HC Deb 04 April 1957 vol 568 cc575-6
47. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Prime Minister to what extent his and President Eisenhower's joint reference to the reunification of Germany indicates readiness to summon a new four-Power conference to negotiate an agreement for the reunification of Germany outside the rival alliances but within the United Nations and an all-European treaty based on the charter and linked with conventions for the control and reduction of armaments and withdrawal of forces from Germany, Hungary and Poland; or whether his policy remains the inclusion of united Germany in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Prime Minister

As the hon. Member has been told before, we are willing to negotiate with the Russians at any suitable time, provided there is a prospect of satisfactory progress. But we must maintain our insistence on free all-German elections and the freedom of an all-German Government to choose its policies. So far the Soviet Government have refused to agree to either of these things.

As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to what I said at Geneva on 29th October, 1955, namely that so far as the Western Powers are concerned a reunified Germany will have complete freedom to choose whether she should join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or not. This remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Zilliacus

Is not the Prime Minister aware that there is no possibility of an agreement on that basis? Is he further aware that both the Labour Party and the German Social Democratic Party have come out for a policy of reunifying Germany within an all-Europe treaty, outside the rival alliances? Will the right hon. Gentleman explore the possibilities of a fresh approach, in order to break the deadlock?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, I must adhere to what I have said in the Answer to this Question.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is there not a meeting taking place in Washington between the United States, Britain, France and West Germany on the whole question of whether a fresh initiative in relation to German reunification is possible? May I ask whether Her Majesty's Government still adhere to the so-called "Eden Plan" under which there would be a thinning out of forces on each side of the Iron Curtain?

The Prime Minister

With regard to the first part of the question, discussions at the official level are going on, but it would not be right for me to disclose the contents of any report by officials until they have been considered by Ministers. Therefore, that covers the other part of the question also.