HC Deb 02 August 1965 vol 717 cc1031-2
24. Mr. Boston

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what plans he has to discuss with other member countries the early revision of the United Nations' Charter.

Mr. George Thomson

None, Sir.

Mr. Boston

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the time has come for a reexamination of the Great Power Unanimity Rule? Can he say whether he has any immediate plans to discuss this with member nations and, if not, would he pursue the matter?

Mr. Thomson

We do not feel that a discussion of the Great Power Unanimity Rule would be likely to be very fruitful in the present circumstances. We are always ready to consider the possibility of a Charter review, if we thought it would produce fruitful results. Mean-while, there is the opportunity to amend the Charter, as has recently taken place.

Mr. Peter Thomas

Whether or not there may be a review of the Charter, will the hon. Gentleman take this opportunity to endorse what his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State told the House on 21st June, that Her Majesty's Government accept the principle of Article 19 of the Charter and the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice?

Mr. Thomson

Her Majesty's Government's view about Article 19 is very well known and has been stated and restated in this House on a number of occasions. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, the future arrangements in respect of the United Nations are under consideration at the moment.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

Does the Minister of State appreciate that the country welcomes very warmly the efforts which the Government have made to solve the problem of Article 19 and reestablish the General Assembly?

Mr. Zilliacus

Does my hon. Friend recollect the recent speech of the Secretary-General of the United Nations warning against attempts to revise the Charter in circumstances when the relations between the Permanent Security Council members are much worse than they were at the end of the war? Will he accept my assurance that on this subject there is strong support for the Government's attitude in rejecting revision at this moment?