HC Deb 28 November 1951 vol 494 cc1496-7
19. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the wide publicity given in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics both in the Press and on the radio to his predecessor's article in "Pravda" if he will endeavour to arrange for a further article by himself to be published in the Russian Press explaining the policy of His Majesty's Government and emphasising the need for greater understanding and friendship between the British and the Russian people.

Mr. Nutting

I have no doubt my right hon. Friend will consider any appropriate method of bringing about an improvement in international relations, but I would prefer not to commit him in advance to any specific project.

Mr. Hughes

Would the Minister not agree that the previous Foreign Secretary set a very good example, and that "Pravda" not only lifted the Iron Curtain but published his article in numerous papers and in several languages? Is that not a good precedent for his successor to follow?

Mr. Nutting

I am aware of what the hon. Gentleman tells me, and I am also aware that the ex-Foreign Secretary announced his desire to continue the exchanges and that there was no Soviet response whatsoever to his suggestion.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Can we get this matter clear? Is the hon. Gentleman who asked the question satisfied that the influence of "Pravda" in Russia is any greater than the influence of his own paper "Forward" in Scotland?

Mr. James Johnson

Is the Minister aware that on these benches there is more support for a war of ideas than for a war of bombs, and that we should be most happy to see further developments in this matter?