HC Deb 16 May 1966 vol 728 cc920-1
54. Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will lay before the House a White Paper containing the verbatim records of the Committee of Eighteen on Disarmament during the years 1965 and 1966, together with the text of all proposals which the Committee has discussed.

Mr. M. Stewart

Copies of the verbatim records of the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee, and of documents tabled at the Conference, are placed in the Library of the House as they arrive from Geneva.

A White Paper on the disarmament negotiations during 1965 is now being prepared and will be laid before the House as soon as possible. It will contain extracts from the most important speeches made at the session of the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee at Geneva during the summer of 1965, at the United Nations Disarmament Commission in May and June, and at the XXth session of the United Nations General Assembly in the autumn. The relevant documents will also be included.

A White Paper on this year's negotiations will be prepared in due course.

Mr. Noel-Baker

While thanking my right hon. Friend for what he is doing, may I put it to him that unless the full verbatim records are available to hon. Members and the Press it is impossible for them to know what is happening; that this used to be done, and that it was abandoned because it cost £700 a year?

Mr. Stewart

The verbatim records are made available in the Library as soon as they arrive from Geneva. It would not be possible to provide copies of the provisional uncorrected records, since they are private documents and their disposal is not a matter for us alone.

Mr. Blaker

Is it not the fact that since the Labour Party came into power in 1964 not one of the new proposals for disarmament has come from Britain?

Mr. Stewart

No, Sir. I think that the hon. Gentleman should read the records.

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