HC Deb 20 January 1954 vol 522 cc1007-8
52. Mr. T. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about Anglo-Burmese Treaty relations

Mr. Eden

In January last year the Burmese Government notified Her Majesty's Government of the termination of the Anglo-Burmese Defence Agreement of 1948 and requested its replacement by a new agreement. Last week the Burmese Government communicated proposals for a revised agreement. These are now being studied by Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Reid

Will the right hon. Gentleman clarify this matter a little more? Is it not a fact that in practice the Burmese Government have adopted the Indian system of neutralism? It is not clear, therefore, for what purpose we are training their troops. Is it for the purpose of keeping down any sporadic revolution?

Mr. Eden

Last year the Burmese Government said that they wanted to revise the Agreement and under the terms of that Agreement a year had to elapse before revision. Now that year has elapsed and we are discussing with the Burmese what arrangement can be made between us. I would prefer not to say more about that until I know more about the result of those discussions.