§ 50. Mr. P. Noel-Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has given further consideration to the possibility of reaching agreement with the other parties concerned with a view to laying a Command Paper before the House containing the texts of the proposals made by the participating Governments to the Conference in Geneva on nuclear tests; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Has the Minister of State further considered what was done in 1957 when the proposal which I have made was carried out in respect of the United Nations Disarmament Sub-Committee? Is it not equally important now that the House should have the documents of which the Government have given us their own interpretation?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
I think the situation is considerably different. At that time there were discussions in the Disarmament Sub-Committee and various proposals were submitted in the form of papers. What we are doing on this occasion is to negotiate an actual treaty and we are discussing the detailed articles 196 of the treaty. It is difficult half way through that particular negotiation to start publishing certain documents with respect to that treaty.
§ Mr. Bevan
In view of the fact that from time to time the Government do issue statements to the House about what they have said and what proposals they have made at the conference, and the same thing is done by other Governments at Press conferences, is it not rather absurd that we should continue this kind of twilight situation in which everybody is furtively trying to find out what everybody else is trying to conceal?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
We are not trying to conceal anything. We have stated our policy in the negotiations and I would have thought that the whole House would be pleased that we were making such good progress. We have now agreed on 17 articles and a preamble and we shall be very ready to publish a post mortem of the successful negotiations.