HC Deb 27 October 1953 vol 518 cc2615-6
48. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister what arrangement he has made with regard to a personal meeting with the President of the United States of America; and whether he will invite the President to this country to discuss Anglo-American relations and the general international situation.

The Prime Minister

I am always considering whether there might be an opportunity for a personal meeting with the President of the United States, and he is well aware of the enthusiastic welcome he would receive whenever he feels free to come to this country. Our two Governments will continue to keep in close touch with one another about the general international situation. The recent meeting between the United States Secretary of State and the Foreign Secretary was a valuable part of the continual exchange of views which goes on.

Mr. Lewis

Might I thank the Prime Minister and ask him whether he is aware of the fact that many hon. Members on this side of the House, and people in the country, feel that he and the President would have come to much happier conclusions than the acting-Foreign Secretary did when he went over to the States? Does he not still feel that it would be advantageous for him to have a discussion with the President and see if he can remove the obstacles to the Four-Power talks which we know that he himself wants to initiate?

The Prime Minister

Such ideas are never out of my mind, but time and Circumstances have always to be considered.

Mr. H. Morrison

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been drawn to a statement in an American newspaper that the right hon. Gentleman proposes to visit the United Nations and to take part in their proceedings? Could he say whether that is true, and if so, would he take the opportunity of making contact with the President of the United States?

The Prime Minister

My attention has been drawn to that statement but I had not formed any plans, nor have my colleagues suggested to me attending a Session of the United Nations. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that there are few things I would like better than to have a few quiet informal talks with the President of the United States, with whom I have had and still maintain very close and friendly personal relations.