HC Deb 02 March 1955 vol 537 cc2039-40
12. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the main items of a disarmament convention on which there is now agreement between the major Powers; and what items have still to be agreed before a draft convention can be drawn up.

Mr. Turton

I would refer the hon. Member to the speech by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Supply on 6th December. All aspects of the problem are, however, now under discussion in private Session in the Sub-Committee of the Disarmament Commission. I cannot therefore make a further statement today.

Mr. Warbey

Is it not clear that the speech made by the Minister of Supply in New York last October showed that substantial advance towards agreement had been made as a result of concessions from both sides, and if there are any signs that further progress is not made fairly soon during the course of the present private discussions, will the Government take the opportunity to refer the question of disarmament to a conference at the highest level?

Mr. Torton

We should be careful to do all we can to make the present sittings of the Disarmament Sub-Committee a success, and I hope that the hon. Member will lend his energies in that direction.

13. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will propose to the United Nations Disarmament Sub-Committee an acceleration of the Sub-Committee's work with a view to securing agreement on a draft disarmament convention covering all countries, including Germany, before the ratification of the Paris Agreements is completed.

Mr. Turton

Her Majesty's Government are doing all they can to speed the work of the Disarmament Sub-Committee, but whether and when agreement is reached depends not only on us.

Mr. Warbey

In order to assist the Government in promoting agreement on disarmament, will the hon. Gentleman consider the possibility that a speeding up of the disarmament agreement so that the question of Germany could be merged, and submerged, in a general agreement would in itself create the appropriate political conditions for general agreement?

Mr. Turton

As the Sub-Committee has met twice already and will meet again tomorrow, that is, I am sure, a good indication of the urgent way in which it is treating the problem.

Mr. Noel-Baker

If Russia really desires to prevent the rearmament of Germany by means of a general disarmament treaty, will she perhaps instruct her delegate to co-operate instead of doing propaganda, as he did throughout the six weeks last summer?