HC Deb 23 January 1947 vol 432 cc359-60
46. Mr. Warbey

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the outcome of his conversations with the President of the French Republic.

The Prime Minister

His Majesty's Government were very glad to welcome Monsieur Blum in London once again and his visit provided the opportunity of a most useful exchange of views. Hon. Members will have seen from the communique issued at the conclusion of the visit that our discussions covered a wide field, that agreement was reached on a number of important questions both political and economic, and that, in particular, it was agreed that a Treaty of Alliance should be concluded between the two countries at the earliest possible moment within the framework of Article 52 of the Charter of the United Nations and with the object of preventing any further aggression by Germany and of preserving peace and security. There is no need for me to enlarge on the communique, but I would like to make it clear that His Majesty's Government are anxious to enter into negotiations for such a Treaty of Alliance as soon as the new French Government is ready to do so.

Mr. Warbey

Will my right hon. Friend make it clear that this proposed Anglo-French Treaty, which will be warmly welcomed in all quarters of the House, is not in any way a substitute for the Anglo-Soviet Treaty, but is intended as a supple- ment to a general system of European security, of which the Anglo-Soviet Treaty constitutes an essential part?

The Prime Minister

Obviously a treaty with one Power cannot be a substitute for a treaty with another. Our French friends and our Russian friends have a treaty and we have a treaty with our Russian friends. The more treaties and alliances we can get within the ambit of the United Nations the better.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will the Anglo-French Treaty be followed up by economic conversations in order to make it additionally valuable?

The Prime Minister

They are already proceeding.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

For the purpose of accuracy would the Prime Minister give us the dates when M. Blum was President of the French Republic, as mentioned in the Question?

The Prime Minister

It is not my mistake; it should have been "President of the Council of Ministers."

Mr. Warbey

On a point of Order. The Question, as I drafted it, referred to the "President of the French Government," which, I believe, was the correct title at the time.

Mr. McKinlay

Will publicity be given to the fact that the visit of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff to Moscow was not aimed at the United States of America?