HC Deb 08 February 1954 vol 523 cc820-1
30. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will publish as a White Paper the main policy speeches which have been made up to date by the four Foreign Ministers at the Berlin Conference.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

It would not be in accordance with normal practice to publish officially the speeches made at meetings of Foreign Ministers. I am, however, ready to make available in the Library a collection of such statements as have been released to the Press by the speakers themselves.

Mr. S. Silverman

When the right hon. Gentleman makes these speeches available in the form which he has promised, will he consider including among them the interview dealing with all these matters which Field Marshal Montgomery is said to have given to an American journalist, because the interview appears to have been widely reported all over Europe and in America? By reason of the position which Field Marshal Montgomery occupies it will be very difficult to persuade the countries with whom we are negotiating that his statements did not have any official sanction.

Mr. Lloyd

That is very far removed from the Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. H. Morrison

Reverting to the original Question by my right hon. and learned Friend, I appreciate that it would be an exceptional proceeding. The Berlin Conference is of very special importance. A great deal depends on exactly what is said by the Ministers participating. I do not want the right hon. and learned Gentleman to commit himself off his own bat at this moment, but will he undertake further to consider the issue of a White Paper, because in the course of further debate here and elsewhere it would be a document of very great value?

Mr. Lloyd

I entirely agree with what the right hon. Gentleman says about the importance of the matter, and I will certainly consider the suggestion further.

Sir H. Williams

As even the Labour Party Executive meets in private, would there not be more likelihood of greater success being achieved in Berlin without so many Pressmen hanging around?

Mr. Lloyd

My hon. Friend will realise that the meetings in Berlin this week are taking place in restricted session.

Mr. E. Fletcher

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that these speeches have been reported in the American Press and that it is very desirable that the British public should be at least as well informed upon all that has been said in Berlin as the American public, and that that result can only be achieved if a White Paper is published?

Mr. Lloyd

I will certainly consider the matter.