§ 2. Mr. Marquand
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement about the new system of relations between the European Coal and Steel Community and the British coal and steel industries.
§ 3. Mr. G. R. Strauss
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement about the negotiations that have been proceeding with the European Coal and Steel Community.
§ 6. Mr. Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a further statement on the closer association of the United Kingdom with the European Coal and Steel Community.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Anthony Eden)
There have been discussions this week between my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Mr. D. P. Spierenburg, a member of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. A meeting of the Council of Ministers and the High Authority of the Community has been held concurrently in Luxembourg.
932 Agreement has been reached on all the main points. Certain minor textual matters remain to be settled and Mr. Spierenburg is waiting in London for this purpose. It is hoped that signature of the agreement will take place in London in the very near future. I will then make a full statement to the House, and the text of the agreement will be published as a White Paper.
§ Mr. Marquand
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on the Advisory Committee which we have had connecting ourselves hitherto with the Coal and Steel Community, the workers—blastfurnacemen and steelworkers—of this country have been represented, and will he bear in mind the necessity of ensuring worker representation on any organisation that is set up?
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
As the agreement will presumably bind the iron and steel industry and the coal industry of this country in many ways, which may be desirable or not, and is now a matter of great importance, will the House have an opportunity of considering it at an early stage, before we are finally committed?
§ Sir A. Eden
Yes, Sir. That is why I pointed out particularly that I will not only make a statement but also publish immediately a White Paper to enable the House to pronounce on these arrangements. I think that the right hon. Gentleman can be assured that the position is not perhaps quite so definite as he stated.
§ Mr. Hamilton
In view of the firm promise that this might appear to hold, can the right hon. Gentleman say what preparatory or exploratory steps, if any, have been taken by the Government to inaugurate similar schemes dealing with transport and power?
§ Sir A. Eden
This is a particular problem, as the hon. Gentleman knows, which has to be resolved in respect of this Authority, and if he wants to raise another issue perhaps he would be kind enough to put down a Question.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of the trade unions mostly affected by this are very concerned about it?
§ Sir A. Eden
I think that "this" has to be explained before anyone need be either concerned or unconcerned. I undertake to give the House the fullest information as soon as the agreement is signed.