HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1090-1
47. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister what is Her Majesty's Government's present policy with regard to the practical proposals for the abolition of atomic weapons and other weapons of mass-destruction, the drastic reduction of man-power and conventional weapons, and the establishment of international armament control, laid before the Disarmament Commission of the United Nations a year ago.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I take it that the right hon. Gentleman is referring to the proposals put forward jointly or severally by the United Kingdom, the United States and France. There has been no change in the support which we expressed for these proposals when they were tabled. Her Majesty's Government continue to support the United Nations Majority Plan for the Control of Atomic Energy unless a better alternative is suggested. They hope that this plan will serve as a useful basis for further discussion in the Disarmament Commission.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Since the Government still adhere to these proposals, will they now urge that the Disarmament Commission shall carry out its mandate of drawing them up in the form of a draft treaty, so that public opinion everywhere may see that they were not simply general phrases, but are capable of practical application and will bring great relief if Russia agrees to what we propose?

Mr. Butler

I think that we must first see whether these proposals get general acceptance and then we can consider the point put by the right hon. Gentleman. Meanwhile, I would inform him that the speeches made by the United Kingdom delegation on this Commission are available in the Library.

Mr. Noel-Baker

May I press the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this matter? Would it not be of great use to have a draft treaty drawn up, if necessary, by a majority of this Commission without the universal agreement of everybody?

Mr. Butler

The point will be to get the maximum agreement we can and then we can consider the proposal made by the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

If the Government are so enthusiastic about disarmament, why are they going to drop another atomic bomb?