Egypt (Tripartite Agreement)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Gilbert Longden Mr Gilbert Longden , South West Hertfordshire 12:00 am, 20th July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the re-arming of Egypt by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, support for the Tripartite Agreement of 1950 between the United Kingdom, France, and the United States of America, remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have nothing to add to the answers which I gave to Questions by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. A. Henderson) and the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice) on 15th June.

Photo of Mr Gilbert Longden Mr Gilbert Longden , South West Hertfordshire

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that President Nasser, who loses no opportunity of telling the world that war with Israel is inevitable, knows what the consequences would be?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I think that the best thing would be to refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) on 14th May, 1963, in which we endorsed the American President's view of what the likely action would be in the event of trouble.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Would the right hon. Gentleman define rather more closely and less nebulously what is meant by Government support for Tripartite Agreement? What does that actually mean? Does it mean that both the State of Israel and the United Arab Republic States are informed that in the event of any attack being made by either party on each other, those who sponsored the Tripartite Agreement would intervene in order to bring the conflict to an early end?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Since the declaration of 1950 there have been several statements made, the most important of which was made by the former Prime Minister on 14th May of last year. That has since been reaffirmed by me in various statements; namely, that we regard the United Nations as being primarily responsible for the maintenance of peace in the area and that if any threat to peace were to arise we would immediately consult the United Nations and take whatever action we feel may be required.

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

Since my right hon. Friend regards the United Nations as primarily responsible, may I ask him whether the Security Council has taken cognisance of a situation in which the leader of one member State of the United Nations publicly proclaims on a number of occasions that war in inevitable with another member State of the United Nations? Should not Her Majesty's Government give attention to the question whether the Tripartite Declaration should either be reaffirmed or replaced by some other instrument, or some conciliation machinery?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

We regard the United Nations primarily as the best conciliation machinery. As to the Declaration of 1950, as I say, various important declarations—the most important of which I have repeated to the House—have been made since that date. Those will govern the actions of Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

While we welcome the Government's determination to refer such an event, if it should happen, to the United Nations, can the Foreign Secretary tell us whether the Government regard the Tripartite Declaration as still being in force; and, if so, by what act it was re-established after the Suez war?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

As I said in answer to Questions on 15th June in relation to this, we still regard this as valid.