understanding of what is involved since those days so long ago. What has happened since has been partly the success which the Coal and Steel Community and the E.E.C. have had in building themselves up. They have had a rather greater success than some of us thought they would have. There has been some subsequent political developments and rather greater awareness of the dangers of a divided Europe than at that stage we thought likely.

    Most important of all, there has been a much greater recognition of the economic consequences for us, particularly of a switching of investment to Europe which might otherwise take place here. There has been a recognition and appraisal that the Commonwealth and domestic agricultural problems are not as serious as ten years ago we thought they would be. There has been a recognition that the political objections which we then felt so strongly—Mr. Bevin felt them strongly, and I felt them strongly—are not as insuperable as at that stage it was thought they would be. They cannot be, otherwise France, given General de Gaulle's present outlook on the world, could not have been as keen a member of the E.E.C. as she is in fact.

    I want to make it perfectly plain that we on this side think that three things are required. What shook me about the Minister's attitude was that he did not make these first. We cannot walk out on our E.F.T.A. partners. It can be argued that, whether we were wise or unwise to set up E.F.T.A. or take part in the operation of setting it up, having done so we cannot now discuss whether we join the Common Market as though E.F.T.A. did not exist. Whatever we do now, there has to be an arrangement for those who can join with us—and such there are; for those who cannot join with us but for whom a particular arrangement can be found, and for those like Finland for whom even that does not arise. We must arrange something for each of our associates in E.F.T.A. We also have to arrange for our Commonwealth associates and friends, particularly for the food producers in the Commonwealth, for whom a large all-round tariff would be an enormous burden. We cannot let them down either.

    We must arrange something for our domestic agriculture, which, I repeat, is not quite such a burden as we once thought it would be but is still a problem and must be taken account of. Speaking for small farmers in my constituency, I express the view that they cannot be sold down the river at this stage. What shook me about the Minister's speech was that he did not start by saying to the countries of Europe, "We must arrange for these". He seemed to be saying, "Keep your terms up"—almost, "Put your terms up. You do not even have to bother". He left the others to follow.

    If it has been decided—and, on the whole, from all the leaks—and I must say that the Government leak rather more than any other organisation I know, and that is saying something—it looks as though the Government have made up their mind to go in—I do not mind them saying that that is their view, but I want them to accompany their declaration that they are willing to go in with an equally firm declaration that there are these three issues—E.F.T.A., the Commonwealth and our domestic agriculture—on which the Six have to be willing to make an adjustment to allow us to come in.

    I should have been much happier yesterday had the Lord Privy Seal made that very clear, but I am bound to tell him that he did not sound to any of us on this side as though he had made it clear at all. He made it sound as though he had virtually invited the French to build up their position and to bid up their terms, having told them in advance that all they had to do was to wait until we came in. I think that the right hon. Gentleman's speech will have done a great deal of harm, which I hope he will seek to remedy later in this debate.

    Talking of the European economic situation leads us easily to the European political and defensive situation. I thought that when the right hon. Gentleman was talking about N.A.T.O. he made a remarkable statement. He was speaking of the Oslo meeting of the N.A.T.O. countries and said that the Government's view was that N.A.T.O. was not suffering from an indefinable malaise—from which I deduced that he really meant that it was suffering from a definable malaise.

    That is exactly our view, and we would be very much happier if we could get the Government to understand what the malaise is. As the Lord Privy Seal said, this is not a military debate, a defence discussion, so I will not spend too much time on it, but the operations of the North Atlantic alliance are very much political operations.

    I suggest to the Minister that we are overdue—long overdue—a reappraisal of the military strategy that N.A.T.O. is pursuing. If I may say it to him, this is made much more urgent than ever before by the statements that are pouring out of Washington on the question of new weapons—long-range nuclear weapons—and their relationship to Europe. We hear about Polaris, about submarines, almost every other week in a different relationship all the time, as far as I can see, from the statements to Europe. We are long overdue a statement about how the nations that make up N.A.T.O., and that includes us, see these things as fitting in.

    We are also long overdue a revision of the arrangements for the effective political control, not only of the weapons but of the decisions inside the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. That, after all, affects our relationship with France and Germany. It affects very much the whole business of Europe, and we have to arrange some effective political institutions in N.A.T.O., which do not at present exist, to give effect to all this.

    Discussion about N.A.T.O. raises the question of the individual policies of the member States. It is quite true that to have a military organisation such as N.A.T.O. we do not need a monolithic policy covering all the States. On the other hand, quite clearly, what individual member States do affects their Allies. This brings us clearly to Angola which, I am bound to say, was the most remarkable omission from the Lord Privy Seal's speech yesterday.

    How one could make a speech at that time without even noting that Angola was troubling the world, is one of the things that will always pass my understanding. As I understand it, there is no dispute about the nature of the trouble there. Portugal is one of the few nations of whom it can be said that it does no worse for its colonies than it does for its own subjects. Nor is the knowledge of what is happening there anything new. It has been going on for a long time.

    We have been suffering the disgrace of our abstention in the vote in the United Nations and to that disgrace we have now added the supreme folly of sending a warship—H.M.S. "Leopard"—to Angola at a time when the trouble there was really serious. The Admiralty say "Do not blame us. The Foreign Office gave us authority to do so." This is incredible.

    Surely there was no reason for our sending a warship on its way back from Sierra Leone to Simonstown to call in on Angola unless we decided, for some special reason, that it should do so. Why was it decided, when there was tremendous colonial conflict going on between Africans and the Portuguese, that a ship that was coming home should deliberately put off her return and go to Luanda?

    That seems to be one of the most stupid and irresponsible acts I have ever seen in the fifteen years I have been in this House. There was no reason to do it unless we failed to understand—and the Lord Privy Seal must, I suppose, understand this—that when in future we go to the United Nations we will be faced with a situation in which the Afro- Asian-Arab nations constitute a majority. There is nothing we can do unless we appeal to them.

    If we understand that—and every United Nations delegate must understand it—what point was there in sending one of our warships to Luanda at a time when the Africans were fighting a first-class war with the Portuguese over their rights, and so on? Do the Government want to turn the Afro-Asian-Arab group against us? Are we to take on our shoulders the mantle of colonialism, which we have been so keen to get rid of?

    Since we have been anxious to get rid of that mantle, why do we now take on the Portuguese? People may say, "If you do not do that, what about the N.A.T.O. alliance?" We formed that alliance for the mutual benefit of us all—Portuguese as well as ourselves—and we are as free to say to Portugal, "You must measure up to the requirement and the spirit of alliance" as Portugal is free to say to us, "You must support us, or else!"

    I do not go quite as far as those who say that, politically, one should get rid of Portugal, but I am not prepared to underwrite the alliance to the point of saying that we have to suffer and stomach any colonial policy that Portugal, or other nations, choose to adopt. I do not see, however, that that matter is involved. The alliance would be a good deal stronger if we said frankly to each other than the spirit of the alliance requires certain things which Angola does not measure up to, rather than if we go on, rather half-heartedly, leading the abstentionists, which we have been doing.

    I ask the Minister again a question which the Under-Secretary of State did not answer today. Yesterday, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) drew attention not only to Angola but to the fact that we had refused a visa to Captain Galvão. The Under-Secretary earlier today answered by saying that he had been refused and that the Home Secretary never gave reasons for refusals. We do not regard that as a sufficient answer. Why did we refuse a visa for Captain Galvão to come to this country? I have here a cable from Captain Galvão saying that he had asked for the visa and had been refused. None of us see why this country, with its long history of willingness to shelter not exactly political refugees but chaps who are in political difficulty at home, should refuse a visa for Captain Galvão to visit this country. I ask the Lord Privy Seal to give us a rather better answer than we had from the Under-Secretary today.

    The right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends should bear in mind that it is a tragic circumstance that, after having to go through all the difficulties involved with South Africa, after having to make our own reappraisal of the situation and condition ourselves to the fact that South Africa had to leave the Commonwealth, we should now find ourselves virtually supporting Portugal when the only other supporter she has in the United Nations is South Africa because their policies on that continent are so similar. We reject the one and support the other.

    How can the right hon. Gentleman say that? Whatever are the merits of those policies, how can he say that South Africa's policy of apartheid is similar to the utter lack of racialism in Portuguese territories?

    Very easily. In some ways, the Portuguese are more sensible than the South Africans. They at least have arranged for 30,000 out of 4½ million to be assimilated. Having done that, they have, they think, given themselves a good argument. They have said, "If we have 30,000 assimilados, we do not have to worry; there is no apartheid". But the remainder of the 4½ million still suffer exactly the same consequences as the other chaps suffer in South Africa. [An HON. MEMBER: "Much more brutal."] I hear someone say, "Much more brutal". They both seem to me to be very brutal. We cannot stand one. All I am saying is that I cannot see why we should stand the other. They both go together.

    We believe, as we have tried to make clear in our Amendment, that the Government ought to base their foreign policy on support for and the strengthening of the United Nations. We believe that the only guarantee we can have for real peace is to replace the present anarchy of the power blocs by real world Government. We live in a divided world. The main function of the United Nations, I suppose, is to promote coexistence. We have had a good deal of discussion about what that co-existence could be.

    As my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East said yesterday, in terms of Mr. Khrushchev's idea of co-existence we have a good deal with which to disagree. One of our problems is to persuade him that his idea of co-existence is not something with which we could live; but, having said that, we have to deal with the situation which arises thereafter.

    At the moment, the immediate problem about co-existence shows itself in the Geneva test ban discussions. We are not getting very far. We can blame the Russians for not being able to get very far. That is all right. But when we have blamed them—and my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney) thinks that they will never change—we still have to find a situation and a world in which we can live. That means that we have to make some proposals ourselves and to put forward some policy which will control the West and will fit in with our own definition of co-existence.

    My own worry is that we are not dealing with this problem. I understand the frustration that Ministers feel in dealing with Russia, with the changes of mind and the way in which they make enormous changes on the very last day after one thought that one was getting everywhere, to substitute a triumvirate for one man, for example, with the power of veto. But we in the West have to adopt a posture which will fit the kind of co-existence which we are demanding. It seems to me that that means having a policy, for example, on nuclear weapons, which fits the policy which we are asking them to endorse.

    I see nothing in our present attitude towards nuclear weapons in the West which would fit peaceful co-existence and the desire for a genuine agreement even if the Russians were willing to have one. I do not see why we should go on appearing to maintain the case for every ally in the West having her own nuclear deterrent if we want to create a climate in which we can get an agreement with the Russians.

    On a famous occasion some time ago when I met Mr. Khrushchev, it became very clear that there was one thing which he and I had in common, and I understood it. [Laughter.] I understand what hon. Members have in mind. May I say that I discovered another thing which we had in common, and that was a great concern about Germany. It was very clear that Germany was very much in Mr. Khrushchev's mind. Unless I miss my guess—I have never met him since—the thought that some day Germany will be, either by her own volition or by our help, a nuclear Power fills his horizon more than anything else and terrifies him very much.

    It therefore seems to me that we ought to be putting forward a policy within the Western Alliance which would help to reassure Mr. Khrushchev against this risk. We in the Labour Party, in our documents and in our proposals, have tried to do this. One of the troubles about the Government is that they have not done this at all. We continue to claim to be an independent nuclear Power which clearly we cannot be. We keep up the pretence which encourages the French to go on and which, in due course, will encourage the Germans to go on, as Mr. Khrushchev fears. We are continuing to create a barrier to the issue of co-existence which, for him, is the central point of the argument. I should have thought that there was a great deal to be said for the Government being more forthcoming on our idea of co-existence and, in particular, of removing the point of conflict between us, and for the moment the nuclear conflict is the central one.

    We have two propositions before us. I ask my hon. and right hon. Friends to vote for our Amendment and to divide the House. Why am I doing that? Obviously, we cannot congratulate the Government, as their Motion asks us to do. It is true that on the occasion of Laos, the Government rather belatedly got it right, but it was very belatedly. It was about the only occasion on which they got it right. The fact that they cannot always be wrong is not particularly a reason for congratulating them.

    The Government were hopelessly wrong over Angola. Over Angola, they hoped to encourage the divisions and the problems rather than the other way round. On critical issues like the economic arrangements in Europe, they are incredibly muddled even now. For these reasons, I ask the House to divide against them tonight and to vote for the Amendment.

    9.31 p.m.

    For two days, we have been debating what amounts to a Motion of censure on the Government's foreign policy. I hope that hon. and right hon. Members opposite will forgive me if I say that were it not for the speech of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) and the last minute and a half of the speech of the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), nobody would have known that this was a Motion of censure on Her Majesty's Government.

    The Motion has been a broad one to allow a wide-ranging debate. I congratulate the two hon. Members who have made their maiden speeches, my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Pym) and my hon. Friend the Member for The High Peak (Mr. Walder). Both of them discussed in part Europe and in part wider issues. I congratulate them on their speeches and I should like to say how much we look forward to hearing them again.

    There has been complaint in the open-speech of the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) and the speech of the right hon. Member for Belper that, in moving the Motion, I should have devoted a large part of my speech to the question of Europe. From long experience, I know how little is said in public of what passes between the usual channels. In view, however, of what has been said from the Opposition Front Bench, I must make it plain that we for our part indicated that during this debate we wished to discuss the whole question of Europe, including the Common Market. We knew also that hon. and right hon. Friends of mine on this side of the House wished to do the same. Many hon. Members, indeed, have spoken on the subject. This bears out the fact that it is a matter of great interest and it shows how justifiable it was to devote part of this debate to it.

    I am grateful to the right hon. Member for Belper because, in the first part of his speech, he expressed for the first time a view from the Opposition Front Bench about these great matters which we discussed yesterday at the beginning of the debate. There are two points made by the right hon. Gentleman with which I should like to deal. First, he raised the serious question of the effect that a speech in the House of Commons might have on the possibility of achieving an arrangement of this kind. As I said at the beginning of the debate, in discussing these matters and trying to make plain the issues to the House and to the country, one is to a certain extent divulging the position from which one is trying to find a basis for negotiation.

    I should also like to tell the right hon. Gentleman——

    Will the right hon. Gentleman give way? This is an important matter——

    —that in what I said in the House yesterday, there was nothing which was not already fully known and appreciated by the members of the Six and of E.F.T.A. Secondly, I tried also to make plain the advantages to the Six and to Europe, as well as to E.F.T.A., of being able to achieve an arrangement of the sort that I discussed yesterday. It is not a one-way movement. It is a two-way movement, and unless it is that, we shall never succeed in getting an arrangement at all.

    The second point that the right hon. Gentleman asked concerned undertakings. He said that I appeared to have given no firm undertaking on the three matters that concern him and his right hon. Friends. If he will consult my speech yesterday, he will find all three firmly given, as they have been given on a number of occasions. First, on agriculture, I said:
    "We have, of course, given firm pledges to our farmers, and any change in the method of support we consider would have to take a full account of them."
    There cannot be a firmer statement than that.

    Secondly, on the Commonwealth, I said:
    "We have always made it plain—and I repeat it now—that we shall keep in close touch with other Commonwealth Governments, and will have full consultation with them before we decide on the course to follow."
    That is what the Commonwealth countries have asked for and that is the undertaking that we have given them.

    On E.F.T.A. I said:
    "We have always made it plain that the interests of E.F.T.A. must be safeguarded. We have kept the member countries of E.F.T.A. fully informed at all stages of the ideas that have been put forward and examined."
    I then examined the charge that we or other countries were going to "go it alone" and I said:
    "We are not prepared to abandon our E.F.T.A. partners in any way in trying to find a solution …."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th May, 1960; Vol. 640, cc. 1394–5.]
    Those are three categorical statements about our position.

    The real reason why we debated this yesterday was that we believe that there are dangers in Europe being divided into two economic groupings. We believe that the strength of Europe is vital to the strength of the free world and in the Motion that we put forward we asked for support for our efforts in this. We did not even ask to be congratulated—I assure the right hon. Member for Belper—we asked for support.

    The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne, in a very passionate and dramatic speech, said that he could not stand the expression "the free world". He discarded it as of no importance and said that it was a cold war expression which served no other purpose. That is a conception which I cannot accept. The purpose of unity between countries which have their own independence is to protect them and their friends. At the same time we remain ready, as I tried to say yesterday, to settle differences peacefully. That is our objective. No one, least of all Her Majesty's Government, underestimates the importance of uncommitted countries or non-aligned countries or whatever term one prefers, and we are doing our utmost to help them.

    My point was a little different. It was the equation of freedom with capitalism that I cannot accept as being correct.

    That is a particular doctrine about which I do not wish to argue now. All I wish to ask about the uncommitted countries is: if it were not for the organised strength of the countries of the free world exactly how long would they be able to remain uncommitted?

    I do not want to deal further with Europe except to answer briefly some of the points that have been raised. One point was put by the right hon. Member for Belper and was mentioned by certain hon. Members on the Liberal benches. It is the argument that the Government do not know where they want to go and cannot make up their minds. I have tried to explain that this is an endeavour to find a settlement between a very large number of countries and it is not a question of hesitating or not making up one's mind. It is a question of trying to ascertain what is possible; and the essence of this is what is possible in an arrangement which is immensely technical and complicated and has great political importance.

    Does anyone in the House really argue that we should offer to make an agreement blind, without being able to carry out any of the undertakings for which the right hon. Member for Belper asked and which I have given? It is a sterile argument to offer to come forward and make an agreement and then negotiate, and not the other way round. What is important is that we should have a broad outline of what is possible in an arrangement. That is what we are trying to get and I make no apology on behalf of Her Majesty's Government for adopting that procedure.

    We also had a very powerful speech from my noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke). I want to make several comments about his approach. He made his speech with great power and irony, but sometimes I felt that it was rather far off the mark in this modern world. Naturally, we helped to build up E.F.T.A. It is a very varied group. I am not certain that all the E.F.T.A. countries would like themselves to be described as non-Catholic—to use the phrase which he used. It is a group which is working well and which we should develop.

    The prime purpose of founding it, however, was to enable us to reach agreement with the other countries of Europe. That is not a narrow conception, as he tried to indicate, because the Six themselves have already taken one other country, Greece—he particularly referred to South-Eastern Europe—into association and is now working with Turkey, while E.F.T.A. has taken in Finland.

    Our object must be a wider association between the countries of Europe. We must not approach this in a narrow and dogmatic way, for that, in modern conditions, is quite wrong. Then my noble Friend said that we must leave everything aside, including the Commonwealth, and must not be tied to the United States. I endeavoured to explain yesterday that the reason why all these negotiations are taking so much time and effort is that we are trying to find a way to bring in our Commonwealth friends in a way that will be of benefit both to the Commonwealth and to Europe.

    He asked why nobody thought of asking the E.E.C. countries to join E.F.T.A. They have been asked, and they are not prepared to do so. It is not a form of organisation which they are prepared to accept. We must face practical politics; and that is not a possibility. He also asked why we should do this in the month of May. But we have been trying to do it for a long time. We have been working on this for the last nine months, and we have still a long way to go before we can get a clear idea of what is a possible arrangement.

    I should like to deal with many other points which my noble Friend raised, but I will now turn to some of the other matters referred to in the debate. Whatever the right hon. Member for Belper may say, Europe has not been the only subject discussed in the debate. I myself raised the question of Laos, the Congo, the United Nations and Berlin, and very little other mention was made of them. My hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State discussed the nuclear tests—about which, alas, comparatively little was said by other speakers—disarmament, Angola and Cuba. From the Front Bench we have dealt with all the subjects mentioned in the Amendment.

    As my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary said, Angola is a most serious situation—a grievous situation in that there is strife and people are losing their lives. We recognise that, but at the United Nations our position was made quite plain. We abstained because of Article 2 (7) of the Charter.

    The right hon. Gentleman began by saying that this Government never stand on principle. On this occasion in the United Nations we were standing on principle again—on Article 2 (7). We made our position plain, and what we thought of the situation, and we followed the course which we have always maintained on Article 2 (7). It is not comparable to our position on apartheid in South Africa, which has also been made plain.

    There were two other questions about Portugal. The first concerned the Foreign Secretary's visit. I was asked whether my noble Friend was going to attend the celebrations of Dr. Salazar's coup d'état on 28th May. I have made careful inquiries, and I find that 28th May is the 35th anniversary of the Army rising led by Marshal Carmona and General da Costa in 1926. It is not connected with Dr. Salazar, who joined the Government only in 1928 and became its leader later. I just wish to indicate that the celebrations have nothing to do with Dr. Salazar personally.

    If the hon. Member will wait for a moment, perhaps I can tell him that I have looked at the Secretary of State's programme and I find that 28th May is a Sunday, which he is spending as a day of rest before leaving for Madrid.

    The right hon. Gentleman also asked me about the visa for Captain Galvão. I have nothing to add to the reply given by my hon. Friend and I know that the right hon. Gentleman knows full well that these matters of visas are for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and that it is a long-standing practice that the Home Secretary does not give reasons for refusals of visas.

    I do not want to breach traditions, but even so this is rather surprising. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the Home Secretary consulted the Foreign Secretary before he refused this visa?

    I am sure that the Home Secretary carried out all the normal processes in dealing with these matters.

    The last point which the right hon. Gentleman raised was the question which has been introduced in order to allow this Motion of censure to be put down, and I think that on reflection the right hon. Gentleman will agree that it should be put into perspective. To say that the visit of a frigate—not the ordering of a warship to go to Luanda—as the right hon. Gentleman was trying to imply—is some great emergency measure, when the visit was arranged long ago and when the frigate was returning to Simonstown from celebrations in Sierra Leone——

    I may not have, but I had two years at the Admiralty and I know very well what political decisions underlie these friendly visits.

    If the hon. Member is doubting the veracity of his old Department, I expect that it hopes that he will never go there again.

    The situation in Luanda was quiet at the time the ship went there and remained quiet. There were no incidents. The visit gave some pleasure to the British colony there who were expecting the visit, and no harm has been done. If the right hon. Gentleman had accused the Government or Ministers of an error of judgment or misjudgment of some kind, that would have been understandable, but for the right hon. Gentleman and his friends to put down a Motion of censure on this matter is another thing.

    One point which caused considerable concern to the hon. Member for Leeds, East and the hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Mayhew) was the effect on the obligations of the Governments which had signed the treaty of a nuclear test by a country which was not a party to it. My hon. Friend gave a general answer this afternoon and I should like to give a slightly more detailed answer as it affects the draft treaty which we are hoping to negotiate at Geneva.

    Under the draft treaty, recently tabled by the United Kingdom and the United States, such a test by a country not a party to the treaty would not automatically and at once relieve the parties of their obligations. But the Western draft provides that the parties may decide what other countries must adhere if the objectives of the treaty are to be secured. Should such a country refuse to adhere, the point would eventually be reached, where—and I quote the actual provisions of the draft treaty—
    "the provisions of the Treaty are not being fulfilled".
    When this point is reached, it brings into play the right of the parties to withdraw and to be relieved of their obligations. It would also be brought into play by a failure to set up at the due time all the control posts provided for, which includes posts on the territories other than the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the U.S.S.R. I hope that this has now defined the position clearly as it exists in the draft Treaty. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is a matter of importance.

    The other theme which has been running through the speeches in the debate has been the theme of East-West relations; the importance of them, and the attempt to find an arrangement between East and West. Since I have been at the Foreign Office as a Minister, I have found, as have some other right hon. Members, that one has to deal with a remarkable diversity of problems which seem to pass across one's desk with extraordinary rapidity. Having more than eighty countries with which to deal, one is constantly switching from one problem to another, but I think that any Minister at the Foreign Office must always have at the back of his mind the question of East-West relations. What are the things which are motivating the Soviet Union, China, and the Soviet allies? What is really making them behave in the way they do? How can one get into their minds and understand what are their real ambitions and intentions?

    We have in this debate had two very clear views as to what their intentions are. The hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney) gave one view, and the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne gave another view; and, in opening the debate, the hon. Member for Leeds, East and, in winding up, the right hon. Member for Belper contributed greatly.

    In looking at this problem as one can do only briefly when winding up, one sees the position in which Mr. Khrushchev, as the head of one of the two great Powers in the world, has abounding confidence, and one understands what lies at the back of that. One sees great material wealth, great scientific knowledge and practical achievements. At the same time, one has to try to recognise the ideological background of Mr. Khrushchev and his colleagues, and the doctrinal differences now emerging within the Soviets and their allies and the pressures which this creates, together with the economic and political pressures which are going on.

    The right hon. Gentleman mentioned, too, the very deep feelings which exist in the minds of the Soviet leaders about certain problems. We may not think them right. We may think that there are ways in which they ought to be reassured about Central Europe. At the same time one has to assume a certain amount of natural exuberance and extravagant language when they are mischief-making about the world.

    It seems to be a formidable task to try to penetrate what is really activating and motivating the Soviet leaders, and the hon. Gentleman pointed to two quotations from speeches. He quoted Mr. Khrushchev's speech in Moscow on 6th January, when he said:
    "Peaceful co-existence is a form of intense economic, political and ideological struggle of the proletariat against the aggressive forces of imperialism in the international arena."
    He went on to say:
    "We recognise wars of liberation as sacred. Communists support such wars fully and without reservation."
    The hon. Member for Hammersmith, North had a clear view of what this meant; that there could in fact be no sort of accommodation at all. I felt that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne was at times rather under-estimating the importance of that attitude of Mr. Khrushchev.

    The hon. Member for Leeds, East said that there is a policy of duality in his co-existence and in his belief in co-existence, and I believe it to be profoundly true that that is the policy of Mr. Khrushchev, that he accepts that nuclear war is no longer inevitable. Yet, if one may think of that as a top level of policy, underneath is a lower level of policy in which he believes that peaceful co-existence is an intense form of struggle of all kinds in all places wherever it can be carried on, and thus, with the pressure from China and some of the other satellites, he is forced to give an aggressive interpretation and to use aggressive language in his dealing with it.

    What did the hon. Member suggest? He said that we must tell Mr. Khrushchev that he cannot carry on this duality of policy. It is true that it makes the carrying out of policy, not only in our own country but in the other democratic countries, immensely difficult. At the same time, so long as Khrushchev is under pressure from inside the Soviet alliance he has less freedom to manoeuvre in carrying on this double policy, so we must face the fact that for a long time to come we will see this duality, and we must make up our minds that we have to live with it. In living with it we must face a challenge. We must find how we can live with it in such a way that we can maintain the independence of countries, particularly the newly-emerging countries, and allow them to retain their freedom and carry on their own way of life. That should be our purpose in carrying out our foreign policy—to be absolutely firm in showing Mr. Khrushchev and his Soviet allies exactly what our position is in all countries, particularly those bordering the Soviet boundaries, where there must be no mistake; and in showing other countries, including those which have just become independent on the rather heady brew of nationalism, that we want them to keep their independence and to play their part in the United Nations, and that we will help them to do so.

    We can help them in other ways than the Soviets. We can help them with trade, in which we have no ulterior motive—trade for its own sake. We can help these countries and help in the struggle for peaceful co-existence. Soviet trade all too often has political implications, but we can help them with aid, which we are doing, to a large extent, without strings. Over the last six years—and this is a figure which the House ought always to remember—the United Kingdom has extended four times as much aid to under-developed countries as has the Soviet Union. This is something of which we can well be proud.

    All too often the West is accused of acting too late in this matter; of always letting the victory go to the other side, and never thinking ahead in order to see where the next challenge will come. Perhaps that has been true at times. It has been true for very good and natural reasons, one of which is that it is much more difficult for democracies and independent countries to organise themselves to deal with this situation and, as the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North said, to take advantage by making a publicity point of everything that happens. These are natural difficulties, but in looking ahead we must realise that there is one particular danger point today, namely, that the Soviet Union, with its friends, is likely to devote more and more of its attention to South America. It is to that part of the world that the United States devotes over 600 million dollars of aid, and help within Europe is now being organised, with which we, in a small and modest way, may be able to help. There is great work to do in helping these countries in order to win the challenge which comes from co-existence.

    There is a great measure of agreement between the two sides of the House. We are agreed about the peaceful settlement of disputes; we are agreed about maintaining the independence of our countries, and we are agreed about aid for the uncommitted countries. I am sorry that the right hon. Member and his hon. Friends, in this debate, and with this agreement, should have introduced the question of the visit of Her Majesty's Ship "Leopard" to Luanda, but since they have done so I must ask my hon. Friends to support our Motion and to vote against the Amendment moved by the Opposition.

    Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—

    Division No. 175.]


    [10.0 p.m.

    Agnew, Sir PeterGammans, LadyMcLean, Neil (Inverness)
    Allason, JamesGardner, EdwardMacIeod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
    Amery, Rt. Hon. Julian (Preston, N.)Gibson-Watt, DavidMacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)
    Arbuthnot, JohnGlyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)McMaster, Stanley R.
    Ashton, Sir HubertGlyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)
    Barber, AnthonyGodber, J. B.Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
    Barter, JohnGoodhart, PhilipMacpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
    Batsford, BrianGoodhew, VictorMaddan, Martin
    Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Gough, FrederickMaginnis, John E.
    Bell, RonaldGower, RaymondMaitland, Sir John
    Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)Grant, Rt. Hon. WilliamManningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
    Berkeley, HumphryGrant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R.Marlowe, Anthony
    Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)Green, AlanMarshall, Douglas
    Bingham, R. M.Gresham Cooke, R.Mathew, Robert (Honiton)
    Birch, Rt. Hon. NigelGrimston, Sir RobertMatthews, Gordon (Meriden)
    Bishop, F. P.Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. C.Mawby, Ray
    Black, Sir CyrilGurden, HaroldMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
    Bossom, CliveHall, John (Wycombe)Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
    Box, DonaldHamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Montgomery, Fergus
    Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. JohnHare, Rt. Hon. JohnMore, Jasper (Ludlow)
    Boyle, Sir EdwardHarris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)Morgan, William
    Braine, BernardHarris, Reader (Heston)Nicholls, Sir Harmar
    Brewis, JohnHarrison, Brian (Maldon)Nicholson, Sir Godfrey
    Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterHarvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)Noble, Michael
    Brooman-White, R.Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Nugent, Sir Richard
    Browne, Percy (Torrington)Harvie Anderson, MissOakshott, Sir Hendrie
    Buck, AntonyHastings, StephenOrr-Ewing, C. Ian
    Bullard, DenysHay, JohnOsborn, John (Hallam)
    Burden, F. A.Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir LionelPage, John (Harrow, West)
    Butcher, Sir HerbertHeath, Rt. Hon. EdwardPage, Graham (Crosby)
    Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)Henderson, John (Cathcart)Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
    Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)Henderson-Stewart, Sir JamesPartridge, E.
    Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Hendry, ForbesPearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
    Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Hiley, JosephPeel, John
    Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Percival, Ian
    Cary, Sir RobertHirst, GeoffreyPeyton, John
    Channon, H. P. G.Hobson, JohnPickthorn, Sir Kenneth
    Chataway, ChristopherHocking, Philip N.Pilkington, Sir Richard
    Chichester-Clark, R.Holland, PhilipPitman, I. J.
    Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Hollingworth, JohnPitt, Miss Edith
    Cleaver, LeonardHornby, R. P.Pott, Percivall
    Cole, NormanHornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. PatriciaPrice, David (Eastleigh)
    Collard, RichardHoward, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives)Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
    Cooper-Key, Sir NeillHoward, John (Southampton, Test)Prior, J. M. L.
    Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral JohnPrior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
    Cordle, JohnHughes-Young, MichaelProudfoot, Wilfred
    Corfield, F. V.Hulbert, Sir NormanPym, Francis
    Costain, A. P.Hutchison, Michael ClarkQuennell, Miss J. M.
    Craddock, Sir BeresfordIremonger, T. L.Ramsden, James
    Critchley, JulianIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Rawlinson, Peter
    Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Jackson, JohnRedmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
    Crowder, F. P.James, DavidRees, Hugh
    Cunningham, KnoxJennings, J. C.Rees-Davies, W. R.
    Curran, CharlesJohnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Renton, David
    Currie, G. B. H.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
    Dalkeith, Earl ofJohnson Smith, GeoffreyRidsdale, Julian
    Dance, JamesJones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)Rippon, Geoffrey
    d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryJoseph, Sir KeithRoberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
    Deedes, W. F.Kerans, Cdr. J. S.Robson Brown, Sir William
    de Ferranti, BasilKerr, Sir HamiltonRodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
    Digby, Simon WingfieldKershaw, AnthonyRopner, Col. Sir Leonard
    Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.Kirk, PeterRoyle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)
    Doughty, CharlesKitson, TimothyRussell, Ronald
    du Cann, EdwardLagden, GodfreySandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan
    Duncan, Sir JamesLangford-Holt, J.Scott-Hopkins, James
    Duthie, Sir WilliamLegge-Bourke, Sir HarrySeymour, Leslie
    Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Sharpies, Richard
    Elliott, R. W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)Linstead, Sir HughShaw, M.
    Emery, PeterLitchfield, Capt. JohnShepherd, William
    Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynLloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn
    Errington, Sir EricLongden, GilbertSkeet, T. H. H.
    Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.Low, Rt. Hon. Sir TobySmith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)
    Farr, JohnLucas, Sir JocelynSmithers, Peter
    Fell, AnthonyLucas-Tooth, Sir HughSmyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
    Fisher, NigelMcAdden, StephenSoames, Rt. Hon. Christopher
    Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesMacArthur, IanSpearman, Sir Alexander
    Foster, JohnMcLaren, MartinSpeir, Rupert
    Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs.)Stanley, Hon. Richard

    The House divided: Ayes 277, Noes 201.

    Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)Thornton-Kemsley, Sir ColinWatts, James
    Stodart, J. A.Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)Webster, David
    Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir MalcolmTilney, John (Wavertree)Whitelaw, William
    Storey, Sir SamuelTurner, ColinWilliams, Dudley (Exeter)
    Studholme, Sir HenryTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
    Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)Tweedsmuir, LadyWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
    Sumner, Donald (Orpington)van Straubenzee, W. R.Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard
    Talbot, John E.Vane, W. M. F.Woodhouse, C. M.
    Tapsell, PeterVaugham-Morgan, Sir JohnWoodnutt, Mark
    Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)Vickers, Miss JoanWorsley, Marcus
    Teeling, WilliamVosper, Rt. Hon. DennisYates, William (The Wrekin)
    Temple, John M.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
    Thatcher, Mrs. MargaretWalder, DavidTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
    Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)Walker, PeterColonel J. H. Harrison and
    Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir DerekMr. Finlay.
    Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. PeterWatkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold


    Abse, LeoHart, Mrs. JudithOswald, Thomas
    Ainaley, WilliamHealey, DenisOwen, Will
    Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)Padley, W. E.
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Herbison, Miss MargaretPaget, R. T.
    Awbery, StanHewitson, Capt. M.Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
    Bacon, Miss AliceHill, J. (Midlothian)Pargiter, G. A.
    Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)Hilton, A. V.Parker, John
    Bence, Cyril (Dunbartonshire, E.)Holman, PercyParkin, B. T.
    Benson, Sir GeorgeHolt, ArthurPavitt, Laurence
    Boardman, H.Houghton, DouglasPearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
    Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics. S. W.)Howell, CharlesA. (B'ham, Perry Br.)Peart, Frederick
    Bowles, FrankHowell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)Pentland, Norman
    Boyden, JamesHughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Popplewell, Ernest
    Brockway, A. FennerHughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Prentice, R. E.
    Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
    Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Hunter, A. E.Probert, Arthur
    Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Proctor, W. T.
    Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
    Callaghan, JamesJanner, Sir BarnettRankin, John
    Chapman, DonaldJay, Rt. Hon. DouglasRedhead, E. C.
    Cliffe, MichaelJeger, GeorgeReid, William
    Collick, PercyJenkins, Roy (Stechford)Reynolds, G. W.
    Corbet, Mrs. FredaJones, Dan (Burnley)Robertson, John (Paisley)
    Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Ross, William
    Crosland, AnthonyJones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
    Cullen, Mrs. AliceJones, T. W. (Merioneth)Short, Edward
    Darling, GeorgeKenyon, CliffordSilverman, Sydney (Nelson)
    Davies, Harold (Leek)Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Skeffington, Arthur
    Davies, Ifor (Gower)King, Dr. HoraceSlater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
    Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Lawson, GeorgeSlater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
    Deer, GeorgeLedger, Ron.Small, William
    Delargy, HughLee, Frederick (Newton)Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
    Dempsey, JamesLever, Harold (Cheetham)Snow, Julian
    Diamond, JohnLever, L. M. (Ardwick)Sorensen, R. W.
    Dodds, NormanLipton, MarcusSoskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
    Donnelly, DesmondLoughlin, CharlesSpriggs, Leslie
    Driberg, TomMabon, Dr. J. DicksonSteele, Thomas
    Dugdale, Rt. Hon. JohnMcCann, JohnStewart, Michael (Fulham)
    Ede, Rt. Hon. C.MacColl, JamesStonehouse, John
    Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)McInnes, JamesStones, William
    Edwards, Robert (Bilston)McKay, John (Wallsend)Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
    Edwards, Walter (Stepney)Mackie, JohnStrauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)
    Evans, AlbertMcLeavy, FrankStross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
    Fernyhough, E.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Swain, Thomas
    Finch, HaroldMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
    Fletcher, EricManuel, A. C.Swingler, Stephen
    Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)Mapp, CharlesSymonds, J. B.
    Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
    Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Marsh, RichardThomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
    Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. HughMason, RoyThompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)
    Galpern, Sir MyerMayhew, ChristopherThomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
    George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)Mellish, R. J.Thorpe, Jeremy
    Ginsburg, DavidMendelson, J. J.Timmons, John
    Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Millan, BruceTomney, Frank
    Gourlay, HarryMilne, Edward J.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
    Greenwood, AnthonyMitchison, G. R.Wainwright, Edwin
    Grey, CharlesMonslow, WalterWarbey, William
    Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Moody, A. S.Watkins, Tudor
    Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llaneily)Mort, D. L.Weitzman, David
    Griffiths, W. (Exchange)Moyle, ArthurWhite, Mrs. Elrene
    Grimond, J.Neal, HaroldWhitlock, William
    Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)Wigg, George
    Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
    Hamilton, William (West Fife)Oliver, G. H.Wilkins, W. A.
    Hannan, WilliamOram, A. E.Willey, Frederick

    Williams, D. J. (Neath)Woof, RobertTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
    Williams, W, R. (Openshaw)Wyatt, WoodrowMr. John Taylor and
    Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)Yates, Victor (Ladywood)Mr. G. H. R. Rogers.
    Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)Zilliacus, K.

    Main Question put and agreed to.


    That this House supports the efforts of Her Majesty's Government to strengthen the unity of the free world and thus to create, in co-operation with the Commonwealth and with their allies, greater opportunities for the improvement of relations between East and West and for the promotion of conditions of peace and order throughout the world in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

    Business Of The House

    Proceedings on the Motion relating to Parliamentary Expenses exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House).—[ Mr. R. A. Butler.]

    Parliamentary Expenses


    That, in the opinion of this House, provision should be made—
  • (a) for the payment to Members of this House of allowances not exceeding the fare by rail in respect of the cost of travel by road upon any journey upon which, under the Resolution of this House of 15th November, 1945, facilities would be available for travel by any public railway, sea or air service;
  • (b) for enabling Members of the House of Lords to recover out of the sums voted for the expenses of that House the cost of fares incurred by them in attending that House for the purposes of their parliamentary duties, being fares in respect of travel by any public railway, sea or air service (including travel between airport and air station in the coaches provided for persons using any such air service), and allowances not exceeding the fare by rail in respect of the cost of travel by road incurred by them as aforesaid.—[Sir E. Boyle.]
  • Sunday Cinematograph Entertainments

    Order made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, extending Section 1 of the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, to the Urban District of Wins-ford, [copy laid before the House, 8th May], approved.—[ Mr. Vosper.]

    Order made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, extending Section 1 of the Sunday Entertainments Act, 1932, to the Urban District of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, [copy laid before the House, 8th May], approved.—[ Mr. Vosper].

    Highgrove House, Ruislip

    Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[ Mr. Chichester-Clark.]

    10.13 p.m.

    I beg to draw attention tonight to a house called Highgrove House, situated in Ruislip in my constituency, which is a rest centre for homeless families. This house, which would appear to be of Victorian origin, is a shell and consists of 20 rooms. It is used for the purpose of accommodating homeless families, and as such has been under the control of the hitherto Socialist-controlled Middlesex County Council.

    Could the hon. Gentleman tell us who actually purchased Highgrove House and took it over? Was it the Socialist-controlled council?

    No, it was not, but let me say that, having visited that house and having regard to the Socialist-controlled council having seen the conditions there, nothing could be more descriptive of typical Socialist incompetence, and, in regard to this particular property, sheer callousness.

    It is rather a pity that the hon. Gentleman did not look at it before the Socialist-controlled council took it over.

    If the hon. Gentleman wants to interrupt, either in an Adjournment debate or any other debate, he has only to rise to his feet. The fact of the matter was that responsibility lay on that council, and that it has fallen down on that responsibility in a most disgraceful manner, which I hope to describe to the House.

    As I was saying before I was interrupted, there are 20 rooms in the house, and at the time the Socialists were in control of the council there were as many as 19 of 20 dispossessed families there, with about 40 adults, male and female, together with about 90 children. On 29th April, I visted the house with Councillor Leslie Freeman. I was horrified and distressed beyond measure by what I found and saw. In one room a man and his wife were living with no less than nine children. I repeat that they were living in one room.

    I remember going into another room in which a young couple had arrived the previous day. The room was only 12 or 13 ft. by 14 ft. It housed a man and his wife and four children. I do not blame the council for this, but the conditions were not helped by that family, because it was a warmish day and the windows were shut tight and there was a fire roaring to the ceiling. The stench and the dirty clothing and washing were out of this century. Having visited the house or hostel which was under the surveillance and responsibility of a competent local authority, I can honestly say without in any way exaggerating that the conditions which I found there were in the tune of Dickens and a modern concentration camp. I felt bitterly ashamed.

    On a point of order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but this is an Adjournment debate and the time is limited. I do not know if the hon. Member intends to give time for my hon. Friend the Member for Southall (Mr. Pargiter) to say anything. So far we have simply listened to a political polemic against a local authority. As I understand it, the point of an Adjournment debate is to bring out the Minister's responsibility. It looks as if there is no responsibility on the Minister if the supervision is with the Middlesex County Council.

    An Adjournment debate rests on the question of Ministerial responsibility.

    I knew that I should be interrupted on this, because naturally those responsible who sit opposite have sensitivity of feeling which in the short time available——

    I am not responsible in any way. I do not live in Middlesex and I have nothing to do with the Middlesex County Council. If the hon. Gentleman would come off his party politics for a while and get down to the administrative problems of the area, we could get on with the discussion. He is simply abusing the Adjournment to make political polemic points.

    Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary can advise me if there is any Ministerial responsibility.

    The responsibility for the welfare of the homeless in this House rests under the National Assistance Act with my Department operating through the local authority.

    I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I thought it right to draw this matter to her attention, because in the main in principle this was a matter for the local authority. I was asked some time ago to visit the house, because there was naturally an outcry in my constituency that such conditions should be allowed to exist in an otherwise well-run and thoroughly highly organised area or district. I was hoping that those responsible at the time would have taken action in the matter. It is only right to say that some action—I need hardly say precious little—has been taken.

    The position has improved to this extent. After the outcry, and the tremendous public indignation which was felt about this hostel, which is called "Heartbreak House"—and rightly, I say, having seen it—the county council at long last saw fit to install a full-time warden in the person of Mr. Gardner, whom I saw and to whom I wish to pay tribute because, under the most difficult conditions, that man is obviously doing his very best, and has introduced some measure of order——

    I think a matter of about two months, or it may be three, but I will not be pinned down——

    There must be an inaccuracy in this. There has been a full-time warden for years.

    There is not—I can say that with absolute certainty. That is one of the main charges I lay against the authority concerned. There has not always been a full-time warden, and that was one of the main measures that were taken——

    Order. This is not the time to lay charges against the local authority concerned. It is a question of Ministerial responsibility.

    I am much obliged, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. Hon. Members opposite may feel indignant about what I say, but let me tell them that if they had been there with me on 29th April their feelings of indignation at what I saw would have been exactly the same. Let there be no mistake about it, I fully realise the tremendous difficulties which the local authority has to face with this type of displaced family, but if hon. Members opposite had seen those conditions I think that they would have said, "These are dreadful conditions; conditions that should never be allowed in England in the year 1961, but never in any circumstances under the auspices and cloak of authority of a body so well known and, indeed, respected as the Middlesex County Council".

    It is the most pathetic thing I have seen for a very long time, and the time has come for someone in authority to decide—and eventually that supreme authority must rest with the Government—that this house of 20 rooms only is not suitable for this type of reception of this type of family.

    At the time when there was no warden there—and I do not withdraw that in any way, because I am absolutely sure of my point, and I am sure that the hon. Member will accept that conditions were quite appalling—children contracted dysentery because the passages were being used as lavatories, and nothing else. Indeed, on the day that I was there at least one window was broken, and when I pointed it out to the warden, he said, "Oh, there is nothing in that. That sort of thing happens literally every day". I must say that not a single family in Highgrove—or "Heartbreak House", as it is rightly and properly known—comes from my constituency. They all come from other areas, and in my view they really are in great need of help.

    I have no doubt whatever that the county council as at present constituted has begun to take steps in the matter, and it is only fair to say that once there was an outcry, as there was in the local Press—and, indeed, in the national Press—the Socialist county council did go so far as to reduce the number of families from 20 to 15, and to appoint a warden. I have seen the new conditions that have resulted and, having seen them for myself, I say again that they are totally inadequate.

    This particular building should be put to another purpose. I fully understand the difficulty the county council has and I am sure that the present county council—and I do not wish to make a political speech, although I have been accused of doing so—

    I know that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mr. Dempsey) will agree that every now and then one comes across a disgraceful scandal of this nature. One can raise it locally, in the county council and in the local Press, but the time eventually comes when the Minister must take cognisance of what is going on, and that, with respect, is what I ask her to do tonight.

    10.26 p.m.

    Highgrove House is part of the temporary accommodation provided by Middlesex County Council under Section 21 (1, b) of the National Assistance Act, of 1948, which requires local authorities to provide temporary accommodation for persons who are in urgent need of it, in circumstances which cannot reasonably have been foreseen or in other circumstances, at the authority's discretion.

    The provision was primarily intended to meet emergencies due to floods, fire and similar disasters, but it has, in practice, been used mainly for families which have become homeless due to eviction for non-payment of rent, or for other reasons, and inability to find fresh accommodation. Homeless families are a major problem of the Middlesex County Council, particularly where, as in the case of most of the families in Highgrove House, they have little claim on any housing authority for rehousing at the present time.

    I know, and I am aware that the council know, that conditions in Highgrove House are unsatisfactory, as my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip, Northwood (Mr. Crowder) has described. In fairness to the council which, as I have explained, has responsibility in this matter, we should bear in mind the difficulties which have been embarrassing them.

    Firstly, in general the families who have to be provided with temporary accommodation in Highgrove House are, by their nature, very difficult and offer one of the toughest social problems in the local authority welfare service. There are, of course, exceptions and my hon. Friend knows of one case that was quoted at some length in the Press—and that family has shown what can be done to improve the home's surroundings for their children.

    Secondly, the council has had difficulty in staffing Highgrove House, and for one recent period there was no resident warden for the accommodation. The previous warden and his wife resigned and the position was vacant from 1st January this year until 23rd February, and I think that the fact that they were without a resident warden contributed to the conditions which my hon. Friend saw when he made his visit because, without proper supervision, it is obvious that conditions in a home of this type will rapidly deteriorate.

    Thirdly, the council has been working out a scheme to improve substantially the existing conditions. It will provide for additional toilet facilities, adequate hot water supply, communal kitchens on each floor, a medical inspection room, new floor coverings, fuel bunkers, and so on.

    My hon. Friend will be glad to know—this is news I have for him—that we have received the council's application for loan sanction this week to do the improvements. We are studying the application at the Ministry, and I can promise that there will be no delay on our part to speed the scheme through. In passing, I should say also that my Department's officers visited the hostel in February and they have been in touch with the local authority's officers about the improvements needed. The numbers of families accommodated at the hostel have been reduced already in preparation for the work of improvement.

    The council has been reluctant to embark on any wholesale redecoration of the premises until the major scheme of repairs and improvements could be completed. It has, however, continued to spend money each year on essential repairs and decorations.

    The problem of dealing with homeless and difficult families is acute in the Greater London area. The county council is, therefore, compelled to use all the available temporary accommodation it possesses. This hostel was the first to be opened by Middlesex County Council. There has been increasing pressure to close it, but, while the problem remains with it, the council cannot take that step. In brief, therefore, the position is that the council cannot avoid using Highgrove House for the present. It is aware of the deficiencies and it has prepared a substantial scheme of improvements.

    Criticism of the council, which my hon. Friend has voiced tonight and which I have read in the newspapers, can be only on the score of the timing of the improvements. The council knew the need; the question is whether the improvements could or should have been carried out at an earlier stage, bearing in mind the other urgent calls on the council's resources. I am sure that the council will consider carefully what my hon. Friend has had to say when it considers in its turn how it might accelerate the proposed improvements. As I have said already, we in the Ministry will do all we can to help.

    It would be unfair to the council to focus attention solely on conditions at Highgrove House without referring to the arrangements made generally by the county council for the care of homeless families. In the county as a whole, the council has provided seven hostels for families including the father and three for women and children. Included in this total are two new homes recently added. About 136 families are accomodated. The acquisition of a further property has been approved for use as a rehabilitation centre where the council intends to give intensive rehabilitation to selected families. An experienced social worker has recently been appointed to help with the rehabilitation of difficult families.

    I am encouraged, and I am sure my hon. Friend will be encouraged also, to learn that progress is being made also, in co-operation between the housing, health, welfare, children's and other services, not only to deal with families who are homeless, but also to prevent the deterioration of families in council houses and to forestall their eviction. I cannot stress too firmly the value of this preventive work and the hope that it offers for the future in dealing with these social problems as early as possible, before the final desperate stage is reached when families are evicted and have to be put into temporary accommodation.

    On the broader front, therefore, the council's record is encouraging. The aim is to keep these families together and to sustain them, first, in the interests of the children; second, to try to ensure by preventive and educational work that the children of these families are helped to become good parents themselves in later life; third, to forestall the development of a great number of social problems, including delinquency, which can have their origin in this kind of family background; fourth, to prevent families having to be taken into temporary accommodation and/or the children into care.

    I know from experience as a member of a local authority that taking a child into care, as has happened with some of the children of the families in this hostel, is the least satisfactory solution and the most costly to public funds. Again, therefore, I wholeheartedly encourage the preventive work which the council is undertaking. The council is making progress along those lines.

    It cannot happen quickly because of the complex nature of the problem, the housing difficulties in the area and the urgent needs of other people on the housing lists, which must not be overlooked. It would be wrong, as all hon. Members would agree, to give priority to the families in this temporary accommodation at the expense of other people who have patiently been waiting their turn on the housing lists.

    It is a challenging problem requiring infinite patience and deep understanding, but it is an important one and I am sure that the council will continue to do all it can through the coordination of the available services to develop the provision for the rehabilitation of these families and to prevent their deterioration.

    There can be no doubt about the efforts which the council is making generally to cope with the problem of homeless families, in spite of the difficulties involved. My Ministry will do all it can through its regional officers to help and encourage this further. It may be that in concentrating on development of services elsewhere, with a view to reducing the numbers of families in Highgrove so that upgrading could be undertaken, the improvements at Highgrove House have been delayed longer than would have been hoped The improvement plans have now been prepared and submitted, as I have already announced in the House, and I believe that my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip-Northwood will be able to see these improvements implemented in the near future

    10.37 p.m.

    I am grateful to the Parliamentary Secretary for the vindication she has given of this "wicked" Socialist council to which the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Crowder) referred. His speech was completely out of context. It was a diatribe which was quite unjustified by the facts, and I hope that he will recognise——

    . The hon. Member did not even know the facts. He told me that the place was never without a warden. My hon. Friend and I have told him that it was

    I did not say that the place was never without a warden for short periods. It had always been the policy of the county council to have a whole-time warden at Highgrove House. The hon. Member failed to refer to the fact that there had always been a full-time warden except for a period when we were unable to get one because one had left.

    This is a deliberate misuse of the facts. I am glad that the Minister has said what she has. It has always been a matter of great concern to the Socialist county council at least, because the innovations to which the hon. Lady has referred, including the adaptations and also the work which is to be done at Highgrove House, have not suddenly occurred in the last three weeks. All this is part of the planning done by the previous council. I am not arguing that had it been Tory-controlled, the council would not have done it. The answer is that the building was acquired during the time of a Tory county council and not during the time of a Socialist county council. During the period of the Socialist council, the number of families who were there previously was reduced.

    I know the difficulties that have faced the council throughout. I would not have mentioned this in a party spirit had it not been for the unwarranted attack which has been made, which even my Conservative friends will agree was entirely unwarranted. We are doing our best. We shall continue to do all we possibly can. The policy that we have established will continue to be pursued, particularly with regard to rehabilitation, the rehabilitation unit and the rehabilitation workers. It was not, perhaps, enthusiastically received at the time, but we managed to ensure that the unit should be working so that we might do something for these unfortunate families.

    On the rehabilitation side, we are worried most about getting these people back into houses. It has been the policy to co-operate as far as possible with the local councils. We have cajoled and persuaded them until most of them have agreed that they will let us have one house a year for the housing of these families. In many cases, we are still left with many homeless families who are supposed to be in need of temporary accommodation and who have been with us for many years, and in some cases it looks as if they will be with us for very many years yet.

    I wish to say "Thank you" to the Minister. She has set out the case very fairly indeed. She understands the problem, and she has seen to it that, at last, a fair reply has been given to some rather unwarranted accusations.

    Question put and agreed to.

    Adjourned accordingly at twenty minutes to Eleven o'clock.