HC Deb 01 November 1966 vol 735 cc244-5
Q6. Mr. Hamling

asked the Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with the heads of other states about the possibility of Great Britain joining the European Economic Community.

The Prime Minister

Apart from discussions which took place last year, I have recently exchanged views with the Danish Prime Minister.

Mr. Hamling

When my right hon. Friend has further discussions will he remember that not all the point of view in the House tends in one direction?

The Prime Minister

I thought that there was fairly general agreement in the House that most, if not all, of us would wish to join the European Economic Community if we can get terms that safeguard British and Commonwealth interests.

Lord Balniel

As the Common Market countries have now reached agreement on their agricultural policy based on a levy system to protect agriculture, does the Prime Minister still adhere to his views that a levy system is unacceptable to the British Government?

The Prime Minister

The noble Lord will be well aware of the consequences to this country of the particular level of these levies. Certainly we take the position that our situation must be protected in regard to the cost of food, and its effects on our balance of payments, the cost of living, wages and the rest. Certainly this must be one of the questions to be discussed.

Mr. Heath

The Prime Minister has previously been quite specific about this when he said that as a member of the European Economic Community we must retain the absolute right to buy all raw materials and foodstuffs in the cheapest markets in the world. Is that still his position?

The Prime Minister

I said that we must continue to have the right to buy cheap Commonwealth food as we always have. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not Commonwealth."] It was strictly in the Commonwealth context. I would have hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would agree with that as our position, unless it is his position that he would go in unconditionally so far as British interests are concerned.

Minister, etc. Places/Countries Visited Dates of Visits Actual or estimated costs
Foreign Secretary U.S.A. and Canada 7th to 17th October 1,225
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Greece 10th to 15th September 149
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Paris 28th to 30th September 30
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Bonn 11th to 13th October 26
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord Chalfont). Geneva 12th to 25th August 90
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord Chalfont). Alpbreh, Nr. Salzburg 26th to 28th August 50
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord Chalfont). Copenhagen 28th to 29th September 68
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord Chalfont). New Delhi 6th to 11th October 491
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mrs. White). Berlin 15th to 16th September 61
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lord Walston) Mexico City 15th to 21st October 373
Chancellor of the Exchequer Canada and U.S.A. 17th to 30th September no charge on public funds
Chancellor of the Exchequer Bonn 13th October 68
Chief Secretary, Treasury Rome, Accra, New Delhi, Singapore, Bangkok, Vientiane. 30th August to 22nd September 1,012
Commonwealth Secretary Rhodesia 18th to 28th September 6,750*
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Lord Beswick) Canada 19th to 23rd September 525
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Lord Beswick). Malta. 16th to 19th August 100
Secretary of State for Defence Rome 22nd to 24th September 120
Minister of Defence for the Royal Navy Singapore and Hong Kong 26th September to 7th October 705