§ 15. Mr. Zilliacus
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the damage caused to this country's reputation by the allegations, of which official notice has been taken, of collusion and misrepresentation in connection with Suez, made recently in the Press, he will propose to the French Government the joint publication of the minutes of the conversations between British and French Ministers in London on 10th October, 1956, and between the British and French Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries in Paris on 16th October.
§ Mr. Zilliacus
Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not aware that the facts are admitted officially in France that there was an alliance with Israel, that French planes were based on Cyprus and from there took part in the operation, and that these plans were concerted between the French and British Governments on 10th and 16th October? Is the Minister really content that the Government should lie under these charges instead of taking steps to ascertain the truth?
Her Majesty's Government have repeatedly denied the allegation of collusion and conspiracy, and the position has not changed.
§ 19. Mr. Emrys Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the spokesman of the Foreign Office at his Press Conference on 3rd December. referring to certain statements by Mr. Randolph Churchill on Suez, said that they appeared in many respects to be inaccurate; and if he will publish the statements to which he referred and the corrections he thinks necessary in the public interest.
With regard to the first part, have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said last week. The answer to the second part of the Question is, "No, Sir."
§ Mr. Hughes
Is the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs aware that Mr. Randolph Churchill has definitely alleged that he has reason to know that Mr. Hope received instructions through the Foreign Office from 10 Downing Street? Is not that one of the reasons why the Prime Minister is silent? Is the Minister aware that I have here the whole of the series of articles written on Suez by Mr. Randolph Churchill? Is the Minister aware that millions of people have now become interested in this controversy? If I sent the Minister these cuttings, would he undertake to mark on them the passages which have been described as inaccurate?
§ Mr. Hale
In view of the fact that these articles make a specific allegation against the Government, that of planning an aggressive war, for which fifteen war criminals were hanged at Nuremburg, does the Minister feel that he is upholding the dignity and reputation of the British Government by showing that he is not even concerned to say that he and his colleagues were not guilty of capital offences?
§ Mr. Bevan
Why does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not answer the question? It is a very serious question. A charge has been made that the Government of which he is a member did plan an aggressive war against another nation, and that, of course, is a criminal act. 754 What answer has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman to make?
As I have said, I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend has said. What the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) and the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) are saying may well be one of the inaccuracies.
§ Mr. Bevan
Is this what might be called the negative approach to truth? Must we go on asking a whole series of questions in order to get a statement from the Government that any single allegation may be inaccurate? Are we to assume that what is not declared to be inaccurate is accurate? Is that to be a substitute for the Select Committee we want? Is that the way to get at the truth?
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made the position quite clear last week, as I have today, in answer to the Question of the hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Zilliacus).