HC Deb 05 July 1961 vol 643 cc1430-2
20. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether it is still the Government's policy, as laid down in the 1959 and previous proposals, that a united Germany should be free to enter the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Mr. Heath

It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government that Germany should be reunited on the basis of self-determination and become an independent sovereign state, free to join any defensive security pact or none if it so wished.

Mr. Zilliacus

On the basis of principle, if Germany is to have full self-determination and sovereignty, does that include the right to provide herself with any arms she wishes, in any quantity? If not, why grant her freedom to join a military alliance, which is another way of preparing for war? On the point of policy, is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that this condition has imposed an insuperable barrier to any German settlement for years and that, by clinging to the condition, the Government have laid themselves open to the suspicion that they do not really want any German settlement?

Mr. Heath

No, Sir. The N.A.T.O. alliance, if that is what the hon. Member refers to, is a defensive alliance. The conditions regarding German arms are clearly laid down in the Western European Union Treaty.

Mr. Rankin

Does the reunification of Germany include the return of Silesia?

Mr. Heath

As has been repeatedly said in the House, the whole question of the exact frontier settlement must depend upon a peace conference.

  1. British Property (Claims) 184 words
  2. cc1431-2
  3. Foreign Ministers (Conference) 157 words
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