HC Deb 07 February 1955 vol 536 cc1525-6
12. Mr. Parkin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when it was decided, as announced by a Foreign Office spokesman to the French Government at Christmas, that the policy of Her Majesty's Government was that Germany should be rearmed in any case, irrespective of any guarantees or alliances that could be arranged.

Mr. Turton

The Foreign Office statement of 24th December did not say that Germany should be rearmed irrespective of any guarantees or alliances that could be arranged. The Question therefore does not arise.

Mr. Parkin

Would it be possible, when next bullying the French Government—if any—in this matter, for the communications to be made in a more normal manner than they appear to have been made last time?

Mr. Turton

The statement made in this case was that the rejection of the Paris Agreements would not mean that German rearmament would not take place. The issue is not whether the German Federal Republic will rearm, but how. The need for a West German contribution to Western defence was accepted by all the N.A.T.O. Governments, including the Labour Government of the United Kingdom in 1950.

13. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what additional formalities must now be completed before the agreements relating to German rearmament are finally ratified by Her Majestys' Government.

Mr. Turton

The only formal step now required before ratification by deposit of the Instruments is their signature by Her Majesty The Queen. The necessary documents are being prepared for signature.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

The news that the Paris Agreements have not yet been ratified by Her Majesty's Government will be welcomed by very many people. Does the Joint Under-Secretary agree that recent events in France and the shift of opinion in Germany make the future of these agreements rather doubtful, and will he, in those circumstances, take advantage of the breathing space so provided to institute four-Power talks.

Mr. Turton

No, Sir.