HC Deb 20 November 1967 vol 754 cc909-10
13. Mr. Hamling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations have been made to his Department by pacifist and anti-war organisations concerning the continued supplies of war materials by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Egypt, and other Arab nations; and if he will raise the matter of these supplies at the United Nations as a threat to peace.

Mr. George Brown

None, Sir.

As for the second part of the Question, I would refer to my speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 21st June, expressing Her Majesty's Government's view that the Powers who supply arms to countries in the Middle East have a responsibility to reach an agreement on arms limitation as soon as possible.

Mr. Hamling

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that Soviet supplies to the Middle East have particularly intensified our economic difficulties in the last fortnight?

Mr. Brown

It is very undesirable that arms should go on being supplied to that or any other area in a totally unrestricted and uncontrolled way. On the other hand, any agreement needs to carry the acquiescence of those concerned. Her Majesty's Government will continue to do all they can to bring about such an agreement.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Will the Secretary of State confirm that the greatest source of arms in the last ten years has been Czechoslovakia? In view of the wish of this country to improve relations with that country, will he make representations to that Government?

Mr. Brown

That seems to me to be a somewhat different question; but I am sure that what I said just now is true, namely, that all countries supplying arms in that area must come to some controlled and registered agreement which can be enforced, and it will be our aim to bring it about.