HC Deb 19 October 1972 vol 843 cc448-50
Q6. Mr. Skinner

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

Q8. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement about the European summit conference.

Mr. R. Carr

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend is at present in Paris at the invitation of President Pompidou in order to attend the European summit conference.

Mr. Skinner

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Heads of Government are meeting at the old Gestapo headquarters and that, to add insult to injury, they are flying the Union Jack upside down? Will the right hon. Gentleman, wearing his Home Secretary's hat, consider that perhaps a good question which the Prime Minister could put to President Pompidou is why, after all his claptrap about European co-operation, France has not lifted a finger to accommodate a single Ugandan Asian? The old Commonwealth has had to dig the old country out.

Mr. Carr

I did not know that the hon. Gentleman of all people was so punctilious in his concern for the Union Jack. It is something that we all welcome. I am not, any more than my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, answerable for the actions of another Government, but when one talks about France and coloured immigrants one should remember how many coloured people live in France and go quite freely there. There are not many countries in which there are so many coloured people as in France. That should also be taken into account.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will my right hon. Friend send a signal to the summit asking the Heads of Government whether they cannot do something about the Eurotechno-bureaucrat Mr. Mansholt, who, not content with interfering in British party politics not so long ago, has been sounding forth about a European Government in controversial federalistic and unacceptable terms?

Mr. Carr

I note what my hon. Friend says. I am not sure whether the Home Office carries the right signalling equipment.

Mr. Frank Allaun

Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Prime Minister at these talks firmly to repudiate the proposal by Lord Carrington for a joint military nuclear force with France and Germany, as most of us can imagine nothing more likely to prejudice and kill the prospects of an east/west détente?

Mr. Carr

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made his views known on this subject on a good many occasions and I will draw to his attention what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Sir D. Walker-Smith

Would my right hon. Friend—or, in default, the Prime Minister—give us some information as to the political position and status of members of the European Economic Commission, since we read that Dr. Dahrendorf has recently participated in a conference of Liberal leaders—one would imagine a select and esoteric body?

Mr. Carr

I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend will have some tolerance with me in my lack of knowledge of these strange goings on.

Mr. Harold Wilson

Referring back to the demand by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) for repudiation of the statement by the Secretary of State for Defence, about which I pressed the Prime Minister on Tuesday, is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that we got no clear answer at all from the Prime Minister and that he seemed to suggest that it was a personal view of the Secretary of State for Defence? Will the right hon. Gentleman now say whether the statement of the Secretary of State is the policy of the Government or not?

Mr. Carr

I am afraid I certainly have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend said.