HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1093-4
49. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister whether a reply has yet been received to the invitation sent to the Soviet Government to attend a Foreign Ministers' Conference to discuss Germany and Austria.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No, Sir.

Mr. Wyatt

Is it not clear from the recent "Pravda" article on this subject that the idea of a second-class conference with a rigid and limited agenda, attended by hordes of experts, is as disagreeable to the Russians as it is to the Prime Minister, and had not the Government better make up its mind, if it wants to have talks with the Russians which may produce some profitable result, that it will have to be more flexible in its approach and persuade the Americans to be more flexible also?

Mr. Butler

We have gone over the ground a good deal in the last day or two. The first thing to make clear is that Her Majesty's Government are absolutely united on the policy we are following under the Prime Minister; and the second point to be made clear, and I think the most important matter to bear in mind at present, is the need for absolute unity between the Allies who are concerned in this matter. That we have achieved, and that is a great achievement.

Sir H. Williams

Is there any evidence that Mr. Malenkov is prepared to leave his own country to attend a conference?

Mr. Rankin

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer tell us when the Government managed to get the Prime Minister to support their policy?