HC Deb 21 February 1951 vol 484 cc1266-7
6. Mr. F. Maclean

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made in the discussions between His Majesty's Government and the United States Government regarding joint action in the event of an attack on Yugoslavia.

8. Mr. M. Philips Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the increasingly hostile propaganda both by Press and wireless being carried on by Yugoslavia's neighbours and by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics against that country, he will consult with other Atlantic Treaty Powers with a view to a guarantee of assistance if Yugoslavia is attacked.

Mr. Ernest Davies

I have nothing to add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, in this House on 15th February.

Mr. Price

Will my hon. Friend consider what indirect aid we could give to Yugoslavia in the way of materials and parts of war equipment, if her Government should ask for it?

Mr. Davies

As I think my hon. Friend is aware, we have advanced credits to Yugoslavia for raw materials and other commodities which are being purchased in this country.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, if the Yugoslav frontier is violated, it may be as the result of a border incident or fracas, leading to action and counteraction and to something larger eventually in the initial stages of which Russia may not take part? Can we have an assurance that no guarantee on the part of this country will be given to intervene in all circumstances without prior investigation?

Mr. Davies

I do not think that a major question of policy such as that can be adequately dealt with by Parliamentary question and answer.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that once we gave a similar guarantee to Poland, and that it did not prevent a war but precipitated it?

Mr. Julian Amery

Can the hon. Gentleman assure the House that His Majesty's Government are in consultation with other associated Governments with regard to measures which we might be able to take if, unfortunately, Yugoslavia were to be attacked?

Mr. Davies

I would remind the hon. Gentleman that Yugoslavia is a member of the United Nations and that we are, of course, interested in seeing that action which was appropriate to the circumstances should be taken by the United Nations.

Mr. Amery

Does the hon. Gentleman seriously mean that nothing more than the ordinary action taken through United Nations is being taken, that no particular consultations have taken place?

Mr. F. Maclean

Will not the hon. Gentleman agree that the warnings of the kind given by his right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour the other day would carry much more weight if we had a proper defence system in the Mediterranean to back them up?