Oral Answers to Questions — Summit Conference

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 12:00 am, 23rd July 1959

asked the Prime Minister if he will now give an approximate limit to the preliminary discussions of the Foreign Secretaries' Conference; and when he now expects that the Summit Conference will take place.

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

It would be unwise to suggest that we should set any time limit for the Foreign Ministers' Conference, but naturally we hope that the attitude of the Soviet Union will enable the Conference to come to a speedy and successful conclusion. Should this come about, the Foreign Ministers would no doubt also suggest an agreed date on which a Summit Conference might take place.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Was it not always understood that Mr. Khrushchev intended that any real decisions should be made at the Summit Conference? Was it not also intended that this should be a preliminary conference of the Foreign Secretaries? Have there been any proposals put forward that would seem to meet the situation in Berlin and would make possible a further conference at the summit?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

I do not think I would add to the attainment of the purpose that I think we all have in mind by making any comment upon the present situation. I can only hope that the Foreign Ministers' Conference will lead to an agreed basis upon which a Summit Conference can be held.

Photo of Mr Hugh Gaitskell Mr Hugh Gaitskell , Leeds South

In view of the confident hope which the Prime Minister has expressed several times that there will be a Summit Conference, will he say whether he thinks that there should be one in any event and whatever the outcome of the Foreign Ministers' Conference?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

We went into this in some detail in various debates, and my views have been well expressed. I do not think that I would add to the achievement of what I want by going any further today.