HC Deb 07 March 1966 vol 725 cc1715-7
64. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what political commitments with regard to support for United States policies in the Far East Her Majesty's Government has incurred as a result of its discussion on the sharing of defence costs and facilities in this area; and whether he will give an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will not support United States policies for containing China.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Michael Stewart)

No commitments were incurred. With regard to the second part of the Question, our main objectives must be to find peaceful solutions to the present conflicts and tensions in Asia. It is only if we fail in this that we must be ready to resist aggression.

Mr. Zilliacus

But will my right hon. Friend confirm not only that our main objective is to seek a peaceful solution, but that a major object is in no circumstances to be associated with the so-called containment of China policy of the United States?

Mr. Stewart

I think that I dealt with that matter in the foreign affairs debate recently If, as I trust, China wants to live on good terms with her neighbours, that is something which would be very much in line with our policy and which we should, as far as we could, help. I do not think my hon. Friend would wish me to assume that Chinese policy would be of a different kind.

Mr. A. Royle

While welcoming the support which Her Majesty's Government have so far given to American policy in the Far East, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will make certain that Her Majesty's Government's views are listened to by the United States Government and that we do not just become an auxiliary of the United States Administration in the Far East?

Mr. Stewart

I think that it is well known that the United States Government and ourselves always pay a great deal of respect and attention to each other's views.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Would the Foreign Secretary say whether there has been a request from the United States Government that we should send troops to Vietnam?

Mr. Stewart

That has been answered before. It is not our intention to do so, in view of our position as co-Chairman.