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Foreign Affairs

Part of Orders of the Day — Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1961.

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Photo of Mr Tufton Beamish Mr Tufton Beamish , Lewes 12:00 am, 31st July 1961

I have that as well.

Hon. Members opposite seem to think that the proposals put up by Conservative Governments were disengagement plans. But, in fact, they all have certain common features which no one seems to mention. They visualised only a thinning out of forces in Europe, under strict international control and inspection, after free elections in Germany and after Germany has been re-united and after free elections in Berlin and after Berlin has been reunited. Furthermore, they visualised only—although I admit that this was not made at all clear in the 1959 communiqué, which was rather loosely worded—that this so-called disengagement was something which would follow at least two stages of disarmament. That is clear from the 1959 White Paper which was issued after the Foreign Ministers' Conference. Furthermore, they consider only the possibility of forces being thinned out in Europe East of a reunited Germany. That is something very different from considering the thinning out of forces along a line through Germany. All those are well-established distinctions between the plans which have been put forward by Conservative Governments and other plans which hon. Members opposite have sometimes put forward and which have been mentioned again today.