HC Deb 03 June 1954 vol 528 cc1453-4
45. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Prime Minister whether he will publish as a White Paper the texts of the Notes that have been exchanged between Her Majesty's Government and the People's Government of China regarding the exchange of ambassadors between the United Kingdom and China.

The Prime Minister (Sir Winston Churchill)

I am advised that this would not serve any useful purpose at this time. The Chinese have not yet replied to our communication of 17th June, 1950.

Mr. Donnelly

In view of the long space of time in which Her Majesty's Government have expressed no opinion, will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that there has been no change in the policy of Her Majesty's Government, and that if the Chinese now reply to that Note of 17th June, 1950, expressing a desire to send a diplomatic mission to London, Her Majesty's Government will give such a desire favourable consideration?

The Prime Minister

I am quite sure that that is not a statement that should be made in answer to a supplementary question.

Mr. F. M. Bennett

Is it not a fact that all the co-operative gestures in this matter have so far sprung, completely unrequited, from Britain? In those circumstances, would not my right hon. Friend agree that this matter would be much more appropriately taken up by one or other of the leaders of the Opposition in their forthcoming visit to Peking?

Mr. Shinwell

If the right hon. Gentleman is correct in saying that the Chinese Government have not made any reply to a communication sent in 1950, would not he agree that it might be worth while to send another communication? It is a long time since 1950.

The Prime Minister

These are matters of delicacy, and I think that the Foreign Secretary really ought to be the judge, in the first instance, of any new declaration of policy. The hon. Member has put down a Question asking for the publication of documents that would not add at all either to our knowledge of what is relevant or, I think, to the improvement of relations between Britain and China.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the Prime Minister say whether the Chinese Government have kept a chargé d'affaires in their Embassy in London, as we have done in Peking?

The Prime Minister

I understand that is so.


The Prime Minister

I am afraid I answered without knowledge. There has been no Chinese chargé d'affaires here.

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