HC Deb 20 May 1957 vol 570 cc843-4
17. Mr. Peyton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he now proposes to take to concert a common policy in the Middle East between this country and the United States of America.

Commander Noble

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated on 1st April, we and the United States have identical aims in this area even if there are at times divergencies on how to achieve them. The process of close consultation, which is the best method of ensuring common policies, is continuous.

Mr. Peyton

Now that the Suez controversy has been well argued into the ground, does my right hon. and gallant Friend not feel that in looking to the future there is a very grave danger that Western policies will continue to be frustrated and thwarted by their own divided counsels? Will he not suggest to the American Government that in the Middle East, to start with, there should be some attempt at official level to concert in detail a policy for this extremely vital part of the world?

Commander Noble

I am afraid that I cannot agree with my hon. Friend on the first part of his supplementary. As he knows, these matters were very fully discussed at Bermuda and since then there has been close and continuous consultation.

Mr. Younger

While accepting the value of consultation with the United States in these matters, will Her Maejsty's Government be careful not to begin regarding the Middle East as an Anglo-American preserve? Will they consider having co-operation not merely with the United States, but on a very much wider basis, notably with countries in Asia, probably under the leadership of India?

Commander Noble

We shall certainly consult about the Middle East with those countries we think oppropriate.

Major Wall

Is it not a fact that American public opinion seems to be far ahead of the opinion in the American Administration on this subject?