HC Deb 10 July 1956 vol 556 cc193-4
50. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Prime Minister if he will undertake to reply to the letter addressed to him by Mr. Bulganin on 6th June regarding the new approach to disarmament by the Soviet Government, before the end of July; and if he will, also, make a statement.

The Prime Minister

I replied to Mr. Bulganin's letter yesterday, and my reply has been published today. I do not wish to add to that reply.

Mr. Yates

Does not the Prime Minister think that, after six weeks' consideration, it is disappointing that the Government can offer no more than they offered in the White Paper? Would the Government consider that to leave ourselves with 700,000 men by 1958 is a fitting gesture to a move of this kind, and would not the making of a bigger gesture lead to a further step towards a reduction of armed forces?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that this is a question of gestures; it is a question of serious exchanges of views. As I said, my reply was the result of considerable exchanges of view among all our Allies. In the circumstances, I think it was a reasoned and reasonable document.