HC Deb 23 November 1960 vol 630 c1103
4. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he was consulted about the cancellation of the visit to London of General Laskov, the Israeli Chief of Staff; and what new arrangements are being made with the Israeli Government for such a visit.

Mr. Heath

I was aware that General Laskov had been invited to lecture to a private organisation and that he had postponed his visit. As the visit was private the question of making new arrangements with the Government of Israel does not arise.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will my right hon. Friend assure me that no member of Her Majesty's Foreign Service asked for this visit to be cancelled, because my information is that there is a deep feeling of disquiet in the State of Israel as a result of the cancellation of the visit? Is he aware that it is thought in Israel that it was a futile attempt to conciliate Cairo, and will my right hon. Friend agree that we shall not win new friends in the Middle East by letting down the friends we have?

Mr. Heath

I can assure my hon. Friend that there was no question of conciliating Cairo. The Government of Israel have announced that discussions of an informal kind did take place, and I think that the position is perfectly well understood.