HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc25-6
29. Mr. Whitaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on disarmament in the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Mr. Mulley

The resumed session of the General Assembly is considering the revised draft of the Non-Proliferation Treaty which was submitted by the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee. I made a statement on 1st May urging the endorsement of the Treaty by the General Assembly with a view to its being opened for signature as soon as possible. The text of this statement is available in the Library and I am sending a copy to my hon. Friend.

Mr. Whitaker

Could my right hon. Friend have a word with my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to ask that we might have a debate on this subject, which is of somewhat more importance than most that we talk about in this Chamber?

Mr. Mulley

I should very much welcome a debate, but I am not sure that I have that amount of influence with my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

May I press on my right hon. Friend that he should represent to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House that the House should have adequate influence to get such a debate?

Mr. Mulley

I am very encouraged by these statements, but I would point out to my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friend that in these matters back-benchers often carry more weight than frontbenchers. Perhaps we could do a joint exercise.