HC Deb 15 July 1943 vol 391 cc364-5
46. Mr. Nunn

asked the Prime Minister whether the Atlantic Charter will preclude the United States of America and Great Britain from continuing to hold certain strategic points, formerly in Axis hands, the retention of which would seem to be vitally necessary for maintaining the future peace of the world?

Mr. Attlee

Nothing in the Atlantic Charter would, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, preclude the United Nations from taking any steps that may seem good to them to "afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries." The point referred to by my hon. Friend will naturally be borne in mind in company with many others in any discussions on how best to give effect to Article VII of the Charter.

Commander Locker-Lampson

May I ask my right hon. Friend to give an assurance that if and when we take Heligoland we will not give it back?

Commander Six Archibald Southby

Will the Government make it clear that we keep an open mind as regards what will happen after the war, in view of the necessity which might arise for us to retain in perpetuity certain portions of enemy country in order to preserve our own safety and that of the world?

Mr. Stokes

Does not the Deputy Prime Minister consider it high time that the Government clarified the Atlantic Charter, particularly in regard to Clauses 3, 4 and 8, as there is considerable dubiety in the minds of a great number of people?

Mr. Attlee

I think that the hon. Member exaggerates the number of his companions.

Mr. Stokes

May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman understands it himself?