§ 28. Mr. Roebuck
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are his contingency plans for reintroducing conscription in the event of the United Kingdom joining the European Economic Community.
§ Mr. Roebuck
Unaccustomed as I am to abstaining, may I ask whether my hon. Friend is aware that his Answer renders me almost speechless? Has he given no consideration to the fact that each of the Common Market countries has conscription? Does he not regard it as a possibility that, if we enter the European Economic Community, pressure would be brought upon us to do likewise?
§ Mr. Shinwell
May I ask my hon. Friend whether, in the probings that are taking place in connection with our suggested entry into E.E.C., there is no question of defence arising? Are we to understand that in these discussions and, possibly, in negotiations, we shall discuss economic, agriculture and other matters but no question of defence?
§ Mr. Reynolds
It was my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) himself who started this hare running on 17th November last when he was fully answered by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister at columns 659, 770 and 771, to which I have nothing to add.
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
Is the Minister aware that Labour Governments are well experienced in introducing conscription?