HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc28-9
55. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he will take to implement the recommendations of the Council of Europe passed on 26th January on the general policy of the Council of Europe.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Walter Padley)

We are considering these recommendations with our Council of Europe partners in the Committee of Minister's Deputies in Strasbourg.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Will the Minister of State take the matter up with his colleagues at the Board of Trade to see if it is possible to get on with this a bit faster, particularly since there are a number of specific approaches which could be made if the two Ministries acted together on this issue?

Mr. Padley

In so far as there are matters where the Board of Trade and the Foreign Office can collaborate, we are in favour of maximum association with Europe. The position of Her Majesty's Government on our membership of the E.E.C. is well known. Our policy remains that we are ready to enter the Community if certain essential British interests can be safeguarded.

Mr. Snow

Would my hon. Friend take steps to see that the public is somewhat better informed about the deteriorating trade position of this country relative to Europe, which many of us forecast would be the result of the tariff developments of the Common Market?

Mr. Padley

The initiative, which was taken first at Chequers, then at Vienna and then at Copenhagen, was designed to prevent Europe from hardening into two economic blocs. I therefore agree with my hon. Friend.

Mr. Soames

Would the hon. Gentleman say whether he agrees with all the recommendations referred to in the Question and whether he will use what influence he has to see that they are implemented? If not, would he say which are the recommendations which he would not like to see implemented?

Mr. Padley

We agree entirely with the recommendations.

Mr. Soames

All of them?

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