HC Deb 30 June 1966 vol 730 cc2171-2
22. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs to what extent it is still the Government's policy to insist on the right to organise the United Kingdom economy, including control of immigration and the movement of capital, and planning for social purposes, as among the conditions for entering the Common Market.

Mr. George Brown

We shall certainly ensure that our interests are safeguarded on these points.

Mr. Zilliacus

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that the Rome Treaty prohibits any government control of the flow of capital or movement of labour between the members of the European Economic Community and, furthermore, rules out public ownership and planning harnessed to social priorities and purposes? Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the Government will resist any such restrictions on our rights to plan our economy?

Mr. Brown

I do not take the view that the Treaty of Rome limits our freedom to plan our economy, but the whole question of these issues which the hon. Gentleman raises are among those which we are now studying and on which we must be ready with answers when the moment comes.

Mr. Sandys

While recognising that the Government will have to negotiate certain safeguards for British and Commonwealth interests, can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that it is not the Government's intention to make conditions which would be inconsistent with the basic principles and institutions of the Treaty of Rome? Would he consider publishing the speech made the other day by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at the W.E.U. meeting, which I understand contained a statement of the British Government's requirements?

Mr. Brown

Certainly. The speech made by my right hon. Friend at the W.E.U. meeting was in accord with previous statements made in this House and with my Stockholm speech. I will certainly put to him the suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman on the other matters. It is certainly our intention to see that arrangements are made to safeguard our own proper and essential national interests, as well as others, which arise—for example, those of other Commonwealth members. We must bear in mind that every country which is a member of the Economic Community took very great care and spent a good deal of time in looking after its own essential interests before it joined. I do not believe that anyone would expect Britain to do any differently.

Mr. Shinwell

Before the Chancellor of the Duchy makes another speech at the Western European Union or elsewhere, would my right hon. Friend convey to him the details in this Question which he finds acceptable?

Mr. Brown

If my right hon. Friend will read the speech of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy he will find no need for any alarm or disturbance on his part. While we will keep the closest contact with my right hon. Friend and other hon. Friends, I do not think that I can go so far as to say that no Minister will ever make a speech until he has had it cleared in all quarters of the House.