HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1091-3
48. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make a statement about the summoning of the United Nations Assembly to deal with the question of the truce in Korea and the establishment and terms of reference of a political conference.

Mr. Butler

It was announced yesterday that the General Assembly of the United Nations is to meet in New York on 17th August to consider the situation arising from the Korean Armistice.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer assure us that the Government will be represented by Ministers at this very important meeting, and will the Ministers urge that the Assembly shall discuss the question of the reconstruction fund for Korea?

Mr. Butler

The agenda and so on will have to be established, but the importance of the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman will be borne in mind. He may rest assured that our representation will certainly be Ministerial and must be very carefully considered.

Mr. A. Henderson

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer say whether the British delegation to the forthcoming meeting of the Assembly will do their best to ensure that the United Nations' delegation which will go to the political conference in Korea will work to a United Nations' common policy and not on national policies?

Mr. Butler

I realise the importance of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's point. The composition and terms of reference, and the agenda and so forth must be worked out at the General Assembly itself, but I will certainly draw the right hon. and learned Gentleman's point to the attention of our delegates to the Assembly.

Mr. Osborne

Will the Assembly deal with the economic consequences of the peace in Korea as well as the political consequences?

Mr. Butler

These are difficult to break apart.

Mr. H. Morrison

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer assure us that the leading member of the British delegation to the United Nations will be a member of this House and not of another place?

Mr. Butler

I cannot make any final statement on this matter at this moment. I have said that the representation will be Ministerial, and it will naturally be our wish that the Minister of State, if possible, should attend, but I do not wish to make a final statement on this occasion.

Mr. Bottomley

In view of the active part played by a sister Commonwealth country—India—would the Chancellor consider that country being a member of the conference to be called, following the Assembly meeting?

Mr. Butler

The importance of that is widely realised, but I should not like to make a statement on that today.

Mrs. Castle

According to "The Times" Washington correspondent today, the United States has promised President Rhee that they will walk out of the political conference if they are not satisfied with the attitude of the Communist delegates, and can the Chancellor of the Exchequer assure the House that Her Majesty's Government are not a party to any such agreement?

Mr. Butler

We have had a certain amount of difficulty in keeping pace with the variety of statements on these matters in the last few days. All I know is that Her Majesty's Government are quite determined to see that this conference is a success and shall come to a logical and just conclusion.