HC Deb 19 February 1958 vol 582 cc1191-2
5. Mr. Peyton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the number of specific disarmament proposals made during the last ten years by the Western Powers and turned down by the Russians; and if he will either circulate the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT or publish them in a White Paper.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of sixteen important Western proposals rejected by the Soviet Union in the last ten or eleven years. The list will indicate when these proposals were put forward and where my hon. Friend can find further details of them. All but the first two of these have been published textually in White Papers. The list is not exhaustive; but starting with the Baruch Plan in 1946 and ending with the Western proposals endorsed by the United Nations last November, it shows how consistently the Western Powers have striven to conclude an honest and effective disarmament agreement.

Mr. Peyton

Is it not a fact that the Russian counter-offers to these proposals have often been disappointingly inflexible and rigid? Would my right hon. Friend not agree that the answer he has just given proves clearly the utter falsity of the shameful suggestion, so often made by the party opposite, that this country is dragging its heels in matters of disarmament?

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Order, order. May I express the hope that hon. Members in asking these questions will not stray from the proper purpose of Questions? After all, the Minister is not responsible for views held by the party opposite, so it is not something on which he can be questioned.

Mr. Bevan

Is it not a fact that the question that has been asked, and which the right hon. Gentleman has answered, belongs to the same category as people who buy their libraries by the ton?

Following is the list: June, 1946: Baruch plan for international ownership and control of atomic energy (Second Report of United Nations Atomic Energy Commission, 1947, a copy of which is in the Library of the House). November, 1948: Franco-Belgian proposal, adopted by the General Assembly, for the Conventional Armaments Commission to prepare a scheme for collecting information about armaments and armed forces (Command 7630, page 9). April, 1952: United States' proposal for progressive and continuing disclosure and verification of armed forces and armaments (Command 8589, page 15). April, 1952: United States' proposal for essential principles of a disarmament programme (Command 8589, page 14). June, 1954: Anglo-French plan for comprehensive disarmament (Command 9204, page 31). April, 1955: Anglo-French offer to advance prohibition of nuclear weapons from end of conventional reductions to the moment when these were three-quarters complete (Command 9636), page 30). April, 1955: Joint Western proposal on principles of control of disarmament (Command 9636, page 31). July, 1955: President Eisenhower's "open skies" aerial inspection plan (Command 9636, page 48). July, 1955; Eden plan for a trial scheme of inspection of forces in Europe (Command 9636, page 53). March, 1956: Revised Anglo-French plan for comprehensive disarmament (Command 9770, page 26). May, 1956: Anglo-French proposals for the International Disarmament Control Organisation (Command 9770, page 40). May, 1957: United Kingdom proposal for registration and limitation of nuclear tests (Command 333, page 50). July, 1957: Joint Western proposal for the suspension of nuclear tests as part of a first-stage partial disarmament agreement (Command 333, page 75). July, 1957: United Kingdom proposal for the creation of expert working groups to study the technical and practical aspects of those disarmament measures on which there was agreement in principle (Command 333, page 15). August, 1957: Joint Western proposals for aerial and ground inspection against surprise attack (Command 333, page 79). August, 1957: Joint Western plan for balanced and controlled partial disarmament agreement (Command 333, page 96).
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