HC Deb 01 March 1966 vol 725 c1100
Q11. Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Prime Minister what further steps he has taken to bring about the partnership between the European Free Trade Association and the Common Market; and what direct bilateral arrangements have now been worked out other than in the field of aviation.

The Prime Minister

At its meeting at Copenhagen in October the European Free Trade Association Ministerial Council reaffirmed its desire for a dialogue with the European Economic Community, on these matters, and we hope that the Community will soon be in a position to reply. It is our policy to develop technical co-operation with other European countries over as wide a range as possible. We have already made an encouraging start on a number of specific projects.

Mr. Lloyd

Would the Prime Minister not concede that the time for dialogue has passed? Would he, perhaps, include himself among that small band of hon. Members who have been abroad giving advice to good Europeans and their Governments to the effect that no real progress is likely to be made unless there is a change of Government in this country?

The Prime Minister

I thought that hon. Members in all parts of the House felt that it would be useful for E.F.T.A. and the E.E.C. to get together. The only reason why we have not is the difficulty, which we understand, in the E.E.C., which has prevented the E.E.C. so far from responding to the initiative taken by E.F.T.A.