§ 6.47 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT ADDISON
My Lords, before the noble Viscount on the Woolsack puts the Question to the House, I am sure your Lordships would wish me to report to you, whist the House is assembled, a very important statement which the Prime Minister has just made in the House of Commons. It is rather long and I will do my best to piece the cables together. It is as follows:
"I am grateful to the House for allowing me to interrupt business in order to make the following statement.
This morning His Majesty's Government were informed by the United 1111 States Government of the terms of a statement which the United States Government intended to make later in the day on the situation in Korea. This statement has in fact just been released for publication in the U.S.A. It reads as follows:'In Korea the Government forces, which were armed to prevent border raids and to preserve internal security, were attacked by invading forces from North Korea.The Security Council of the United Nations called upon the invading troops to cease hostilities and to withdraw to the 38th parallel.This they have not done, but on the contrary have pressed the attack.The Security Council called upon all members of the United Nations to render every assistance to the United Nations in the execution of this resolution.In these circumstances I have ordered United States air and sea forces to give the Korean Government troops cover and support.The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that Communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.It has defied the orders of the Security Council of the United Nations, issued to preserve international peace and security. In these circumstances the occupation of Formosa by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to United States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area.Accordingly I have ordered the Seventh Fleet to prevent any attack on Formosa. As a corollary of this action I am calling upon the Chinese Government on Formosa to cease all air and sea operations against the mainland,The Seventh Fleet will see that this is done.The determination of the future status of Formosa must await the restoration of security in the Pacific, a peace settlement with Japan, or consideration by the United Nations.I have also directed that United States forces in the Philippines be strengthened and that military assistance to the Philippine Government be accelerated.I have similarly directed acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the associated States in Indo-China and the dispatch of a military mission to provide close working relations with those forces.1112I know that all members of the United Nations will consider carefully the consequences of this latest aggression in Korea in defiance of the Charter of the United Nations. A return to the rule of force in international affairs will have far-reaching effects. The United States will continue to uphold the rule of law. I have instructed Ambassador Austin. as the representative of the United States to the Security Council, to report these steps to the Council.'Then Mr. Attlee went on:
"I should add that the United Kingdom representative on the Security Council has been authorised to support at to-day's meeting of the Security Council a resolution which I understand is being introduced by the United States' representative and which recommends that the members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack.
The situation is of the utmost gravity, but I am certain there will be no disagreement, after our bitter experiences of the last thirty-five years, that the salvation. of all is dependent upon prompt and effective measures to arrest aggression wherever it may occur, using for this purpose the international machinery which the peace-loving nations have set up for this very purpose.
The fact is that the authorities in Northern Korea have invaded the territory of the Government of the Republic of Korea. This is naked aggression, and it must be checked. We can only hope that all concerned will recognise this simple fact. If they do there is hope for the future.
In view of the situation, Sir Gladwyn Jebb is flying out immediately to New York to take up his post as permanent representative of the United Kingdom on the United Nations."
§ 6.54 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
My Lords, the House will be grateful to the noble Viscount the Leader for having made that statement to us at the earliest possible moment. I will only say this: in a moment we are going into the Division Lobby on a purely domestic question; but on the grave matters on which he has spoken to us now we are all one.
§ VISCOUNT SAMUEL
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friends on these Benches, I would endorse what has just been said by the noble Viscount who is acting Leader of the Opposition. In the present very serious situation I feel sure that the whole nation will rally as one behind the Government of the day.
§ Resolved in the affirmative: Bill read 2a;accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.