HC Deb 23 March 1971 vol 814 cc249-50
Q8. Mr. Carter

asked the Prime Minister if he will define the responsibilities of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. and learned Friend is the Minister responsible for the negotiations for British entry into the European Communities, and deals with certain wider European questions. He also controls the management of the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Mr. Carter

I thank the right hon. Gentleman, but would he not agree that it should not be the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to come here with a set of faits accompli, the results of negotiations in Brussels, but that he should make far greater efforts to discover the true feelings of the British people towards the negotiations before going on to Brussels?

The Prime Minister

The House has had many opportunities of debating the question of the European arrangements and negotiations. My right hon. and learned Friend makes a statement each time he returns from Brussels and, in addition, answers Questions in the usual way in the House. There is no question of a fait accompli of any kind. No decision can be taken until Parliament decides on the proposed arrangements if and when they come to be placed before the House.