HC Deb 27 June 1951 vol 489 cc1370-2
42. Mr. Eric Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the British delegate at the Plenary Session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation voted in favour of admitting a representative of Chiang Kai-shek as the Chinese delegate.

Mr. H. Morrison

My hon. Friend is misinformed. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of State stated in reply to the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) on 11th June, the United Kingdom delegate voted for a proposal to postpone a decision regarding a change in the Chinese representation in the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Since the Chinese Nationalists have so far occupied China's seat in U.N.E.S.C. O., and since the Rules of Procedure provide for retention by a member delegation of its seat until a decision is taken to expel it, the Chinese Nationalist representative will continue to occupy China's seat at this session of U.N.E.S.C.O. This is, however, a very different matter from voting to admit a Chinese Nationalist representative.

His Majesty's Government still believe that delegates from the Central People's Government should represent China in the United Nations. In view, however, of that Government's persistence in behaviour which is inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter, it now appears to His Majesty's Government that consideration of this question should be postponed for the time being.

Mr. Fletcher

May I take it from that reply that there is no inconsistency between the vote given at U. N. E. S. C. O. and the general policy of His Majesty's Government to recognise the Central People's Government of China?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir, I think my hon. Friend can be perfectly happy on that point. It does not in any way invalidate or prejudice the view of His Majesty's Government vis-à-visthe recognition of the Central People's Government of China.

Mr. Duncan Sandys

Whilst welcoming the Government's decision to reverse their policy—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—or at any rate to postpone it—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—or postpone the implementation of it indefinitely, will the right hon. Gentleman say how it was that they took so long to come to this very obvious conclusion?

Mr. Morrison

I think it is a great pity, when I was getting on so well with my hon. Friend, that the right hon. Gentleman should stand up and try to make mischief. I can only say that I think the implication of the right hon. Gentleman's question is quite unfounded and unreasonable.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can my right hon. Friend say what possible service to education, science, or culture in China can be rendered by Chiang Kai-shek representatives on this organisation?

Mr. Morrison

That raises rather wider questions in relation to U. N. E. S. C. O. itself, but the practical question that we have to face was what practical service would be rendered by an academic debate about the admission of one government or another at this point when we have the position in Korea which faces us with a practical situation. Our position is not prejudiced, but we do not think it wise to become involved in a rather purposeless argument at this point.