HC Deb 03 December 1959 vol 614 cc1373-4
45. Mr. Shin well

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements he is making to be accompanied at the proposed Summit Conference by representatives from countries of the Commonwealth other than the United Kingdom in order to assist in any discussions which may take place of matters of concern to such countries.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

None, Sir. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister informed the right hon. Gentleman on 24th November, no requests have been received from other Commonwealth Governments for their representatives to accompany him to a Summit Conference. We shall continue to keep other Commonwealth Governments informed about plans for a Summit Conference. We also look forward to a meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London before long. In all the circumstances, we do not feel that arrangements of the kind the right hon. Gentleman contemplates are in fact called for.

Mr. Shinwell

I was made aware that the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister could not be present this afternoon. May I put this supplementary question to the Leader of the House? In the event of a Summit Conference coming to fruition and questions other than European questions coming under consideration—for example, matters concerning the Pacific and the Commonwealth countries—is is not desirable that, in addition to President de Gaulle and Dr. Adenauer, and even President Eisenhower, who are quite lukewarm about the Commonwealth of Nations, some Commonwealth representatives should be present? Or are we to understand that the Summit Conference will be confined exclusively to a consideration of European issues?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. I can give no general assurance of that type. After consulting my right hon. Friend, ample opportunity will be taken to consult Commonwealth countries about any matters arising which affect their interests.