HC Deb 25 January 1971 vol 810 cc21-2
8. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with Ministers from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia during the course of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference on the subject of a continued British military presence in South-East Asia.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)

I naturally talked to some of the Ministers concerned about this matter. No detailed discussion was needed as good progress in working out Five-Power Defence arrangements had been made by senior officials at their meeting in Singapore in the week before the Commonwealth Conference. There will be a Ministerial meeting in London in the Spring.

Mr. Godman Irvine

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that there is every prospect of these negotiations reaching a satisfactory settlement? As there is so much concentration at the moment on matters of disagreement, might it not be as well not to overlook this matter?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I agree.