HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 cc197-8
50. Mr. Proctor

asked the Prime Minister if, in view of the recent changes in the Russian Government which may make diplomatic action more fruitful, he will now accept the invitation to visit the leaders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at an early date.

The Prime Minister

For the present I have nothing to add to previous Answers which I have given on this topic, the most recent being that to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) on 6th June.

Mr. Proctor

Does the Prime Minister realise that events such as the death and denunciation of Stalin and the removal of Molotov give an opportunity for influencing, and not only following, events? Does he realise that a visit by himself to Russia, with an expression of our desire for peace to the Russian people and perhaps a call in on the Eastern European countries on the way back, might have a beneficial effect upon the possibilities of peace in the world?

The Prime Minister

It would not be right for me to comment on the internal political developments of another country. I would venture to say what I have said before, that visits of this kind need careful preparation and careful timing if they are to be useful.

Mr. Paget

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether Her Majesty's Government regard the fact that the Russian leaders have taken to murdering each other again as a good or bad symptom and whether it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to encourage or discourage that practice?

The Prime Minister

That is one of those supplementary questions which stands upon its own basis and does not, I think, require a reply.

Mr. Shinwell

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in the interests of accuracy and so far as reports are available, whether there is any truth in the suggestion that the Russian leaders are at present murdering each other?

The Prime Minister

It was not my supplementary question.

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