HC Deb 03 February 1964 vol 688 cc815-7
26. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what discussions he is now having with other Governments belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation with a view to the stationing of a peace-keeping force drawn from members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Cyprus; and whether he will make a statement.

30. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will oppose the proposal for enforcement action by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Cyprus and will deal with any threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression in the island calling for international action, through the Security Council, in accordance with the obligations of the Charter of the United Nations.

Mr. R. A. Butler

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 14th January, it was always our position that we could not continue indefinitely to carry alone the responsibility for peace-making in Cyprus. In view of the slow progress of the London Conference and the urgent need to increase confidence between the two communities in Cyprus, it has become necessary to consider how best to broaden the basis of the existing peace-keeping force. The British and United States Governments have since agreed with the Governments of Greece and Turkey proposals for the establishment of a peacekeeping force in Cyprus, in which they would participate. Further discussions are proceeding with the Governments of Cyprus and of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries. There is no proposal for any action in Cyprus by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation itself.

Mr. Henderson

In view of the fact that the Security Council is also seized of the Cyprus dispute, can we take it that the N.A.T.O. Governments, who are also concerned with this possible international force, are acting on the basis of Article 52(3) of the Charter, which seeks to encourage the pacific settlement of local disputes? May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Security Council is being kept informed of these developments?

Mr. Butler

One report has already been made to the Security Council and the Secretary-General has been and is being regularly informed of the development of events. Furthermore, he has appointed a special representative in Cyprus who, I understand, will stay there. As regards the earlier part of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's supplementary question we have been attempting, as the Charter suggests, to seek a peaceful solution of the disputes between us.

Mr. Zilliacus

But does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that under Article 53 and other Articles of the Charter no international force or individual forces may be used for any purpose except defence against armed attack without the authorisation of the Security Council? Will he give an assurance that the proposed force will not be sent till the authorisation by the Security Council is received? Secondly, will he give an assurance that the argument is not being used against the Cypriot Government that if they do not give way to this proposal and accept it the green light will be given for a Turkish invasion? Will he assure me that the Cypriot Government receive the protection of the Charter against aggression? Finally, that a political settlement will be conducted through the Security Council in accordance with the Charter and not through a N.A.T.O. mediator behaving like Lord Runciman in Czechoslovakia in 1938?

Mr. Butler

The answer to the first part of the supplementary question is, No, Sir. The answer to the second part is that this question is purely hypothetical. The answer to the third part is that we propose to go ahead with this peace-keeping force and to seek the appointment of a mediator in agreement between the Governments concerned, Lastly, we propose to keep the United Nations informed.

Mr. Henderson

Would the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that it is not the policy of the Government and the associated Governments to go into Cyprus with this force over the opposition of the Cyprus Government? In other words, that we must have their agreement?

Mr. Butler

I should make it clear, as I did in my original reply, that there is no question of enforcement. As I was saying, we are now seeking the agreement of the Cyprus Government.

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