HC Deb 25 July 1960 vol 627 cc1065-8
20 Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has yet come to a decision whether he will table for inclusion in the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations a motion calling for the admission of the Chinese People's Republic to the Organisation, including permanent membership of the Security Council.

29. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the current quieter situation in the Far East, he will now propose the admission of the Peking Government to the United Nations.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I have already stated on a number of occasions Her Majesty's Government's position on this matter. I have nothing to add.

Mr. Warbey

As the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself has agreed that there is very little hope of getting a comprehensive agreement on disarmament until China is a party to the disarmament talks, and as there is no hope of China coming into those talks until she is a member of the United Nations, will not the British Government have the courage of their own convictions and give a lead to the recognition of China during the forthcoming General Assembly?

Mr. Lloyd

One has to have regard to the facts of the international situation, and also to the views of a large number of other friendly Governments, and I must say that my view continues to be that it would not be appropriate to put down such a motion at the present time.

Mr. Donnelly

I have two questions to ask of the Foreign Secretary. First, is he aware that I hope that he enjoys the same success in his new post that he has enjoyed in his present one? Secondly, may I ask him what conditions he envisages would make it possible for Her Majesty's Government actually to propose the admission of China to the United Nations?

Mr. Lloyd

We have debated this question again and again. What I have always said is that, if one is to start a course of conduct which may split the United Nations, it will defeat the purpose which the hon. Gentleman has in mind for enlarging the United Nations.

Mr. Healey

But does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman recall that in the last two foreign affairs debates there was unanimous support for the admission of Communist China to the United Nations from his own side of the House as well as from this? Has not the time come to end this silly farce of treating the Chiang Kai-shek Government as representative of the Chinese people? Will not he take into account the views of a very large number of friendly Governments which take the same view on the matter as do Her Majesty's Opposition?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Gentleman is quite wrong when he says that we recognise the Chiang Kai-shek Government. We do not, and we have not done so for some years. But the point is, do we, in fact, improve the international organisation and make it more comprehensive by advocating a course of conduct or procedure which will, in fact, split the United Nations, and which might very easily involve its falling apart altogether? That is the consideration.

Mr. Longden

Will my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that, whatever the British Government may do to try to end what has been described as a "silly farce", it remains within the competence of the American Government to veto the suggestion that the People's Republic of China should be introduced into the United Nations and into the Security Council, and that whatever we do, we cannot prevent that?

Mr. Lloyd

This is not, of course, a question of the admission of Communist China but a question of which Government is recognised as the lawful representative of China. I would not like to pronounce, without notice, on the question whether the veto would apply in the Security Council on a matter like that.

Mr. Shinwell

Can the Foreign Secretary say what contribution is made to world peace by the refusal to recognise the Chinese People's Republic, which is a fait accompli? Is it not the case that the policy of the Government is in support of the Chinese Republic being a member of the United Nations and of the Security Council? Is not that their policy? Are we being subservient to the United States in the matter?

Mr. Lloyd

We have recognised the Government of the People's Republic, and all we have said is that we think that the time is not yet ripe to consider the question of the Chinese seat in the United Nations.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Does it not follow from what the Foreign Secretary has said that the Chinese People's Republic is, in fact, a member of the United Nations, that we are denying the rights of representation in the Security Council and the General Assembly which belong to that Republic under the Charter, and that we ourselves are in breach of the Charter? Has he not heard it very frequently said in New York that, if the British Government would state what they know to be the true position on principle, the American resistance would disappear?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not believe that, certainly not at a time like this, when the right hon. Gentleman knows the circumstances concerned. The point is that we have recognised this Government, and we think that time must bring a solution to the problem, but we think that to precipitate the issue now, and insist on raising it now, would mean running the very grave danger of the withdrawal from the United Nations of a large number of States. If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite want that, I think that they are making a very great mistake.