HC Deb 01 April 1941 vol 370 cc858-9
49. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of publishing, as a White Paper, the speech on war and peace aims, made at New York recently by His Majesty's Ambassador to the United States of America?

The Prime Minister

Lord Lothian's last speech was published as a White Paper, and I propose to follow that precedent in this case. However, this must not be taken to indicate a general practice.

Mr. Mander

May I ask whether, in making this most admirable statement, Lord Halifax was speaking on behalf of the Allies as a whole in addition to the British Government?

Mr. Garro Jones

Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect his recent aphorism, that in a statement of peace aims when you descend from the. realm of pious platitudes you reach the realm of heated controversy, and may I ask how his Noble Friend managed to suspend himself between those two zones?

The Prime Minister

Not every remark which is used in political discussion is necessarily of universal application.

50. Mr. Silverman

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a speech recently made by His Majesty's Ambassador to the United States of America in which Lord Halifax purported to define this country's peace aims; and whether he will consider whether the time has now arrived when these peace aims should be formally stated by the Government in general terms, and an opportunity given to the House of Commons to consider them?

51. Mr. Martin

asked the Prime Minister whether the statement on war aims made by His Majesty's Ambassador in Washington at New York is to be regarded as offcially expressing the views of His Majesty's Government?

The Prime Minister

His Majesty's Ambassador in Washington consulted me about the admirable speech which he made in New York on 25th March, which is in full accord with the general outlook of His Majesty's Government. But Lord Halifax said in his speech that it was not possible now to draw detailed plans for the future structure of the community of nations, and I myself have recently had occasion to say that it was not my intention to produce at the present time a catalogue of war aims and peace aims.

Mr. Silverman

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that no one concerned in this matter has ever asked for details; and does he not agree that the people of this country who, after all, are bearing the brunt of the conflict, are just as much entitled to be consulted and informed on the subject as are the people of the United States of America?