HC Deb 03 March 1966 vol 725 cc1483-4
Q2. Mr. Kershaw

asked the Prime Minister what conversations about disarmament he had with Russian leaders in Moscow; and whether he will make a statement.

Q14. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his discussions in Moscow.

The Prime Minister

I would refer hon. Members to the Answers I gave to Questions last Tuesday.

Mr. Kershaw

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the lack of progress that he has reported is disappointing, doubtless also to himself? Is he further aware that he is not likely to do much good in foreign affairs while economic policy makes us the paid servant and pensioner of the United States?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that anyone expected that, from a short visit to the Soviet Union, I would come back with a multilateral, international, comprehensive disarmament agreement. I remind the hon. Gentleman that such was also the case the last time a British Prime Minister went to Moscow. That was seven years ago and I do not know why a Prime Minister did not go thereafter until my visit. However, on this occasion we did make some progress—in contrast to what happened seven years ago, when what was said and done in Moscow was immediately vetoed by Germany or other allies. The hon. Gentleman's claim about the economic situation was overwhelmingly dealt with in last Tuesday's debate—and I may add that if that is all that the party opposite have for the election we on this side have not much to fear.

Mr. Allaun

Following these talks, does my right hon. Friend think that the new proposals discussed in Geneva by Lord Chalfont with the Soviet representative could provide the basis for further discussion, either in Moscow or Geneva?

The Prime Minister

I believe that the proposal made by Mr. Kosygin on 1st February in relation to a nuclear guarantee to non-nuclear Powers carries the argument a little further, and I told him so. However, in our view, it does not carry it far enough forward and we had some discussion about what we think should be done next. My noble Friend Lord Chalfont is going to Moscow within the next few weeks to continue this discussion further.