HC Deb 29 June 1961 vol 643 cc660-1
45. Mr. Warbey

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish his five-point plan to prepare world opinion for a firm Western stand on Berlin, recently sent by him to President Kennedy.

The Prime Minister

I have sent no such plan to President Kennedy.

Mr. Warbey

The Prime Minister appears to be accusing The Times of fabrication. Because of the advice he gave me in a friendly way on Tuesday, may I ask him whether in any proposals which he puts forward he will give serious consideration to the suggestion made by Senator Mansfield and others that pending the reunification of Germany Berlin should be an independent, demilitarised, free city covering the whole of Berlin, East and West?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that it would be wise, and I do not think that the House as a whole would wish it, for me to add to the statement that I made a day or two ago. All sorts of things can be settled by negotiation, but not under threat.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the Prime Minister recognise that it has been clear since Mr. Khrushchev's first six-month ultimatum about Berlin three years ago that his real anxiety, and the anxiety of the Poles, is about a Germany rearmed with nuclear weapons, and that much the best way to allay that anxiety is to convince them that we mean business by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' declaration on disarmament?

The Prime Minister

We have tried to get a test agreement at Geneva. We have made many efforts at disarmament. I have not given up trying, but I am bound to say that what has happened in the last two years, and the change of Russian attitude, does not lead me to great encouragement in their present position as regards any form of test agreement or disarmament which must depend on an effective system of international control.

Sir C. Osborne

As the Question is apparently based on a statement in The Times which appears to be incorrect, will my right hon. Friend make it clear, especially to those abroad who read The Times, that that newspaper does not always speak as a mouthpiece for the Government?

The Prime Minister

I am responsible for quite a lot of things, but not for what newspapers say.