HC Deb 07 May 1952 vol 500 cc369-70
18. Mr. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why he has reached no agreement so far with the German Federal Republic in regard to armament production in Germany.

Mr. Eden

In my statement to the House on 28th February, I explained how the question of German armaments production will be dealt with in the European Defence Community, with safeguards covering the interests of this country and the United States of America.

Negotiations between the countries which will be parties to the European Defence Community Treaty are still proceeding in Paris. Parallel discussions on the European Defence Community arrangements in regard to German arms production arc also proceeding in Bonn between the Federal Government and the three occupying Powers.

Mr. Manuel

Is not the Foreign Secretary aware that he did say, on the occasion which he indicated, that— we reached agreement among ourselves which will, we hope, prove to he an acceptable basis for a very early solution of this difficult issue." —[OFFICIAL REPORT. 28th February. 1952: Vol. 496, c. 1469.] I take it that he is aware of the fears, both in Britain and France, of too much German re-armament. Will he keep that in mind before any decision is reached upon this matter?

Mr. Eden

All these are questions of balance, and I think the House must face the fact that, unless Germany takes her fair share in the defence of the West, this country and other countries that bear that burden are going to be placed in an economic position of the utmost difficulty.

Mr. Hugh Dalton

Will the questions now being discussed at Bonn include the possibility of the Federal German Republic undertaking research into atomic weapons and the production of such weapons?

Mr. Eden

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will put that question down. He will realise that it is a question of some importance with which I should like to deal carefully.

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