HC Deb 17 April 1957 vol 568 cc1910-1
23. Mr. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many meetings of the Paris Consultative Group have been held since its inception; and what was the date of the last meeting.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

There have been fourteen meetings of the Consultative Group since its inception; the last one was held in September, 1954.

Mr. Lewis

Now that we have heard from the Foreign Secretary that the American Government have sent proposals, may I ask him how long he thinks it will take the Government to consider these proposals, when he anticipates putting them before the Consultative Group, and when he thinks that the Consultative Group will meet to discuss those proposals?

Mr. Lloyd

I cannot say. Of course, so far as the meeting of the Consultative Group is concerned, the committees are in continuous session; but I agree with the hon. Gentleman that this is a matter in which considerable haste must be made.

25. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in how many cases, and on what specific issues, he has found himself unable to comply with the decisions of the Paris. Consultative Group and its committee.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I cannot disclose such particulars. The discussions of the Paris Consultative Group and its committees are confidential.

Mr. Rankin

Does not the Foreign Secretary realise that, prior to 1939, this country was the leading trader in the world with China; that we have now lost that position, fallen very far back indeed in the race, and that that springs indirectly from the mistaken belief that Chiang Kai-shek counts for something in the Far East?

Mr. Lloyd

I think that that goes a little wide of the Question on the Paper.

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