HC Deb 10 February 1964 vol 689 cc3-5
3. Mr. Oram

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, in his recent discussions with the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, he discussed the future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Economic Community and what steps he has taken to keep the members of the European Free Trade Association informed of the outcome of such discussions.

Mr. Mathew

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the joint communiqué issued on 16th January at the end of the visit to this country by Chancellor Erhard and Dr. Schroeder. There have been normal exchanges with European Free Trade Association Governments through diplomatic channels.

Mr. Oram

Since the Foreign Secretary is making a number of statements about the desirability of closer political association in Europe, and since some of our partners in E.F.T.A. are likely to be considerably opposed to any closer political association, can the hon. Member assure the House that no discussions will be entered into along these lines without the full concurrence of all partners in E.F.T.A.?

Mr. Mathew

The hon. Member is aware that the general question of Britain's relations with the E.E.C. was discussed at the Ministerial Meeting of Western European Union on 24th January. The E.F.T.A. Governments have been kept fully informed of these discussions. We shall continue to inform them of any discussions which we may have.

Mr. Mayhew

In the absence of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary abroad, would not the Under-Secretary of State like to take this opportunity of giving the nation some straight talk of his own kind on our relations with the Common Market?

5. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what assurances he has given to the European Economic Community through Western European Union regarding the resumption of negotiations for Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community later in 1964.

8. Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the assurance he gave at a recent meeting of Western European Union held in London that Britain intends to enter the Common Market.

Mr. Mathew

My right hon. Friend has given no such assurances. One of the purposes of the Western European Union meetings is to keep close contact between Britain and the European Economic Community, but the question of resuming negotiations has not arisen.

Mr. Stonehouse

Does that reply mean that the Conservative Party are dropping the intention of seeking Britain's entry into the E.E.C.?

Mr. Mathew

I advise the hon. Member to read the mass of literature which is issued by the Conservative Party. I think that he will be able to inform himself as to the party's exact position.

Mr. Rankin

Is the hon. Member aware that the right hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan), a former Prime Minister, has declared in the Press today that we are not to forget our possible future relationships with the European Economic Community? Does the right hon. Gentleman still speak with some authority for the Conservative Party and the Government?

Mr. Speaker

Order. It cannot be right to ask about declarations by Ministers—

Mr. Rankin

He is not a Minister.

Mr. Speaker

The present Minister cannot be answerable for declarations by former Ministers.