HC Deb 15 February 1954 vol 523 cc1639-40
35. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the objections of Her Majesty's Government to the neutralisation of Germany.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government object to the neutralisation of Germany for the following reasons:Firstly, it would make Germany a political vacuum in the centre of Europe; that would be neither a safe nor a lasting solution. Secondly, a settlement which has not the consent of the German people freely given would be both unworkable and undesirable. That has been the view of successive British Governments.

Mr. Warbey

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell me how he expects to get free elections throughout Germany, including the Soviet Zone of Germany, if he insists on these conditions of the right of Germany to re-arm and to enter into a military alliance with the West, which would put American and other troops on the Oder-Neisse line?

Mr. Lloyd

However that may be, I am perfectly certain that any imposed neutralisation of Germany would not effect a lasting settlement in Europe.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

If the policy of the Government is to obtain the freely expressed views of the German people, why do they object to the referendum on the whole issue of the question of ratification?

Mr. Lloyd

I think much the best way to get the free expression of opinion of the German people is by the method of free elections, and the hon. Gentleman will understand that a great deal of preparation will have to be undertaken to ensure that that expression of opinion will be freely given.

Mr. Bence

Is Switzerland a vacuum?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not think that that matter arises out of this Question.

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