Middle East (Defence Commitments)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 12th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what research he has now initiated into the possibility and methods of transferring existing overseas defence commitments in the Middle East and east of Suez to international security systems under the auspices of the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Denis Healey Mr Denis Healey , Leeds East

It is an established aim of British policy to strengthen the United Nations as the main instrument for keeping peace in the world and to give it effective means of doing so, but there is as yet no concerted will amongst nations to this end. Meanwhile within the practical limitations, Her Majesty's Government are constantly seeking ways and means of improving United Nations influence both generally and in particular situations.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

While welcoming the reassurance of that Answer, does my right hon. Friend not consider that the recent events in Aden have reminded us that, if we are to make real use of the United Nations, we must bring it in at the earliest possible stage?

Photo of Mr Denis Healey Mr Denis Healey , Leeds East

There is something in what my hon. Friend says, but we cannot bring in the United Nations at any stage. The United Nations must decide to come in, and this has been one of the sources of problems in recent weeks.