HC Deb 13 July 1955 vol 543 cc1908-9
18. Mr. Usborne

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what instructions he has given to the United Kingdom representative at the United Nations on the question of revising the United Nations Charter.

Mr. H. Macmillan

The question of holding a review conference will be discussed by the General Assembly at its next session. Her Majesty's Government do not consider that such a conference would be in the interests of the United Nations at the present time. Our consultations with other member Governments have shown us that this view is widely shared.

Mr. Usborne

Whereas that is evidently the view—and I regret it, though knowing the difficulties—of the Government at this moment, is it not nevertheless true that the Foreign Secretary has his mind open to the possibilities of changing and strengthening the United Nations more in the direction of the world government that he said that he wanted it to be, as soon as the appropriate moment and occasion should arise?

Mr. Macmillan

I think that the position was very aptly summed up at San Francisco by the Indian representative, who said that if the Charter had to be revised it would require agreement, and that if there was agreement there would be no need for revision, I think the real thing is to try to get progress in dealing with some of the fundamental problems, and that would then lead to a better situation in regard to the Charter itself.

Mr. A. Henderson

Would the Secretary of State agree that the obvious intention of the framers of the Charter was to secure universality, and even though it may not be possible to amend the Charter in the next twelve months,. will the Government press for a situation which would bring all States within the ambit of the United Nations?

Mr. Macmillan

I think that it all hangs on what I have said. I have every sympathy with that, but I think that every step which will help to improve the international situation generally will be a step towards the bettering of the United Nations.