HC Deb 11 December 1956 vol 562 c224
46. Mr. Swingler

asked the Prime Minister if he will now propose a meeting of heads of Governments of the great Powers for the purpose of discussing the immediate limitation and eventual abolition of hydrogen bomb tests, and the organisation of an international embargo on arms supplies to the Middle East, pending the discovery of a lasting settlement of Middle Eastern problems.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

In answer to the first part, I would refer to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 15th November.

As regards the second, the United Nations is at present making efforts to settle outstanding questions in the Middle East.

Mr. Swingler

Is it not now six months since the Prime Minister undertook to take the initiative on the matter of hydrogen bomb tests at an appropriate time? Was it not in July that the Prime Minister gave that undertaking, and could not the acting Prime Minister now say when the appropriate time is likely to be reached? Further, could not this question be well combined with an initiative to try to reduce tension in the Middle East by an arms embargo on the part of the great Powers?

Mr. Butler

It is true that this has taken some time. The reason it has done so is that it is very difficult to make progress with the matter. All I can do is to assure the hon. Member and the House that this will be one of the subjects which I shall discuss with my right hon. Friend on his return.