17. Mr. Frederick Elwyn Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give an assurance that, before committing the United Kingdom to support any measures of German re-armament, His Majesty's Government will first obtain the views of Parliament upon whatever measures are proposed.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is deep anxiety among many hon. Members on this side of the House that, when we re-assemble after the Recess, we shall find this country committed to measures of German rearmament, which many of us feel to be full of danger both to peace and to the security of this country? Is it not imperative that, on a matter of this kind, fundamentally affecting the whole course of European politics, Members of Parliament should be taken into confidence and their views heard and expressed? The House has not yet been given an opportunity to argue this matter.
§ Mr. Desmond Donnelly
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the first answer which he has given is a monstrous one and an affront to the House of Commons? Does he not realise that this is a very serious matter, and that hon. Members of this House have the right and duty to inquire into it in all its implications?
§ Mr. Eden
The hon. Gentleman has not understood. The answer I have given is in accordance with the immemorial practice. I was asked whether I would 2367 give an assurance that, before committing the United Kingdom, I would consult this House. The answer is that it is the responsibility of the Government to take these decisions, and it is for Parliament to confirm or reject them, as Parliament sees fit. I could not possibly deny the Government the power which they have always enjoyed for generations.