§ 7. Mr. W. Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement to the House about the proposed visit of President Benes to Moscow; and what steps he has taken to facilitate his visit?
§ Mr. Eden
During M. Molotov's visit to London last year discussions took place regarding the conclusion of agreements between His Majesty's Government or the Soviet Government on the one hand and any of our other European Allies on the other concerning post-war arrangements. As a result of these discussions His Majesty's Government understood that both Governments held the view that it was preferable for neither of them to con- 175 clued any such agreements for the moment.
When President Benes spoke to me of his proposed visit to Moscow with a view to concluding such an agreement I naturally informed him of the discussions which had taken place with M. Molotov and the matter was also mentioned to the Soviet Government in accordance with our understanding of the arrangements reached between us in 1942. Shortly afterwards I was informed by President Benes that his visit had been postponed.
Discussions are however proceeding between His Majesty's Government and the Soviet and Czechoslovak Governments, and I hope to have an opportunity to discuss the matter personally with M. Molotov at my forthcoming meeting with Soviet and American representatives. I am of course also maintaining close contact with the Czechoslovak Government.
§ 14. Mr. Driberg
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why, at the instance of officials of his Department, a reference to future co-operation between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, which appeared in the text as circulated to, and published in, the Press, was cut from the script of the Czechoslovak Prime Minister's recent broadcast to the people of Czechoslovakia?
§ Mr. Eden
I think the hon. Member is under some misapprehension. In the speech which he delivered over the B.B.C. on 2nd September, the Czechoslovak Prime Minister in fact referred to the desire of the Czechoslovak Government to continue in the future their close collaboration with the Soviet Union, as also with Great Britain, the United States of America and France. His Majesty's Government and the Czechoslovak Government were in agreement regarding the final text of Monseigneur Sramek's speech, an earlier draft of which had been circulated to the Press in error.
§ Mr. Driberg
When the right hon. Gentleman says that there was agreement regarding the final text, does he imply that some such cut as I suggested in my Question was in fact made before the final text was agreed on?
§ Mr. Driberg
But is it not the case that there was pressure on the Czechoslovak Prime Minister to agree to the cuts?