HC Deb 23 June 1953 vol 516 cc1677-8
42. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Prime Minister, when he goes to the Bermuda Conference, if he will urge the removal of all barriers to international trade and the freeing of currencies as constituting the most important contribution to world peace.

The Prime Minister (Sir Winston Churchill)

My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a visit to Washington recently for the very purpose set out in my hon. Friend's Question, and the new United States Administration have undertaken an urgent review of their whole external economic policy. I should deprecate unduly sanguine expectations that four or five days of discussion at Bermuda will achieve solutions of all our problems. The triple Conference was proposed by President Eisenhower, and I hope that we may reach good personal understanding on a few of the large practical issues which now confront all nations who sincerely seek an easement of tension without loss of security.

Sir W. Smithers

Would not the Prime Minister agree that the only way to improve the standards of living of backward races and to avert economic world disaster is to allow all peoples to buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest markets because if goods cannot cross frontiers, armies will. Will he set the people free?

The Prime Minister

Those seem to me, on the whole, to be unobjectionable sentiments.

Mr. Shurmer

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider taking the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) with him, as it would please both sides of the House if he would take him and leave him there?

Sir W. Smithers

On a point of order. May I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I take no objection to that, but I wish the hon. Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Shurmer) would go away, too.

The Prime Minister

I will try to answer that question. I earnestly hope that it will be arranged through the usual channels so that equal numbers on both sides of the House have this unfortunate experience offered to them.

Mr. Shinwell

May they go in the "Vanguard"?