HC Deb 20 March 1963 vol 674 cc370-1
18. Sir T. Moore

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will take steps towards the formation of the European Free Trade Association countries and the Commonwealth into an Oceanic Economic Community.

Mr. Heath

No, Sir. It is the Government's policy to promote trade and closer economic co-operation both with the European Free Trade Association countries and with the Commonwealth, but their interests do not provide a realistic basis for an Economic Community.

Sir T. Moore

But does not my right hon. Friend think that this proposal offers far wider scope for both political and economic development than the hidebound, inward-looking Common Market community dominated by President de Gaulle?

Mr. Heath

There is an opportunity for development in the E.F.T.A. countries and in the Commonwealth, but my hon. Friend, as I understood him, was suggesting that we should bring the two groups into one community. I am afraid that the present position of the groups does not make that a realistic proposition.