HC Deb 10 March 1976 vol 907 cc401-2
6. Mr. Banks

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next proposes to meet the United States Secretary of State.

Mr. James Callaghan

On present plans, at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Oslo in May.

Mr. Banks

When the Foreign Secretary meets Dr. Kissinger, will he take the initiative to convene a meeting of the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany to achieve greater mutual support in areas of the world threatened by Communism?

Mr. Callaghan

There are constant interchanges between the various members of the North Atlantic Council on these matters, and they will continue.

Mr. Stonehouse

What representation has the United States Secretary of State made about the need for Britain to wind up its dispute with Iceland, which is a partner in the Alliance?

Mr. Callaghan

I am not aware of any representations that have been made on this matter, either formally or informally. I think it is generally understood by our allies that Britain has played a moderating rôle in this matter, and that the policy that we have followed in relation to conservation, our willingness to limit the number of trawlers fishing, our willingness to limit the amount of fish caught, and our willingness to have observers posted on our frigates, has been totally rejected by Iceland. I believe that the posture that we have adopted deserves the support of every hon. Member.

Mr. Blaker

Is it not important that the West should make it clear that it has the will to defend its own interests? When the Foreign Secretary meets Dr. Kissinger, will he impress upon him the view that the West should be united to use all the means at its disposal to prevent a repetition of Soviet or Cuban adventures such as we have seen in Angola?

Mr. Callaghan

I have no doubt at all that the North Atlantic Alliance is a bulwark for peace and that it is essential, in view of the changes in military postures, that the Soviet Union and anyone else should note that it is our intention to defend ourselves against a direct attack. What seems to be much more likely nowadays is a more indirect form of attack, which perhaps needs a more sophisticated response, and it is to that that I am addressing my attention.

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