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Committees Of Experts

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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12.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Gov- ernment will put forward written proposals for the creation of a United Nations committee of experts to prepare a detailed plan of disarmament and inspection.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has already proposed to the United Nations the appointment of a series of Committees of Experts to discuss the necessary verification procedures and I do not see why this system should not later be extended to other matters. But we must first resolve the fundamental disagreements on how to reconcile disarmament with national security. These can only be tackled at the political level and in multilateral negotiations, and it is for the resumption of such negotiations that we and the United States Government are working hard at present.

Are the Government proposing to put forward any suggestions for a concrete plan of action to be discussed by the committees or the political representatives when they meet?

I think that the best way to proceed in this is for the present discussions between the Americans and the Russians to be carried on, and this matter will then come before the United Nations at the next meeting of the General Assembly. We are perfectly willing to put forward proposals if we can see a way of making progress, but I think that we should see how the present discussions work out.

But are we preparing a plan ourselves, so that we leave the realm of general phrases and get down to work?

We have been in close discussion with the Americans on this matter and I think that it is better that we should work together on this. I think that any fresh individual plan will not really help things forward, particularly at this moment.

33.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to the Governments of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics concerning the recommencement of negotiations for general and complete disarmament.

We have made no formal representations to either Government. But we have been and continue to be in constant touch with the United States Government on this matter. Nor is there any reason to think that the Soviet Government are not fully aware of our attitude.