HC Deb 15 July 1963 vol 681 cc31-3
37. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will draw the attention of the Security Council, under Article 34 of the Charter, to the latest action of the United States of America against Cuba under the United States Trading With the Enemy Act, together with the United States boycott, violations of Cuban air-space and other acts contrary to international law and the obligations of the United Nations Charter, as a threat to peace.

38. Mr. Rankin

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is aware that the Government of the United States of America has instituted blocking controls with respect to Cuba, in order to contribute more effectively to her economic isolation; and whether he will take the steps necessary to bring this situation to the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly under Articles 34 and 35 of the Charter of the United Nations as a threat to peace.

39. Mr. Warbey

asked the Lord Privy Seal if Her Majesty's Government will bring to the attention of the Security Council or of a special meeting of the General Assembly the situation created by the action of the United States of America in imposing a total economic blockade of Cuba and of the assets of Cuban nationals loyal to the Government of Cuba, as a situation which might lead to international friction under the terms of Article 34.

Mr. Heath

Her Majesty's Government are aware of the action taken by the United States Government. They do not consider it constitutes any threat to peace.

Mr. Zilliacus

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that to treat Cuba as an enemy to be boycotted and threatened with aggression constitutes a threat to peace? Will he dispel the growing impression that Her Majesty's Government treat the Charter as a scrap of paper in their subservience to American aggression and bullying?

Mr. Heath

Certainly not. This action was taken as part of the arrangements requested by the Organisation of American States.

Mr. Rankin

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that it is just as bloody-minded to try to destroy a people by economic means as it is by the military method? We ourselves have said so when we were subjected to it. In view of the fact that the wise men are now gathering in the East to try to come to a composition on the use of the military method, would not the right hon. Gentleman urge similar tolerance amongst our friends in the West?

Mr. Heath

This is a matter for the United States Administration.

Mr. Warbey

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the Security Council authorised the Organisation of American States to take economic sanction against Cuba? Secondly, is this not in any case an act of incredible political folly at a time when Mr. Khrushchev is having very delicate negotiations with both his Eastern and Western friends?

Mr. Heath

The hon. Gentleman asked whether we would refer this matter to the Security Council. I have given the reason why we are not prepared to do that.

Mr. F. M. Bennett

If we are talking about breaking the Charter, can my right hon. Friend inform the House how often the Soviet Union has used the veto compared with America or this country?

Mr. Heath

If my hon. Friend will give me notice I will tell him the exact number of times.

Mr. M. Foot

Does the right hon. Gentleman think it is a good policy to try to starve the Cubans into accepting the policy which the Americans desire?

Mr. Heath

This action which has been taken by the United States Government is the blocking of accounts inside the United States.

Mr. Rankin

No, it is not.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Does the Lord Privy Seal recall that when Stalin did this to Yugoslavia we protested in the strongest possible manner and took action to help Marshal Tito? Will he consult the Law Officers and see whether their opinion is that the action now taken is in accordance with the obligations of the Charter?

Mr. Heath

We have naturally considered this matter, but if the right hon. Gentleman wishes me to take further legal advice, I will certainly consider that.