HC Deb 24 July 1958 vol 592 cc675-6
48. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Prime Minister whether he will propose that in any conference of Heads of Government on the Middle East an invitation should be sent to Colonel Nasser.

The Prime Minister

Mr. Khrushchev's original proposal for a meeting in Geneva covered the Heads of Government of five named States. Our counterproposal for a special meeting of the Security Council was more flexible and I am glad to note that Mr. Khrushchev's latest letter recognises this. But until the form of the meeting has been agreed, it would be premature to try to lay down which States who are not members of the Security Council should attend or by whom they should be represented.

Mr. Donnelly

What is the point of having a discussion on the Middle East on matters involving Arab nationalism without the principal figure in Arab nationalism being present? Does the Prime Minister recognise that it would be profoundly regrettable if it were left entirely to the Russians to propose that Arab nationalism should be represented at the conference?

The Prime Minister

I can only repeat that the counter-proposal made by Her Majesty's Government and their Allies at least makes possible what would not have been possible under the original proposal.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there will, I believe, be general gratification in the House that Mr. Khrushchev has in principle accepted the latest suggestion of Her Majesty's Government? There are, no doubt, difficulties to be overcome, and one could ask many questions, but I believe that in present circumstances it would be the desire of all of us to encourage the Prime Minister to do all he can to overcome these difficulties and bring about the conference as quickly as possible.

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