HC Deb 28 February 1947 vol 433 cc2525-6

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Snow.]

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

Before I call on the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I should make it clear to the House that the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Baird) has, I understand, been good enough to give up his opportunity on the Adjournment in order to allow the right hon. Gentleman to make a statement.

4.5 P.m.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

I am very glad to be able to state that agreement has now been reached between His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the French Government on the terms of a Treaty of Alliance. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] There are a few adjustments now being made. The Treaty will, I hope, be signed by the French Foreign Minister and myself on Tuesday, 4th March, at Dunkirk. Its text will be laid before the House as soon as possible thereafter. The Dominions have been kept fully informed. I am sure that the House will share the great satisfaction of His Majesty's Government at the successful outcome of these negotiations, and that they will warmly welcome this reaffirmation of the close bonds of friendship between this country and France.

4.7 P.m.

Mr. Eden (Warwick and Leamington)

I would like, on my own behalf, and, I am sure, on behalf of Members in all parts of the House, to welcome most warmly the statement which the Foreign Secretary has just made to us, and to congratulate him, if I may, on his part in these negotiations. We shall all await the terms of the Treaty with interest, but there are two observations which I might be allowed to make now. The first is that, in this century, the relations of this country with the people of France have had a special meaning, I think, on both sides of the Channel. We have been through much together—through ordeal to final victory. Any expression of those true feelings of friendship in a Treaty must be welcome in Britain, as I have no doubt it is in France. The second observation is that close and intimate relations of enduring friendship between Britain and France are a contribution to world peace. For that reason, too, we welcome what the right hon. Gentleman has said. We wish him well on his journey to Moscow, and we shall all be with him, in spirit, at Dunkirk.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Nine Minutes past Four o'Clock.