HC Deb 04 July 1967 vol 749 cc1564-5
Q5. Mr. Marten

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he had with the President of the United States of America and the Israeli Prime Minister before and during the recent fighting between Israel and Egypt; and if he will make a statement about them.

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to the Answers I gave on 27th June following a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, South (Mr. Winnick).—[Vol. 749, c. 251–3.]

Mr. Marten

While appreciating the Prime Minister's difficulty and recognising his, I am sure, genuine reluctance to publish these things, would not publication counter some of the rather unkind propaganda made against this country, particularly, for example, in reply to the Prime Minister's statement that he would keep open the Straits of Tiran when in fact no preparations were being made for that at all?

The Prime Minister

The question was a very good one until the inaccuracies of the last few words. One of the things I discussed with the Canadian Prime Minister and the President of the United States was the action co-ordinated between the maritime nations to see what could be done to ensure freedom of passage through the Straits of Tiran. I do not remember saying that Her Majesty's Government were alone going to keep the Straits open for the shipping of the world. This is a matter for all maritime nations. Surely there has been enough experience of unilateral efforts to keep open a waterway.

Mr. Raphael Tuck

Has anything been said or done about the recent enormous shipment of planes and other modern arms by Russia to Egypt?

The Prime Minister

I think that there is some information about this question, and of course we all feel that one of the things to try to be secured in a long-term settlement, a final settlement, should be an international system of arms control for this area, but the future does not lie in building up armed forces again for this area for one side or the other to have another go.

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