HC Deb 18 December 1962 vol 669 cc1083-4
Q8. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech of the President of the Board of Trade to the Putney Conservative Association on 8th December on the Common Market represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Stonehouse

In view of this welcome recognition that it is not essential for Britain to join the E.E.C. and accept the humiliating terms which are being suggested by the Six, may I ask what is now being done to work out the alternatives in terms of overseas trade, particularly with the E.F.T.A. countries and our Commonwealth friends?

Mr. Butler

I do not accept the inference which the hon. Member brings to bear on the speech of my right hon. Friend. The position remains exactly as before. We are clear that we want to accede. We are equally clear that we want to get the right terms and conditions on which we can honourably accede. That is the position today and that remains the position.

Mr. Marsh

Is it not impossible for the country to get the right terms as long as it appears that there is no alternative and the Government are not attempting to find an alternative?

Mr. Butler

The hon. Member can rely on the ingenuity and wisdom of the Government in having plans for all contingencies.

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