Oral Answers to Questions — Middle and Far East (International Security)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 17th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proposals he will make to the United Nations on effective systems of international security, particularly in the Middle and Far East.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I made proposals in my speech to the Assembly on 11th October, 1966, designed to strengthen the United Nations effectiveness in peacekeeping operations undertaken with the consent of the States concerned. In the separate field of enforcement action, Her Majesty's representative in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping has just said again that if the Security Council consider the time ripe, we would welcome progress towards negotiating agreements under Article 43 of the Charter.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

While I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he does not agree that Aden has illustrated the accentuated problem for the United Nations when called in at the eleventh hour? What precise proposals are we preparing for filling the gap beyond Suez when we withdraw from that area?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I do not think it right to say that the U.N. was called in at the eleventh hour; certainly they were not as far as we were concerned. A great deal of effort was needed to get the United Nations to set up the mission to go there. As to whether the United Nations could play a peace-keeping rôle in that situation, I think that, on the whole, the proposition might come rather better from the mission while it is in existence.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

When the right hon. Gentleman is in Moscow, will he call the attention of the Soviet leaders to the increasing quantities of Russian arms going, for instance, to Syria and Somaliland, and inquire what they are for? Has he any evidence that discussions are taking place between the Soviet Union and Egypt about the provision of ground-to-ground missiles?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I would need notice of the second part of that question. With regard to the earlier part, while standing on what I said—that one does not disclose in advance what we are discussing—I shall take note of what the right hon. Gentleman said.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone

Will the right hon. Gentleman, in his search for effective systems of security in the Middle East and other uncertain areas, bear in mind in this extremely fluid age the undoubted virtues of staying put?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

Staying put in the situation in the Middle East would, I think, lead to an awful lot of disasters coming on us.