HC Deb 23 May 1972 vol 837 cc1219-20
Q3. Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Prime Minister what communications he has had with President Pompidous and Chancellor Brandt since 9th May.

The Prime Minister

My communications with President Pompidou and Chancellor Brandt, as with other Heads of Government, are confidential.

Mr. Morris

In his Godkin lectures at Harvard, the right hon. Gentleman proposed Anglo-French nuclear sharing. What steps has he taken to implement that proposal since he became Prime Minister? Has he communicated with, and is his proposal approved by, M. Pompidou and Herr Brandt, and what is the effect of his proposal on our signature of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

The Prime Minister

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his reference to the Godkin lectures, which are still available in a publication by the Harvard Press. What I proposed in the lectures was that the two nuclear forces should be held in trust for Europe with a European Council. That is rather different from the phrase "nuclear sharing" used by the hon. Gentleman. As I have told the House on two previous occasions, in neither of the discussions between President Pompidou and myself was this matter raised. I did not think that nuclear defence was an appropriate subject for discussion.

Mr. Pavitt

Has the Prime Minister had any communication with President Pompidou on the statement by Dr. Grey- Turner widely reported in the British medical Press that, under pressure from the Common Market, we may have to alter the basic concept upon which the National Health Service is built? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the view has been widely expressed that we may have to change from the concept of 85 per cent. of the cost being met from taxation to the system adopted in the Common Market countries?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, this is not a subject I have discussed with President Pompidou. I understood that the arrangements for the professions were in the first place to be left in the hands of those representing the professions. I am perfectly prepared to ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services to inquire into the point which the hon. Gentleman has raised. Generally, the Common Market will move to a situation in which the costs of industry and the social services are approximately the same.