HC Deb 24 May 1960 vol 624 cc212-3
43. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister whether a firm decision was taken at the recent Commonwealth Conference on the desirability of more frequent meetings of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. But I think it would be fair to say that there was a general feeling that less time should elapse between Meetings than the three years which passed between the Meeting of 1957 and the one which we have just concluded.

Mr. Hamilton

Would the Prime Minister agree that, from every point of view, particularly in view of the rapidly changing situation, politically, socially and economically, within the Commonwealth, and also in view of the evidence of the very strong feeling about certain developments within the Commonwealth, that more frequent meetings should be undertaken, he should give some lead in this matter very quickly?

The Prime Minister

Of course, I will consider that, and I am in close touch with the Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth on this matter. The hon. Member will appreciate that there are often quite considerable difficulties in arranging the most appropriate time, and that these difficulties, alas, get greater the larger the number of Prime Ministers concerned; but we will do our best.

Sir G. Nicholson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there will be widespread disappointment, and indeed it would be a severe loss to the world, if the great momentum gained by the last conference were in any way allowed to slacken off or to die down? Will he try to see that the tremendous success which this conference had will not be allowed to lapse?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir; that will be our endeavour.