HC Deb 11 June 1951 vol 488 cc1667-8
52. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the consultations that have taken place between the Prime Minister, himself and Mr. Dulles; and what are the results of the working parties reports.

Mr. Younger

Mr. Dulles left for Paris on Saturday, but will return on Wednesday, and the discussions will then be resumed. Meanwhile, they are continuing at the official level. My hon. Friend will doubtless not expect me to make a statement at the present moment, but my right hon. Friend will consider doing so in the near future.

53. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the need to safeguard international standards, the position of the pottery, cotton and other industries were included in the conversations with Mr. Dulles about the proposed Japanese peace treaty; and what action is it intended to take.

Mr. Younger

Yes, Sir; the matter has been included in the discussions. As, however, the conversations with Mr. Dulles are not yet terminated, I am not in a position to make a statement.

Mr. Smith

Is it the policy of the representatives of His Majesty's Government to insist that safeguards should be inserted in the Japanese peace treaty to prevent the terrible menace which confronted the pottery, cotton and silk industries in this country before the war?

Mr. Younger

I am very well aware of the interest felt in this matter, but I think my hon. Friend will agree that I ought to leave this until the present phase of discussions has been concluded.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Would it not be to the advantage of the House if an opportunity were given to the House to express an opinion on the possible repercussions on our trade of such a treaty?

Mr. Younger

I think the hon. and gallant Member is suggesting a debate and it is not for me to comment on that.

Mr. S. Silverman

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it is not so much a question of a debate that hon. Members have in mind but that we should like an assurance from the Government not to enter into any binding commitment which might adversely affect any of the industries without giving the House an opportunity of expressing an opinion?