HC Deb 19 January 1971 vol 809 cc716-7
Q5. Mr. Marten

asked the Prime Minister whether, during the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference, he discussed with the New Zealand Prime Minister the effect upon New Zealand of Great Britain entering the Common Market.

Mr. Maudling

I have been asked to reply.

I must ask my hon. Friend to await the statement which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will be making on his return.

Mr. Marten

Can my right hon. Friend assure me that the Government are fully aware of the disaster which would overtake the people of New Zealand unless we secure absolutely gilt-edged assurances for their sheep and dairy industries?

Mr. Maudling

I do not believe that there is any difference on either side of the House about this. In all the discussions with Western Europe, we have always recognised the fundamental importance of the British market to the New Zealand economy, and no Government, of any complexion, would ever dare or wish to ignore that.

Mr. J. T. Price

How is it that leaders of Government opinion are so ready to use the "kith-and-kin" argument when applied to Rhodesia yet, when we are talking about our kith and kin in New Zealand and Australia, they are so loth to regard them in the same light as being of our common stock?

Mr. Maudling

That does not, I think, arise out of this Question. I have never myself used the kith-and-kin argument, and it is a phrase which I do not much like. No one on either side of the House has ever failed to recognise the deep and lasting ties between the people of this country and the people of Australia and New Zealand.