HC Deb 19 July 1955 vol 544 cc207-8
49. Mr. George Craddock

asked the Prime Minister what proposals he is making at Geneva to establish a pattern of trade which can take care of possible unemployment in the armaments industry if the conference is successful.

Mr. R. A. Butler

It would be premature to anticipate the results of the Geneva Conference, or any action which Her Majesty's Government may need to take as a result. But any relief to the economy which that Conference may make possible should be accepted as a fresh opportunity for developing our pattern of economic growth and reinforcing our policy of liberating and expanding international trade.

Mr. Craddock

Will the Chancellor be good enough to mention this matter to the Prime Minister, because this is a study that ought to be made now, as we are all hopeful of the outcome of the Geneva Conference and similar conferences for world peace?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I not only discussed this matter with the Prime Minister before he left, but I shall also see that the Question put by the hon. Member is drawn to the attention of my right hon. Friend.

50. Mr. Warbey

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that the Russian Defence Minister is included in the Russian delegation to Geneva, and that both the French and the Russian Prime Ministers have expressed the desire to reach decisions of principle on disarmament at the summit talks, he will invite the Minister of Defence to join him at Geneva.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have no doubt that my right hon. Friend will augment the delegation if he considers it desirable.

Mr. Warbey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that public opinion expects the Prime Minister to give the question of disarmament high priority in the Geneva talks? Would not inclusion in the delegation of the Minister of Defence, who has had a great deal of experience in these matters, be an earnest of the desire of the Government to attempt to close the small remaining gap between the Western and the Soviet viewpoints on this question?

Mr. Butler

There is absolute sympathy of opinion between the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence. The Prime Minister is well aware of the experience and attitude of my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Defence. I think we must leave the matter to the discretion of the Prime Minister.