HC Deb 27 October 1953 vol 518 cc2612-4
45 and 47. Mr. Lewis

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he is now able to give details of his approach to the leaders of the United States of America, France and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the initiation of Four-Power talks at the highest level;

(2) the latest position with regard to the Government's declared policy of initiating Four-Power talks; and how far this proposal has proceeded.

50. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister his present plans for arranging a meeting between himself, Mr. Malenkov, and other national leaders, for the purpose of seeking a secure world peace.

The Prime Minister (Sir Winston Churchill)

The desirability of establishing easier and more friendly relations with the Soviet Government is common ground between both sides of the House. I myself have made various suggestions on the subject. Every proposal must be judged in relation to the circumstances at the time. I do not think that matters will be helped forward by repeated Questions and answers in the House of Commons. I gave a carefully considered reply on 20th October, and nothing has occurred since which enables me to add to it; but if I have at any time any information to give the House, I can assure the hon. Members who have raised the matter that I shall seek the earliest opportunity to do so.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Prime Minister not think there is a cardinal mistake of policy on the part of Western Powers in insisting upon ideological identity on the part of Russia before entering into some conference? Is not that contrary to the ordinary business arrangements which are accepted in everyday life?

Mr. Lewis

May I thank the Prime Minister for the kind and courteous manner of that reply and say that the reason why some of us on this side of the House continue to press him on this matter is that we believe that some of our friends in other parts of the world do not appreciate the importance of carrying out the suggestion that the Prime Minister made last May? If the right hon. Gentleman gets an opportunity of conveying it to our friends across the Atlantic, will he tell them that it is the view of many people on this side of the Atlantic that nothing but good could come from the suggestion, if carried out, that the Prime Minister made last May?

The Prime Minister

I will carefully bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman said, and also the observations in the first supplementary question.