HC Deb 23 May 1966 vol 729 cc25-7
28. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what has resulted from the Government's discussion with the allies in Western European Union of the recommendations in paragraph 3, page 3, of Document 354 of the Western European Union Assembly to evolve a common European approach to the problems of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other international problems.

Mr. George Thomson

The Council of W.E.U. has forwarded a reply to this recommendation to the Assembly. I am circulating it in the Official Report.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

I am glad that the Chancellor of the Duchy has been able to take action, because Western European Union will be meeting in a fortnight's time. Will he continue to urge on the other Governments in Western European Union the importance of taking early action on the recommendation of the Parliamentarians of the Six and Britain, in view of the importance of the reconstruction of N.A.T.O.?

Mr. Thomson

We support the need for close and continuous consultation laid down in the recommendation mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. I hope to attend the W.E.U. meeting and speak in that sense.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

As the Order Paper is always full of Questions on the reconstruction of the N.A.T.O. Alliance, and as it will govern the security of Western European Union for many years to come, will the right hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House if we can have a debate on it, I would suggest, shortly after the Ministerial Council meeting in Paris?

Mr. Thomson

I will draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion.

Following is the information:

Reply to Assembly Recommendation 127 on the state of European security

As stated in the reply to Recommendation 126, the Council agree with the Assembly that the maintenance of peace and security in the area covered by the North Atlantic Treaty depends to a large extent on close collaboration between the allied powers in both the political and military spheres.

2. As the problems raised in the first paragraph of the Recommendation are essentially of concern to all the member States of the Alliance, the Recommendation has been transmitted, together with a copy of the present answer, to the North Atlantic Council.

3. The Council share the Assembly's desire for greater progress towards an equitable sharing of the armaments programme of the Alliance; and, as noted in the reply to Recommendation 118, they agree that industrial collaboration should be encouraged and promoted wherever possible. The Council have, moreover, approved the main lines of the study by the Standing Armaments Committee of arms co-operation and elaboration on certain points.

4. With regard to paragraph 3 of the Recommendation, it is the constant aim of the Council, at their regular meetings at ministerial level, to promote close and continuous consultation between member States on all problems of common concern.