HC Deb 05 April 1950 vol 473 cc1165-6
9. Mr. J. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the progress being made towards the conclusion of a peace treaty with Austria.

The Minister of State (Mr. Younger)

Yes, Sir. After the measure of agreement reached on the Austrian Treaty at the Conference of Foreign Ministers last June considerable progress was made in the Deputies' negotiations during the summer and autumn. Only five articles remain unsettled, but since November the conclusion of the Treaty has been prevented by the refusal of the Soviet representative to discuss one of these articles. A further meeting of the Deputies is to be held on 26th April, and my right hon. Friend will continue his efforts to secure at the earliest possible moment an agreement which will lead to the restoration of the independence of Austria.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House what the Government's policy is with regard to the restoration of the stable economy in Austria, on which ultimately her freedom is bound to depend?

Mr. Younger

That is rather a wider question than the one which is on the Paper, and which relates to the progress made toward the conclusion of a peace treaty.

Mr. Vane

What was the Article which the Soviet representative refused to discuss?

Mr. Younger

It is Article 48 (bis), which covers a Soviet claim for services and supplies at the beginning of the occupation.

Professor Savory

Is the meeting to which the Minister is referring not the 252nd meeting? Is it not a fact that all this time practically no real progress has been made, owing to Soviet obstruction?

Mr. Younger

I cannot say whether or not it is the 252nd meeting, but it certainly is the case that we have had many meetings and are very disappointed at the progress.

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