HC Deb 29 May 1963 vol 678 c1306
21. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals Her Majesty's Government will place before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for implementing Resolution 327 of the Assembly of the Council, which calls for increased contacts, under the auspices of the Council, between the peoples of Eastern and Western Europe.

Mr. P. Thomas

I assume that the hon. Gentleman is referring to Recommendation 357. As he is aware, Her Majesty's Government are already taking steps to stimulate contacts with the peoples of Eastern Europe, to which they attach great importance. They welcome the interest shown in such contacts by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, and will consider sympathetically in the Committee of Ministers any proposals which would enable the Council usefully to supplement work being done in this field by individual member States.

Mr. Mayhew

Whilst I welcome that statement, and recognise that in this respect Britain is ahead of other members of the Council of Europe, may I ask whether we can have an undertaking that, on the Committee of Ministers, the British Government will not let this Recommendation just be noted or approved, but will press for specific action in the terms of the Recommendation in order to get something done?

Mr. Thomas

Her Majesty's Government are certainly extremely interested in this matter, as the hon. Gentleman knows, but I am not at present in a position to state what proposals, if any, Her Majesty's Government intend to place before the Committee of Ministers in this matter.

Mr. A. Lewis

Can hon. Members be advised how best to get into this "closed club" of delegates to the Council of Europe?

Mr. Thomas

I suggest that the hon. Gentleman should consult his Whip, if he has one.