HL Deb 22 November 1950 vol 169 c454

3.45 p.m.


My Lords, may I crave your Lordships' indulgence for a moment to intervene to make a short and very important statement? My right honourable friend the Prime Minister has recently been in correspondence with his fellow Prime Ministers of the Common-wealth about the possibility of a meeting between them to discuss questions of common concern, including aspects of the present international situation. They have all agreed that there should be a meeting in London early in January next, and invitations to come to this country at that time as the guests of the Government have been accepted by the Prime Ministers of Canada, Australia. New Zealand, India, Pakistan and Ceylon. The Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia has also accepted an invitation to attend. Dr. Malan, the Prime Minister of South Africa, will not be able to be present, but will send a member of his Cabinet to represent him on this occasion. In accordance with the customary practice, the meetings will be private to enable a confidential exchange of views to take place.

I know the House will join with me in welcoming the opportunity which this meeting will provide of taking counsel in these critical times with the heads of other Commonwealth Governments. They will, as always, be very welcome here; and all the Governments of the Common-wealth are confident that much good will come from this exchange of views.