HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 cc1647-8
40. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of recent developments, he will propose am early meeting between President Kennedy, President de Gaulle and himself on the problems of Berlin, Germany and central European security.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

We are in the closest touch with the Governments of France and the United States about these matters, but there are no plans at present for a meeting of Heads of Government.

Mr. Henderson

In view of the Prime Minister's own statements about the gravity of the German and Berlin problems following the memorandum from Mr. Khrushchev, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that a Western Summit meeting is highly desirable in order to work out a common policy in relation to these problems?

The Prime Minister

At present these things are being done through diplomatic channels. We actually met not long ago. It would be quite easy, I think, to arrange a meeting if it were thought desirable.

Mr. S. Silverman

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is the height of folly to adopt a fighting attitude if one does not intend to fight, and that there are few people in this country or anywhere else who seriously consider that he would precipitate a nuclear war in order to negotiate with Russian officials rather than East German officials access to West Berlin?

The Prime Minister

If the hon. Gentleman thinks that sums up the problem of Berlin, I think that he is under a grave misapprehension. The Question is simply about whether three gentlemen should meet or not.

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