HC Deb 09 November 1977 vol 938 cc660-1
35. Mr. Marten

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to meet the French Foreign Minister to discuss EEC affairs.

Mr. Judd

At the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 21st and 22nd November.

Mr. Marten

Will the Minister discuss with the French Foreign Minister the growing influence of the Euro-Communists within the EEC, a matter that must disturb many hon. Members on both sides of the House? In particular, will the Minister raise with him the question of the continuing support of Russian foreign policy by these Euro-Communists, a fact which one day may have a serious effect upon our relations with the United States of America?

Mr. Judd

I shall certainly draw the concern of the hon. Gentleman to my right hon. Friend's attention. But, clearly, it is difficult to look seriously at European politics today without taking account of the significance of the Euro-Communists.

Mr. Jay

As the Prime Minister stated in a letter of 30th September to the General Secretary of the Labour Party that major reforms of the common agricultural policy and more genuine parliamentary control over EEC legislation were necessary, can my hon. Friend say when the Government will be bringing forward proposals to achieve both these aims?

Mr. Judd

The Government are working continuously for both these objectives. We have made it clear on every possible occasion that in terms of the CAP we want to see steps taken to remove unnecessary costly surpluses and to make sure that the interests of producers, which are important, are effectively balanced by the interests of consumers.

Mr. Thorpe

Although the Minister is not responsible for Her Majesty's official Opposition, when he meets the French Foreign Minister does he feel that he will be in a position to assure him that the determination of Her Majesty's Government that we should reach the target date of 1978 for direct elections is obviously shared by the Front Bench and Back Benches of the Tory Opposition and that it is unlikely that they will do anything to sabotage those attempts and defer European elections until 1979 or thereafter?

Mr. Judd

I shall certainly draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to that point.

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