HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc884-5
Q3. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements have been made for the forthcoming visit to this country of the Prime Minister of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Q10. Mr. Ioan L. Evans

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements he has made with the Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with a view to a conference between them.

The Prime Minister

As I told the House on the 16th December, Mr. Kosygin has accepted my invitation to visit this country. The precise date is being agreed through diplomatic channels.

Mr. Campbell

Following what appeared to happen on television during the recent visit of a Scandinavian Prime Minister, will the Soviet Prime Minister at any stage be invited to join members of the Cabinet in publicly singing the Red Flag? Secondly, in order to avoid any risk of an incident on this occasion, will the right hon. Gentleman restrain the enthusiasm for dialectics of his colleague the First Secretary of State?

The Prime Minister

Diligent researches on my part in quite a number of visits to Moscow in the past have established that the tune to which the hon. Member is referring is totally unknown in Moscow. [An HON. MEMBER: "Did you sing it?"] I did not sing it there. An attempt to pick it out with one finger on a rather out-of-tune piano in the National Hotel established a very strong resistance to my playing a well-known American folk tune with a number of animadversions on Irish deviationism.

Mr. Evans

Does my right hon. Friend recognise that his efforts are greatly appreciated in the country and does he realise that he has done more in 100 days than the Conservatives did in 5,000 days?

Sir C. Osborne

When the Soviet Prime Minister arrives in this country, if it were possible would the Prime Minister try to make arrangements for him to address hon. Members on both sides of the House in a Committee Room upstairs?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. I think that would be an extremely useful proposal. I hope that it would be possible to fit it into the Soviet Prime Minister's timetable.

99. Mr. Ioan L. Evans

asked the Prime Minister if, when he meets the Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, he will discuss the possibility of calling a summit conference between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America and Great Britain.

The Prime Minister

I cannot anticipate the subjects which may be discussed during my talks with the Soviet Prime Minister.

Mr. Evans

When this meeting is held, will my right hon. Friend consider making proposals for a reduction in military expenditure in view of the crippling effect that this is having on our economy?

The Prime Minister

I think that one of the most important questions which the whole House has agreed should be discussed at the earliest opportunity, both with our allies in N.A.T.O. and of course in any East-West discussion, is the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. I imagine that this would be a very important subject for discussion and I would feel also that the question, over a period of time, of a reduction of forces and weapons on both sides of the Iron Curtain is something which is of mutual interest to both East and West.

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