HC Deb 19 February 1958 vol 582 cc1180-1
2. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the success achieved by the United Nations force on the frontiers of Israel and neighbouring Arab countries, he will propose the establishment of a permanent United Nations force to prevent the outbreak of hostilities in areas where conflicts are threatened.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

As my right hon. and gallant friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs told the House on 27th January, Her Majesty's Government hope that something of a permanent nature will develop from the United Nations Emergency Force, but we would like to await Mr. Hammarskjold's report on the prospects of this before going further.

Mr. Brockway

Whilst again thanking the right hon. and learned Gentleman, may I ask whether Her Majesty's Government will press for this to be done in view of the continuing instances where such a force would be of value? Algeria and Tunis are an example, and, possibly, the Sudan and Egypt.

Mr. Lloyd

I think the hon. Member would be wise to have regard to the words of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on this matter. I will not read them to him. I expect that he is familiar with them. I think that the Secretary-General has proceeded in this matter with extreme skill in organising and maintaining the United Nations Emergency Force as it is now, and I think that it would be wise to follow his judgment in this matter.

Sir J. Duncan

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that, in spite of the source from which the suggestion comes—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—we nevertheless welcome it on this side of the House?

Mr. F. Noel-Baker

On a point of order. Can we have your Ruling, Mr. Speaker? Is the hon. Member for South Angus (Sir J. Duncan) in order in casting imputations of the type implied at the beginning of that very offensive supplementary question on my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway)?

Mr. Speaker

I did not think that there was any imputation in it. Perhaps the hon. Member for South Angus (Sir J. Duncan) thinks that any suggestion coming from the other side of the House should be resisted.

Sir J. Duncan

Nevertheless, is my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary aware that this idea of a United Nations permanent force is one which would be welcomed by this side of the House and might be one of the good results coming out of the Suez catastrophe last year?

Mr. Lloyd

I am grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend for part of his observations. We feel that there is value in the continuation of this body in some permanent form, but it took a great deal of skill and ingenuity on the part of the Secretary-General to get it accepted, and I think we are wise to proceed according to his judgment in the matter, as I have said.