§ Q4. Mr. Wigg
asked the Prime Minister whether he will publish a White Paper setting out Her Majesty's Government's policy in relation to Skybolt and giving a full account of the statements made by the late President of the United States of America at the Nassau Conference in December, 1962, in relation to the President's past discussion with the Minister of Aviation on the future of Skybolt.
§ Mr. Wigg
Is not the Prime Minister aware that it is about time that the facts in this matter were made public and the whole situation cleared up? Is he aware 406 that his right hon. Friend, after giving notice to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, came to the House and stated that he had seen the same authorities as my right hon. Friend and that there was no truth in the statements made by my right hon. Friend and that subsequently an article appeared in the Sunday Times, written by a most distinguished journalist, not one single word of which has been challenged by the Government, in which there is an exchange of view between the President and the Minister of Aviation?
Furthermore, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Mr. Brandon stated quite categorically that at the Nassau Conference the President referred to the conversation with the Minister of Aviation and that the Minister of Defence, who sits beside him, addressed the Association of American Correspondents where the same statements were made? Should not these facts be stated and cleared up in a White Paper?
§ The Prime Minister
No, Sir. I have absolutely no intention of publishing anything about a private conversation. It was a private conversation between the President and my right hon. Friend. I would only remind the hon. Member that, on 7th March, President Kennedy told a news conference that the United States was going to spend over 1 billion dollars equipping its present force of B.52s with Skybolt. My right hon. Friend's statement was made on 12th March, five days later.
Mr. H. Wilson
Since it has been authoritatively stated that the then President said at Nassau that Ministers had been told in the previous spring that Skybolt was unlikely to be forthcoming, and since the Minister of Aviation has twice told the House that this is not so, will the right hon. Gentleman, without publishing the full results of the Nassau Conference, tell us whether the late President said that or not at Nassau so that the House can judge which of these two accounts is correct?
§ The Prime Minister
No, Sir. The Nassau conversations between my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) and the late President were also confidential. My right hon. Friend was saying exactly what the 407 President of the United States had said in public to the whole American nation five days before.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member is in order in giving notice by the proper formula but not in using the privilege of giving notice to make a speech. I wish that he would be good about it, because this is unkind to other Members who have Questions on the Order Paper.