HC Deb 10 July 1957 vol 573 cc354-5
6. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, following the recent meeting of the United Nations Committee to discuss the question of a United Nations Charter Review Conference, he will make a statement on the proposals of Her Majesty's Government to strengthen the authority of the United Nations.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

No, Sir. The Committee decided to defer taking any decision. In the circumstances I have nothing to add to my reply to the right hon. and learned Member on 27th May.

Mr. Henderson

Is it not the case that a good deal could be done to strengthen the authority of the United Nations without waiting for a review of the Charter itself? If the Government take the view —as expressed by the Foreign Secretary —that the United Nations remains weak and ineffective in many respects, cannot the right hon. and learned Gentleman make proposals which would have as their object the strengthening of the United Nations, without waiting for the Review Conference?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not conceal from the right hon. and learned Gentleman that I am rather disappointed in the way that this matter has gone, but we have to face the fact that the Soviet delegate on the Committee, echoed by all the satellite members, said that any change in the Charter could only be for the worse. That is a very unfortunate attitude of mind, and we have to see whether we cannot get some movement from that position.

Mr. Pitman

Although we may share the Foreign Secretary's disappointment in this matter, is not there at any rate some hope, in that the matter is still open and it will be open to him, at a later stage, when the matter comes up for review, to review also his view of the matter?

Mr. Lloyd

I personally took a recent opportunity to indicate some respects in which I thought that matters should be improved. I shall certainly continue to ventilate those views on appropriate occasions. I do not think myself that it is wise for us to put forward positive proposals at a time when we are faced with this completely negative attitude on the part of an important section of the United Nations.

Mr. Henderson

In view of the importance of this matter, I beg to give notice that I shall raise it on the Adjournment.