HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc591-2
1. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps have been take in recent months towards the signing of a peace treaty with Japan, what is the attitude of His Majesty's Government towards an immediate peace treaty; and whether he has recently been in consultation with the Dominions on this subject.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Mayhew)

With regard to the first two parts of the Question, I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State on 21st January. With regard to Commonwealth consultation, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are, as a matter of normal routine, in close and constant communication with the Governments of other Commonwealth countries on all the major aspects of policy in relation to Japan, including the question of the peace treaty.

Mr. Teeling

Does the Under-Secretary realise that that answer stated that no reply had been received from the United States? With regard to the last statement sent from the Foreign Office, it is not possible to get a further answer from America? Does the Under-Secretary realise the anxiety in the Dominions, and in Yorkshire and in Lancashire, that no peace treaty is being signed, and will it be possible, in the forthcoming Debate on Foreign Affairs, to have some statement made about the present position?

Mr. John Paton

Is there not a very pressing need for the earliest possible settlement of the grave economic problems facing Japan? Cannot my hon. Friend press his right hon. Friend with the view to getting some speedy conclusion to this matter?

Mr. Mayhew

We are agreed about the need for hastening on this procedure, and we are in touch with the United States.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Will the Foreign Secretary be ready to give some sort of answer to my hon. Friends and others interested in this matter during the forthcoming Debate on Foreign Affairs, and will he prepare his mind towards that end?

Mr. Mayhew

I cannot commit my right hon. Friend to that, but I will certainly draw his attention to the request.

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