HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 cc905-6
20. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government that the unification of Germany must precede any disengagement or disarmament of East and West Germany.

Commander Noble

The policy of Her Majesty's Government is that any measure of disengagement or disarmament must be considered in relation to the military and political circumstances in which it would take place, that is to say, whether it would increase or decrease security and stability. Her Majesty's Government do not consider that there can be any lasting security in Europe so long as Germany remains divided.

Mr. Grimond

Whilst appreciating what the Minister has said, has he noticed that the German Government themselves made a statement over the weekend saying that this is a matter which must be considered at any Summit Conference? Is it the intention of Her Majesty's Government to have preliminary discussions with the German Government about this question, which seems to be an important preliminary to any meetings with the Russians?

Commander Noble

Of course, there will be discussions amongst our allies about these matters.

Mr. E. Fletcher

Does the Minister really mean that if any prospect of either disengagement or disarmament presents itself, it is the policy of the Government to sacrifice that prospect in the interests of German reunification?

Commander Noble

What I do mean to say is that, without defining exactly the disengagement or disarmament proposals envisaged, it is difficult to deal with this in question and answer.

Back to