HC Deb 19 November 1958 vol 595 cc1139-40
26. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Government are now ready to abandon the policy of arming the German Federal Republic with nuclear weapons and insisting that united Germany must be free to enter the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and will, instead, accept the revised Rapacki Plan as a basis of negotiation.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The policy of Her Majesty's Government remains that Germany should be reunified by free elections and that an all-German Government should be free to choose its own foreign policy and alliances. Such a Government would be free to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the Warsaw Pact, or neither. With regard to nuclear weapons, the position remains as stated by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence on 2nd April, 1958.

Mr. Zilliacus

Is it not a fact that the Government know that it is a foregone conclusion that Adenauer's Germany would remain in N.A.T.O.? Is it not further a fact that since 1953 there has been no chance of a settlement on this basis? Does this mean that the Government reject any form of disengagement and want to go on with their policy until the bombs come home?

Mr. Lloyd

Our view is that the German people should have the right of self-determination both in their domestic policy and in their foreign policy. The term "disengagement," of course, is capable of a variety of interpretations. Our sole concern has been that whatever plan is made should not add to insecurity rather than to security.

Mr. Shinwell

Have Her Majesty's Government any power to prevent Federal Germany from dissociating from N.A.T.O.?

Mr. Lloyd

We have no such power.

Dame Florence Horsbrugh

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that at two successive meetings of the Council of Europe, when Parliamentarians from Federal Germany and other European countries were represented, any idea of a disengagement area or a Rapacki Plan was turned down each time it was put to the vote?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend is quite right.