HC Deb 10 July 1957 vol 573 cc352-4
29 and 30. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) how far, in view of the lapse of time since the end of the war, and of events in Poland during and since last October, Her Majesty's Government now accept the existing Polish-German frontier as an accomplished fact; and if they will extend de jure recognition to this frontier;

(2) whether he will now give an assurance that it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to support the unification of Germany within the existing frontiers of East and West Germany and on the basis of renouncing any territorial claims against any of Germany's neighbours.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government stand by the Potsdam Agreement of 2nd August, 1945, that the final delimitation of the Western frontier of Poland should await the peace settlement. Pending such a settlement the present boundary line between the Soviet Zone of Germany and the territories administered by Poland must remain provisional.

Mr. Zilliacus

Have not the Potsdam Agreements been almost superseded by the march of events? Would it not contribute to peace and strengthen the international position of Poland to recognise that frontier today? Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman really believe that we can still bargain about the Polish territory to the east of that frontier, which was settled by 6 million Poles with our consent?

Mr. Lloyd

I think it would be unwise to abandon the Potsdam Agreements. I would remind the hon. Member of the position of the Federal German Government in regard to this matter. They have said: only an all-German Government and a Parliament elected by the entire German nation are entitled to make this decision on the future German Eastern frontiers.

Then the German Foreign Minister added that: the Federal Government also insists that the frontier question can only be solved by way of negotiations without the use, or even the threat of force I think that is the way to leave the matter.
Mr. Bellenger

Does the Foreign Secretary know that there is no political party in Western Germany that accepts these militarily imposed frontiers, including the party which has very close association with the party to which my hon. Friend the Member for Gorton (Mr. Zilliacus) belongs?

Mr. Lloyd

I think the right hon. Member would agree that the position I have just stated is really the position of all parties in Germany.

Mr. Zilliacus

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think that we have the right to recognise this frontier independently of the views of the West German Government? After all, we are not bound to represent their views in this matter. Would not it in fact be impossible to get this frontier changed without another war? Therefore, why not accept it as an accomplished fact?

Mr. Lloyd

It was because I thought the hon. Member might raise the question of war that I quoted the statement of policy made on behalf of the German Government. I disagree with the hon. Member on the rest of his supplementary question. I think it would be much better if we maintained our position under the Agreements.