HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc26-7
30. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what consultations he has had, or has been asked to have, with the West German Government under the Allied rights of reservation regarding the emergency laws which Bonn wishes to introduce.

Mr. Mulley

As I said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) on 19th February, the draft emergency legislation now before the Bundestag has been prepared by the Federal Government in the knowledge of the views and requirements of the United States, French and British Governments. Consultations with the Federal Government have been carried on through Her Majesty's Embassy at Bonn.—[Vol. 759, c. 9–10.]

Mr. Allaun

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the danger involved in these totalitarian, if not Fascist, powers? Will Her Majesty's Government refuse to sanction these dictatorial measures, which are bitterly opposed by the trade unions, the peace movement and the students throughout West Germany?

Mr. Mulley

On my hon. Friend's first point, it is not a matter for us to agree or not to agree. In the Convention of 1955, it was envisaged that there would be emergency powers relating to the protection of the security of our Armed Forces stationed in the Federal Republic, and that is our position. Our powers in other respects will not be affected by the emergency legislation proposed. I think that my hon. Friend grossly exaggerates the character of the proposed emergency laws. Similar contingency legislation is characteristic of most Western democratic countries. I understand that under these laws a two-thirds Parliamentary majority will be required before a state of emergency can be declared, and throughout the emergency a joint commission representing both Houses of the Federal Parliament will be sitting, so that I think my hon. Friend's description of them is less than just.

Mr. Hooley

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the logical consequence of the Western Powers' surrendering these residual rights in West Germany must be a formal recognition of East Germany as a separate State?

Mr. Mulley

The powers we are asked to give up in Article 5 of the Bonn Convention on Relations relate only to the stationing of British troops in the Federal Republic. Responsibilities and rights under the other Articles of that Convention are not affected, particularly those under Article 2, so that I cannot agree that the point raised by my hon. Friend arises.