HC Deb 12 July 1962 vol 662 cc1515-7
Q4. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister What is the policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the formation of an Atlantic Community embodying Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The Prime Minister

The United Kingdom is already closely joined with many of the countries of Western Europe and the United States in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. With regard to the rather wider aspects of the Question, my right hon. Friends and I have explained the Government's policy in many speeches over the years. I do not think I could adequately summarise these speeches in answer to a Question, but the right hon. and learned Gentleman may remember that, for example, on 6th December, 1960, I said in the House that I had always made it clear that: … I believe that Europe, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and United States should in monetary matters, economic matters and defence matters and all their general policy work towards an ever-closer union"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th December, 1960; Vol. 631, c. 1066.]

Mr. Henderson

Has the Prime Minister considered the recent speech of President Kennedy? Would he not agree that it has a most important international political significance? Can we be assured that Her Majesty's Government will fully co-operate with all concerned in making that concept into a reality?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. I should have thought that it was a commendable speech, and it was very welcome especially to those of us who have been trying to float this word "interdependence" for quite a time.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the Prime Minister aware that in the course of that speech President Kennedy said that the United States would be prepared to discuss with a united Europe the ways and means of forming a concrete Atlantic partnership? Since this concept ought to be clarified before negotiations for our entry into the Common Market are completed, would it not be a good idea to seek from President Kennedy what he has in mind when he speaks of a concrete Atlantic partnership?

The Prime Minister

I will consider that too, but we have to get on with one thing at a time.

Mr. Smithers

Is not the idea put forward by the President much more likely to come to fruition after the negotiations have been successfully completed?

Hon. Members


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