HC Deb 23 March 1961 vol 637 cc574-6
41. Mr. Teeling

asked the Prime Minister whether, after his forthcoming visit to Japan, he will also visit Peking.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary told the House on 8th February, I hope, if I can manage it, to visit Japan during the autumn. As to a visit to China, there is nothing that I can add to what I said in reply to Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) on 8th December last.

Mr. Teeling

Not knowing what my right hon. Friend said to my hon. Friend—

Dame Irene Ward

Shall I tell my hon. Friend?

Mr. Teeling

—can my right hon. Friend confirm that the rumours which have been going round in the Far East that he would go to Peking are not, in fact, true, because it would cause a lot of unhappiness amongst people in the Far East that we might be about to lose face considerably, as Red China has not yet allowed an ambassador from us to its country and from them to us?

The Prime Minister

Visits of this kind, if they are to be useful, must be carefully timed. It is also sometimes wise before visiting a country to get an invitation to do so.

48. Mr. Peyton

asked the Prime Minister what communication he has received from the President of the United States of America with regard to the subjects to be included in their forthcoming talks; and to what extent these include shipping.

The Prime Minister

I would refer my hon. Friend to my answer to the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) on 14th February.

Mr. Peyton

During my right hon. Friend's talks with the President of the United States, will he make it clear to the President that the persistent pursuit of policies which are bound to weaken the interests of its allies will do nothing in the long run to help the United States? Will he also indicate that America's sustained refusal to compromise or even consider this vital British interest is arousing a good deal of well justified concern in this country? The best foundation for an alliance is not the maxim, "Heads I win, tails you lose".

The Prime Minister

I will, of course, note what my hon. Friend has said, and I am well aware of the great importance of this question to British interests.

Mr. J. Howard

Will my right hon. Friend draw to the attention of the President of the United States the fact that the subsidies allowed by the United States to the two large American passenger liners operating on the North Atlantic route have compelled us to subsidise the building of the new Cunarder in order to avoid allowing the Americans to dominate the North Atlantic passenger trade?

The Prime Minister

The whole question of subsidy is a very difficult one, and I take note of what my hon. Friend has said.

Mr. Shinwell

Does not the Prime Minister realise that the action taken by American shipping interests, unless suppressed or arrested in some way, is calculated to destroy the efficacy and efficiency of the British Mercantile Marine? We surely cannot expect our friendship with the United States of America to remain as it is unless American shipping interests realise that we are an ally and in some respects in partnership with them.

The Prime Minister

Yes. Those are the arguments which we have tried to advance.