HC Deb 24 June 1953 vol 516 cc1873-4
1. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the present position regarding British association with the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Pool; and what progress has been made towards full British participation in this organisation.

The Minister of State (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

The position remains as stated in my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. Member on 23rd February.

Mr. Hynd

Are the Government giving really serious consideration to this important organisation and to the possibility that, if we do not take a full part in it, there may be unfortunate economic repercussions on this country?

Mr. Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government are certainly paying great attention to this important organisation. The present position is that the President of the High Authority has said that the time has come for them to make concrete proposals to Her Majesty's Government. We are waiting to learn what the proposals are.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that other views are held in this country about the matter, particularly in the trade union movement and among those engaged in industry?

Mr. Lloyd

We have taken care to include representatives of the trade unions in our delegation.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Are the Government ready to consider the best way of protecting our trade union and other interests, perhaps by means of a contractual agreement with the High Authority on certain matters?

Mr. Lloyd

We ought to wait and see what the concrete proposals are before we pass judgment.