Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign Office (Name)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th April 1951.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe 12:00 am, 11th April 1951

asked the Prime Minister if, in view of the fact that the central object of British foreign policy is to establish and maintain international peace, he will consider, in this year of the Festival of Britain, taking steps to re-name the Foreign Office the Peace Office and to change the designation of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to that of Secretary of State for Peace.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

I have been asked to reply. No, Sir. The name of the Foreign Office is well established and understood and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister sees no reason to make a change. The Department's present name is not inconsistent with its functions as the Department of peace.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

Bearing in mind that my right hon. Friend, in his capacity as Foreign Secretary has already stated that his Department is the Department of peace, does not he think that such a striking change of nomenclature at the present time might have a heartening effect on the peoples of the Western world, who are now so depressed at the many signs of approaching war?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

I do not think so, Sir. As a matter of fact, I did have the point in mind when I added the last paragraph to the answer to the Question.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to consider relinquishing his own title of "Lord Festival" and taking that of "Lord Peace"?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

I should very much like to enjoy both of them.

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , South Antrim

Would not the inevitable impression conveyed to Soviet Russia by such a change be that we were in favour of peace at any price?

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson Sir Godfrey Nicholson , Farnham

Could not the right hon. Gentleman at least make this concession to the hon. Member asking the Question: in future, could not the doves of peace be represented by males of the domestic fowl?