§ 10. Mr. Donnelly
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what recent consultations he has had with the representatives of the Governments of the United States of America and France with a view to calling a four-Power conference to consider the holding of free elections for a united German Parliament.
§ 16. Mr. A. J. Irvine
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether in view of the altered international situation, he will take the initiative to convene a four-Power conference to discuss future policy in Germany and the holding of free elections for a united German Parliament.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
The views of Her Majesty's Government on a four-Power conference to consider the holding of free elections throughout Germany were conveyed to the Soviet Government in a Note of 23rd September last. It will be recalled that, in this Note, Her Majesty's Government renewed their previous proposals to the Soviet Government for an early four-Power meeting to discuss the formation of an impartial commission of investigation, with a view to creating the conditions necessary to hold free elections throughout Germany.
The next step would be to discuss the holding of these elections and the formation of an all-German Government. When free elections had been held and an all-German Government formed, the peace settlement could be negotiated. No reply has been received from the Soviet Government, but the offer still remains open.
§ Mr. Donnelly
Is it not a fact that the Russian representatives have 174 suggested to the British High Commissioner in Germany that the talks on air traffic control might be extended to political subjects as well? In view of that does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that this is a most opportune time for us to consult with the other Governments to see what might be done about this proposal for a united Germany?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I am not aware of any such proposal as that to which the hon. Member has just referred. He asked me about consultations with representatives of the Governments of the United States and France; he did not ask me about any representations received from the Soviet Government. I am not aware that they have put forward any such representations.
§ Major Beamish
While the holding of free elections throughout Germany would obviously be welcome to all of us here, might not the holding of free elections in the Eastern zone of Germany be a useful preliminary step?
§ Mr. Beswick
Are we to take it that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is content to leave the matter as it was left by his Note of last year? Is he not taking any other steps or any further initiative?
§ Mr. Dalton
As Her Majesty's Ambassador in Moscow has, we understand, been over here for consultations, and has just had a consultation with Mr. Molotov, is not this a matter which he might take up in this somewhat improved atmosphere which we all wish further to improve? Is it enough to say that a Note that was sent last September has not been answered?