HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc29-30
35. Mr. Raymond Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has sent to recent Czechoslovak representations on the matter of the German-Czech frontier; and if he will given an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will maintain the present frontier in negotiations with Germany for a peace treaty.

Mr. Mulley

As my hon. Friend the Minister of State told the House on 8th May, no recent representations have been received from the Czechoslovak Government on this matter. As I informed the House on 24th April, 1967, we regard the Munich Agreement as completely dead and consider that discussions for a peace treaty must start from the basis that Czechoslovak frontiers are not in question.—[Vol. 764, col. 106; and Vol. 745, col. 207–8.]

Mr. Fletcher

Is my right hon. Friend aware that my Question was prompted by the statement, made in a television interview by Adolf von Thadden, leader of the West German neo-Nazis, that the Munich Agreement was still, in his eyes, valid? Can we have from Her Majesty's Government in this House, although preferably in Prague, a clear and categorical statement to the effect that they regard that infamous Agreement as, to use the correct Germanic expression, no more than a disastrous scrap of paper?

Mr. Mulley

I made such a statement over a year ago when I said that we regard the Munich Agreement as completely dead and that the peace treaty negotiations must start on the proviso that the Czechoslovak frontiers are not in question. We cannot put it more clearly than that.

Mr. Molloy

In all these tremendously important matters, in an effort to get genuine and sensible negotiations conducted in all the matters affecting Europe, would it not be a sensible thing for Her Majesty's Government seriously to consider recognising the German Democratic Republic?

Mr. Mulley

That is a different question. We take the view—and it has been generally accepted—that to get all these frontier questions right one must have a peace treaty, and that is contrary to the course my hon. Friend proposes.