HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 cc26-7
40. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if Her Majesty's Government will support the proposals of the West German Government designed to reduce tension between East and West.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Her Majestys' Government support the Federal Government's Eastern initiatives which they believe to be imaginative and realistic.

Mr. Davis

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that his answer will be greatly encouraging to the democratic Socialist leadership in West Germany and will be greatly discouraging to the right-wing attacks which are made on that leadership?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I cannot say whether or to whom my answer will be encouraging or discouraging. The point of view of Her Majesty's Government is that it is well to open up discussions with the Soviet Union.

Mr. Richard

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that if anything is likely to sabotage the West German proposals to ease tension between East and West it is any suggestion of an Anglo-French nuclear deterrent outside N.A.T.O.? Would he take this opportunity to assure the House that that type of co-operation is not in the Government's mind?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Certainly there would be nothing outside the European context. I do not know whether there could be anything at all. The hon. Gentleman need not make much of this matter, because we have heard no views yet from the French Government. If they wish to put any forward, we should be glad to listen.