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Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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asked the Lord Privy Seal what reply he proposes making to the Soviet proposal that West Berlin should become a demilitarised free city with its neutrality guaranteed by British, Russian, United States and French troops.

Her Majesty's Government have received no proposals from the Soviet Government.

Is the right hon. Gentleman then not aware that on 15th June of this year Mr. Khrushchev agreed that he was in favour of a free city of West Berlin? Is the right hon. Gentleman also not aware that his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said from that Box that he, too, is in favour of the freedom of West Berlin? Could the Lord Privy Seal tell me how these freedoms are going to be advanced if we arm West Germany with nuclear weapons?

These are two unrelated questions. The hon. Gentleman has often had the answer about the arming of Germany, within the N.A.T.O. framework, with the nuclear warheads under American control. As far as the first part of the Question is concerned, that is surely a question of how one is to protect that freedom.


asked the Lord Privy Seal why he cannot give an undertaking that Her Majesty's Government will never again agree to the bombing of Berlin.

A unilateral undertaking by Her Majesty's Government would not serve any useful purpose.

If the Government are so concerned about the future of Berlin, why cannot the right hon. Gentleman give a definite assurance to the 3 million people in West Berlin that we will not bomb them?

The 2½ million people of West Berlin have their anxieties. They know who is responsible for heighten- ing tension over Berlin. It is not the Western Powers.

In that case, will the Government approach Mr. Khrushchev to see whether they can get a joint declaration that Berlin will not be bombed, in the same way as Paris and Rome were not bombed in the last war?

Such a joint declaration is not necessary if Mr. Khrushchev does not make a crisis over Berlin.