HC Deb 21 July 1960 vol 627 c722
40. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint a Minister whose function will be to coordinate United Kingdom relations with Western Europe in the economic and research fields.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

Our relations with Western Europe are a matter for the Government as a whole. The machinery for dealing with them must be flexible; and I will hear this suggestion in mind.

Mr. Wyatt

Does the Prime Minister's reluctance to apply a single-minded concentration to the problem of our co-operation with Europe mean that he is no longer as enthusiastic about a United Europe as he was at Strasbourg when he was in the Opposition? Does he not realise that many people in Europe cannot make out whether he wants Britain to join the Common Market or not, and this is making it very difficult for our relations with Europe?

The Prime Minister

The question which was asked was a question of organisation. There is always something to be said for selecting particular Ministers for particular jobs. On the other hand, these questions, especially that of research, as well as trade questions, cover the fields of a very large number of Ministers. Although I will bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman has said, one has to be quite sure that one does not complicate rather than improve what is going on under one Ministerial authority or the collective work of the Government.