HC Deb 05 April 1971 vol 815 cc2-3
3. Mr. Moate

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and industry when he next expects to attend a meeting of the European Free Trade Association.

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade (Mr. John Davies)

The next meeting of the E.F.T.A. Ministerial Council will be held in Reykjavik on 13th and 14th May. My right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Minister for Trade will attend.

Mr. Moate

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that reply. Does he recognise that, with the probable failure of the Common Market negotiations, E.F.T.A. will have a vital rôle to play in the creation of much wider genuine industrial free trade in Europe? Will he therefore publish the result of the inquiries which he has doubtless made into the expansion of E.F.T.A., or must these studies remain confidential?

Mr. Davies

While not entirely assenting to the early part of that comment, I can assure my hon. Friend that we keep the potential growth of E.F.T.A. under continual review. However, I do not think that at the moment it would be expedient to publish any further information.