HC Deb 25 January 1971 vol 810 cc26-7
16. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is now taking to encourage a resumption of the Jarring talks.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Her Majesty's Government welcome the resumption of Dr. Jarring's talks with the representatives of the Governments of Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Republic. They hope that these talks will be marked by a determination on the part of all concerned to achieve a settlement in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. 242.

Mr. Mayhew

Has the right hon. Gentleman noted the increasing international support for an idea first put forward in this House and supported on both sides—namely, that it might help to induce the Israelis to withdraw from the occupied territories, and thus make a settlement possible, if they knew that the French and British were willing to participate in an international security force on their frontiers? May we ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this is in line with his thinking, and whether he is pressing it?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The question of possible guarantees is being very carefully studied by Dr. Jarring and the four Powers in New York. Certainly, various forms of guarantees, either by the four Powers or by other Powers concerned, are being considered. It would not be wise at the moment, I think, to say exactly what we have in mind, because a solution cannot be dictated either to Israel or to the Arab countries.

Mr. Crouch

Would my right hon. Friend agree that one of the most positive steps which we could take in this very delicate matter of ensuring the continuation of these talks after 5th February is to use our natural relationship with the United States, our friends and allies, to see that they use their influence with the Israelis to see that the talks continue?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Yes, Sir, I think that the United States has done that, and the talks are continuing. I think that it is a matter—the right hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Mayhew) was asking me about this—of how one can give guarantees which will help Israel to fulfil that part of the Resolution dealing with withdrawal from occupied territories.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

For the record, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that we on this side warmly support the efforts to secure a further series of Jarring talks, that Dr. Jarring is highly respected by both sides, that we have the fullest confidence in him and, further, that we concur in the view which the Foreign Secretary has just advanced, that one should not, at this stage, lay down any details with regard to the form of any possible guarantee which may eventuate from these talks?