HC Deb 24 May 1966 vol 729 cc277-8
Q3. Mr. Farr

asked the Prime Minister what plans he has for promoting greater unity and understanding within the Com- monwealth through the creation of a fur-their Parliamentary link.

The Prime Minister

As I have previously reported to the House, our proposal for a Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly was discussed at the Meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers last June but did not secure enough support. For the moment I think the best course is to rely on the developing work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Mr. Farr

Has the Prime Minister noted the success which has attended the meetings of the European Assembly at Strasbourg? Does he not agree that a Commonwealth Parliament on similar lines would serve a far more useful and valuable purpose?

The Prime Minister

It was the success of the Assembly at Strasbourg which led some of us, when we were on the opposite side of the House, to make this proposal for a Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly. This was proposed by Her Majesty's Government at the last meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers last summer in London, but I regret to say that it did not get the general support of our Commonwealth colleagues. Indeed, I doubt if half those there were prepared to support our initiative.