HC Deb 25 July 1960 vol 627 cc1063-4
14. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in order to avoid recriminations, threats or incidents as a result of differences between permanent members of the Security Council over such matters as the alleged violation of each other's air space, or policies in regard to the Congo or Cuba, he will instruct Her Majesty's representative on the Security Council to propose the working out and adoption of a code of co-existence between the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the French Republic, which would implement in their mutual relations the principles, purposes and obligations of the United Nations Charter, in particular, the provisions relating to respect for international law and treaty obligations and to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I am all for a code of conduct, particularly one designed to establish that both sides mean the same thing by peaceful co-existence and one observed in fact as well as word. As the House knows, I had hoped that progress would be made at the Summit meeting, and I deeply regretted Mr. Khrushchev's refusal to discuss this sort of matter. I do not think that the Security Council is at present the place to pursue this idea.

Mr. Zilliacus

Is not this proposal little different from the one referred to by the right hon. and learned Gentleman? This is a suggestion that the permanent members of the Security Council, as such, having special responsibilities under the Charter, should work out a code of conduct which would include procedure for the regulation of their mutual relations. Would not an initiative on these lines help to prevent the kind of provocative incidents and violent language that have been flying around from both sides in the last few weeks?

Mr. Lloyd

I regret that we were not able to take up this matter at the Paris meeting. I do not think that the present time is opportune for the idea concerning the Security Council.