HC Deb 28 February 1945 vol 408 cc1359-60
14. Mr. Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in order to improve relations between the British and French Empires and the Arab States of the Middle East, he will consider a conference of all parties concerned, with a view to safeguarding the strategic and commercial routes to the East, while guaranteeing to the Arab States their independence and freedom of development.

Mr. Eden

While I fully sympathise with the objectives which my hon. Friend has in mind, I do not think that such a conference would be useful at the present time.

Mr. Price

Is not the Syrian and Lebanese situation such as may cause friction, if steps of this kind are not taken sooner or later?

Mr. Eden

I agree with my hon. Friend about the difficulties of the Syrian and Lebanese situation. What I am not sure about is whether the calling of a conference of a large number of States will provide a solution. It does not always do so.