HC Deb 15 July 1963 vol 681 cc14-5
13. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Lord Privy Seal what consultations have taken place with France and the United States of America, as signatories of the 1951 Pact, as a prelude to making a joint declaration to the Government of the United Arab Republic that action will be taken to guarantee the frontiers and preserve the independence of all countries in the Middle East which are threatened with aggression from without or subversion from within.

Mr. Heath

None, Sir. As regards action to preserve peace and stability in the Middle East, I have nothing to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave on 14th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Mr. Longden).

Mr. Johnson

In view of that reply to which my right hon. Friend refers, would it not be desirable to get a similar endorsement from France in regard to this matter? Would it not also be desirable to make it clear that we are prepared to act as well as talk under the circumstances envisaged in my Question?

Mr. Heath

If my hon. Friend consults the reply which the Prime Minister gave, he will see that my right hon. Friend said that it was difficult to foresee the exact action one could take in any particular circumstances in the future, but that we would prefer the United Nations to be primarily responsible for the maintenance of peace in the area. The United States President made a statement just before that on similar lines, but it must be a matter for the French Government to express their own point of view.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Do we still regard the Tripartite Agreement as being in force?

Mr. Heath

The views expressed by the Prime Minister in answer to the Question to which I have referred clearly set out the views of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Mayhew

Were we fully consulted before the American declaration was made and to which, I gather, we have given assent?

Mr. Heath

We are always in the closest consultation with the United States Administration.

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