HC Deb 09 March 1955 vol 538 cc61-2W
131. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the conflicting interpretations put by the Governments of France and of the German Federal Republic of the effect of the Saar Agreement of 23rd October, 1954, on the Allied undertakings of 10th April, 1947, 18th January, 1950, and 2nd August, 1951, whether Her Majesty's Government will issue a statement setting out clearly their obligations to France, to the German Federal Republic and to the Saar; and in what respects they are conditional.

132. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent the policy of the Government in regard to the Saar, as officially announced at Moscow on 10th April, 1947, has been, or will be, changed in consequence of the ratification of the Paris Agreements.

Sir Anthony Eden

As regards the statement of 10th April, 1947, and Mr. Acheson's statement of 18th January,1950, the position of Her Majesty's Government was stated in another place by the then Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The noble Lord then saidAt the Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow in 1947 my right hon. Friend and the United States Secretary of State supported the claim of France for the political and economic detachment of the Saar from Germany, and on 11th June, 1947, my right hon. Friend, in reply to a Question, made a statement to the effect that His Majesty's Government, subject always to decisions to be taken at the final Peace Settlement, supported French policy in the Saar

In the communication of 2nd August, 1951, which the Allied High Commission made to the German Federal Government, it was stated that: The Three Governments reaffirm their view that the final status of the Saar remains to be determined by the Peace Treaty or by an analogous Treaty.

Since then the French and Federal German Governments have freely negotiated an Agreement which differs from the settlement contemplated in 1947 in that it is intended to give the Saar, pending a Peace Treaty or a settlement in lieu thereof, a European Statute within the framework of the Western European Union. Her Majesty's Government have welcomed this Agreement as an essential element in Franco-German co-operation in Western European Union. Provided that the Statute is approved by the Saar people through a referendum, Her Majesty's Government will support it pending the conclusion of a Peace Treaty. At any Peace Conference Her Majesty's Government will also support a solution which rests on the willing acceptance of the Saar people and of the French and German Governments. Thus they hope that the Saar, instead of being an occasion of conflict, will become the permanent symbol of the reconciliation of France and Germany and of the creation of a new spirit of European unity and confidence.