HC Deb 16 December 1971 vol 828 cc849-50
Q6. Mr. Longden

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his recent meeting with President Tito.

The Prime Minister

President Tito's visit to London provided confirmation of the very satisfactory state of Anglo-Yugoslav relations. This was a welcome opportunity for a wide-ranging exchange of views on international questions of concern to both our countries and on a number of bilateral issues.

Mr. Longden

Has my right hon. Friend discussed with President Tito the implications of our joining the European Communities and its effect on Anglo-Yugoslav trade? Will he now consider the possibility of inviting the President to pay another visit to this country?

The Prime Minister

We were very glad that President Tito came. He has also kindly given me an invitation to go to Yugoslavia. I accepted the invitation in principle and it would only be right to make those arrangements before inviting President Tito back; but I am always glad to see him. We had discussions about the European situation in general, a European security conference and also about our forthcoming membership of the Community. I was able to remind him of the conversation we had in 1962, in which he feared danger to Yugoslavia from the development of the Economic Community. I told him that between 1964 and 1969 Yugoslav trade with the Community increased twice as fast as Anglo-Yugoslav trade. I hope that our membership of the Community would enable Anglo-Yugoslav trade to increase now at a faster rate.

Mr. Lipton

Would the Prime Minister like to sail to Yugoslavia for Christmas?

The Prime Minister

I would like to spend Christmas at home.

Sir F. Maclean

Is my right hon. Friend aware that although President Tito has visited this country twice in the last 20 years there has been no corresponding visit by a Head of State or Prime Minister of this country to Yugoslavia and that a visit from my right hon. Friend in the near future would be extremely welcome?

The Prime Minister

Yes, I am deeply aware of that. Many right hon. and hon. Gentlemen will recall that President Tito visited this country in 1953. We were one of the first Western countries to welcome him after the war. We were delighted that he came again. I acknowledge that there is an obligation on the British Prime Minister to go to Yugoslavia.