HC Deb 02 February 1953 vol 510 cc1474-5
49. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister to set out the factors on which Her Majesty's Government base their view that the danger of war has receded.

The Prime Minister

Let me repeat the reply of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question on 21st January. I will read it to the House: 'When we say that the risk of general war seems to have receded, it is because we ourselves have grown stronger and more united. That is all. If we were to weaken, we should lose what we have gained.'"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st January, 1953; Vol. 510, c. 203.] To this I would only add that, in view of the unknowable factors which are in all our minds the utmost vigilance and unity should be preserved throughout the free world.

Mr. Wyatt

Does the Prime Minister mean by that that the Labour Government were completely justified in introducing the re-armament programme they did introduce, and that any recession of the danger of war is a direct result of that re-armament programme, and that there are no other factors of any sort whatever to indicate that there has been any recession of the danger of war?

The Prime Minister

I and my hon. Friends who were represented in the late Parliament gave full and continuous support to the very grave and far-reaching decisions which were properly taken by the party opposite when they were responsible. We did so, and we hope that on similar measures a bi-partisan treatment of grave questions may be expected, even though the parties sit on different sides of the House?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of recent developments and the statement that Chiang Kai-shek is likely to invade China, does the Prime Minister still adhere to his view that the danger of war has receded?

The Prime Minister

There is a Private Notice Question on the subject of Formosa of which I have received notice, and should propose to answer—not that I should suppose the hon. Gentleman will be satisfied with the answer I am going to give.