Oral Answers to Questions — General De Gaulle (Prime Minister's Visit)

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

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Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

As already announced, I have accepted an invitation from the Prime Minister of France to visit him on 29th and 30th June. I shall be accompanied by my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

Is not it a very good thing that the Prime Minister should be visiting General de Gaulle—

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

—after his visit to President Eisenhower and to Her Majesty's Government in Canada, for cannot Britain and France together play a great part in bringing about a better balance of world affairs—[HON. MEMBERS: "Like Suez?"]—yes, after Suez—particularly in so reshaping the Atlantic Alliance that it becomes the means not of undermining but of upholding the sovereignty and overseas interests of its European members? Will my right hon. Friend consider discussing the concept of interdependence with General de Gaulle because, if interdependence means anything, it means American acceptance that Algeria is French and Cyprus British?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

I think that this visit to Paris is timely and I hope that it will be useful. The House may recall that I have always felt that we ought to keep close relations with the French Government. I visited M. Mollet shortly after I became Prime Minister and M. Gaillard shortly after he became Prime Minister. Similarly, we have had visits from them over here. I feel sure that that is the right thing to do and I think that the House as a whole will agree.