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Ussr (Talks)

Volume 721: debated on Monday 22 November 1965

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on his talks with Russian leaders.

I have had detailed discussions with Mr. Gromyko on a wide range of international and bilateral questions on a number of occasions during 1965, and I look forward to continuing our discussions in Moscow next week. I hope also to see some of the other Soviet leaders then. I expect to give the House an account of my talks when I return.

Will the Foreign Secretary, while in Moscow, make a point of exploring the Russian suggestion for a meeting to be held in Tashkent on the subject of Kashmir? Will he also attempt to discover whether the time has come when the Soviet Union might be willing to join with the United States and the United Kingdom in ensuring the security of the Himalayas against Chinese aggression?

I take note of what the hon. Gentleman says, and I have no doubt that the Russians, like ourselves, will want to discuss most of the major international problems. But we do not wish to have a formal and fixed agenda and I would rather not now anticipate the course of the discussions.

Would my right hon. Friend, in continuing the discussions he had in New York with Mr. Gromyko and which led to this meeting in Moscow, take note of the grave concern in many capitals that there might be further escalation of the war in Vietnam, particularly the dangerous statements which have been made that Hanoi and Haiphong should now come under bombing operations and bombing attack? Would he, therefore, take this opportunity to strengthen all those who are now in favour of a negotiated peace and a ceasefire?

While he is in Moscow does the right hon. Gentleman intend to discuss the question of a non-proliferation treaty? If so, will he be making the same point in Moscow that he made at the Press conference in New York in relation to the Government's present position vis-à-vis the A.N.F.?

I think I must give the right hon. Gentleman the same answer as I gave to his hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths), that we expect to cover all the major international problems, but I do not want to anticipate the course of the discussions now.