HC Deb 04 February 1958 vol 581 cc976-7
49. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether his proposal of 4th January for a solemn pact of non-aggression is to include all the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Warsaw Pact; and whether adherence to the pact would be open to other European Governments.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

In his letter of 16th January to Mr. Bulganin, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said: the form of any bilateral or multilateral declaration will of course require further consideration, and I have nothing to add to this.

Mr. Henderson

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that considerable sections of public opinion regard this proposal for a non-aggression pact between East and West as a very important step towards easing the present international tension? Will he not at least say that this proposal has been put forward in all seriousness and that consultations are taking place between Her Majesty's Government and the Governments of France and of the United States with the object of securing their agreement to such a proposal?

Mr. Butler

It is quite clear that this was a most serious suggestion by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. He said that not only would any bilateral or multilateral declaration need further consideration, but he reminded Mr. Bulganin in his letter that our purpose must be to reinforce and not cast doubt upon the existing provisions of the United Nations Charter. It has not been possible so far to carry the suggestion further. It remains there.