HC Deb 13 March 1952 vol 497 c1539
3. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what steps have so far been taken to set up a Commonwealth Council, so as to deal rapidly and effectively with problems of common interest as they arise.

Mr. J. Foster

The United Kingdom Government have always been ready to expand and develop existing machinery for Commonwealth consultation. My hon. Friend will, however, no doubt recall the statement in the communiqué issued by the 1946 Prime Ministers' meeting which says that the methods now practised are preferable to any rigid centralised machinery. There is no reason to believe that there has been any subsequent change in the views of other members of the Commonwealth.

Sir T. Moore

I did not mention anything about a rigid system. Would not my hon. and learned Friend consider that such an organisation as is proposed in the Question would be more effective than the somewhat loose liaison system now in force?

Mr. Foster

No, Sir. The only effective means are means which are acceptable to all members of the Commonwealth.