HC Deb 08 July 1968 vol 768 cc14-6
12. Mr. Walters

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a further statement on the situation in the Middle East.

14. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the situation in the Middle East.

23. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement of policy on the situation in the Middle East.

39. Mr. Colin Jackson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the present situation in the Middle East.

Mr. M. Stewart

Since my Answer to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Westbury (Mr. Walters) and the noble Lord the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Viscount Lambton) on 20th May, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Jarring, has started on a new discussion with the parties principally concerned in New York and in Europe. As this round of discussions is continuing, I should prefer to make no statement for the time being.—[Vol. 756, c. 8–9.]

Mr. Walters

Is the Foreign Secretary satisfied with the influence which the British and United States Governments are having at present on both protagonists, who have been making more conciliatory statements recently? Particularly with regard to Israel, is it not unfortunate that the Israeli position should have excluded Jerusalem from negotiations in advance, which seems to make the negotiations almost impossible?

Mr. Stewart

I am in touch and I hope that we are having all the influence we can with the parties concerned. I must say again, however, that I am not prepared to make ex parte pronouncements on particular aspects of the dispute.

Mr. Judd

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the resolution which we sponsored at the United Nations continues to provide the most helpful basis for a solution to the Middle East crisis and that we should bring home to all the parties involved that their full cooperation is necessary if the resolution is to succeed?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, that we have done and are doing. My hon. Friend will be aware that the resolution contains, as was inevitable, some parts which are more acceptable to one side than to the other, and that the reverse applies to other parts of the resolution. The task is to get all parties to accept all that is implied in the resolution.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Would not the most useful thing for the Foreign Secretary to do at this moment be to facilitate direct negotiations between Israel and Jordan to secure a lasting territorial settlement of the Palestine question?

Mr. Stewart

The hon. Member will, I think, realise that there are difficulties about that. For the present, I think that our best course of action is to give all the encouragement we can to Dr. Jarring.

Mr. Jackson

Would my right hon. Friend give the House an assurance that Dr. Jarring's mission is still within the limits of possible success? Secondly, can he say that one of the vital elements in its success would be for Israel to abide by United Nations resolutions concerning Jerusalem within the general package of the British United Nations resolution of 22nd November?

Mr. Stewart

As I said just now, the essential of a settlement is that all parties concerned shall respect all the parts of the resolution.

Viscount Lambton

Will the Foreign Secretary take this opportunity of saying whether there has been any reconsideration of our defence treaties in the Middle East with the independent States in view of the Russian infiltration of that area?

Mr. Stewart

That goes rather outside the limits of the Question. The noble Lord might like to put that Question down.

Mr. Henig

Has my right hon. Friend seen the report from Moscow that President Nasser has now made a fresh speech and said that he will never have diplomatic relations with Israel? Will my right hon. Friend not agree with me that this would be a most deleterious step, and will he make his best diplomatic recommendations in order to impress upon the Egyptians that such an attitude is not conducive to any kind of peace settlement at all?

Mr. Stewart

I have seen the report of this speech and I should like a little longer time in which to check it and to evaluate it before commenting upon it.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Is it not a fact that, as we stand and sit here, the various parties to this dispute will not themselves get together to discuss this matter and that therefore a third party must be used, and that, for the time at any rate, it would be wise to give Mr. Jarring full authority to do what he can?

Mr. Stewart

I am sure the right hon. Gentleman is right.

Back to