HC Deb 02 May 1967 vol 746 cc308-9
Q7. Sir G. de Freitas

asked the Prime Minister whether, in considering whether the Government should apply to join the European Economic Community, he will take account of the fact that several African Commonwealth countries are negotiating for associate status.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. This is one of the many considerations relevant to the Government's decision.

Sir G. de Freitas

Since this Question emphasises that we, like the other countries when they entered the Six, have special problems, will the Prime Minister make clear when he makes a statement on this subject that our application for entry into the Community will be clear-cut and straightforward and not accompanied by qualifications emphasising our particular problems?

The Prime Minister

I think my right hon. Friend will probably wish to wait for a statement which I hope to make later this afternoon. Certainly in regard to Commonwealth countries all of us are aware of what was done by the founding members of the Community for African and other countries associated with them, and all of us want to regard that as the pattern for the future.

Mr. Shinwell

Will my right hon. Friend take also into consideration the fact that a very substantial number of people in this country are against it?

The Prime Minister

All relevant questions have been taken into consideration, but between now and 3.30 I doubt whether I shall make many changes in the statement I am likely to be making.

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:—


To ask the Prime Minister, whether he is now in a position to announce the Government's decision regarding an application for Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community.

Mr. Sandys

I will await the Prime Minister's statement in a minute's time.