HC Deb 26 May 1952 vol 501 cc915-7
7. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what obstacles there now are to Britain joining the European Defence Community as a participating member.

with every passport issued or renewed. A fifth leaflet was issued during the first part of that period but was later combined with one of the others. The numbers of each leaflet printed during the period, and the cost and the weight of paper consumed are given in a table which I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT; the total cost was £1,795 10s. 8d.

The following is the table:

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The obstacles remain the same as those which existed when the late Government were dealing with the question.

Mr. Wyatt

In view of the Prime Minister's known anxiety that Britain should join the European Defence Community as soon as possible, and in view of the fact that the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said last Wednesday that the only objection remaining was that some of these treaties would have to be re-negotiated with our enemy, does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the Government must have a more specific attitude than that conveyed in this very vague answer?

Mr. Lloyd

As the hon. Member may know, there have been recently some discussions between the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Defence of the French Government with regard to the association of this country with the European Defence Community. A statement will be made upon those discussions. I think that is the most fruitful way of advance.

Sir T. Moore

Is not the real answer that the reason why Britain cannot become a participating partner in the European Defence Community is that she is already the heart and head of a great Empire and not of Europe?

Mr. Edelman

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman recall that in 1951 at Strasbourg—and I believe he himself was present—the Prime Minister, when he proposed a European Army, said that Britain would play a full and honourable part in it? Will he explain why Her Majesty's Government have changed their attitude?

Mr. Lloyd

If the hon. Member will read again what the Prime Minister said, he will see that he envisaged a different form of organisation of the European Army from that contained in the E.D.C.

Mr. Bellenger

Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman a statement to make now, or will he make it very soon, as to any further undertakings or guarantees that have been just given by the Foreign Secretary in Germany, as I understand it, in relation to a guarantee with America to France concerning the European Defence Community?

Mr. Lloyd

That is another matter, and if the right hon. Gentleman will put down a Question I will certainly answer it.

Mr. Wyatt

Will the right hon. Gentleman look at the Prime Minister's speech at Strasbourg in August, 1950, because the Prime Minister envisaged exactly the Army now being built up which he then said we should join?

Sir T. Moore

No, co-operate with it.

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