HC Deb 02 May 1967 vol 746 c281
3. Sir G. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs how many African Commonwealth countries have negotiated or declared their intentions of negotiating with the European Economic Community for associate status.

The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Herbert Bowden)

In July, 1966, Nigeria concluded limited association agreement with the Community which has still to be ratified. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, acting together, have initiated negotiations for limited association. I am not aware of any declarations by other Commonwealth Governments in Africa of their intention to seek association with the Community.

Sir G. de Freitas

Is not this practice spreading because the independent countries believe it to be in their interests to seek association with the Community?

Mr. Bowden

The arrangement whereby Commonwealth countries may, if they so wish, seek association with the Community was agreed in the consideration of entry some years ago. It would appear to be desirable in the case of some Commonwealth countries, and we should certainly welcome it.

Sir G. Nabarro

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what will be the position in regard to Rhodesia? Has Rhodesia made any overtures to the European Economic Community? What would be the attitude of Her Majesty's Government if Rhodesia made such overtures?

Mr. Bowden

Of course, there is no Government in Rhodesia. Her Majesty's Government are the Government of Rhodesia, and we have not made applicacation for associate status.