HC Deb 17 March 1952 vol 497 cc1926-8
51. Mr. Fenner Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government propose to take in response to the official proposal of the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for a four Power conference to draft a treaty of peace with Germany and the democratic unification of Germany.

52. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he is making to the official note sent to him by the Soviet Government calling for a four Power conference to work out a peace treaty with a united Germany; and if he will make a statement.

54. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about the official proposal of the Soviet Government, made on 10th March, for a conference to agree upon a peace treaty with Germany.

57. Professor Sir Douglas Savory

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has now received the Note on Germany, handed by Mr. Gromyko, the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister, to the British representative in Moscow on Monday 10th March; and whether he is in a position to make a statement on the subject.

Mr. Eden

Her Majesty's Government are giving the most careful consideration to the Soviet Government's note and are in consultation with the United States and French Governments about the reply to be sent to it. Her Majesty's Government are, of course, also in close touch with the German Federal Government.

While these consultations are in progress, the House will understand that I am not in a position to make a further statement.

Mr. Fenner Brockway

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will bear constantly in mind that the deepest desire of the German people is for the unity of their country, and whether he will seek to give expression to that desire so as to win their continued co-operation?

Mr. Eden

There are many things which I have to bear in mind in this connection, and one is recent European history, from which Soviet responsibility is not entirely divorced.

Mr. Mallalieu

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that the raising by the German Government of German units with German officers is only too likely to give rise to further aggression by the most reactionary elements of the German nation?

Mr. Eden

If I understand that to be a criticism of the recent Soviet note—

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Not necessarily.

Mr. Eden

If the hon. Gentleman will allow me to answer the Question, which was not put by him—if I understand that to be a criticism of the recent Soviet note, I would rather not make any comment on that or on anything else related to it at this moment, because this is a very important topic and I would rather not be committed by any chance answers given at Question time.

Mr. Fletcher

While not asking the Foreign Secretary to commit himself, may I ask if he will bear in mind the very profoundly-held view here and in Europe that any settlement with Soviet Russia which permitted the re-emergence of the German Army, Navy and Air Force would be regarded as a menace not only to this country but also to Russia?

Mr. Eden

There are any number of points of view which hon. Members of this House must hold about this situation. I have my views; but I think we should be wiser not to discuss them at this stage. I can only undertake to keep the House informed of events at the earliest possible moment, so far as it is in my power to do so.