HC Deb 05 December 1950 vol 482 cc195-6
45. Mr. Blackburn

asked the Prime Minister what message he has received from President Truman concerning his visit to the United States of America; what special steps he is taking to consult Dominion Governments, particularly Australia and New Zealand, during the forthcoming conversations; and if he will enable the Leader of the Opposition to participate in the conversations.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I have been asked to reply. The House will be aware that President Truman said he would be delighted to receive a visit from my right hon. Friend.

On the second part of the Question, we are maintaining the closest touch with other Commonwealth Governments and I can assure the hon. Member that they will be kept fully informed of my right hon. Friend's discussions with the President of the United States.

I do not feel able to give an affirmative answer to the third part of the Question. His Majesty's Government are grateful for the general support which they received from the Opposition in the debate on foreign affairs last week, but they would not think it right to ask the Opposition to share the responsibility of His Majesty's Government for decisions which may have to be taken during the talks at Washington.

Mr. Blackburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, as was pointed out by Mr. Alistair Cooke in the "Manchester Guardian," there is a considerable misunderstanding in America on this subject, because the right hon. Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) was not invited to take part in the discussions? While appreciating that I am liable to be torpedoed at any moment, may I further ask whether he is aware that both in Europe and throughout America people consider that Britain should have been represented at these conversations not only by the Prime Minister but by the right hon. Member for Woodford?

Mr. Churchill

As I have been referred to, may I be permitted to say that we approve of the course taken by His Majesty's Government?