Truce Talks

Oral Answers to Questions — Korea – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe 12:00 am, 2nd July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that the negotiations for an armistice in Korea have now been proceeding for nearly a year and have now apparently reached a deadlock, he will consider proposing the summoning of a special meeting of the Assembly of the United Nations to consider the situation.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

No, Sir. While the armistice talks are still in progress and the possibility of resolving the deadlock that has arisen there exists, I do not consider that the summoning of a special session of the United Nations General Assembly would be necessary or desirable.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

Are there not many difficult and intractable subjects, such as the exchange of prisoners, the position of Syngman Rhee, the political direction of the war and the possibility of establishing an honourable peace, which might be discussed with beneficial results by an early meeting of the Assembly?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

My experience of these meetings of the General Assembly is that opportunity is taken to use that body as a forum for propaganda and, as far as the armistice proceedings are concerned, I think that such a proceeding would cause delay.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether the United Nations ever discuss the war in Korea and its implication and possible repercussions?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

At the last meeting of the General Assembly we were very anxious that while the armistice negotiations were continuing the General Assembly should not discuss the matter, because we were certain that if they did discuss the matter in the way that other matters had been discussed it would raise tempers on both sides and make an armistice more difficult.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that Great Britain shall become immediately represented in the truce talks now taking place in Korea.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

I would refer the hon. and learned Gentleman to the statement which I made to the House yesterday.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

Does the Minister agree that the events of the last week have stressed the importance of the British point of view being expressed and implemented in these talks?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

As I tried to say to the House yesterday, I do not think that the alteration of our representation on the armistice delegation will make any difference at all. I think that these talks are being very competently handled now.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise that those who have sons and husbands who are prisoners in Korea and those who have sons and husbands who are fighting in Korea would feel that the best interests of these men were looked after if we were directly represented at these talks?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

That is a matter which I should have thought most certainly ought to have been borne in mind when this delegation was set up when our predecessors had responsibility, but I do not feel that this is the appropriate time for a change in the delegation; but the fact which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned is certainly one to be borne in mind.

Photo of Mrs Jean Mann Mrs Jean Mann , Coatbridge and Airdrie

Are we to understand that the war in Korea is now continuing on the question of the repatriation of prisoners? Is that a sufficient reason to continue the war in Korea? Cannot we get an armistice and allow this question of repatriation to stand over?

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

We would be very willing to do that, but one thing which we are not going to agree to do is forcibly to send people back to a Communist country.