Cultural Exchanges

Oral Answers to Questions — U.S.S.R. – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Alex Lyon Mr Alex Lyon , City of York 12:00 am, 17th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the new agreement recently signed for cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union.

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

The new agreement is for a period of two years and covers relations in the fields of science, technology, education and culture. It follows very much the pattern of the earlier agreement, which was presented to Parliament in May, 1965, but there is an increase in the proposed exchanges which we welcome.

Photo of Mr Alex Lyon Mr Alex Lyon , City of York

Can my hon. Friend tell the House what proposals the Government have in mind to initiate exchanges of ordinary members of the public under this cultural agreement as distinct from the certainly limited number of cultural activities such as touring, theatre companies or orchestras? What, for instance, could be done to assist school children to visit the Soviet Union under an agreement of this kind?

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

If my hon. Friend looks at the agreement, which will shortly be published as a White Paper and will therefore be available in the Library, he will see that it goes very wide indeed. I entirely agree with what my hon. Friend says about the need for exchange between people on a very wide basis indeed.