HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc883-4
Q2. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with representatives of the Federal Government of Germany and General de Gaulle in the month of January; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I was able, on the occasion of their presence in London for Sir Winston Churchill's funeral, to have short but useful talks with President de Gaulle and Dr. Erhard.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the Prime Minister aware that we shall all seek to encourage him and shall give him every encouragement in any action which he takes which seeks to promote the most cordial relations with France?

The Prime Minister

I think that there is a general desire on both sides of the Channel to see that improvement in relations, and I hope to have something further to say in a particular concrete point on this later in the afternoon.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

While welcoming what the Prime Minister said about the desirability of improving our relations with France, may I ask him whether he took advantage of General de Gaulle's recent presence in London to undo some of the damage which he did by his unnecessary proposals for an atomic nuclear force and his ill-considered rejection of a European deterrent?

The Prime Minister

I did not know that a European deterrent was the policy of the Conservative Party, but we are always willing to learn. We may hear that later in the afternoon. My impression of my discussion with General de Gaulle was that he was in no sense influenced by the propaganda of the hon. Member or other hon. Members.