HC Deb 07 May 1952 vol 500 c380
37. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what instructions he gave to Her Majesty's Embassy at Moscow to attend and observe the proceedings at the recent International Economic Conference.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

This Conference was not organised on a Governmental basis, and Her Majesty's Ambassador at Moscow was, therefore, instructed that it would not be appropriate to accept any invitation to attend the proceedings. No such invitation was in fact received.

Mr. Hughes

Could the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us what was his objection to sending observers to this Conference? [HON. MEMBERS: "There were some."] Well, can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us if the Government have received a full report of what happened at the Conference, and, if so, where it was obtained?

Mr. Lloyd

So far as the question of observation is concerned, I understand that no facilities were provided for the diplomatic Missions in Moscow to observe the proceedings, and the Secretary-General of the Preparatory Commission stated in his opening speech at the Conference: The aim was and is to convene a conference of private persons, and not of representatives of Governments.

Mr. Logan

Is it not a fact that those persons from this country at the Conference had no authority, and were only observers at that Conference?

Colonel Alan Gomme-Duncan

They were "merchant venturers."