HC Deb 22 February 1971 vol 812 cc28-9
27. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to the Soviet authorities in Berlin since 7th December, 1970, about delays imposed on road traffic passing through East Germany en route to Berlin from the West German Federal Republic; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Since 7th December there have been three cases of harassment on the autobahn. On each occasion the Allies made joint protests to the Soviet Ambassador in Berlin, and on 3rd February we made an oral protest to the Soviet Ambassador in London.

Mr. Wilkinson

Could my right hon. Friend urge the representatives of Her Majesty's Government in the current round of four-Power talks on the status of the City of Berlin to put pressure on the Soviet Union to curtail these acts of harassment, most of which have been perpetrated by the East German régime, because we would regard a curtailment of this harassment as evidence that the Soviet Union is genuinely interested in the relaxation of tension, not only in Berlin but in Eastern Europe as a whole?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Yes, Sir. These acts of harassment are, of course, against the rules agreed by the allies for the conduct of affairs in the city and the approaches to the city.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Would my right hon. Friend agree that these acts of harassment prove that the Russian Government have no intention of making any progress in East-West politics with the West German Government at present? Should not free access to West Berlin be given as a prerequisite to ratification taking place?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

This is, of course, largely a matter for the Federal German Government. The German Chancellor has linked the two treaties together—that is, the treaties with Poland and the Soviet Union—and has said that he looks for progress on Berlin before they are ratified.

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