HC Deb 05 June 1956 vol 553 cc40-1W
55. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government to make a statement on his recent official visit to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mr. Sandys

During the Whitsun Recess I paid a twelve-day visit to the U.S.S.R. as the guest of the Soviet Government. This was a return visit following one to Britain last autumn by Mr. Kucherenko, Soviet Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Ministers for Construction.

In addition to my stay in Moscow, I spent a few days in Leningrad and in Kiev, and I was shown something of the progress of housing, town planning and reconstruction in each of these three cities.

Before my departure, I had the opportunity of informal talks with Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev.

I should like to say how grateful I am for the generous hospitality extended to me and my wife by the Soviet authorities. We were much touched by the warmth of the welcome given to us wherever we went and by the friendliness and good will expressed to us, not only in official speeches, but also in numerous casual contacts with people of all kinds.