HC Deb 06 February 1968 vol 758 cc228-30
Q3. Mr. Marten

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the progress achieved in Anglo-Soviet relations since Mr. Kosygin's discussions with him on his official visit to Great Britain a year ago today.

The Prime Minister

In addition to the Answers I gave to Questions on 25th January, I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the bilateral measures agreed between the Soviet Union and Great Britain since Mr. Kosygin's visit last year.

Mr. Marten

Would the Prime Minister mark the first anniversary of Mr. Kosygin's visit to this country by stating clearly when he goes to America today or tomorrow that the British people and Her Majesty's Government fully support the United States and its allies in their support of the South Vietnamese fight for freedom?

The Prime Minister

That does not seem to arise in any sense out of the Question. However, I can inform the hon. Gentleman, in the context of the Question, that what I shall say in Washington is exactly what I said in Moscow in regard to our position over Vietnam and in regard to the basis on which peace can be found in Vietnam following the San Antonio speech.

Mr. Heath

Is the Prime Minister saying that what he told Mr. Kosygin is that the British Government stand by the approach of President Johnson in his San Antonio speech on the question of a settlement?

The Prime Minister

Yes, of course I dc. That is exactly what I told Mr. Kosygin. The purpose of our discussions in the Soviet Union was to see how far the relatively narrow gap between public statements, the San Antonio speech and the State of the Union Message on the one hand, and the statement by Mr. Trinh on the other, can be bridged. The right hon. Gentleman will recognise that the events of last week have made these things much more difficult.

Mrs. Anne Kerr

While he is in Washington, will the Prime Minister remind not only President Johnson but the people of the United States of the text of the resolution carried at the Labour Party conference, which asked not only for the stopping of bombing but for our dissociation from the American aggression in Vietnam?

Mr. Speaker

We are wandering from the Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. Peyton

Why does the Prime Minister, by way of a change, not try a nice long visit to Chairman Mao Tse Tung whose aims in South-East Asia the Government are doing so much to help?

Mr. Speaker

That is even more remote from the Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. Raphael Tuck

Will the Prime Minister make clear that there can be no improvement in Anglo-Soviet relations so long as the Soviet Union persists in fomenting trouble in the Middle East by training and arming Egypt for a renewal of the war against Israel?

The Prime Minister

In my talks in Moscow we discussed Middle East questions, including the Suez Canal question, at great length. Their position is, of course, basically different from ours, but both sides have supported the resolution put forward in the Security Council by the British Government.

Following is the information

  1. 1.Trade: The Minister of Foreign Trade of the U.S.S.R. visited this country in April, 1957 to review with the President of the Board 230 of Trade the workings of the Anglo Soviet Trade Agreement. Official discussions were held in Moscow in June, 1967.
  2. 2.A protocol between the Confederation of British Industry and the Soviet State Committee of Science and Technology, for collaboration in the field of industrial technology, were signed in Moscow on the 25th of November,1967.
  3. 3.Air Services: following discussions in Moscow between the Board of Trade and the Soviet Ministry of Civil Aviation, a decision to extend the Anglo Soviet Air Services Agreement to cover new direct services by air lines of both countries between London and Leningrad was announced on the 2nd of December,1967.
  4. 4.The Agreement between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R. covering the Settlement of Mutual Financial and Property Claims was signed in London on the 5th of January 1968.
  5. 5.The Agreement for Co-operation in the fields of Applied Science and Technology between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R. was signed in London on the 19th of January,1968.
  6. 6.Anglo Soviet Consultative Committee: the Committee was formally established by an Exchange of Notes in Moscow on the 22nd of January,1968.
  7. 7.A Treaty on Merchant Navigation between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R. will be signed shortly.