HC Deb 18 October 1973 vol 861 c408
Q5. Mr. Kaufman

asked the Prime Minister if he will ask President Nixon to supply him with copies of all tape recordings made of conversations and decisions between himself and the President at the White House, Washington, D.C.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Kaufman

Is the Prime Minister satisfied with the situation in which the President of the United States has in his possession tape recordings of conversations with himself containing trade and defence secrets of the United Kingdom which the President, on past precedent, will feel perfectly at liberty to pass on to private American citizens suspected of serious criminal offences? Is this a satisfactory situation? Should not the right hon. Gentleman, in this country's national interest, secure the return of those tape recordings?

The Prime Minister

I have no knowledge of any tape recordings of conversations in the White House. In my conversations with President Nixon either the Secretary of the Cabinet or another official was present and took records for our own purposes.

Mr. Burden

If any question of obtaining tape recordings from the White House arises, will my right hon. Friend consider obtaining the tape recordings of the conversations between the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, when he was in power, and the American Government? They would be much more enlightening.

The Prime Minister

I must give my hon. Friend the same reply. I have no knowledge of any tape recordings.

Mr. Whitehead

The Prime Minister, said, in answer to an earlier question, that he intends to see President Nixon again. When he does will he seek an undertaking from him that no tape recordings will be made of conversations between members of Her Majesty's Government and the American Government?

The Prime Minister

That matter should be left until our meeting.