HC Deb 19 December 1960 vol 632 cc869-70
38. Mr. Hannan

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals Her Majesty's Government have submitted to the United Nations General Assembly for the resumption of disarmament negotiations, either in the Ten-Nation Committee or in some other body.

Mr. Heath

Her Majesty's Government have joined in sponsoring a Resolution recommending various principles which should guide disarmament negotiations and urging that negotiations should be resumed as soon as possible. In addition, the United Kingdom delegate has tabled a Resolution setting out the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on the establishment of expert study groups, and recommending their appointment with the minimum of delay.

Mr. Hannan

The Minister will be aware that there have been other proposals that the Committee of Ten should be extended to a committee of fifteen. Will he assure us that he will not take up an inflexible attitude on machinery since disarmament is, of course, the prime purpose?

Mr. Heath

We are not in the least inflexible, as I think the action we have taken at the United Nations shows and as an Answer to a Question shortly to be reached will demonstrate. I think that the proposals mentioned by the hon. Member are a complete change in the nature of the Ten-Power Committee and we have said that we are prepared to consider such changes.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that, in view of the most unsatisfactory nature of the negotiations in Geneva in the Committee of Ten, we shall propose drastic changes in its composition in order to bring in some of the so-called neutral or uncommitted voices?

Mr. Heath

I am answering a Question about that a little later.