HC Deb 25 July 1968 vol 769 cc973-4
Ql. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Prime Minister whether, following recent developments in France, he will issue an invitation to the President of France to visit the United Kingdom so that a discussion may take place about the British application to join the Common Market.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I would yet again refer the hon. and learned Member to the Answer I gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig) on 2nd April—[Vol. 762, c. 74.]

Sir Knox Cunningham

Since the President, having held an election, has now had the overwhelming support of the people, would it not be prudent for the Prime Minister to find out his present view of the British application? Is the Prime Minister aware that in France this is called Labour's sacred cow turned dead duck?

The Prime Minister

I am sure that when he has had a holiday the hon. Member will be able to do better than that. With regard to relations with the Government of France, of course we have adequate relations to discuss these matters with the French Government. I would not rule out at the proper time a discussion with the President when I think the time is most helpful.

Mr. Henig

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that it remains Her Majesty's Government's policy to seek entry to the E.E.C. at the earliest possible date? Will my right hon. Friend say what initiative he intends to take now?

The Prime Minister

The answer to the first part of that Question is, "Yes, Sir". My hon. Friend will be aware of what my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said about following up the Benelux proposals and, of course, other initiatives. At present the Common Market has been a little absorbed inevitably with internal problems and has not had much time to come to some of the initiatives to which my hon. Friend referred.