HC Deb 10 July 1973 vol 859 cc1253-5
Q2. Mr. Wilkinson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his discussions with the Prime Minister of India on the occasion of her recent visit to London on 25th June 1973.

Q15. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his talks with Mrs. Gandhi.

Q18. Mr. Norman Lamont

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his talks in London with Mrs. Gandhi on 25th June.

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Miss Joan Hall) on 5th July.—[Vol. 859, c. 714–6.]

Mr. Wilkinson

Did my right hon. Friend remind Mrs. Gandhi of the reaffirmation by the CENTO Ministerial Council, which his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs attended, of Security Council Resolution 307 of 21st December 1971, which, in view of the cessation of hostilities at that time, called for the implementation of the Geneva Convention which, my right hon. Friend knows, demands the repatriation of POWs immediately war ceases? Did he also express the concern of many people in this country about the close relations between Russia and India as evidenced by the present visit of the Indian Defence Minister to Moscow?

The Prime Minister

At Simla it was agreed between the three countries concerned that the whole question of prisoners of war and civilian detainees and allied questions should be dealt with together. Therefore, not only in my talk with Mrs. Gandhi but in correspondence that I have had with the political leaders of the other two countries I have tried to encourage them to carry through as speedily as possible what was agreed at Simla.

Mr. Stonehouse

Did Mrs. Gandhi and her Minister of Trade and Commerce. who accompanied her, put forward a proposal for a permanent trade commission between India and Great Britain to improve trade? If so, why was that proposal turned down? Did the Prime Minister discuss with Mrs. Gandhi the prospects of improving exports from India to the EEC?

The Prime Minister

Yes, we discussed this matter. I undertook to give all the help we could to India in the Council of Ministers and in the discussions which we have inside the Community. Mrs. Gandhi accepted that we would do this.

Sir F. Bennett

The Prime Minister mentioned several facets of the Simla agreement. Did he find an opportunity to emphasise that the one bad catalyst which could damage relations would be any furtherance of the idea of the mutual trial of prisoners on political grounds?

The Prime Minister

From the beginning I said that the whole. House would regret trials of this kind, though I know there are some people outside who take a different view. The Government's view is well known to all three leaders.

Mr. Faulds

What representations did the Prime Minister make to Mrs. Gandhi about the mistreatment of the Nagas by the Indian Army?

The Prime Minister

We did not discuss that matter.