HC Deb 04 March 1963 vol 673 cc26-7
52. Mr. Jeger

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the results of the recent free elections in West Berlin, he will take the initiative in proposing that a free election shall be held in East Berlin.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Peter Smithers)

We have long pressed for free elections to be held in East Berlin as well as in East Germany. The Western Peace Plan of 14th May, 1959, which is still the basis of our position, proposes that Berlin should be united through free elections.

Mr. Jeger

Would the hon. Gentleman not take advantage of the fact that there are a number of hon. Members of this House at present in Leipzig? Could he not perhaps enlist their aid in this negotiation?

Mr. Smithers

The hon. Member will know that contacts have been resumed between the United States and Soviet Governments on this matter. We are being kept fully informed, and I doubt whether the initiative he suggests would be a useful addition at the present moment.