HC Deb 06 February 1951 vol 483 c1527
46. Mr. Osborne

asked the Prime Minister if he will visit Moscow immediately and discuss the problems of world peace with Marshal Stalin personally in the same way as he discussed them with President Truman in Washington and with the object of reducing the threat of a third world war.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I do not think that such a visit would be useful at the present time.

Mr. Osborne

Does not the Prime Minister agree that the nation would be all the more willing to bear the heavy sacrifices that rearmament must entail if it were sure that every step had been taken to prevent it from drifting into a war?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member will realise that we are in consultation at the present time with the United States and France for discussions with the Soviet Union on outstanding questions. It would obviously be wrong to cut across those and, in general, discussions of this kind need preparation. It is not much good rushing into a thing of this kind.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that if, as we all hope, such a conference takes place, this country will render its best services at the conference by stating its own independent opinion on the matters discussed, without thinking it necessary to agree them in advance with any other nation?

The Prime Minister

No, I think that is not a very wise suggestion. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] When there are matters that concern the world generally—quite a number of countries—it is obvious that the more you can get agreement, the better.