HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 cc894-5
5. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the withdrawal of Chinese Communist troops from North Korea and the proposal of the Peking Government for the holding of free elections in Korea under neutral supervision, he will make a statement on the policy which Her Majesty's Government will advise the United Nations to adopt in this regard.

11. Mr. Owen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is now in a position to make a statement of Government policy on the Chinese People's Government's official proposal for disengagement in North Korea.

Mr. Ian Harvey

I would refer to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil (Mr. S. O. Davies) on 3rd March. Consideration of the Communist proposals is continuing in consultation with the other Governments concerned, but I am not at present in a position to add to that reply.

Mr. Henderson

Is it the view of the Government that, in the event of free elections being held in Korea, they should be supervised by the United Nations observers?

Mr. Harvey

That is a slightly different question, and I think it unwise to give in advance unilateral answers on matters needing consultation.

Mr. Owen

How long can the House anticipate it will be before the Government's consideration of this matters takes place? Some weeks have elapsed since the reply was given to my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydfil (Mr. S. O. Davies). Is this not a unique opportunity whereby the United Nations can be drawn into consultation on the matter and secure a probable disengagement of forces which might lead to a useful pilot scheme?

Mr. Harvey

With respect to the hon. Gentleman, consultation is not a matter which one participant can control. It is a question of all being agreed. With regard to the hon. Gentleman's second point, it is as the result of the refusal to abide by United Nations' decisions that many of these difficulties arise.

Mr. Bevan

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House through what agency the consultations are taking place? Is the Director-General of the United Nations involved in them?

Mr. Harvey

That is another question, but I will endeavour to answer it.