HC Deb 22 November 1955 vol 546 cc1261-3
47. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Prime Minister whether he will seek agreement with the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and France, as permanent members of the Security Council, on initiating action by the Council in the Israeli-Egyptian dispute under Article 33 and 40 of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Prime Minister

As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary informed the House on 7th November, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has made specific proposals to both sides for the withdrawal of their armed forces from the El Auja zone and for the demarcation of its western boundary by the United Nations. General Burns is now engaged in securing their acceptance by both sides, and I am glad to say that no further serious incidents have been reported in this area since the proposals were made.

Mr. Zilliacus

While thanking the Prime Minister for his reply, may I ask him if he will not try the experiment of substituting the idea of a concert of Powers for the idea of balance of power as the basis of our policy in the Middle East and, in order to do so, to work through the machinery and obligations of the United Nations and try to work out a joint policy for keeping the peace in that part of the world?

The Prime Minister

That is what is happening, of course, and, as I have said, with some measure of improvement recently.

Mr. Nicholson

Is the Prime Minister aware that it would help hon. Members and the public generally to reach a balanced view of the situation in the Middle East if they could have some more or less solid information as to the relative strength of armaments of the various Powers and countries in that neighbourhood? Would my right hon. Friend consider publishing a document on those lines?

The Prime Minister

I think that is asking rather a lot of Her Majesty's Government. I do not know whether the House realises at the moment that supplies of arms to these countries are being delivered from a very wide range of sources and, even if we were able to reach the limitation to which the right hon. Member for Blyth (Mr. Robens) referred earlier, there would still be a very wide range of countries outside the agreement altogether.

Mr. H. Morrison

As the Prime Minister has said in respect of the original Question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Gorton (Mr. Zilliacus) that the Government are doing what my hon. Friend requested should be done, can the Prime Minister say what they are doing through the Security Council?

The Prime Minister

Is the right hon. Member referring to arms?

Mr. Morrison

No, I am referring to the original Question put by my hon. Friend. The Prime Minister rather implied that the Government are doing what my hon. Friend had requested. What are they doing through the Security Council?

The Prime Minister

I thought the right hon. Member would be aware that General Burns is working under the United Nations—[HON. MEMBERS: "Ah, well."]—Do not say "Ah, well," this is very important. The proposals of General Burns in the El Auja zone have now resulted, I hope, in this area being made peaceful instead of warlike.