HC Deb 20 July 1953 vol 518 cc29-30
45. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that the Government of Switzerland have offered to make facilities available for the proposed Four-Power talks to be held in Switzerland; and whether he will consider approaching Mr. Eisenhower and M. Laniel on the possibility of their agreeing to Switzerland being an additional country to Great Britain where these talks could be held.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. R. A. Butler)

Her Majesty's Government are grateful for the prompt and helpful offer which has been made by the Swiss Government.

As regards the second part of the Question, the Note handed to the Soviet Ambassador on 15th July suggested that the meeting might be held "at a place to be mutually agreed." Until a reply has been received from the Soviet Government, I think it would be premature to follow this up any further.

Mr. Lewis

From the latter part of the reply are we to take it that, notwithstanding the fact we have had the Foreign Ministers' Conference, it is still the intention and policy of the Government to have the four-Power conference at the highest level later this year?

Mr. Butler

I think that this subject would be most suitably dealt with in the speech with which I shall open the foreign affairs debate tomorrow.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that President Eisenhower has a residence in Scotland and that in the environment of South Ayrshire a conference may be very successful?

Mr. Butler

I do not doubt that he would learn a great deal from the hon. Member.