HC Deb 11 February 1964 vol 689 cc211-2
Q1. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Prime Minister whether he will propose to President Johnson and Prime Minister Khrushchev that a treaty resulting from the Anglo-Soviet-American proposals for prohibiting resort to or threats of force to settle disputes, or any form of interference in the internal affairs of member States, should be open to signature by and apply to relations with all members of the United Nations.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

I have been asked to reply.

We and the Americans have made proposals in reply to Mr. Khrushchev's message, which was addressed to over one hundred States. It is too early to say whether any basis for a treaty will result and therefore the Question is hypothetical at this stage.

Mr. Zilliacus

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman indicate whether the Government are in favour of making this a treaty within the United Nations based on the Charter and open to signature by all the member States?

Mr. Lloyd

If a treaty became possible, I think that it would certainly be desirable that it should be open to signature by the member States.

Sir C. Osborne

In view of the fact that in the inter-war years pacts like the Kellogg Pact were signed by dozens of nations and that they did not prevent a war, would my right hon. and learned Friend agree that it is not the signing of treaties but the will to live in peace which matters? Can something be done on those lines?

Mr. Lloyd

I agree with my hon. Friend. Nevertheless, if it were possible to have a worth-while treaty signed between the Powers it would be desirable that it should be open to signature by other countries.