HC Deb 27 January 1964 vol 688 c9W
50. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government are now taking to reach agreement on multilateral disarmament.

51. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what instructions he has given to the British representative at the Geneva Disarmament Conference.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I hope to go to Geneva after my visit, with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, to Ottawa and Washington. I will then formulate proposals which need not necessarily take the form of a new and independent plan, but which would take account of the interests of our allies. I hope that progress can be made on preliminary or collateral steps, so that genuine negotiations for general and complete disarmament can proceed. I am sure that, before they are far advanced, detailed technical studies will be needed on many crucial points. No treaty will be possible until this work has been done.

This is how I see the problem as a whole, and instructions in this sense have been given to my hon. Friend the Minister of State at Geneva. As I have indicated, my forthcoming visit to Washington will give me the opportunity to discuss these matters with the Americans.