HC Deb 23 January 1964 vol 687 cc1265-6
Q3. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister what proposals he has made to the President of the United States of America for making the verbatim records of the Committee of 18 Nations on Disarmament more speedily available to hon. Members, and for giving them wider distribution to members of the Press and to other interested persons and organisations.

The Prime Minister

I do not think that it would be appropriate for me to take up a matter of this kind with the President of the United States personally. We were able to speed up publication of the verbatim records a year or two ago, but my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary would be pleased to look into the question again if the right hon. Gentleman will send him his ideas.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am much obliged to the Prime Minister for that Answer. Does he realise that it is of great importance that people interested in this subject should have the records soon and that it is simply a question of giving the Secretary-General enough money to bring them out the following day after each meeting, as he always does for the Security Council, the General Assembly or other meetings?

The Prime Minister

When I managed to get some speed in this matter two years ago, I did not find that it was a question of money. It is a matter of delegations wanting to check up on what their delegates have said the day before, and this sometimes takes a little time.

Mr. Warbey

Would not my right hon. Friend's proposal be of considerable advantage to the Prime Minister in that if he has any ideas of his own about how to get on with disarmament they could be put on the record and given full publicity?

The Prime Minister

I am all for the idea that the statements of Her Majesty's Government and of all the other delega- tions should be available as speedily as possible. It is simply a mechanical matter of getting the records checked.