HC Deb 21 July 1969 vol 787 cc1226-7
26. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will propose that those members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation who are not members of the European Economic Community should meet regularly to discuss the scientific subjects discussed as a group by the members of the European Economic Community.

Mr. Mulley

No, Sir.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Would the right hon. Gentleman have another look at this? Would he inquire into the success of the conversations between Ministers and officials on scientific subjects within the Six and see whether, at least until we are more closely associated with the Six, we could not have useful discussions with the other members of N.A.T.O., particularly in view of the scientific achievements of the last 24 hours?

Mr. Mulley

We are, of course, looking forward to receiving an invitation to join with the Community in considering scientific and technological co-operation and there are already several organisations in Europe—O.E.C.D., the Economic Mission for Europe, the Council of Europe and, of course, N.A.T.O. —for this. What the hon. Gentleman proposes would be adding to a duplication which is already quite a problem in demands on personnel and so on. We certainly want the closest consultation, but also want to avoid machinery which will duplicate what already exists.