HC Deb 14 June 1950 vol 476 cc187-91
2. Mr. Stanley Prescott

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any statement to make on the progress toward the conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan.

Mr. Younger

I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in his speech in the Debate on Foreign Affairs on 24th May.

Mr. Prescott

In view of the importance of this matter, can the Minister say when it will be possible to make an affirmative statement about it?

Mr. Younger

It is a very difficult thing for us to make a unilateral affirmative statement on the subject because so many other Governments are involved. As the hon. Member knows, the United States Government have this subject under consideration and the position was explained by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. William Teeling

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us this? We have read in the newspapers that various representatives of the United States are now on their way to Japan to look into the question of the peace treaty. Are they in consultation with us over this matter? Are we bringing back our Ambassador for consultations?.

Mr. Younger

On the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's question, I do not think we are contemplating doing that, but we are in continuous consultation with the United States about this matter.

Captain Crookshank

Can the hon. Gentleman say exactly what a "unilateral affirmative statement" means? Does it mean "Yes"?

Mr. Younger

It means saying "Yes" on our own account without consulting the numerous other bodies concerned.