§ 22. Mr. Healey
asked the Lord Privy Seal how the British delegate voted in the United Nations discussions on Cuba.
§ 37. Mr. Warbey
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the result of the discussions at the United Nations on the Cuban situation.
§ 41. Mr. Emrys Hughes
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement about the actions taken by the British delegate at the United Nations in connection with the resolution on Cuba.
§ Mr. Heath
The United Kingdom delegate voted in favour of the resolution sponsored by Argentina and six other Latin American countries and against that sponsored by Mexico. The former resolution was passed with 59 votes in favour, 13 against and 24 abstentions. The vote on the latter resolution, which 407 failed to secure the necessary two-thirds majority, was 41 in favour, 35 against and 20 abstentions. Full details of the voting will be found in the relevant United Nations document, of which a copy will be placed in the Library as soon as possible.
Her Majesty's Government considered that the resolution put forward by the representatives of Argentina and six other Latin-American delegations held out the best possibility of dealing with this difficult problem. It did not attempt to prejudge the issues involved, about which at the time there could be no real certainty. It also, indirectly, took some account of the Organisation of American States which clearly has a special interest in this matter.
§ Mr. Healey
Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why, when the Mexican resolution was voted on Clause by Clause, Her Majesty's Government abstained from supporting ninety other members of the United Nations on the Clause which asked United Nations members to refrain from encouraging and fomenting civil war in other States?
Can he explain why the British representative abstained from voting on a Clause, also widely supported, which asked members not to allow their territory to be used for supporting civil war in other member States?
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that that part of the Argentine resolution which gave responsibility to the Organisation of American States failed to receive the necessary majority, and was voted against by a number of Latin-American countries? In view of these facts, do not the Government recognise that the present conflict between the United States and Cuba is a matter of grave concern for the United Nations as a whole?
§ Mr. Heath
As I understand it, there is no conflict before the United Nations between the United States and Cuba at this moment. Our attitude to these resolutions, of which there were four, was explained in detail by our delegate in his speech. We voted against the Mexican resolution and its constituent Clauses because we supported the resolution by the Argentine, considering that to be the best way of dealing with the matter.
§ Mr. Warbey
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the dangerous activity of the United States Government in relation to Cuba, now openly admitted and confirmed, is a matter of international concern, and cannot be dealt with purely by a closed shop?
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
Is the Minister aware that many people in this country are convinced that America is completely wrong in its policy towards Cuba? Does he not think that the people of this country would be glad to see Her Majesty's Government licking the boots of the Americans a little less and speaking up for the people of this country a little more?
§ Mr. Heath
If the hon. Member will recall the middle part of my Answer, he will remember that fifty-nine of the nations voted in favour of the Argentine resolution, which seems to deny the first part of his question and to support my argument that that was the way in which the majority of members of the United Nations wished to deal with it.
§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
Does not my hon. Friend agree that President Kennedy inherited a very difficult situation over Cuba? Would it not be more generous to give him some support instead of constantly narking at our greatest ally?
§ Mr. Mendelson
Apart from those things, will not our failure to support that part of the Mexican resolution which enjoined nations not to allow their territory to be used gravely prejudice our position on future occasions when matters of this kind are discussed at the United Nations?
Are we to take it from the right hon. Gentleman's replies and from the votes cast by the British Government at the United Nations that the British Government condone and even support 409 the action which the American Government took about Cuba?
§ 31. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Lord Privy Seal what evidence has been submitted to the United Nations concerning military forces and weapons being organised on United States soil for the invasion of Cuba.
§ Mr. Heath
A number of allegations of a general character were made by the Cuban and Soviet delegations in the First Committee of the General Assembly at the United Nations to the effect that the invasion of Cuba was mounted from United States territory and that the invaders had been trained and equipped by the United States Government. These were analysed and answered by the United States delegate. The full record of the debates on this subject at the United Nations is being placed in the Library.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that these allegations have been substantiated, and indeed admitted even, by President Kennedy, who has now declared that he accepts full responsibility for what happened? In view of these circumstances, do I understand that the right hon. Gentleman, on behalf of the Government, will make it clear that Her Majesty's Government do not condone that action but deplore it?
§ Mr. Heath
If the right hon. Member will read the report of the speeches I have mentioned, he will find a wide variety of allegations about what happened. Mr. Stevenson, the United States delegate, dealt with them individually and demolished them. It is not for me to comment, because we have no information other than that provided by the delegates to the United Nations.
§ Mr. Healey
Is it not the case that these charges, correct or not, have very grave implications? Is it not the case that the Prime Minister and the Lord Privy Seal, last week, after Mr. Stevenson had spoken, declared that they did 410 not know what the facts were? In this situation, is there not an overwhelming case for having an impartial inquiry by the United Nations into the facts, as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition suggested on Thursday? Or is it the case that Her Majesty's Government do not want to know the truth?
§ Mr. Shinwell
If weapons and forces of a military character were not organised on United States soil for the invasion of Cuba, would the right hon. Gentleman indicate where they were organised—in which country they were organised?
§ 32. Mr. Zilliacus
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will propose under Articles 10 and 66 of the United Nations Charter that the General Assembly should raise an international fund, both from private sources and by contributions from the Governments of member States of one tenth of 1 per cent. of their defence budgets, to assist the Cuban Government to make good the material damage sustained through the recent fighting.
§ Mr. Zilliacus
In view of the fact that Cuba has suffered grievous loss both in lives and property as a result, not of a rising inside Cuba but of an invasion mounted outside, would it not be politic to show some concern for the losses caused and to try to convey the impression that the West is not indifferent to what has happened, and at least, on the plane of humanitarian relief, to try to create a better atmosphere and to bring the United Nations into the picture in the relations between Cuba and her neighbours?
§ Mr. E. L. Mallalieu
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the idea contained in this Question is rather a good one? Should not it be applied much more widely, as, for example, in the cases of Hungary and Laos?
§ 34. Mr. Rankin
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he authorised the text of the speech by Her Majesty's Government's representative on the Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 19th April in support of the Argentine resolution; and if he will instruct his representative to propose at the United Nations an inquiry into the responsibility for the recent fighting in Cuba and into means for preventing a recurrence.
§ 36. Mr. Zilliacus
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he authorised the text of the speech by Her Majesty's Government's representative on the Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 19th April supporting the Argentine resolution.
§ Mr. Heath
It is not practicable in the course of debates at the United Nations for Her Majesty's Government to authorise in advance in each case the texts of speeches made by the United Kingdom representative. I would like to assure the House that the speech in question has received our full approval. As regards the last part of the Question by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin), I would refer to my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) on 24th April.
§ Mr. Rankin
In view of the fact that the speech has received full Government approval, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that its text shows that our representative at the Assembly was either blissfully ignorant of what has been happening in the United States over a period of months, or alternatively, that he was talking hypocritically? In view of that fact and his inability, evidently, to make up his mind, will the right hon. Gentleman give him a definite instruction to proceed as soon as possible to get the United Nations to move and to institute an inquiry into the invasion of 412 Cuba which the right hon. Gentleman supports?
§ Mr. Zilliacus
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on this occasion the British representative said that the Government's policy was based on accepting the word of the U.S. Administration that they had nothing to do with the Cuban invasion? Does not he know that it has since been confirmed that not only did the Central Intelligence Agency organise, mount and launch this invasion, but actually put into custody the so-called leaders of the so-called revolutionary council in New York so that they should not interfere with the operation? In those circumstances, would not he instruct Her Majesty's representative to show a little more courage and realism and not to make this country appear contemptible and jeopardise world peace by appeasement, political cowardice and moral turpitude?
§ 35. Mr. Rankin
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will draw to the attention of the Security Council, under Article 34 of the Charter, the preparations in Guatemala, Louisiana and Florida for an attack on Cuba as creating a situation which endangers the maintenance of international peace and security.
§ 33. Mr. S. O. Davies
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will propose at the United Nations General Assembly that an impartial and authoritative international committee be appointed by the United Nations to investigate the origins of the armed landings in Cuba, the sources of the supplies in men, money, arms, equipment and transport, and where and under what auspices such men were trained.
§ Mr. Rankin
Since earlier today the right hon. Gentleman said that he was proceeding according to the Argentine resolution, may I ask if he is aware 413 that one of the signatories to that resolution, the delegate from Uruguay, has already said that the Organisation of American States has done nothing because it can do nothing? In view of that fact, is not it important that the right hon. Gentleman should pursue with speed the feeling on both sides of this House that there should be an inquiry by the United Nations into this whole business?
§ Mr. M. Foot
If the right hon. Gentleman and the Government are not prepared to urge an inquiry into how the invasion last week took place, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether Her Majesty's Government are now making representations to the United States Government that the offence should not be repeated?
§ Mr. Woodburn
Did not this trouble start when the United States allowed Errol Flynn and other Americans to interfere when Castro seized power?
§ Mr. Dugdale
Will the right hon. Gentleman make as strong representations to the United States as the United States made to us at the time of Suez?