HC Deb 05 May 1969 vol 783 cc29-30
35. Mr. Molloy

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the cost to public funds pf the translation and publication of regulations issued by the Commission of the European Economic Community in Brussels; and how long this service will be continued.

Mr. M. Stewart

The cost to public funds of translating and reproducing regulations and other documents issued by the European Economic Communities is estimated at £32,000 in 1969. The service will continue indefinitely.

Mr. Molloy

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this is now unnecessary expenditure? Does not he think that he should collaborate with some of his right hon. Friends—especially the Minister for Social Security and other Ministers in his Department—to see if this could make a contribution towards preventing other harsh measures which may be envisaged?

Mr. Stewart

I cannot agree that this is an unnecessary service. The Community—whatever our relationship to it—is one of our major trading partners and we must be fully cognizant with the legislation of the Community. Moreover, as an applicant for membership it is particularly essential that we should keep abreast of all developments.

Mr. Kirk

Is not this £32,000 an extremely cheap way of informing British businessmen of the sort of situation that they may face when trading in the Community?

Mr. Stewart

We have taken care to see that it is run with maximum efficiency at the lowest cost.