HC Deb 07 November 1955 vol 545 cc1458-9
33. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will publish a White Paper containing the Report of the United Nations Sub-Committee on Disarmament; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Yes, Sir. A White Paper will be published shortly. In his statements of 28th March and 13th June, my right hon. Friend reported to the House on the first part of this year's proceedings. The Sub-Committee reconvened on 29th August in New York, as agreed in the directive issued by the four Heads of Governments at their Conference at Geneva in July. They examined the various proposals put forward at that Conference, and discussed the all-important problem of inspection and control. The Western Powers sought to obtain clarification of the Soviet Union's suggestions and views on this crucial aspect of the problem, but without success. The Soviet representative, however, said that his Government would study the various proposals put forward by the Western Powers on methods of inspection and control.

Mr. Henderson

Are the differences between the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and the three Western Powers, on the other hand, as the result of the meeting that took place in New York, narrower than they were at the conclusion of the meeting that took place in London, and is the main difference on the question of the control organ?

Mr. Macmillan

I think that what it would be right to say is that at the London Conference the gulf was made narrower, but I am afraid that there was no real bridging of it in the New York work.

Mr. S. Silverman

Is it the fact that the Governments of this country and of France have changed their view on this matter since they made proposals which were subsequently accepted by the Soviet Union and were made the basis of Soviet Union policy?

Mr. Macmillan

No, they have not changed their views, because the vital problem of control and inspection is still the basis upon which these offers were made.

Mr. Warbey

Do the Govenment still stand by their proposals submitted in the Anglo-French Memorandum?

Mr. Macmillan

Oh, yes; my right hon. Friend made that quite clear. But the Soviet Government in their statement, when they accepted certain parts of it, also made it clear that the question of inspection and control was vital and that no solution appeared yet to be forthcoming.

Mr. Strachey

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that one method by which this snag of inspection and control can be got round is that of banning all further nuclear tests for the reasons given by my right hon. and learned Friend?

Mr. Macmillan

No, I should not have thought that that was necessarily a method of getting round the difficulty.