HC Deb 15 June 1964 vol 696 cc907-8
5. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent discussions with the Government of the United States of America.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I took the opportunity of my visit to Washington for the annual Ministerial meeting of the Central Treaty Organisation to discuss a number of international problems with President Johnson and Mr. Rusk. These conversations were confidential.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that some of the requests he made to the United States were subject to public discussion and it is, therefore, important that he should comment upon them? What was the result of his request to the United States that American aid to Egypt should be cut off?

Mr. Butler

This was one of the exaggerations which were made of my conversations with the Secretary of State. No such request was ever put in those terms. What was said was that we should not adopt economic sanctions because we did not think that economic sanctions would be successful. What we did discuss was the need to correlate our policies.

Mr. Rankin

Did the Foreign Secretary discuss with President Johnson the continued spying and the breach of the Geneva Agreement which is taking place in regard to Laos? Did he make any mention of the bombing which has recently taken place there?

Mr. Butler

No, because nearly all these events have occurred since the occasion of my talk with the President.