Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister (Visit to United States and Canada)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1958.

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Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury 12:00 am, 17th June 1958

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his discussions with the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Canada.

Photo of Sir Ian Fraser Sir Ian Fraser , Morecambe and Lonsdale

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about his visit to the United States of America.

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

During my recent visit to the United States, in addition to delivering two public speeches, I was able to have some very full private discussions with President Eisenhower, and with the United States Secretary of State. We issued no communiqué at the end of these talks because they had not a formal character, nor did we feel the need to agree a formal record. Indeed, the object of our talks was to exchange views rather than to reach specific decisions on particular subjects.

We did, in fact, discuss most of the major problems of the day and I am glad to say that I found that the views of Her Majesty's Government and the United States Government were closely in accord.

In Canada I had the opportunity of several discussions with the Prime Minister of Canada as well as with other Canadian Ministers. I also had the honour to address both Houses of the Canadian Parliament and I was invited to attend a meeting of the Canadian Cabinet. In Ottawa, as in Washington, I did not seek specific agreements but wished rather to discuss with the Canadian Prime Minister and his colleagues various matters of mutual concern. In particular, we discussed the forthcoming Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference. I am glad to be able to tell the House that our views coincided.

Photo of Mr John Stonehouse Mr John Stonehouse , Wednesbury

I thank the Prime Minister for that reply, but will he say what agreement was reached on the sharing of atomic and defence secrets and to what extent this will prevent the duplication of research work and the continuation of our own country's senseless H-bomb tests?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

That matter depends, of course, upon legislation now before Congress.

Photo of Sir Ian Fraser Sir Ian Fraser , Morecambe and Lonsdale

Has not my right hon. Friend's visit done a great deal to enhance British prestige? On the economic side, was the broadening of the basis of world trade one of the matters which he discussed, including particularly the raising of the price of gold?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

We discussed not the last question but the broad question of how to increase world trade and how to make sure that the increased trade would have a sufficient base of credit to finance it.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

Is there to be a follow-up on the discussions which have taken place on the possibility of broadening the base of credit and also strengthening the machinery for international economic co-operation generally?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

Yes, Sir, but that, of course, would work through the normal international instruments.