HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 cc2246-8
50. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister on what grounds the Acting Foreign Secretary agreed, on behalf of the United Kingdom, with the Foreign Ministers of the United States of America and France that the signing of a truce in Korea with Communist China should not affect the present attitude of the United Nations towards China.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The hon. Member is no doubt referring to the passage in the Washington communiqué, which said that the three Foreign Ministers considered that, in existing circumstances and pending further consultation, the common policies of the three Powers towards Communist China should be maintained. The House is already aware of Her Majesty's Government's policy on such matters as Chinese representation in the United Nations, and the control of strategic exports to China. We have made it clear that our policy on these matters will have to be reconsidered at the appropriate time after an armistice, but will not be automatically modified immediately on the conclusion of the armistice.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can the right hon. Gentleman say, apart from Korea and apart from the hostilities now in operation in regard to China arising out of Korea, what policies this country has in common with the United States about China?

Mr. Butler

I do not think that I can go over all the history of this. The Under-Secretary referred to it on 17th June, in particular with regard to matters of trade, and he said that we cannot live without trade. I think that if the hon. Member wishes to put down a specific Question on the subject he had better do so.

Mr. Wyatt

As the purpose of the strategic materials ban and the refusal to go on pressing in the United Nations to admit Communist China was to prevent them from continuing their aggression in Korea, once a truce is signed does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that aggression has for the time being ceased, and, therefore, that we ought at once to renew our endeavours to bring Communist China into the United Nations and to cancel the strategic materials ban?

Mr. Butler

Life is not quite so simple as that. It has been explained by the Minister of State in the foreign affairs debate on 12th May, and I am simply carrying forward that statement on Government policy in saying that these matters will not be automatically modified but will be reconsidered at the time that the armistice is signed.

Mr. Gaitskell

Does it remain the policy of Her Majesty's Government to press for the admission of China to the United Nations in due course, once a truce has been signed?

Mr. Butler

I cannot go beyond previous statements on the policy of Her Majesty's Government on this point.