HC Deb 29 July 1953 vol 518 cc1284-7
46. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister whether he will instruct the British delegation at the forthcoming meeting of the United Nations to propose the admission of Communist China to the United Nations.

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

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to him on 16th July and to the answers given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State to the hon. Members for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly) and Uxbridge (Mr. Beswick) on 27th July.

Mr. Wyatt

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since he gave those answers a truce has been signed in Korea, and that consequently there may, even in the Government, be some flexibility towards new events? Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the categorical statements made by Mr. Dulles that the United States are determined to see that China is not admitted to the United Nations, although it is the declared policy of Her Majesty's Government that she should be admitted? Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that during the Recess, when the Government are unsupported by the House, they will not give in to American bludgeoning at the United Nations but will persist in putting forward the policy which has been agreed on all sides in this House?

Mr. Butler

As regards a truce in Korea, not only do we know that it has been signed, but I announced it to the House, and I should have thought that the hon. Member would have heard what I said. In answer to the latter part of his Question, my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State said that the recognition of the Central People's Government would have to be dealt with in the course of or after the political conference. I think we had better await the political conference and regard the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly as one in which arrangements are made for the political conference.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Since every member of the United Nations who has resisted aggression in Korea has specifically declared that it has done so in support of the principles of the Charter, and not in any way in respect of strategic or national interests, will our delegates urge that the representatives of the United Nations to the political conference shall have a collective mandate from the Assembly on such points as this?

Mr. Butler

I think we had better await the meeting of the Assembly before pledging the views of particular Governments. In regard to the United Kingdom Government, the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that we are going well prepared to take a line on this subject.

Mr. Osborne

Could the Chancellor explain why so many hon. Members opposite seem to be so bitterly anti-American on every possible occasion?

Mr. H. Morrison

Since the right hon. Gentleman said that we would be aware of the line that Her Majesty's Government would take, would he be so good as to tell us what the line is?

Mr. Butler

The line is as announced in the answer I have just given, namely, that this matter should be decided at the political conference.

Mr. Morrison

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is not a line? What he implied was that the Government would have a line on the question of the admission of China to the United Nations. That was what he implied very clearly. Will he be so good as to tell us what the line is to be at the Assembly?

Mr. Butler

I cannot add to the answers which have already been given on this subject, because this question depends upon taking the views of the other nations concerned. No doubt preparatory discussions will be taken at the United Nations Assembly, and we have always taken the view that the recognition of the People's Government does not follow automatically from the conclusion of an Armistice but should be decided at the political conference.

Mr. A. Henderson

If the American Government can make unequivocal statements as to where they stand on this problem, is there any reason why the British Government should not state their line, and is it not unfortunate that if we are going into the Political Conference with an agreed policy with the United States that the United States should queer the pitch by making their statement before going to the Assembly?

Mr. Butler

I am not prepared to state any further the attitude of Her Majesty's Government on this matter. I am prepared to say that when we go into the Political Conference, following upon the meeting of the United Nations Assembly, we shall take into proper account all expressions of opinion.

Mr. Noel-Baker rose


Sir H. Williams

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it proper for Privy Councillors to abuse their privilege by asking six supplementary questions on one Question?

Mr. Speaker

That is a matter for them.

Mr. Noel-Baker

May I press the Chancellor for an answer to my question? Since we have all been in Korea simply to defend the principles of the United Nations, is it not desirable that our delegates should press that the people who go from the Assembly to the Political Conference should have an Assembly mandate?

Mr. Butler

I am not going to carry this matter any further—[HON. MEMBERS; "Oh."]—by making any further statement, but I will say this to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, that Her Majesty's Government are perfectly capable of taking their own line.

Mr. Wyatt

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This was my Question originally and other Members have been allowed more than one supplementary question on it. May I not ask another one?

Mr. Speaker

I remember that the supplementary question of the hon. Member was a very long one.

Mr. Driberg

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the inadequate and negative replies given by the right hon. Gentleman, I beg to give notice that some of us will endeavour to catch your eye on this matter tonight on the Consolidated Fund Bill, after other matters have been disposed of.