HC Deb 02 May 1955 vol 540 cc1341-2
47. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when and where the Austrian State Treaty is likely to be signed.

Mr. Turton

As my right hon. Friend stated in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Warbey) on 25th April, Her Majesty's Government proposed in a Note to the Soviet Government on 22nd April that the Ambassadors of the four Powers should meet in Vienna on 2nd May in order to prepare the ground for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers. The Soviet Government accepted this proposal on 26th April and the four Ambassadors are therefore presumably in conference at this moment. Until we have their reports on their discussions it will not be possible to say when and where the treaty will be signed.

Mr. J. Hynd

Is the Minister aware that the Austrian Government are satisfied that the conditions they received in Moscow are infinitely better than those which we had already announced we were prepared to sign at Berlin two years ago? In these circumstances, can the Minister give an assurance that unless something else emerges in the discussions, the British Government will be prepared to sign to these conditions?

Mr. Turton

As we are at present engaged in conference with the Austrian Government on these matters, it would be very improper for me to make any disclosure while the conference is being held.