HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc750-1
Q2. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister whether he proposes to participate in the negotiations on proposed entry of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community.

The Prime Minister

I would refer to my reply to a Question by the right hon. Member for Kettering (Sir G. de Freitas) on Tuesday.—[Vol. 804, c. 96.]

Mr. Hamilton

Would the Prime Minister repeat that reply, because I am not fully aware of it? In any case, in view of his vast experience of failure in this field, will he make sure that he goes to Brussels and has another go? Will he understand that the housewives of this country, to whom he owes his present position more than to anybody else, will not tolerate the subsidisation by them of inefficient, small, French peasant farmers?

The Prime Minister

I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman has difficulty in recalling events as recent as last Tuesday.

I said in that reply that negotiations would be carried on by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and that I did not propose to take part in them myself.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his compliments, but my experience is that it is a better arrangement that negotiators should be allowed to carry on negotiations unimpeded by any colleagues, and I therefore do not propose to go to Brussels myself.

Mr. Peart

In view of the importance of agriculture and food, which has been emphasised in the negotiations, will the Prime Minister say whether the views of his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, in an interview reported in the Daily Express recently, represent the Government's views on the C.A.P.?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend expressed those views very clearly. In reading that article, it is important to distinguish between the views of my right hon. Friend and the views of the journalist who wrote the rest of the article.