HC Deb 16 January 1945 vol 407 cc21-2
46. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of recent complications in international affairs, His Majesty's Government in conjunction with their Allies, have reconsidered their policy of unconditional surrender against the Axis Powers and the proposal to transfer from their homes by force millions of people in Central Europe in favour, as a beginning, of the encouragement of a new and democratic régime in Germany in which the United Nations could have faith, so as to bring the present conflict in Europe to a close on the basis of the Atlantic Charter.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Davies

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that these constant threats against the Axis Powers have a tendency to stiffen the people of Germany behind their Nazi leaders and to prolong the war? Will he not reconsider his policy and see whether he cannot employ his unrivalled powers to bring this misery to an end?

The Prime Minister

We do not take that view at all and I think the House would be overwhelmingly against our attempting to make peace by negotiation. At any rate, our Allies would be violently opposed to such a course. It is quite impossible to discuss these things at Question time but opportunities may occur in the course of debate. I am not of opinion that a demand for unconditional surrender would prolong the war. Anyhow, the war will be prolonged until unconditional surrender has been obtained.

Mr. Riley

While the right hon. Gentleman does not approve of any suggestion of peace by negotiation, does he not appreciate that the slogan of unconditional surrender has great political value for Hitler and his associates?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that is so.