HC Deb 19 December 1962 vol 669 cc1263-4
20. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will insist on an agreement with our allies on proposals for negotiating a settlement with the Soviet Union as a condition which must be fulfilled before this country's collective defence obligations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation become operative.

Mr. Godber

No, Sir. The United Kingdom's obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty are clearly stated in Article 5 of the Treaty. I see no reason to qualify them in any way.

Mr. Zilliacus

Does not the North Atlantic Treaty say that the collective defence obligations may be invoked only in cases of unprovoked aggression? Are not the Government, therefore, entitled to warn their allies that if they fail to agree with us on reasonable proposals for making peace and continue to pursue policies which we regard as dangerous and provocative, they cannot count upon British help? Would not that give us precisely the bargaining position, power and influence that the Government vainly seek by pretending to be a nuclear Power?

Mr. Godber

No, I do not for one moment acknowledge that that is the position in relation to our allies. Her Majesty's Government are very concerned to make progress with the Soviet Union and this year I have been constantly engaged with them. I should like to see a move from them to accommodate us and make it easier for us to make progress.