HC Deb 05 March 1951 vol 485 cc28-9
50. Mr. J. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the defeat inflicted in the last few days on the enemy in Korea, and the consequent advance of the United Nations Forces, he can now make a statement on the strategic policy of the United Nations with regard to the limits of their advance.

Mr. Younger

The objectives of the United Nations in Korea were set out in the Resolutions of the Security Council of 27th June and of the General Assembly of 7th October, and still stand. As regards the limits of the advance of United Nations Forces, we are in continuous consultation with the United States Government who are responsible under the Resolution of the Security Council of 7th July for providing the Unified Command.

As my hon. Friend said on 26th February, we have reached a very large measure of agreement with the United States Government on this issue. Since fighting is at present in progress it would clearly not be in the interest of United Nations Forces to make any public statement about future operations.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that this is not entirely a matter between ourselves and the United States, but is one for the United Nations and the world to know? Does he not agree that this policy of dither and uncertainty will result in our getting the worst of both worlds?

Mr. Younger

The hon. Gentleman must not assume that there is dither and uncertainty merely because we prefer not to make a statement which would be of definite assistance to the commanders in the field opposed to our Forces.

Mr. Paton

Could my hon. Friend elucidate the phrase a "measure of agreement"? It seems to me a simple question of whether or not we should advance beyond a certain point. How can there be a "measure of agreement" on such a question?

Mr. Eden

I was going to put the same point. Nobody wishes to press for tactical information, but what we should like, and be content with, is an assurance on this point—are the Governments concerned agreed?

Mr. Younger

Yes, Sir, and the right hon. Gentleman will remember that there was an undertaking, which I think was mentioned by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, given to us on behalf of the United States Government that there would be very full consultation before there was any question of a large-scale strategic crossing of the Parallel.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that anxiety is growing in the country that the war is proceeding in Korea without sufficient emphasis by His Majesty's Government on its, political and moral content and purpose? Is it not now time that His Majesty's Government reintroduced a new resolution in the United Nations' Assembly defining our war aims?

Mr. Younger

It is, of course, quite possible for any member State to introduce a new resolution if they thought the aims of the United Nations, as set out in the previous Resolution, required alteration, but His Majesty's Government do not feel that they require any alteration.