HC Deb 13 July 1959 vol 609 cc23-4
32. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the progress achieved at the Technical Committee on Safeguards against Surprise Attack.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. John Profumo)

I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend the Minister of State told the House on 18th February last.

Mr. Henderson

As the United States Government feel compelled to maintain a substantial part of their Air Force in a constant state of readiness, and, indeed, the Soviet Government may be doing the same, would not the Minister of State agree that this is a matter of considerable urgency and importance? May I ask him whether the Foreign Secretary is taking advantage of the presence of the other Foreign Ministers at Geneva to raise this matter in order to discuss possible future action?

Mr. Profumo

The issues before what was purely a technical conference have to some extent been overtaken by the discussions between the Foreign Ministers which have been taking place in Geneva and which have been resumed today.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Is it the intention to reconvene the Technical Committee?

Mr. Profumo

No, Sir; it is not.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Would it not, in accordance with precedent, be of value if the Government gave us a White Paper showing the proposals which were made to the Technical Committee and the principal speeches that were made?

Mr. Profumo

I do not think that is really necessary, because a copy of the report of the conference in the form of a United Nations document is already available in the Library of the House.