HC Deb 08 November 1961 vol 648 cc57-8W
66. Mr. Swingler

asked the Lord Privy Seal, in view of the expressed willingness of the Soviet and East German Governments to guarantee free access to West Berlin under negotiated agreement, what consultations have taken place between the North Atlantic Treaty Powers about the avoidance of provocative incidents and the reduction of tension at frontier crossings.

Mr. P. Thomas

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Powers are not responsible for the recent incidents at the Friedrichstrasse crossing point. They were the direct result of attempts by the East German authorities, supported by the Soviet Union, to infringe Western rights of access to East Berlin and to establish an international frontier in the centre of Berlin in violation of all existing agreements between the four Powers. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies are in regular consultation about all matters related to Berlin. The willingness of the Russians to give genuine guarantees of free access to West Berlin must eventually be tested in negotiation.

Mr. Hannan

asked the Lord Privy Seal what steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to further the opening of negotiations between the Western Powers and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics concerning Berlin and the German problem.

Mr. P. Thomas

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the remarks made by my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal on 2nd November.

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