HC Deb 17 October 1972 vol 843 cc27-9
Q3. Dr. Vaughan

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the preparations for the proposed summit conference of the 10 members of the enlarged Community.

Q4. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the proposed summit conference of the 10 members of the enlarged Community.

Q10. Mr. Blaker

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement about the preparations for the summit conference of European Economic Community and applicant countries.

The Prime Minister

I shall be going to Paris tomorrow at the invitation of President Pompidou to attend the European summit conference. The House will not expect me to anticipate the results.

Dr. Vaughan

Will my right hon. Friend be taking with him to the summit conference any proposals for strengthening the economic and monetary union so that we can adopt a more united European posture in external trade negotiations?

The Prime Minister

I take the view that the movement towards economic union and monetary union must be in step. We shall be putting forward specific proposals about economic union.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Can my right hon. Friend say whether, quite apart from the very helpful suggestions made by Herr Brandt, he intends to put forward proposals for new regional policies at the summit so that Britain will get a fairer deal out of the Community budget?

The Prime Minister

We shall be putting forward proposals for regional policies which will apply to the Community as a whole because we believe that regional policy is an essential element of economic union, and if there is to be monetary union in order to produce a closer Community this must be balanced at the same time by economic union.

Mr. Kaufman

Will the right hon. Gentleman attempt at the summit to concert with the other eight representatives the necessity to co-ordinate international action against the kind of international terrorism which so marred his recent visit to Munich? Will he attempt to persuade the other eight leaders that all air services should be cut off for countries which harbour terrorists of the kind who operated at Munich?

The Prime Minister

As the hon. Gentleman knows, we have already ratified The Hague Convention. We are hoping to ratify the Montreal Convention as soon as the necessary legislation is through the House in the next Session. The matter has been discussed by the Foreign Ministers of the Community in their political consultations. Therefore, at the summit I think there will be agreement that the Foreign Minister should continue with the action they have in hand to deal more effectively with terrorism of the kind the hon. Gentleman has mentioned.

Mr. Blaker

Is my right hon. Friend bearing in mind that in the statement in 1969 which was signed jointly with the Italian President, the then British Prime Minister supported not only the idea of an elected European Parliament but progress towards monetary integration?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. I think my hon. Friend is right and that the right hon. Gentleman committed himself to European integration of all kinds. I think he said "at every level and all fields where progress is possible". We shall endeavour to make progress possible wherever we can.

Mr. Shore

Leaving aside the wider issues of the summit, on which I hope we shall be able to touch later this afternoon, does not the Prime Minister agree that if he has serious proposals on economic and monetary union and regional policy it would have been helpful to the House if he had made those proposals available to us in some form so that we could discuss them and debate them before he went?

The Prime Minister

We have a longstanding tradition in the House that when there are meetings of Heads of Government of any kind, whether between the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of the United States or the leader of the Soviet Union, they have the opportunity of discussing these matters between themselves before going into detail in the House, though they always report to the House afterwards. That is the procedure which I shall follow.

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