HC Deb 17 October 1972 vol 843 cc25-6
Q2. Sir Gilbert Longden

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his official talks with Chancellor Brandt.

Q7. Mr. Wyn Roberts

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his official meeting with the German Chancellor at Kiel.

The Prime Minister

I met Herr Brandt near Munich on 5th September. We discussed questions relating to the summit conference, in particular economic matters, as well as other subjects. We found ourselves in agreement on all the main issues we discussed.

Sir Gilbert Longden

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that answer, may I point out that since I tabled the Question the forthcoming summit conference has been arranged? Will my right hon. Friend impress on his colleagues at the summit that the present state of the European Assembly does nothing to reassure the British people that they are about to join a democratic community? Will he also impress on them that the sooner the Assembly is reconstituted as a Parliament with direct elections and appropriate powers, the better for its credibility?

The Prime Minister

The question of the institutions of the Community as a whole, but in particular of the European Parliament, will be one of the major subjects for discussion at the summit. I hope that the question of how the changes should be brought about will be decided there. I should not like therefore to make any specific statement at the moment about direct elections, though the matter was dealt with in the communiqué between the Leader of the Opposition, when he was Prime Minister, and the Italian Government, which was reaffirmed during my recent visit to Rome.

Mr. Roberts

Can my right hon. Friend confirm that Herr Brandt will support any claim that my right hon. Friend may make for generous EEC aid to Wales, just as Herr Brandt is expected to support a claim for generous EEC aid to Scotland, as announced in the Daily Telegraph today?

The Prime Minister

Without wishing to enter into internal rivalries in this country let alone in Europe, I should like to frame my answer in the form that I know that the Chancellor of the Federal Republic fully supports a regional industrial policy and a policy of help for the regional areas in Europe.

Mr. Stonehouse

In his talks with Chancellor Brandt, did the Prime Minister give an undertaking that he would fix a parity for £ the before the new year?

The Prime Minister

No; I have given no such undertaking to anyone.