HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc237-8
Q4. Mr. Heffer

asked the Prime Minisster what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the draft recommendation con- tained in Document 354 concerning the organisation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, presented at the Western European Union assembly in Paris recently; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

This recommendation has still to be considered by the Western European Union Council, where the Government will discuss it with their allies.

Mr. Heffer

Will my right hon. Friend agree that the idea of a supreme executive entrusted with the overall direction of the Alliance, both military and political, as advocated by the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys), is a dangerous one and, if accepted, could make it much more difficult to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union in relation to a security pact for Europe?

The Prime Minister

All we shall be discussing with the Western European Union Council will be Document 354, not the views expressed then or at any other time by the right hon. Member for Streatham.

Mr. Ridley

But is not the Prime Minister aware that the recommendation also contained a suggestion that there might be a common European armaments board? As his own party representative voted for this report, can the right hon. Gentleman say what the Government's attitude to this will be?

The Prime Minister

We shall study this, but in all our approaches to these problems of defence we believe that the right control should be on the basis of N.A.T.O., of the Alliance as a whole, and not on the basis of separate European arrangements.