HC Deb 20 May 1954 vol 527 c2291
52. Mr. D. Healey

asked the Prime Minister at what stage Her Majesty's Government were consulted by the French and United States Governments about their discussions concerning the circumstances in which the United States of America might make a military intervention in Indo-China.

The Prime Minister

Her Majesty's Government were not informed of these discussions in advance. On the basis of reports that appeared in the Press, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the matter with the United States representative in Geneva during the week-end, and Her Majesty's Ambassador in Washington has since been given a full account of the discussions by the State Department. It appears that the exchanges between the United States and French Governments were of an informal and exploratory nature and that no further commitments have been entered into by either party.

Mr. Healey

Is the Prime Minister aware that the adoption of these hole-and-corner methods between two major Western Allies can only widen the unfortunate breach between them regarding a settlement in Indo-China and delay a possible settlement at Geneva; and is inconsistent with the spirit of the Western Alliance and the Entente Cordiale?.

The Prime Minister

We must bear that in mind too.