South-East Asia Treaty Organisation

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Labour – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1966.

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Photo of Mr Eldon Griffiths Mr Eldon Griffiths , Bury St Edmunds 12:00 am, 7th February 1966

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is satisfied with present arrangements for political and military co ordination among the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation nations; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I foresee no need to propose changes at present in the existing arrangements.

Photo of Mr Eldon Griffiths Mr Eldon Griffiths , Bury St Edmunds

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that in recent years S.E.A.T.O. has become something of a dead duck? Is it not just as important to revive this alliance and make it effective as it is to make statements about Britain's intention of remaining east of Suez?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I do not agree with the hon. Member's estimate. As he knows, the annual conference of S.E.A.T.O. occurs somewhat later this year, and if there are changes or improvements they can then be considered.