HC Deb 15 November 1960 vol 630 cc206-7
43. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Prime Minister in view of the need to ensure greater support from countries in the Far East, as well as from those in Africa, for the foreign policy of Her Majesty's Government, if he will arrange to visit the Far East at an early date.

The Prime Minister

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for this suggestion, which I have noted.

Dame Irene Ward

While considering the proposal, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the fact that many people, including many of our official people right throughout the Far East, take the view that with our preoccupation with African problems, the problems of the Far East are being overlooked? Does he realise how welcome would be a visit from him in order that the people can see that aspects affecting both Africa and the Far East receive full consideration?

The Prime Minister

As I believe the House knows, I had very much hoped to make a visit to Malaya, because I would then have succeeded, as Prime Minister, in visiting every Commonwealth country. If I were able to fit that visit in, as I hoped, it would give me an opportunity to go to other countries in the Far East.

Mr. Healey

Is the Prime Minister aware that a visit by him to the Far East would probably do more harm than good, unless Her Majesty's Government show the courage of their convictions about the seating of the Peking Government in the United Nations?

The Prime Minister

I rather thought the hon. Member would say that. That is why I was so careful about it.

Mr. Shinwell

Has the Prime Minister observed that suggestions have been made to him by hon. Members on both sides of the House to go to the Far East, Moscow, Washington and elsewhere? In fact, they do not seem to like his presence in this assembly.

The Prime Minister

I should feel that a rather wounding question if it were not for the fact that the right hon. Gentleman spends so much time, in his questions, in hoping that I have more time to answer my Questions every week.

Mr. Rankin

Is the right hon. Gentleman coming back?