HC Deb 27 March 1974 vol 871 cc443-4
18. Mr. Mather

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Anglo-American relations.

Mr. James Callaghan

Her Majesty's Government attach very great impor- tance to maintaining and improving the friendly relationship which exists between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr. Mather

What are the right hon. Gentleman's views on the future of American military bases in this country? Does he not feel that these are important factors in cementing Anglo-American relations and for the future of NATO as a whole?

Mr. Callaghan

They are important factors, and they would form part of any multilateral discussions that would take place on disarmament.

Mr. Dalyell

Will my right hon. Friend exploit his 25 years' friendship with leading Americans to persuade the United States that, in its own interests, it is not sensible, against the wishes of Mrs. Gandhi, Mrs. Bandaranaike, President Suharto and many Africans, to have a nuclear zone and bases such as Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean?

Mr. Callaghan

I understand that there is more than one view in the United States on this matter. It is one of the problems to which I intend to give careful attention. However, I do not wish to take up a position on it this afternoon.

Mr. Russell Johnston

Does the Foreign Secretary intend to have discussions with our EEC partners about a joint energy policy with the United States in view of the unsatisfactory outcome of the Washington conference?

Mr. Callaghan

Yes, Sir, these discussions are taking place. Dr. Kissinger will be here tomorrow, and I hope to have further discussions with him about any differences that may have arisen.