HC Deb 26 January 1971 vol 810 c310
20. Dr. Gilbert

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his recent talks with the Finance Ministers of France and West Germany.

Mr. Barber

These talks were confidential. The subjects discussed included the economic situation in our respective countries, and other matters of mutual interest.

Dr. Gilbert

In view of the notorious dissension between the French and West German Governments on the attitude they should adopt to the later stages of the Werner Report, can the right hon. Gentleman explain the curious fact that the reports of his discussions were unanimous that when he was talking to the West German Finance Minister he was taking his side against the French, and when talking to the French Finance Minister he was taking his side against the West Germans? Can the right hon. Gentleman for once come clean with the House and tell us whose side he is on in this matter?

Mr. Barber

I told both Finance Ministers that, while Her Majesty's Government are in favour of closer European economic and monetary integration, we do not feel it appropriate for the United Kingdom, as an applicant country, to express a detailed view while the subject is still under discussion among members of the E.E.C. themselves.