HC Deb 08 November 1954 vol 532 cc840-1
8. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will propose to the other nations concerned the setting up of permanent machinery for economic co-operation under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Sir Anthony Eden

Adequate machinery already exists within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for dealing with such economic problems as arise out of its common defence effort. Larger problems of trade and economics are probably best considered in organisations with wider membership which include our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners.

Mr. Grimond

Was it not the original intention that these larger problems should be considered by N.A.T.O. and that the machinery should be set up under Article 2? Would it not be to the advantage of the whole organisation if the economic possibilities were more strongly stressed?

Sir A. Eden

I have considerable sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman says, but since then there has been a very considerable growth in the authority and importance of O.E.E.C., which is doing very valuable work for a large number of the countries and in which all the major powers are represented. Although it is desirable in principle to do as the hon. Gentleman wishes, we have to be careful not to overlap.