HC Deb 15 March 1948 vol 448 cc1675-7
11. Major Tufton Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will extend invitations to acknowledged leaders in exile of suppressed constitutional parties in communist-dominated countries in Europe that have refused invitations to take part in discussion of the Marshall Plan to come as observers to the forthcoming conference to discuss the European Recovery Programme.

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

No, Sir. The meeting in Paris today is a Conference of the Governments that are prepared to take part in the European Recovery Programme. It would not be appropriate for individuals to be invited.

Major Beamish

Would not such distinguished men as Mr. Mikolajczyk, Mr. Peyer and Dr. Topalovich be most valuable as observers at the forthcoming conference, so that they could advise on important questions of trade between Western Europe and the Soviet bloc?

Mr. Mayhew

However distinguished, it would not be appropriate to invite individuals. In any case, it would not be a matter for His Majesty's Government but for all the member Governments.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Is the Minister aware that these leaders in exile are far more representative of their countries than many of those in power in those countries?

12. Mr. Platts-Mills

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what consultations have been held with, and what communications received from, the American State Department, since the decision was arrived at to recall the 16-Nations Conference in Paris on 15th March.

Mr. Mayhew

We are in constant touch with the United States Government on matters of common interest; but I am really not in a position to enumerate all the consultations that have taken place and the communications that have passed between our two Governments in the last fortnight. But, if my hon. Friend intends only to refer to official consultations with or communications about the forthcoming meeting in Paris of the Committee of European Co-operation the reply is, "None, Sir."

Mr. Platts-Mills

Is there any truth in the Press report that the State Department have used pressure by clandestine means to persuade His Majesty's Government and European Governments to accept the point of view of the State Department?

Mr. Molson

On a point of Order. Is it in Order for the hon. Member to ask the Minister whether a Press report is correct?

Mr. Speaker

Not as a main Question, but as a supplementary question it is in Order.

Mr. Mayhew

Since the Press reports are wholly inconsistent with what I have just stated, they are untrue.

25. Mr. Donner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government will either alone or in association with allied or friendly Powers, guarantee such immediate military assistance as may be required to safeguard the survival of the existing democratic and constitutional government in every country prepared to participate in the Marshall Plan.

Mr. Mayhew

The policy of Western Union, which my right hon. Friend announced on 22nd January, was designed to fortify democratic governments in Europe, and my right hon. Friend has the problem of security constantly in mind. But democratic institutions cannot be safeguarded merely by military agreements: and my right hon. Friend feels that the proper function of the European Recovery Programme is in the economic field.

Mr. Donner

In view of the grave danger of a Communist coup in Italy, will the Minister say that His Majesty's Government will not idly acquiesce in the creation of yet another unconstitutional Soviet satellite State?

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister aware that the argument now being put forward is, "If you cannot beat their arguments, beat their brains out"?

Forward to