HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 cc1044-5
46. Mr. Warbey

asked the Prime Minister what reply he has returned to Marshal Bulganin's latest proposals for a disarmament agreement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Mr. Bulganin's proposals are still under consideration.

Mr. Warbey

If the Government do consider them, will they take into account the interesting suggestion for an aerial survey covering the whole of Europe, and also link those ideas with the latest suggestion by Mr. Khrushchev of a mutual withdrawal of military forces from Central Europe? Would not that be the best way of helping the stricken people of Hungary?

Mr. Butler

One of the troubles about the Soviet proposal for aerial inspection was that they are prepared to consider the question of employing this method within an area of 800 kilometres east and west of the present demarcation line in Europe, provided that the countries concerned give their consent. This would leave out the United States and the Soviet Union, and therefore I do not think that it would provide against surprise attack, which was the purpose of President Eisenhower's original "Open Skies" proposal.