Transcript

When an international situation is so tense and so raw as it is following Russia's action in Cuba and the United States response to it the only words which are worth speaking are those which may help to contribute a solution to the problems.

The first essential is to recognise that international Communism as practised by Russia today is both opportunist and two faced. We have lately had examples of these two techniques.

In Cuba they stepped in last year to take advantage of a situation which was already explosive. In Berlin they created a crisis where, but for their action, there was no need for any crisis at all. The purpose of all of these adventures is undoubtedly one thing - that is to increase the area of Communist domination.

By putting medium range and intermediate range ballistic missiles into Cuba Russia is deliberately placing her own power in a position to do three things - to threaten the United States, to threaten the Caribbean, and beyond those two, to threaten South America. We must recognise that this is plainly an act of power.

At a time when the non dissemination of nuclear weapons to non nuclear countries is on the agenda at Geneva, Russia introduces these weapons into new places.

I hope the Russians will see in time where their policy is leading. I can promise them this: immediately she settles down to negotiate, Russia will find the most ready response from our government. The President of the United States is clearly looking forward to the day when we can get round the table and work out solutions of all our difficulties in negotiations which are genuine.

Meanwhile, I can only say to our own countrymen that the prime Minister and myself, upon whom the main burden decision must fall, will, once we have checked the present fever, play our full part in an attempt to end the cold war and do everything we possibly can to cooperate with all countries, and the Russians if they will come in, in the creative tasks of peace.

One other alternative is there for us. As I ventured to say to the United Nations only a few weeks ago: 'Man is now at the point of choice and the choice is this: whether we blow ourselves to bits or whether we sit down round the table and negotiate and negotiate again, however long that process lasts'.

That is the choice we have before us today.