HC Deb 21 July 1969 vol 787 cc1229-30
29. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he now plans to meet the Foreign Minister of France, Monsieur Schumann.

Mr. M. Stewart

I have no specific plans to do so, but I hope an opportunity will arise before long.

Mr. Digby

Regardless of the British application to join the Common Market, is it not important to improve relations with our neighbour and old ally, France? Will the right hon. Gentleman take the earliest possible steps to meet his opposite number?

Mr. Stewart

Yes. I accept what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Biffen

As soon as the right hon. Gentleman does get the opportunity to meet M. Schumann, will he point out that the common agricultural policy is an extravagant absurdity for the British to contemplate and that we are not prepared to enter negotiations with a view to becoming the receiving ground for agricultural surpluses from continental Europe?

Mr. Stewart

If I am able to have an opportunity to meet my French colleague, I must judge for myself what it will be best to say.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the agricultural position in France, as elsewhere in Europe, is likely to change in a period of time?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, Sir.