HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 cc584-5
Q6. Mr. Marten

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between Ministers who answer Questions on behalf of various Departments on matters relating to Great Britain's application to join the Common Market and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. The very close co-ordination which exists between Ministers on all matters relating to the negotiations with the European Communities covers the preparation of answers to Questions.

Mr. Marten

Can my right hon. Friend assure the House that if any terms are agreed with the Common Market this House of Commons will be given plenty of time to ask probing questions, that the country has plenty of time to debate the subject, and that we shall not be asked to vote until we have seen the whole agreement and not just heads of agreement?

The Prime Minister

We shall endeavour to put all possible information before the House and give hon. and right hon. Members the opportunity of asking questions about it and of debating it. The amount of time to be allowed can be discussed through the usual channels, as well as with hon. and right hon. Members in all parts of the House.

Mr. Pavitt

Will the Prime Minister give special attention to the social services? There is a paucity of information about the effect of going into the Common Market on the whole National Health Service, pharmacists, nurses, and so on. Will the right hon. Gentleman therefore see that the Secretary of State for Social Services is brought more closely into these discussions?

The Prime Minister

I am perfectly prepared to look into that matter. It will not be so much a question of reporting on the negotiations on the subject, because my experience has been that the amount of social services covered by Community regulations and obligations is very limited. However, if the hon. Gentleman requires information about social service arrangements for the countries of the Community I will gladly see what can be prepared.