HC Deb 01 December 1966 vol 737 cc616-7
Q5. Mr. David Howell

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now specify the right conditions for negotiation between Great Britain and the European Economic Community; and what changes there have been in them since the last negotiations.

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add to my reply of 15th November to a Question by the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish), my statement and the replies to Questions which followed it on 10th November and to my speech in the debate on 17th November.—[Vol. 736, c. 220; Vol. 735, c. 1539; Vol. 736, c. 759.]

Mr. Howell

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that, if we are to have a really informed public debate on this question, of the kind that I am sure he himself wants, it is necessary for the Government to make clear whether they still adhere to the five principles laid down by the Labour Party four years ago?

The Prime Minister

I am anxious for a public debate and that it should be informed. But there is enough information—has been for some years—to provide fuel for such a debate. I am more concerned, however, with getting results than with getting a good debate. As I explained in the recent debate, for us to say in detail what our terms and conditions would be on particular questions would be harmful to the result which so many of us have in mind and would simply lead to pressure to go still further in the terms we would be prepared to agree to.

Q10. Mr. Frederic Harris

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has for an early conference with the President of France on acceptable terms for Great Britain' entry into the Common Market.

The Prime Minister

I have as yet nothing to add to my reply to a supplementary question on this point by the hon. and learned Member for Antrim, South (Sir Knox Cunningham) on Tuesday last.—[Vol. 737, c. 206.]

Mr. Harris

It is regrettable that it always appears to be the President of France who is the stumbling block to our entering the Common Market. Would it not, therefore, be a good idea for the Prime Minister to seek an early meeting with the President in order to clear the air with him prior to seeking meetings with the leaders of other European countries?

The Prime Minister

There will obviously be different views about the precise order in which the meetings should take place and I have nothing to add to the answer I gave. But we hope to have an early meeting with the President of France.

Mr. Molloy

Will my right hon. Friend remember that, to many right hon. and hon. Members on both sides, the concept of linking with Europe goes much broader than joining the Common Market?

The Prime Minister

That was said by right hon. and hon. Members on both sides in the recent debate and on many other occasions. I went so far as to say something about it in a speech outside this House last night.