HC Deb 16 November 1960 vol 630 cc375-7
35. Mr. Swingler

asked the Lord Privy Seal why the United Kingdom delegate voted for continuing the moratorium on the discussion of Chinese representation at the recent meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

38. Mr. Brockway

asked the Lord Privy Seal how the British delegate to the United Nations voted on the motion that the membership of the Government of the Chinese People's Republic should be placed on the agenda; and which delegates voted in favour, which against, and which abstained.

40. Mr. Rankin

asked the Lord Privy Seal why the British delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation voted to ban the question of Chinese representation from the Assembly agenda.

Mr. Heath

I have nothing to add to what I said on this subject during the debate on 4th November. The complete list of countries and how they voted is available in the Provisional Record of the General Assembly for that day, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

Mr. Swingler

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in his speech he was unable to produce a single sensible reason for voting for the continued exclusion of China from the United Nations and that Britain this year was unable to carry a very large number of countries, including countries of the Commonwealth, with her in this foolish resistance? Will he not now give an undertaking that as soon as practicable we shall enter into negotiations with the new American Administration with a view to having a realistic policy for bringing China into the United Nations?

Mr. Heath

The debate in the United Nations was not on the exclusion of China; it was on the question whether the matter should be discussed and whether the moratorium should be continued. The Government continue to hold the view which they held previously, that the division between the countries at the United Nations on this subject was so great that at this moment it was not advisable to debate the matter.

Mr. Brockway

Is not this subservience to the American view, rather than acting in the interests of the peace of the world? How can we possibly have an international authority which excludes one-sixth of the population of the earth from the United Nations?

Mr. Heath

I am not here concerned with arguing the merits or the demerits of the case. I am arguing about the situation at the United Nations. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will recall that there are still 45 nations in the United Nations which recognise the authorities in Formosa and have very strong feelings about the matter.

Mr. Rankin

Surely the right hon. Gentleman realises that this has nothing to do with the attitude which this Government declare in the House? When are they going to stop dancing upon this subject like a hen on a hot griddle? Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that they are saying things in the House which they oppose in America when they go to vote at the United Nations? When is that type of subservience to America going to stop?

Mr. Heath

The views of the other nations have this to do with it, that they affect the manner in which it should be handled in the United Nations, if a solution is to be found which does not create more difficulties than it removes.

Mr. Healey

Is it not the case that a very large number of countries at present opposing the discussion of this question are taking their lead from the Government, and has not the time now come, since we have a new Administration in the United States, many of whose supporters are known to have different views from those of the old Administration, for the Government to announce that they propose to support the admission of the Peking Government at the next session, and to initiate immediate discussions with their allies to discuss contingent problems such as the future of Formosa?

Mr. Heath

There does not seem to be a great deal of point in initiating discussions with one's allies, if one announces before the discussions what one's policy is going to be. We shall carry on policy discussions with the United States Administration in due course on a very wide range of subjects.

Mr. Healey

The Lord Privy Seal will recollect, if he tries, that I suggested we should discuss not the admission of the Peking Government, on which I should have thought the position of this country could have been made clear long ago, but the solution of the contingent problems such as the enlargement of the Security Council and the future of the territory of Taiwan.

Mr. Heath

Those are wider questions than the Questions on the Order Paper.