HC Deb 02 February 1970 vol 795 cc1-2
1. Mr. John Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the discussions he had on Greece at the Council of Europe on 12th December, 1969.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. George Thomson)

I have nothing to add to the statement I made to the House on 16th December, 1969.— [Vol. 793, c. 1137–8.]

Mr. Fraser

Will the discussions on Greece be carried forward into N.A.T.O. councils on the ground that freedom is not best defended by the political Mafia in Greece remaining a member of N.A.T.O.?

Mr. Thomson

No, Sir. I have really nothing to add to what I said on this matter to my hon. Friend on 16th December. N.A.T.O. is a collective security alliance. The Council of Europe is essentially a parliamentary body pledged to support the ideals of parliamentary democracy. If one were to allow this to spill over into N.A.T.O., one would put at risk democratic freedoms over a much wider area than simply the Eastern flank.

Mr. Wingfield Digby

Is it not a fact that Greece will continue to be represented on many of the Council of Europe bodies, from which she cannot be expelled, alongside other countries which have democratic government?

Mr. Thomson

No, Sir, not within the Council of Europe bodies. It is true that the Greek case is still before the European Commission on Human Rights. If it comes before the Council of Ministers, Greece will have the right to appear there. Apart from that, however, she stands suspended by her own declaration from Council of Europe activities.

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