HC Deb 14 February 1956 vol 548 cc2168-9
45. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his attempts to bring about direct negotiations between Israel and her Arab neighbours; and whether such negotiations are now to take place.

The Prime Minister (Sir Anthony Eden)

I would refer the right hon. and learned Gentleman to the statement I made yesterday.

Mr. Henderson

In view of the statement issued by the Soviet Foreign Office and the allegations contained in it, would the Prime Minister make it clear that the policy of Her Majesty's Government in relation to the Middle East, including the 1950 Tripartite Declaration, is entirely consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Charter?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir; the declaration of 1950 is wholly in harmony with the terms of the United Nations Charter. In fact, so far as I know, I have never hitherto heard anybody cast doubt on that fact.

Mr. Shinwell

Does the Prime Minister appreciate that his statement yesterday in regard to the situation in the Middle East was not as clear as it ought to have been? Would he be good enough to state quite categorically whether it is the intention of the signatories to the Tripartite Declaration only to prepare to take action in the event of aggression—that is, after the event—or whether they propose to take any kind of positive action before an event takes place, in order to prevent it taking place—in other words, to prevent aggression?

The Prime Minister

So far as the 1950 Declaration is concerned, the right hon. Gentleman knows well that our position has been, remains and will be that we will carry out the terms of the 1950 Declaration. I do not think I can possibly go beyond that or put a gloss upon it.

46. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the Prime Minister what further steps he proposes to take to emphasise and secure the implementation of the Tripartite Agreement of 1950 on Israel.

The Prime Minister

I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made yesterday.

Mr. Langford-Holt

In view of the fact that the Prime Minister said yesterday that there was a danger that both sides did not fully understand the implications of the Tripartite Declaration—and anybody who has been out there clearly knows that there is a failure to understand it—is my right hon. Friend able to say when the negotiations which he indicated yesterday are in progress between the signatories to the Declaration will be concluded?

The Prime Minister

No, I could not say that. There are discussions for the purposes which I described yesterday, and I have no reason to suppose that their conclusions will necessarily be made public.

Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Prime Minister whether it is his intention, possibly after consultation with the United States and France, to make any official reply to the statement of the Soviet Government on the Tripartite Declaration?

The Prime Minister

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. His question does not actually arise from the Question on the Order Paper, but I will gladly consider it. Of course, I have not had an opportunity of consulting my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary in detail on the matter, but I will certainly consider it.