HC Deb 06 November 1958 vol 594 cc99-100W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister the present policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to a Summit Conference; and what he has done during the last three months, and is now doing, to bring such a conference into being and to fruition.

The Prime Minister

During the early part of last summer we tried to get preparations for a Summit Conference started in Moscow. Our proposals for overcoming the obstacles which almost immediately arose were ignored by the Soviet Government. In a letter to Mr. Khrushchev of the 1st July I tried to get things moving again. But despite reminders he has never replied to this letter. Later in the summer he first agreed and then refused to attend a meeting of the Security Council at the level of heads of Government to discuss the Middle East.

Since then I have not taken any fresh steps. Against such a background it would have been useless to do so.

Nevertheless a Summit Conference is not an end in itself. Our end is to negotiate settlements with the Soviet Government. We use whatever means seems best and is generally acceptable.

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