HC Deb 10 February 1960 vol 617 cc444-5
19. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has considered the appeal on disarmament addressed to the Parliaments and Governments of all countries by the Supreme Soviet on 15th January and delivered to him as a Note by the Soviet Ambassador in London; and what reply he proposes to make on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. R. Allan

Yes, Sir. My right hon. and learned Friend has considered this appeal, but I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. A. Lewis), on 3rd February.

Mr. Swingler

I think that the Answer to which the hon. Gentleman refers said that no reply was being made. Would not the Under-Secretary, together with his right hon. and learned Friend, reconsider that, as this appeal has received considerable publicity in some countries and sets out in detail the Soviet standpoint on disarmament? As it is addressed to all Governments and Parliaments in the world, should not the Government take the responsibility to set out their point of view in reply to the points made in the appeal?

Mr. Allan

As my right hon. Friend the Minister of State said, this appeal was delivered with a Note from the Soviet Embassy to which, quite correctly, we have replied in a Note saying that it was delivered in accordance with the instructions and requests in that Note. No further reply is required, but I would point out that in a speech made at Strasbourg on 21st January last, my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary said I welcome the speech of Mr. Khrushchev … announcing further reductions in the strength of the Soviet armed forces. … And he added: I am glad to be able to congratulate him on having followed the British example almost with mathematical precision.