Mr R.A. Butler: Is the hon. Gentleman assured that we are keeping in the closest touch with the Congolese forces? His colleague the Minister of State informed us the other day that he thought that that was the only hope of rescuing these people.
Mr R.A. Butler: Perhaps I may preface my remarks by saying that I hope that the Foreign Office w ill survive the onslaught of the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Maxwell). This foreign affairs debate has been prefaced by a very important visit by the Prime Minister and his leading colleagues to Washington. The Prime Minister returned on Thursday last and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and...
Mr R.A. Butler: I should not like to give an answer which gave the impression that the technical capabilities of the Polaris submarines could be used in such a way. I think that that is a matter which will have to be decided in the future, but not on present experience. What I am asking is whether any of the bombers could be so used in the Middle East or Far East where they would, I think, be a very...
Mr R.A. Butler: I do not think that I had better give way again.
Mr R.A. Butler: I will give way.
Mr R.A. Butler: I cannot be expected to give a final opinion on that to the House. If the Government could give us an opinion I should be very grateful, because they are in possession of more information on this subject than we are. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman himself will give us his own opinion. I want to ask the Prime Minister some questions about the position of India. The inducement to develop an Indian...
Mr R.A. Butler: We spent five years before that Labour Government came in preparing for the independence of India.
Mr R.A. Butler: Is the Prime Minister aware that the Foreign Secretary is a co-Chairman in this matter, and would there be any question of reassembling the Geneva Conference?
Mr R.A. Butler: Are the Government engaged in any conversations with our allies on these matters? While I approve the general lines of the hon. Member's statement, I should like to know the answer to that.
Mr R.A. Butler: The Minister answered a point about the Organisation for African Unity. Can he tell me what contact he has with that Organisation to attempt to help? Secondly, can he tell the House what contact we have with official Congolese troops and what, if any, assistance we can give in searching out British subjects?
Mr R.A. Butler: Will the right hon. Gentleman make representations to the Prime Minister to make a statement as early as possible in the week in which the proposed debate will take place?
Mr R.A. Butler: When the hon. Gentleman refers to earmarked contingents, does he mean that we will earmark contingents of our Army here?
Mr R.A. Butler: We all realise the extreme delicacy of the situation in the Congo, but the Minister of State said that he would make a statement when he was ready. May we have an assurance that such a statement will be made either in the next few days or when we have a foreign affairs debate?
Mr R.A. Butler: If that was not the official view of the Government, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman what is the official Government policy towards Israel?
Mr R.A. Butler: (by Private Notice)asked the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about the safety of British subjects in the Congo.
Mr R.A. Butler: I am sure that the House will be obliged to the hon. Gentleman for his statement of facts and will endorse what he has said about our gratitude for the rescue operation, gratitude which we expressed earlier. What I am anxious about is the future, and I am sure that I carry with me a lot of feeling in the House. Can the hon. Gentleman tell us whether, through the United Nations, or the...
Mr R.A. Butler: How soon can we expect a reply to the Chinese initiative?
Mr R.A. Butler: (by Private Notice) asked the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement about the latest situation in the Congo with reference to the British subjects involved.
Mr R.A. Butler: Will the hon. Gentleman undertake to keep the House informed of the further progress of this humanitarian operation which, so far as British subjects and the great majority of Commonwealth citizens are concerned, has been successful?
Mr R.A. Butler: While accepting the commonsense approach of the hon. Gentleman and of the Government to this matter, and the approach to the United Nations, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman can give us any further information about the safety of British nationals, any further steps that have been taken and any instructions that have been given to Her Majesty's representatives?