§ 28. Mr. Carol Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if Her Majesty's Government propose to make arrangements to celebrate Europe Day on 5th May, being the anniversary of the foundation of the Council of Europe.
§ Mr. George Thomson
Her Majesty's Government are actively pursuing various proposals that have been made, and steps are being taken to draw the attention of the local government and local educational authorities in the United Kingdom to the anniversary.
§ Mr. Johnson
Can my hon. Friend give a few more details of what the Government propose to do? Would not he agree that the foundation of the Council of Europe was an historic event, worthy of considerable celebration in this country? Would not he agree, for instance, to have the European flag flown on the day chosen so that we can demonstrate our desire to be more closely united with Europe?
§ Mr. Thomson
The Government attach great importance to the Council of Europe and to marking the anniversary of the day in specific ways here. I have been investigating the possibility of flying the European flag on public buildings. I discovered that there is no precedent for flying other than national flags on public buildings, but this possibility is now being studied with a view to approaching the Lord Chamberlain.
§ Sir Knox Cunningham
Will the Minister of State think of cancelling the celebrations of 1st May and instead celebrating everything on 5th May?
§ Mr. Warbey
Will my hon. Friend celebrate this day by proposing that the Central and East European countries should now be invited to join the Council of Europe and thus make a contribution towards achieving the admirable objectives of the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison)?