HC Deb 19 December 1962 vol 669 cc1249-50
8. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Lord Privy Seal what study he has made of the declaration of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 2nd December calling on the Western Powers to recognise that the Russian Government does not want war and asking them to show greater readiness for a give-and-take settlement; and whether he will make the corresponding changes in the Government's policy.

Mr. Godber

Her Majesty's Government have looked carefully at the text of the Secretary-General's thoughtful speech. We are well aware of certain Changes in Soviet policies, including their declared attitude towards war, since the death of Stalin and the assumption of leadership of Mr. Khrushchev. We have taken account of these changes in relation to our own policies towards the Soviet Union.

Mr. Zilliacus

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that, if the Government would show half as much energy, ingenuity and stubbornness in pressing our allies, for instance, to negotiate on the Rapacki Plan, as often proposed by the Opposition, as they have displayed in trying to crawl into the Common Market or cadge Skybolt from the Americans, this country would make a real contribution to peace and have more respect in the world than it has today?

Mr. Godber

No, Sir; I do not accept that for one moment. The fact that the Opposition push something does not necessarily mean that it is a good policy to push. Her Majesty's Government have tried genuinely and sincerely to come to an accommodation with the Soviet Union on many issues and they are continuing to do so.

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