HC Deb 28 July 1958 vol 592 cc933-4
22. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will now make a statement on the prospects for summit talks.

Commander Noble

If the hon. Member has in mind the proposed meeting of the Security Council in New York, I regret that I am not in a position to make, a further statement today on the prospects for these talks. No definite arrangements for the talks have as yet been made. These are matters requiring consultation between the Governments concerned, and with Mr. Hammarskjoeld. My right hon. and learned Friend will, of course, make a statement as soon as he is able to do so. So far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned, however, our position is as stated in my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's reply to Mr. Khrushchev. published yesterday.

Mr. Swingler

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that it is very welcome news to the majority of citizens that Mr. Khrushchev has accepted in principle the proposal of Her Majesty's Government for a summit meeting at the Security Council? Will he ensure that his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is in no way deterred, either by opposition or criticism behind him or in the United States, from trying to overcome any procedural difficulties towards bringing about this meeting?

Commander Noble

We shall certainly try to overcome any procedural difficulties.

Mr. Osborne

In view of the immense interest here and throughout the world in these proposed talks, will my right hon. and gallant Friend ask his right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary whether a statement can be made before we adjourn at the end of the week?

Commander Noble

I am sure that my right hon. and learned Friend would wish to make a statement if he were able to do so and if sufficient progress had been made.

Mr. Younger

In view of indications from several Powers that they wish the subject matter of the conference to cover not merely Lebanon and Jordan but general questions of the Middle East, will the Minister of State and his colleagues bear in mind that this might involve the presence not only of a number of Arab States, as has been suggested, but also of Israel?

Commander Noble

It is up to the Security Council, within the machinery of the United Nations, to decide what countries take part in these talks.