HC Deb 12 December 1945 vol 417 cc381-2
8. Captain Bullock

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has any statement to make on his forthcoming visit to Moscow.

Mr. Bevin

I will with the permission of the hon. and gallant Member make a statement on this subject at the end of Questions.


Mr. Bevin

i apologise to hon. Members that it was not possible to make in this House the first announcement of the forthcoming meeting at Moscow. The final arrangements were made at very short notice and for reasons outside my control the announcement had to be released in the early hours of 8th December. The text of the announcement was as follows: A meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States of America has been arranged to take place in Moscow on 15th December. This meeting has been called in accordance with the decision taken at the Yalta Conference providing for quarterly conferences of the Foreign Secretaries. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the British, Soviet and American Governments for informal and exploratory discussions on a number of matters of current concern to the three Governments, and also for an exchange of views on the subject of the control of atomic energy. This statement I think is self-explanatory and hon. Members will not expect me to be able to enlarge upon it at pre sent. I hope that our talks may help towards the friendly solution of the many urgent problems outstanding.

Mr. Churchill

May I express, on behalf I think of the whole House, the satisfaction with which we have learnt of the decision of His Majesty's Government and of the Foreign Secretary to hold this conference in Moscow and of his resolve to proceed there himself? I personally think it would be a very grievous thing if impediments grew up in the way of meetings of what have been called the Big Three—the three major Powers—because, although we all want much larger organ isms to come into being, without the agreement and accord of the three major Powers there may well be an obstacle to all future development. I, therefore, wish to compliment the Foreign Secretary on his resolve to go, and to wish him the greatest possible success in his mission. These personal contacts are of very great value and I trust that they will, in this case, result in the settlement of a great many difficult points and also in the re building of the sympathy and good will between the three major Powers without which we should never have got to this satisfactory conclusion.

Mr. Cocks

When the Secretary of State is in Moscow will he bear in mind that our relations with the Soviet Union all over the world would be immensely improved if we could see our way to recognise the present Governments in Bulgaria and Rumania, and that even if the United States of America refused to do so, there is no reason why we should not take an independent line?

Mr. Bevin

i think it is better to discuss all these problems in Moscow than to attempt to settle them with my hon. Friend before I go.

9. Captain Bullock

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are being taken to keep the French Government fully informed of the discussions during the forthcoming Moscow talks.

Mr. Bevin

The conference is an exploratory one, and the matters upon which views will be exchanged affect in the main the three Governments taking part. We have informed the French Government that we shall not commit ourselves in Moscow on matters of concern to France in her absence.