HC Deb 13 June 1956 vol 554 cc559-60
15. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will enter into discussions with the countries sponsoring the Euratom proposals with a view to clarifying the conditions under which the United Kingdom could be a member of Euratom.

Mr. Nutting

The proposed scope and powers of Euratom have already been set out in a report which was adopted by the Governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands at a meeting in Venice on 29th–30th May. This report contemplates that a permanent connection would be established within the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation between Euratom and the other member countries, and in particular calls for close association between Euratom and the United Kingdom. Her Majesty's Government look forward to associating with Euratom within the framework of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.

Mr. Warbey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that my Question relates to British participation as a member of Euratom? Will he take note of the very important statement made by M. Monnet that British participation in Euratom is indispensable? Will he at least give an undertaking that the Government have not closed their mind to the possibility that such British participation might be advantageous to this country and European countries as well?

Mr. Nutting

Notwithstanding what has been said by M. Monnet, for whom I have the greatest respect, the Euratom plan as it stands is incompatible with the interests of the United Kingdom, because Euratom is to have a monopoly of the ownership and distribution of raw materials and will fix prices and control the use of those materials which it sells to outside countries. That is not compatible with United Kingdom interests, but, nevertheless, we hope that the Euratom project will develop complementary-wise with that of 0.E.E.C., in which we are already playing a full Part.