HL Deb 27 July 1971 vol 323 cc195-256

2.40 p.m.

Debate resumed on the Motion moved yesterday by the Lord Carrington, on behalf of the Earl Jellicoe; namely, That this House takes note of the White Paper, The United Kingdom and the European Communities (Cmnd. 4715).


My Lords, we are now on the second day of what we are told is an exploratory debate. What are we exploring, with what object in view and with what result? The result today is relatively easy to define. There has been one doubter (the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd), three speakers adverse to entry (the noble Lord, Lord Granville of Eye, the noble Lord, Lord Soper, and the noble Lord, Lord Wynne-Jones) and 31 speakers of unqualified assent, with of course different degrees of enthusiasm but with a remarkable unanimity of purpose. My noble friend Lord Carrington, in opening the debate yesterday, said that he doubted whether anything new could be said. I think he was right in those doubts. But there is value in unanimity of testimony upon a question of this historic importance and, speaking for myself, I am glad for the virtual unanimity of testimony which has gone forth from your Lordships' House on the first day of this debate.

If our object had been to help make up our minds or to make up one another's minds, the debate would have been a waste of time. Never in the history of Parliamentary debate have so many people been anxious to make up the minds of so few. Only the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, is waiting until October—at any rate so far. But I do not think that that is the purpose of this debate. The purpose of this debate in both Houses of Parliament is not that we in Parliament should make up our own minds or one another's; it is, I believe, that we should help to focus and guide opinion in the country. That is what Parliament—in my judgment, at least—is for. It is the duty of Members of Parliament in both Houses to speak their minds—to use the phrase of the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, to stand up and be counted—on an occasion of this kind, to give guidance and leadership to the people of this country.

This is what makes—and I say it without rancour and without hostility, but in the spirit used by my noble friend Lord Thorneycroft in his speech yesterday—the spectacle of internecine strife in the front ranks of the main Opposition Party so particularly painful. And this is what makes the speech of the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, and the speeches elsewhere of Mr. Roy Jenkins, Mr. George Thomson and Mr. Michael Stewart so particularly helpful. When the Labour Government applied for membership and began the negotiations, the Conservative Party was under a Three-Line Whip to support them. We do not ask that much now that we are proposing to go in, but I beg only that they should not persecute one another. Let them not punish their pro-Marketeers or turn this into a Party battle. I hope it will not be so.

Of course the Government cannot be indifferent to the result, either of this debate or of the more definitive debate in October. What is a Party Whip? A Party Whip is an indication to the supporters of a Party when it is in office that a question of Government policy is involved. That is all it is. If it is marked by the Three-Line symbol, it is a question of Government policy involving an issue of confidence and, in my judgment—often expressed in this House and elsewhere—that Three-Line designation should be reserved for questions legitimately made questions of confidence, and not for trivial matters. But, my Lords, is this not a question of Government policy? Of course it is a question of Government policy. The Cabinet collectively, the Cabinet individually, has agreed to it. Is it a question of confidence? My Lords, the overwhelming response of this House has been to describe this as one of the great historic questions of the century, equalled in importance in our lifetime only by entry into one of the major wars. What kind of credibility would an Administration have if it did not declare this to involve issues of Government policy and to involve a degree of confidence in the Administration? The Opposition is in no such position and never can be so until it has changed places with us.

The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, as it seemed to me, correctly defined the questions which we have to decide. They are two. Are we, in principle, in favour of or against entry into the enlarged Community? That is logically the first question to be answered. But, my Lords, surely it has been answered, at any rate by successive British Governments. It has been answered "Yes" by successive British Governments. Our successive applications for membership under the successive Governments of Mr. Macmillan, Mr. Harold Wilson and the present Prime Minister would otherwise be devoid of meaning. No man who is, or was, a member of any of those Governments can answer this first question in the negative and retain a spark of political credibility. Speaking for myself, I doubt whether, if I answered it in the negative, I could retain a shred of personal honour. To allow one's colleagues to enter into negotiations in good faith with six European nations, and all the time harbour the intention of backing out when they were complete, not on account of disagreement with the terms but on account of a prior objection to entry, would not—at least in my feeling—be the act of an honourable man. Nor could it surely be the act of an honourable man to fake up some objection to the terms as a means of avoiding a decision once made on the question of principle.

No doubt there are those in this House—we heard three of them yesterday; and, certainly, if he will forgive my saying so, the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, is one—and elsewhere who have always answered the question of principle in the negative. They are of course entitled to maintain their view. They are entitled to maintain it now without loss of reputation, but, I would say with respect, on one condition. Let them always fly their true colours. Let them say, as, to do him credit, the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, has always said, so far as I know, "Whatever the terms, we will not consent ". Let them not attempt to hide behind the terms actually negotiated to conceal the fact that their opposition is total and unqualified.


My Lords, I wonder whether the noble and learned Lord will allow me to interrupt him and ask him to turn his remarks to the subject of the Motion before your Lordships' House. It seems to me that he is not following the advice of the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, and although he is not doing it directly, he is casting aspersions upon the honour of certain Members of another place.


My Lords, I am casting no aspersions on anyone, except to say that if I answered the question in the negative having allowed these negotiations to go forward I would regard myself as devoid of political credibility and even of personal honour. Let each man be his own judge in such a matter. Let each man, to quote the words of the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, stand up and be counted. With respect to the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition, let us not engage in personalities; I have not. I have spoken of my own honour and of my own opinion.

My Lords, if that is right, if the answer to the first question, "Are we in principle opposed or in principle in favour?" is in the affirmative, the only other question open to debate, even in theory, is whether the terms negotiated are acceptable or not. I still venture to suggest that the answer to that question also is obvious. Does anyone, after hearing the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, yesterday, doubt that we started with the same brief as our predecessors, or that they, in their turn, picked up the brief at the point at which it had been put down by their predecessors, Mr. Macmillan's Government? I venture to say that no one who heard the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, yesterday, and no one who knows the high personal reputation of Mr. Thomson, Mr. Jenkins or Mr. Michael Stewart, could doubt that they were speaking what they regarded as the truth, and what I found wholly convincing, when they said that the terms negotiated were, if not the same, at any rate the same without significant difference, as those which they expected to find acceptable had they been vested with the responsibility of carrying them through.

But, even more remarkable, with respect, is the testimony by those who have tried to urge a contrary view. The testimony has not been that they would have rejected those terms not at all. The speech, carefully read, says not that "we would have rejected them" but that " those were not the terms we asked for, these were not the terms we were bound to accept." My Lords, I wonder if anyone who has had any experience of negotiations whatever, whether he was selling a cow in a market or was entering into a test ban treaty with three great Powers, has ever come out of the negotiations with the terms for which he originally asked. That is not what negotiations are about. Of course no one is bound to accept in advance of the end of the negotiations terms which differ from his original offer. But what has never been denied, so far as I know, by anyone, even by those who do not agree with them, is the fact that these terms, if they had been before a political Administration of a different character, would have been likely to be accepted in the light of what the original initiators of the negotiations believed.


My Lords, I wonder whether I may ask the noble and learned Lord what was the particular quotation he used, and where it came from?


I was speaking from memory of the speech of the Leader of the Opposition in another place when he spoke to the Labour Party—and I watched his words very carefully. I was careful not to quote them exactly, and I think I summarised them correctly, but if I am wrong no doubt the noble Lord will in due course be able to put me right, and I shall be very glad for this to be done.

But, my Lords, those facts which we negotiated, those difficult and troublesome issues, were known to all before we started. There are matters to which we can refer now to which we could not refer then. To begin with, the Community is ten years older. What in 1962 was prophecy is reality to-day. No nation of the Six claims to have lost its sovereignty or its national identity. No nation of the Six wishes to retire or resign from the Community. The members have disputed; they have even wrangled; they have certainly jockeyed for position; but none has opted out, and none has sought to do so. In 1962, and perhaps only to a lesser extent in 1967, it was still legitimate to believe that the phenomenal rate of growth shown by the main members of the Community was due, as in part it certainly was, to the spur enforced upon them by the far greater destruction suffered in the war than that which we suffered ourselves. Of course it was; but not all of of it. That argument will not do now. The main Community countries have outstripped us now, and are continuing to do so, although in 1950 they were lagging behind.

My Lords, the crucial point in this discussion, as it seems to me, was contained in the phrase used by the noble Baroness, Lady Sharp, at the end of the debate last night—because there has been a remarkable unity of opinion, at any rate among the 31 speakers who represented the majority. She said that it is now or never. We must stand up now and be counted. We must make our decision. We are not likely to get better terms if we wait. It is not likely that we shall get any terms if we wait. But if we did wait one might be sure that as the Community continued on its own way, with us outside, developing its identity and its institutions, with us bereft of the power to influence it, sometimes careless of our interests, sometimes perhaps acting contrary to our interests, the chances that any better terms would ever be acquired by any Government at any later date seem to be wholly negative.

Sometimes we are told to regard the impact effect of entry; the effect of entry upon our balance of payments, our subscription to the Community budget, and prices. My Lords, are we not also entitled to consider the price of non-entry, the impact effect of non-entry? I can say only this as my opinion—and again I speak only for myself in this matter, but I speak with the assurance of profound conviction. I can imagine no greater disaster for this country at the present juncture, other than involvement in a war, than our failure to proceed with the application which we have made now that the negotiations are complete. What would be the effect upon our own people? It would be frustration, and to some even despair. What would be the effect upon international confidence? Our enemies would treat it as another example of British fecklessness. Our friends would be in doubt and bewilderment as to what, after all, we were really playing at; and those who wish to trust us would be wondering how much they could trust. My Lords, what would be the effect upon capital investment; what would be the effect upon capital movements; and who would be prepared to lend us money, as the International Monetary Fund has done in the past?

I was asked to say something about sovereignty, and my noble friend Lord Carrington promised that I would. This is a question which I would gladly have omitted or left where it stood at the end of the debate last night. It has always been my conviction, to use another quotation from the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, that the issue of sovereignty was a non-runner. It is a non-issue; and so, I think, it was treated even by the the noble Lord, Lord Soper, in his speech yesterday. But I have this hostage to fortune and I will seek to do my best to redeem it. I know there are people who have genuine fears for our sovereignty if we accede to the Community. I wish I could persuade them that the threat to our industry and the danger to our standard of life, if there be one, presented by the development of this economic giant at our side will exist, whether we enter or not. The threat, if there be one, exists in the plants, in the managements, in the workers, in the competition they offer to our own, in the advantage they enjoy of access to a vast internal market protected by a relatively low external tariff, in the advantages of scale which such a market provides. My Lords, that threat will exist, whether we go in or stay out. The only question for us is whether we go in, whether we choose to share the advantages which will exist on an increased scale in a Community of Ten, or whether we stay outside in the cold, outside the tariff wall, outside the decision-making, with an internal market of less than 60 million, stagnant, lagging behind in output, receiving inadequate investment or slowly sinking in national wealth, wage levels and, I am afraid, technical skill. This was made clear by my noble friend, Lord Orr-Ewing in the debate last night.

I know that some people are bemused by this question of sovereignty. I think that they were answered adequately by the noble Lord, Lord Tangley, last night. I wish that I could persuade, for instance, my lifelong friend, Sir Derek Walker-Smith, that sovereignty is a question of fact, like sex or domicile, and not a question of legal theory. If you want to judge whether a nation is sovereign then you want to look at it, to examine its institutions, to see whether, in fact, it is an independent people. But such people believe that the creation of a common system of institutions, the creation of a Commission, of a system of law, a court, a Council of Ministers, the absence of a period set to the treaty, the irrevocable nature of the step that we are taking in entering, diminishes our sovereignty, threatens our national identity, cribs and confines our power. But ultimately it is a question of fact. The proof of the pudding lies in the eating and not in a study of the terms of legal theory. The test is to be found not by research into the treaty but by examining the existing six members, who have been members for so long, and in asking oneself the simple practical question whether they are sovereign States or not.

Responding to this test, I say without hesitation that all of the Ten, in or out, are and will remain, sovereign nations and recognised as such by every other nation in the world, by every other international agency in the world that I am aware of. They have their own Heads of State, monarchical or republican, their own national identity and traditions. They are governed by their own Cabinets, they have their own courts, their own armed forces and their own police. It is true that they have set up among themselves a free trade area. It is true that for that purpose they have concerted common policies; it is true that they have created in addition joint institutions which administer the policy of the Market, the International Court to decide the law, a Commission and other common organs. But such a community has none of the characteristics of a federation. The instruments of power, the police, the armed forces, the Legislature and the Cabinet, although they may lend themselves to the common institutions as enforcement agencies but only each within its own territory, are in the hands of the members. We derogated from our sovereignty far more when we borrowed money from the Common Market in 1967, 1968 and 1969, I think, than we shall when we join. We derogated from our sovereignty far more when we entered NATO than we shall when we enter the Community.

Then there is the question of the alleged unlimited duration of the treaty. Over the centuries there have been literally hundreds of treaties with no period of termination. There have been actually some, indeed many, expressed to last for ever. These have not been the most long-lived. No one has ever supposed that these derogate from the sovereignty of the participants. It may be a breach of contract to denounce them; in many cases it is. But the power to denounce still remains. It is as if people believe that the marriage service prevents a man from deserting his wife. The melancholy fact is that such treaties last, that they have lasted, so long and only so long as the will to preserve them persists. If we enter, we enter without thought of going back, as the others have entered and stay in without thought of going back. But we will remain as the others remain, sovereign. We are not in the habit of going back on our word. We do not treat treaties as scraps of paper; but we have always in practice had the power to do so, since power is a question of fact and power is the reality of sovereignty.

My Lords, I am not alone in saying this. My two immediate predecessors on the Woolsack, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Gardiner, and the noble and learned Viscount, Lord Dilhorne (who now sits on the Cross-Benches), offered the same opinion in the course of their Lord Chancellorships. But they were only expressing a view which I believe to be that of the best legal talents available in the country. During the tenure of my present office by Lord Kilmuir, the Government of the day appointed a committee of lawyers including the senior Law Officers of the day both of England and of Scotland, members of the solicitors' profession and of the Bar, judges, Law Lords and international lawyers to report on this very question to the then-Lord Chancellor. Their concluded view was that neither the application of what is called "Community Law" to transactions in this country nor the indefinite duration of the treaty involved a surrender of any part of the ultimate sovereignty of Parliament. For myself, I regard the point as unarguable, and I am surprised, even grieved, when I see distinguished gentlemen whom I respect greatly arguing to the contrary.

If I may say so, the people who are puzzled about sovereignty make a fundamental mistake as to the inherent character of the Common Market institutions. There is, of course, a respect in which these do mark a fresh departure in modern Europe. Hitherto, we have been accustomed to only two patterns in the association between communities: what I may call the consortium model, an association bound only by treaty; and the federation, or the true merger of sovereignty into a single super-State, that entity which yesterday caused the noble Lord, Lord Soper, so much alarm. It is true that both the League of Nations and the United Nations' Charter have terms of association containing common institutions. For us, at least, this position was masked by our possession of the veto. The fallacy, however, lies in believing that every association which is not a federation must be a consortium, and every institution which goes outside the consortial pattern must be a derogation from sovereignty because it is a step in the direction of federation.

I believe this to be incorrect. It is not so, as the noble Lord, Lord Tangley, reminded us yesterday, in private life; it is not necessarily so in the relations between States. It is true that the Communities have gone beyond the consortial pattern. There are these common institutions; the Commission, the Assembly, the Ministers, the court. There are fields of common law, very restricted because they are limited to the fields necessary to give effect to the nature of the economic community, but effective because they are enforced either by the legislative power of the individual member States or by the courts of the member States giving direct effect to rules of community law as interpreted by the Community courts. At first sight, this looks like a derogation from sovereignty. But I submit that, on close inspection, one can see that it is nothing of the kind. There is no physical power behind these institutions except the will of the members to keep their bargain, and no legislative or coercive power except the organs of the members to give effect to that will.

Admittedly, this is more than a consortium. Common institutions and common rules are essential to give effect to a community that is more than a customs union or a free trade area. It is possible to give effect to such rules by forming a federation. But this is precisely what has not been done. What has been done is to create an association, as the noble Lord, Lord Tangley, said, on the analogy of a commercial partnership. No one pretends that men or women who form a modern commercial partnership are forfeiting their identity or freedom. What they are doing is to create an association with common rules, often with qualified voting power as the Communities have, provisions for arbitration to interpret their rules, and very often with institutions in the shape of special meetings, and sometimes without provisions for termination. But basically the foundation of the Communities is contract, is treaty, not coercion. The coercive powers are in the member States. That is what guarantees their sovereignty. That is what explains the effective power of veto by which member States exercise de facto a right of veto when their fundamental interests are involved.


My Lords, may I ask the noble and learned Lord a question? I am trying to follow him with the utmost care. In view of what he has said about sovereignty, would he be kind enough to define what is meant by European Community unity? How does he define "unity"?


My Lords, I have not attempted to speak of unity yet, although I may have a word to say about that in a moment. I was in fact about to point out that Article 6 of the Treaty itself provides that: The institutions of the Community…shall take care not to prejudice the internal and external financial stability of the Member States. But, my Lords, this would be the case whether or not the express provision was in the Treaty. The foundation of the Community lies in contract and not coercion, although by contract the parties use their powers so as to produce some of the results achieved formerly only by federation. This is what my right honourable friend the Prime Minister meant by the "pooling" of sovereignty. I would prefer to use this phrase. The Treaty is a contract to use the sovereignty of each member for limited purposes in concert with the others and to create institutions to enable this to be done without derogation of national independence.

My Lords, at the end of the day, I confess that I see the choice before us in stark and somewhat simple terms. I believe that this is a choice between an opportunity for greatness, on the one hand, and the certainty of decline, on the other: greatness if we have the faith, the vision and the confidence to go in; decline if we are too weak, too timid, too frightened of the future to opt for greatness, and thus remain out, in the false belief that we can obtain security under the protection of a tariff wall in the fool's paradise of a little Britain, hag bound by restriction, afraid of opportunity and unable to stand up to competition; unable to comprehend that the market will continue to grow in influence and wealth whether we are in or out, and that the only thing we shall achieve by the rejection of our opportunity will be to debar ourselves and our friends from any place in the vital process of decision-making.

My Lords, forgive a personal reference to close my remarks. My mind goes back 21 years to the time when Winston Churchill asked me to wind up for the Party in the debate on the Schumann initiative on the first day—the Schumann initiative which resulted in the creation of the Coal and Steel Community. This was the first of the sequence of events which brought the three Communities into being. It was, my Lords, an important speech for me. I knew then that my father was dying and I knew, or believed I knew, that this was the last speech I would ever be privileged to make in the House of Commons.

As I thought about my speech to-day, I thought back to that day on June 26, 1950, when I stood up from the Back Benches with a divided Party about me. I said then these words, which I would not to-day alter in any way. I appealed then, and I appeal now, across the Floor of the House to the Leaders of the Party opposite. Then, as now, there were those in my own Party and in the Labour Party who dissented from what I said. It was this that led me to appeal to them and to the House in these terms: …there comes a time for Parties and statesmen to adopt certain principles because they believe them to be right, and not because they believe that their action may bring them a temporary electoral success. It is the duty of statesmen and of Governments to lead and to guide and not merely to reflect opinion. This course of action which we advance…we believe, on this side of the House, is right, and we believe that the time will come when it will he recognised to be right. We only hope and pray that the hour of realisation will arrive, not in the moment of catastrophe, not in the agony of despair, but in time to repair the mistakes which are being made at the moment. My Lords, when I uttered those words at the beginning of that sequence of events I did not know—how could I?—that when the moment came when once again we had the opportunity to repair the error we had made that I should be speaking as a member of the Government which staked its reputation on putting the failure right. But I did know this. Although then, as now, I reckoned that the economic advantages would be great; although then, as now, I did not—nor do I now—feel myself in the least enamoured by a European federation, I did not then regard and I do not now regard, the advantages of membership as purely economic. For I ended by saying, and I venture now to repeat: For 2,500 years the nations of Western Europe…have struggled painfully, brick by brick, to build up a body of political doctrine enshrining belief in the freedom of individuals and of nations, fortified by the rule of law, sustained and inspired in the later centuries by the massive philosophy and age long tradition of historical Christianity, achieving, as I believe, not only an unparalleled measure of human freedom, but also an unparalleled measure of political co-operation. This is the Western civilisation of which we talk. This is the Christian society. This is the thing which gives us all a second country above and apart from that in which we were born. This is the tradition which gives to our constant internecine feuds and strifes the poignancy as well as the bitterness of civil war. It has not proved enough. The specific challenge of history to our civilisation has been its inability to solve the problem of peace."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, 26/6/50; col. 2054.] Twice in my lifetime Europe has been deluged with blood, our blood, the blood of our fathers' generation in the First War, the blood of our brothers in the second. Here at last, my Lords, is a plan which, apart from its economic advantage, seems to offer a solid hope that in this part of the world at least it will not happen again; that not a third time, not with the blood of our children, as with the blood of our brothers and fathers, shall the fields of Europe be sodden once more.

My Lords, to be British is a special and not the least honourable way of being European. When this great prize of which men have dreamt vainly through the centuries at last appears glittering before us, shall we alone stand aloof? Shall Achilles only remain sulking in his tent? I believe that we should be false to our past, we should betray our children, if we allowed temporary or merely ephemeral considerations to cloud our judgment in making this historic choice. My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Chorley, in his peroration yesterday quoted some words of Shakespeare. There is a simple little Tudor rhyme which is even more telling: He who will not when he may, When he will he shall have nay. Let us not sell our birthright for a mess of potage. Let not the curse of Esau ever fall upon this land!

3.18 p.m.


My Lords, I am sure we are all grateful for the careful exposition of the constitutional position which the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor has put before us. We shall read with great interest what he had to say.

My Lords, at the beginning the noble and learned Lord made much of the fact that he was of a decisive majority of pro-Market speakers within your Lordships' House, and I wondered whether possibly I was expected to ask to be excused for standing up to be counted as one of the minority. I shall forbear to apologise, and I am fortified in the knowledge that it will not be the first time in our history that a minority of your Lordships' House has in the event been proven correct. As for the noble and learned Lord's sensitive lecture on personal honour I can only say that I prefer the words of my right honourable friend Mr. Roy Jenkins when he said: I think we shall get on much better if we all respect one another's sincerity. We shall impress the country and the leaders of Europe and the world more if we talk more about the issues and less about one another. That is what I propose to try to do. We all seem to be agreed that there are two basic aspects to this issue, the political and the economic, or, as we might put it in this House, the spiritual and the temporal, for in this context I include in the term "political" the whole sense and purpose of our society.

Though some appear to put the emphasis upon one aspect more than another, the political more than the economic, or the other way round, I hope we can also agree—and in this I agree with the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack—that while a society can enjoy, for a time at any rate, an affluent economy without any meaningful sense of political purpose, it is not feasible to have a purposeful, effective, influential political policy without a sound, power-providing economy. However, for me, and I think that here I have the agreement of my noble friend Lord Soper and of other noble Lords opposite, all the arguments about the economic advantage of going in or staying out of the E.E.C. have meaning only in so far as they enable the British people to implement a worthwhile, satisfying political-social-spiritual policy. I invite the House first to agree that neither going in nor staying out will of itself give us a higher growth rate, a higher standard of living, or a sounder economic base. The quality of our economic management will be far more important than market affiliations. What the Chancellor has done last week could—I do not say, will—improve our growth rate far more than tariff changes of six countries of Europe.

It is said that going in will give us greater incentive and greater opportunity. Is there really more than faith to support this? We have built up a pattern of trade that reflects both our history and the physical and geographical facts of life. We import half our food and almost all our raw material. We have built an export trade to pay for those imports which, despite all our failings, to-day provides us with a substantial surplus. We have continued to build up this trade, because we have bought our food and raw materials in the cheapest markets and we have kept down manufacturing costs, because our food costs were low.

For all our vaunted increase in trade with the E.E.C., 30 per cent. of our exports go to the Commonwealth Preference Area and another 15 per cent. to EFTA., 45 per cent. compared with 20 per cent. with E.E.C. Of course, in percentage terms our trade with the Com- monwealth has declined, but for over a decade there has been an attitude of defeatism towards the Commonwealth and, I say deliberately, in parts of Whitehall, a continuous and insistent attempt over the last ten years to divert Commonwealth trade because of E.E.C. expectations. Yet it still remains true that British exports to the Commonwealth have increased nearly tenfold in value since 1938 and have doubled in volume.

It is this pattern of trade, and all the expertise, traditions, communications, sales offices, and human relations that support it, that we now propose to change. The incentive of opportunities of the 20 per cent. area are said to be so great that they can not only compensate for the undoubted losses in the 80 per cent. but they can open the door to the economic miracle. Frankly, I doubt it. I doubt it for two reasons. No one has yet given—and certainly the noble and learned Lord who sits on the Woolsack did not—any rational explanation as to how or why this miraculous increase is to happen. The White Paper does not even attempt it. And secondly, all the facts we do know, and can be reasonably sure about, add up to an enormous burden upon our economy when we turn from one preference system to another and make this new effort in Europe.

Much has been said about the so-called terms, following the recent negotiations. "Better than we expected", "as good as we expected", "very satisfactory taking everything into account". But no one has said that they are actually beneficial. Not even my noble friend Lord George-Brown has said that. No one has said that they will help our export effort. In every case, a minus, not so big a minus as we might have expected, but still a minus. No single item, probably, sufficiently damaging as to justify a rejection but taken together they constitute a burden for us, and uncertainty for those with whom we have been so long associated. And the biggest minus of them all was not even open to negotiation; namely, the utterly unjustifiable Common Agricultural Policy, which we had to accept without quibble or qualification.

I have sat on several of the pre-Farm Review Committees. I have listened ad nauseam to Treasury arguments that we could not afford another penny or two on beef or pig meat or cereals. Even another copper on this commodity or that, even a slightly better deal for the British farmer, we were told by the Treasury, would upset our economy. But here we are coolly proposing to charge ourselves, on different items, anything up to 100 per cent. more for some of the food and feeding stuffs that we import. When we come to the balance of payments penalty which membership entails, we find, as my noble friend Lord Shepherd found, conflicting claims among the experts. Some can be dismissed. It is difficult to take seriously the White Paper claim that the additional cost of food imports will be only £5 million rising to £50 million a year. This, I suggest, can only be dismissed as pure fantasy.

These are my words, but the words of Sir John Winnifrith, who was previously Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, were a little stronger. He says this: No evidence is given— that is, in the White Paper— for assuming that we should get £100 million back from the agricultural budget and the assumption that the cost of our import of food will be only £50 million more if we went in than if we stayed out is utterly ludicrous. The realistic cost to the balance of payments of our contribution to the Brussels budget and of our dearer imported food cannot be less than £500 million a year. I understand—and we are all pleased to hear—that the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, is to speak about agriculture. Possibly she will be kind enough to answer this further point which Sir John Winnifrith made on the subject. He said: If instead of throttling back New Zealand's exports to this country and if instead of shutting out Australian exports, with a cold arrogance and contempt— and he watched, as I watched, what happened in Whitehall over the last 10 years— we were free to make a long-term contract with these trusted friends, then there could be an abundance of dairy products and meat at prices to which we have been accustomed in the past. This is no theory. It is the inevitable consequence of rearing cattle in a climate where you can feed them on grass alone and not have to house them in the winter. That is one item—the food cost in the White Paper—which I think we can dismiss. As for the sentence in paragraph 42, about the net balance of payment costs of our budget contribution being only £200 million, "if the budget were to remain unchanged", it could, in these post-V and G days at the Department of Trade and Industry, be enough to warrant a prosecution for a misleading prospectus.

Mr. Douglas Jay's analysis and Professor Kaldor's calculations, which may have been disputed but not disproved, show a balance of payments burden, because of higher food and feeding stuff costs, the contribution to the Agricultural Fund, the Community Budget, the net worsening of visible trade in non-food products and the movement across the exchanges on capital account, of something around £1,000 million a year. Her Majesty's Government would say that the figure would be less, though, in reasonable probability, it could be more. But whatever the precise handicap, whether we choose one set of figures or another, it is a serious handicap, which has to be cleared before we start to gain advantage.

And, my Lords, advantage from what? This is what all the faith rests upon. This is supposed to be the advantage which offsets the admitted disadvantages: the so-called dynamic effect. Yet the extraordinary thing is that no statistical evidence can be found to support this faith. My right honourable friend Mr. Roy Jenkins dealt with this point in another place, and I take the opportunity of saying that his intellectual integrity and his ability do far more to persuade me about the rightness of this argument than anything in the Government's White Paper. I listened with special interest to what he said on this point. He accepted that the comparison of growth rates was a crude test. He offered more sophisticated comparisons about the ratio of export costs to domestic prices.

Here it seemed, after much research by the foremost champion on our side, might be the elusive factor. It did sound convincing, until Mr. Powell shot the argument clean out of the sky by saying that by that yardstick some non-E.E.C. countries did better than some E.E.C. countries. Here again is a non-proof. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said in November on this point, It is hard to think that if the dynamic properties of a widening market were really as great as is sometimes suggested the statistical evidence of this influence would be so completely and consistently lacking. My Lords, have we not allowed ourselves to be carried away by the emotive character of the term "dynamic effect"? The National Institute's conclusion was To accept a heavy burden of impact effects as the price of entry, in the belief that the 'dynamic effects' are likely to be even bigger, would under these circumstances represent a triumph of hope over experience. We hear less now about the superior growth rate of the E.E.C. countries, but of course it can be said, as the noble and learned Lord who sits so comfortably on the Woolsack said, The growth rate of E.E.C. countries has been greater than ours. This is true, I agree with him, but it has nothing to do with E.E.C. membership. Our growth rate, under Governments of differing colours, has been low because it has been deliberately restricted for balance of payments reasons. We have had this balance of payments problem, not because of E.E.C. non-member-ship but primarily because of the volume of Government spending overseas.

If we had lost the war with Germany, if our national debts had been largely wiped out, if we had been spared any military expenditure overseas, if we had been helped to re-equip our industry for anti-Communist reasons, and, I might add, if we had worked as hard as the Germans, then our growth rate would have been immensely higher, and compared much more favourably. But that proves nothing about the dynamism of E.E.C. membership. I see that the noble Lord, Lord Stokes, is to speak, and we shall all listen with extra care to what he says, for he might be thought to hold the secret of this promised exporting success.

Recent B.B.C. pro-Market propaganda showed graphically a barrier to British cars being removed and vehicles from our shores flowing across to the Continent. Of course it is true that a 13 per cent. reducing to 11 per cent. tariff will not apply to us if we join. But ordinary honesty ought also to have shown a similar barrier on our coasts being removed for the convenience of Continental cars. The interesting thing is that in recent years they have shown greater ability in climbing over our barriers than we have shown in climbing over theirs. No doubt if both barriers are removed, other things being equal, we should give as much as we get. But other things will not be equal. Their costs will remain the same; ours will go up.

Does the noble Lord really think that with this addition to our living costs, directly attributable to E.E.C. entry, he will not be faced with bigger wage claims? There will be inevitable wage demands to meet increases in the cost of living. But additionally the Government have dangled exaggerated prospects of higher living standards, and the only way trade unionists will know of implementing those promises will be by still higher wage claims. The noble Lord may speak of lower unit costs because of higher output, but is he sure that we can switch our external tariffs without losing some output to non-E.E.C. markets? That is not what the C.B.I. has said, let alone Professor Kaldor.

So, my Lords, I have doubts about these unexplained, unsupported dynamic effects. One can see only too clearly that our industry will be penalised to a greater or less extent in its traditional markets, and will enter this new and more restricted market handicapped with substantial additional costs and having to meet the competition of manufacturers operating on their home ground who have all the benefits of a bigger market without any of our penalties.

I have another doubt, which is of major importance but which I shall express more briefly. It concerns the regional development of the United Kingdom. It is claimed that we shall be as free in the future as in the past to give special help to, say, the North-East or South-West, or Scotland or South Wales. There is some doubt about this claim, but even assuming that it reflects the existing E.E.C. facts I am not sure that it can satisfy objective questions. Successive Governments have done much, and the last Government did very much, to help this genuine and serious problem, yet despite all this help, one out of ten of all adults in parts of Scotland is out of work to-day. "Yes", it is said, "but given more prosperity at the centre, it will be better in the regions." But will it? All those who have represented a constituency in the London or the South-East area will know the reluctance of industry to move outside. There is a tremendous pull of the prosperous centre. If the centre of gravity shifts to the Lower Rhine or Brussels, then how much more difficult to get a company to agree to put up its new factory on the Clyde or in County Durham.

I am reminded that there will still be planning consent, needed, and the I.D.C. or its equivalent will be there, but there will be one essential difference between the persuasive power of the I.D.C. to-day and in E.E.C.'s to-morrow. To-day a company can be told it either puts up its factory in the development area or not at all. To-morrow they can say, "Thank you very much, there is a free movement of capital. The factory goes up on the Continent". The more successful the Market, the more potent is this pull towards the centre. More than one company in this country is to-day holding up its investment decisions until the E.E.C. decision is taken, and then it will be on the Continent that the money will go and where employment will be found.

Myrdal, in his study Economic Theory and Underdeveloped Regions points to the conclusion that "Economic development tends to crystallise in limited areas". This, of course, only confirms what we see happening around us. Given a European scale of operations, from the Orkneys and Shetland down to Sicily, there is an enormous temptation to have one's headquarters somewhere in the middle—and that does not mean in the United Kingdom.

I found this happening after the War when, as a United Nations delegate, we discussed centres for specialised agencies in Europe. I have also seen this with commercial concerns. If the H.Q. goes to, say, Brussels or Bonn there will be appropriate British senior and specialist staff; but the typists, the cleaners, the maintenance people, are all locally engaged, and they shop locally, and they patronise local services, and these all in turn are customers for other manufacturers. This centripetal pull is inevitable. And, given that pull, there may well be a United Europe in another decade, but the Scottish Nationalists will have their greatest argument yet for secession from the United Kingdom.

I may be told that, while I have doubts, there were German and French and Belgian doubters, especially on the Left, and that they would not accept that their doubts were groundless. My Lords, I am 100 per cent. convinced that what has happened on the Continent is best for the Six. Even the bizarre Common Agricultural Policy is infinitely to be preferred to the awful physical waste and mental degradation of the Siegfried and Maginot Lines. What a wonderful thing it is, I agree, that those who once slaughtered each other on the Somme and at Passchendaele should now be talking about harmonising taxation and drawing up detailed plans for a common currency. But I venture to think, and I put it to your Lordships, that that immensely far-seeing truly great Frenchman, Charles de Gaulle, was right when he declared that our way—Britain's way—lay in a somewhat different direction.

I am not a Little Englander. I have always been proud of our world-wide association. But though Cousin Jack went out to North America, South America, Asia and Australasia, he seldom turned up in Luxembourg or Liege. I have never read, as far as I can recall, of the youngest son setting out to make a fortune in the Saar Basin or the Rhone Valley. And that is why 80 per cent. of our trade is still done beyond the E.E.C. countries.

Of course, Europe offers opportunities. One commutes to-day to Paris or Munich as easily as Leeds or Leicester. There are 20,000 British workers, they tell me, in West Germany. Our biggest firms are European based: for example, Unilever and Royal Dutch Shell. Two of the most exciting technological projects to-day, the Concorde and M.R.C.A., are partnerships of ourselves and the French, the Germans and the Italians. But this is happening to-day, and I passionately hope it will continue into the future. Meanwhile, as a Financial Times columnist put it, the Kennedy Round worldwide dismantling of tariffs and quotas makes the E.E.C. liberalisation look small beer indeed.

If China really enters into a new relationship with the Western world it will offer trading opportunities much greater than all the Six put together, if we look for growth, Australia is now poised for greater expansion than anything we have yet seen in Europe. Even little New Zealand, as my noble friend, Lord Energlyn, was telling me the other day, if it harnesses its uniquely cheap hydro-thermal power to Australian minerals, can be another Japan. All these are challenges and opportunities, and we have EFTA too. At home we are on the threshhold of a new era with natural gas and nuclear power.

To say that the alternative to the E.E.C. is an isolated stagnation is sheer defeatism. It is not in accordance with the facts of life, if we study them. I have always agreed that our historically unique experience with a multi-racial Commonwealth fitted us to lead the way to the political reality of the world. That would be a political future worthy of our past. At a time when we can converse with anyone anywhere on the globe, when the supersonic aircraft brings any country within 12 hours of another, it would be tragic if we chose this year to give up our role as a world trading State. Economically and politically that world role, if accepted with enthusiasm and unity, could hand to our children an inheritance greater than anything that we have received.

3.46 p.m.


My Lords, I suppose I might be regarded as rather remiss, having been a Member of your Lordships' House for some ten years, in not yet having made a maiden speech—which I do now. But I can only plead the Addison Rules and the pressure of running a great State industry. In reading carefully the debates in this House and elsewhere and in following very closely the arguments given, my mind flitted back to those days in 1951 when the Government of the day was invited to attend the meeting in Paris after the Schumann Declaration. I know that because this is a maiden speech I must not be controversial, nor must I be too long, and I shall faithfully follow those precepts. I realise that I have handicapped myself very considerably, especially after the speech of my noble friend Lord Beswick, but I cannot help thinking of the argument that has taken place on sovereignty, and my mind goes back to that day and to a meeting of the Cabinet at that time.

I can see those men grouped round that table now: there was Clem Attlee doing one of his intricate doodles, and there was the booming voice of the late Hugh Dalton, making sure that he was completely heard. The whole of the arguments were based upon whether we were interpreting correctly the words "supranational authority", because the implication was very clear: it was that no nation should go to the conference if it did not accept in advance the principle of a supranational authority. It was on this that the argument went on. I will not go into details because it would not perhaps be proper, but certainly it was felt that it would be quite impossible for this country to attend that Paris meeting having accepted beforehand the objective of a supranational authority, since that would undoubtedly interfere with our own sovereignty, the right to run the newly-nationalised industries as we thought fit, the right to invest capital where we wanted it, and a whole range of matters which the then Government were deeply involved in and which demanded national sovereignty. It could never be accepted that someone or some group of people on the Continent of Europe should dictate the policies concerning these matters.

Other countries, I learned later, who were also concerning themselves with this question of whether to accept the principle of a supranational authority, were wiser than we were. At least two of those countries accepted the invitation and the concept of the supranational authority en principe. We did not have the wit to do that—perhaps we were too honest—but if we had had the wit to accept en principe and attend that conference in Paris, I aver that today we should all be delighted that we had been in at the beginning of the Community and of the Coal and Steel Assembly, as a full party and not just as an associate member bound by Treaty. We should have played our part in a way which, in my view, would have meant that we should be leading the Community—and in those days it needed a good deal of leadership because of the problems that existed between the French and the Germans. I hope that we shall not make this mistake again by having long arguments on the pros and cons, because one can make as good an argument for as one can make against entry. At the end of the day it is the personal judgment of people that counts. One does not need to be bitterly personal about these matters; these are matters of judgment.

In reading the debates I have seen little reference to the Coal and Steel Community. Sovereignty is not at risk in this working of the European Coal and Steel Community. The experience of the Community showed undoubtedly that our first fears of supranationality were completely unfounded. Careful reading of the Treaty which emerged from the Paris negotiations showed that the High Authority was given much less power than was envisaged in the Schumann Declaration or, indeed, in the propaganda at that time. On every important issue the Governments have reserved the right to make decisions themselves. The Council of Ministers, not the High Authority, has emerged as the supreme executive institution. In the Council each Minister represents his national Government and national interest. An example of this was an attempt by the High Authority in 1958 to invoke Article 58 of the Treaty which said that when there was a manifest crisis they could make a decision. The manifest crisis in 1958 was to deal with the coal surpluses which were very substantial in that year. They wished, as a High Authority, to establish production quotas for all their mining countries. They were all turned down by the Council of Ministers. The High Authority never attempted again to intervene. Since then the Community has operated by intergovernmental negotiation and compromise within the Council of Ministers.

The White Paper shows that there are no serious issues in the negotiations so far as coal and steel are concerned. The previous Government publicly stated at the time of their application to join that they accepted the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, and the regulations under it. In the National Coal Board we occupied a unique position in the Council of Association. We were signatories to the Treaty as associate members and, as Chairman of the Coal Board, I attended most of the meetings. In this country we benefited from the close ties that we had established with the Community coal producers. This experience of the working of the Treaty, and the acceptance by the previous Government of the E.C.S.C. Treaty, seems to be absolutely right, and the present Government cannot do otherwise than accept it. Negotiations can be concerned only with any adaptations of the Treaty and regulations that will be required to provide for the accession of new members. There is nothing in this Treaty which would give our publicly-owned enterprises, the National Coal Board, or the British Steel Corporation any cause for concern whatsoever. The management of the industries, the organisations of their Boards, the relationship between the Boards and the unions, are not affected. The pre-occupations of the steel industry are being adequately taken care of. It has been agreed, for example, that the steel tariff will be reduced gradually, but over a five-year period, and for scrap it has been agreed that export controls may be maintained for two years within the enlarged Community.

Entry will open up new opportunities for the British coal industry, because from January 1, 1973, British coal can flow freely into the Community countries. This has not been the case so far; we have been banned by quotas and licensing arrangements. At the present time the Community import more than 25 million tons of coal from third countries, of which our share is barely 10 per cent. There is a market which the great State enterprise, the National Coal Board, can go for and be highly successful in obtaining a very much larger share of the market. Conversely, Community coal is free to come into this country. But it can do so now, because the import restrictions were lifted last December. The only coal which has come from the Community has been a tiny amount of domestic coal, but not one single ounce of industrial coal, which shows clearly that the National Coal Board is in a situation of ability in terms of production, efficiency, costs and prices to go into the Community and establish for itself a much larger proportion of that market. This is a big market in terms of exports and balance of payments. If one takes the cost of coal per ton, including the cost of insurance, freight and so on, one is speaking of something in the region of £8 or £9 a ton. If that is multiplied by 10 million tons that is a substantial contribution in terms of balance of payments, based not upon productive activity but upon the process of getting the coal from beneath the ground. It is clear to me that neither coal nor steel have anything to fear from joining the Community.

I have read and heard criticism of the Commission's power to raise funds by means of a levy on coal and steel. What are the funds used for? Partly to meet the Community's administrative expenses, but mainly to finance research projects and re-adaptation measures in the Community's coal and steel industries. Re-adaptation payments include allowances to carry a worker through until he finds a new job, make-up pay for workers forced to take less well-paid jobs, payments to retrain workers for other jobs, and resettlement grants for workers who move to other areas. Half of the money required to finance re-adaptation measures is paid by the Government and half from the Community funds. As from the date of entry, our coal and steel industries, and the workers in them, will be able to benefit from these research and re-adaptation funds on an equal footing with all the present members of the Community.

I believe that the enlargement of the Community will greatly strengthen the European Coal and Steel industry as a whole which, in terms of output of 300 million tons of coal, and a labour force of 600,000 people, will more effectively influence the determination of the Community and national energy policies and more firmly establish the position of indigenous coal in Europe. The British coal industry, representing, as it will, almost half of the Community's coal output, will be strengthened by participating in the formulation of these policies and by benefiting commercially from the advantages of a larger market. It is a great personal regret that when the great union, the National Union of Mineworkers, debated this issue at its conference, it spent precisely 13 minutes on these matters and decided to vote against entry.

Similar considerations apply to steel. I believe that a new and enlarged Com- munity will be extremely strong in steel and power, and much better placed to respond to the competitive pressures which are likely to grow throughout the world steel markets.

Most people to-day in the business and indeed the political world are concerned about economic growth. But where does economic growth come from? Economic growth can come only from increased in vestment, and there is no hope of increasing growth substantially unless first there is a substantial increase in investment. What is it that makes an industrialist decide to invest money at all? It is first the market possibilities for the product he is producing; and secondly, or with it, the profit that will come from such a transaction. There is nothing wrong in profits, although it is regarded, I know, in some circles as an obscenity even to use the word. But it is of course out of profits that wages and better conditions for workers will come. In the Co-operative movement they did not like the word "profit", so they called it "a surplus".

It must be remembered that as each month goes by technical progress is so great that the cost of investment in any new development to-day is escalating at a fantastic rate. Therefore, if one is required to put millions of pounds down for a great operating plant complex, or a quarter of a million pounds for a special machine tool, that money is not going to be invested unless one can see that that plant is going to be operating and is enabled to sell the products, sizeable as they will be, in a market. Therefore, if this country does not join the Community, those people who are engaged in international business will tend to invest more and more of their money in new plant and machinery within the present Common Market; because all we can offer them here is a consumer market of 50 million, for a market of 200 million consumers not many miles away.

I do not think, either, that we should think merely in terms of international companies whose boardrooms may lie in other countries than our own. Many British institutions, companies, are already in the Common Market. What exactly is their investment policy likely to be if in fact Britain does not go into the Common Market? They have a choice of doing two things: to invest where the market is there without tariff restrictions, or to provide four times that size of investment in the United Kingdom, having to produce something that has to jump over somebody else's tariff. And I have no doubt, whatever they may say in terms of patriotism at this moment of time, that money will determine this matter and the investment will go in the Common Market, and we in this country in my view will be like factories that are now operating in the development areas in this country.

This has been the experience of most of us who have looked fairly closely at what is happening. A company has a very big operating unit and decides it must expand. It is not allowed to expand in the area where it is operating and must go to a development area. It puts up a plant in a development area. But what happens when trade goes? It gradually closes down or works at a slower rate the plant in the development area and brings its main operations back to its first main unit. And, if we are not careful, we shall be putting this country into the position of becoming the development area of the whole of Europe. In my view, this is the danger that lies ahead. These enthusiasms at this moment of time for and against, when a decision is made, will wane; but if the decision is against, then I do not see this investment in the United Kingdom, and I see the present plants which are owned by British industry to-day more as plants in a development area than in the main area of business.

These are the dangers, it seems to me—not necessarily the terms upon which we go in, but what will it cost this country and the people in terms of employment and standards of living if we do not go in? This is the real question not the argument as to whether it should be tuppence on a pair of kippers or four-pence on a pound of butter. It seems to me that that is incidental to the main issue, which is the impact on the economy of this country if we do not go in. I am not going to get controversial. I was about to say that I am not moved by these discussions about Australia and the other Commonwealth countries. They will do what is best for themselves every time; do not make any mistake about that. But I must not go into that.

I sincerely say that we ought to go in for some of the reasons I have given. And if we are afraid of the competition in the present Community, then we all ought to pack up and go home and try to get back to a peasant society. A country that produced jet engines, produced the method by which we can use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, produced penicillin and produced any number of post-war inventions that the world has taken up—if it even considers being frightened of competition in Europe, it needs to have a very good look at itself and to explain to itself where its courage has gone to. We ought not as a country to worry about competition. We ought to be able to beat competition, given fair conditions; and getting over tariff barriers is bound to prevent a good deal of trading development.

When we come to the terns, I am not qualified to know whether these are good or bad. All I can say is that, having read to the best of my ability all that has been said about these matters, my judgment is that they are about the best terms that we can get. Merely pretending that we can leave it for another year (that is, if we have the chance) I do not believe is a possibility. By and large, they are the best terms that negotiators could possibly get. But I am much fortified by people whom I have known in politics and business for over a quarter of a century, whose honour and integrity and honesty cannot be impugned by anybody: I refer to Roy Jenkins, Michael Stewart, George Thomson and George Brown. Those people were as intimately involved in the negotiations as anybody else, and if the vote was determined entirely and solely by those who were intimately connected with the negotiations in the previous Administration there would be a majority for entry. For me, that is good enough. I accept the judgment of those people, who knew all the facts and who worked from the same official brief. Therefore, as my own view is that the terms are about as good as one could get, I feel fortified in the fact that these gentlemen support it—and they should know better than anybody.

Of course, there are bound to be pluses and minuses, and the unfortunate fact, it seems to me, is that in the pluses and the minuses the minuses all come in the first years. There are some pluses but lots of minuses. But that should not deter us. This country has never been afraid through its history of facing long odds, and I should have thought that while we must accept that probably there will be more minuses than pluses in the first years, we ought to accept those odds.

I am grateful to your Lordships for listening to me. Perhaps I have taken more time than I should have done. But I believe that this is a matter that stands well above Party, well above personalities. This is the future of the nation that we are talking about. In a previous period in another place a man stood up and said: "Speak for the nation!"—the father, I think, of my noble friend who sits on these Benches here; and the House spoke for the nation on that occasion. I think that this is one of those occasions, a turning point, and I believe one of no turning back; it is an opportunity that we should grasp with all the problems that it involves. I believe fervently that British entry into the European Community will be good for Britain, good for Europe; and if things are good for Europe and good for Britain, then it seems to me they may well be good for the world at large.

4.10 p.m.


My Lords, it gives me particular pleasure to find myself addressing your Lordships immediately after my old friend the noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham. As he may remember, our association goes back many years to times when we sat on opposite sides of the House but occasionally had to find some common cause in the difficult subjects concerned with industrial relations. I know we shall all be glad that, for technical reasons which he indicated, he was able to desert his maidenhood in time to stand up and be counted in this important debate, and I know we have all weighed very carefully what he said from his long experience.

My Lords, if I may, for a moment, speak about the speech made by the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, it is pleasant to find someone who is willing to try to put a constructive, practical argument as to why we should not enter the Community, and at least I would perhaps have common cause with him in the sense that this is a difficult argument, because it is difficult to know—and I believe this is what confuses the country—on what level one places the argument. I think it is not unfair to say (and the noble Lord will correct me if I am wrong) that his argument was primarily short term; it is a matter of the immediate future, of prices and of our problems. I must tell him that I was in Australia in May, and I do not take his view. The Australians are looking elsewhere; they are tying their trade to Japan, as they probably should in their own immediate interests. They are no longer interested in that great dream of Commonwealth unity—which was a great dream, and nobody is more sorry than I that what the noble Lord said cannot now come to fruition. So there is nothing left in the Commonwealth connection in that economic sense.

Turning now to things that some of us have looked at, like the North Atlantic Free Trade Alliance, that too is not possible for this country unless we want to become a subsidiary of the United States of America, which I am sure we do not. So there is nothing there. I found the noble Lord's argument rather defeatist, and that is what makes me so sad about the attitude of the T.U.C. at this moment. It seems to me to be utterly inward looking and utterly defeatist. I would follow the noble Lord, Lord Robens, and perhaps I might paraphrase what he said by saying that if we cannot cope in the Common Market we cannot cope at all. There is no future for this country if we are going to admit that we fear to face the challenges and the tests (as well as the opportunities) that lie ahead. If that is our attitude, then in my view there is no future, for us or for our children. Therefore, I found the arguments adduced by the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, very depressing, although if I may I would repeat that it is nice to hear from someone who has sought to put a constructive argument. The only thing I would say is that though I am sure it is sincerely put, so much of it is based on a false judgment of what lies ahead in the longer term.

I wish to make just three short points in regard to my own reasons for standing up among so many who wish to be counted in support of this great challenge. For me, it is not a debate about the price of butter and fish fingers. It is something to do with a European history that goes back to Charlemagne, and as an ex-Minister of Defence I was glad that my noble friend Lord Carrington touched briefly on this. We really must accept that this horrific nuclear pause which has broken for a moment the long sequence of ever more damaging wars that has punctuated European history since the time of the Romans, is almost an accident. It is a temporary pause. If we have not the courage and the civilisation, if I may use that word, to capitalise on it and to try to bring Europe together while the pause lasts and thus to heal at least some of the causes of past wars, we shall never be forgiven by history. So if one takes this broad view. I think it is a debate about the kind of world that our children will live in. It is a debate about this Europe of ours—and it is our Europe, by history, by tradition, by culture. We are not an off-shore island; we never have been, and those who oppose the Common Market seem to me so often to imagine that Europe is still a far away place. It is only 25 miles away and whatever we do it does not go away any further. It is there, and we are part of it, and it is time we recognised that fact and became a working partner instead of a sleeping adjunct. So if one takes this broad and perhaps emotional view—and I do not see why one should not be emotional about one of the greatest causes of our time—I think one is bound to be a strong supporter of entry.

Perhaps I may now turn to the difficult issue which the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, and other noble Lords have touched on. Where does our advantage lie? One cannot deal with these things entirely in terms of emotion. I think it would be a good thing to stop another war if it were a nuclear one, but equally we have to live. It is necessary in a debate of this kind to state clearly where one stands. The noble Lord, Lord Robens, has reminded me that I voted against entry into the steel and coal community when I was a new and inexperienced Member of the other place. I regret it. I freely confess that I changed my mind a long time ago. I would only say that as long ago as 1969, in a speech in Paris, I said that in world terms the E.E.C. in its present form is not in the long run a large enough trading unit to be viable.

Of course, even if we join the E.E.C. we cannot perhaps match the Americans in voyages to the moon (I do not know why we should want to!) but we will be much more technologically viable. I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, knows this. It is all right for him to say that the Concorde goes on whether the Common Market goes on or not. I rather doubt that. I rather doubt whether, unless we now join, and unless we do certain things together we really will have a big enough technological base, not to mount the grandiose things of space but merely to live in a hard and competitive world. Again, it is the inevitable cost of new processes and all the rest that we know about that forces this upon us. What I ventured to say in Paris, rather a long time ago, is that what will matter in the future to Europe is the technological strength, the marketing ability and the financial viability of the widest possible grouping of European nations, including Britain. I said that this has nothing to do with arguments about who negotiated what or who did which; it is just a hard fact as to whether we can earn a high enough standard of living to satisfy the just demands of those who will require it in this advanced technological age. The noble Lord, Lord Beswick, says that it is better to do this alone. I am afraid I believe that the weight of technological evidence is that we would only do this together with our friends in Europe.


My Lords, if the noble Lord will allow me to interrupt him for a moment, I did not say that; I said exactly the opposite. I said that we are doing things together now and I hope that we shall continue to do so in the future.


Yes, my Lords. The noble Lord said that Concorde and such things would go on, as I have just said, whether we join the Common Market or not. I venture to differ from him and to say that I do not believe they will. I think there has to be a common purpose in spirit, which in my view on the French side was largely put into the Concorde because they believed that in due course this would lead to a greater technological match between our countries. So while we perhaps both agree that Europe needs this greater technological advance, I must say that I find some difficulty in seeing why the noble Lord opposes entry to the E.E.C. Perhaps he will change his mind.

There are two other points I wish to make. First, I think we have to face one fact in a hard and competitive world; that is, what it will be like if we stay out; because we shall have to try to make our separate way, and so will the Six, and we shall suddenly begin to draw apart. This is our last chance; it can never be done again. A fragmented Europe will be ground exceedingly small by the super-Powers both to the East and the West of us. We had better take account of that fact. We are no longer a great Power in that sense and we shall be ground under the heel of larger and more powerful nations unless we do something for ourselves with Europe. So I think that historically and on what one might call the economic geography of the problem we ought to go in.

I think one should not bring too many personalities into these things, but at least you know about the things you do for yourself; and I certainly enjoy commuting to Brussels, Paris, Milan and other places where we have active companies. I sit on some of their hoards with my European colleagues. I find that we talk the same language, that we want to do the same things; I find that I get on very well with our new worker directors who have to come on our board in France, and it seems to me to be working well. In all this kind of economic job I do not feel a foreigner or a stranger. I feel a part of history, as well as a part of a successful day-to-day business. Going into the Market, to me, and to many others, does not mean entering some kind of foreign land. It merely means capitalising on practical and profitable experience, and as I said to our shareholders at the annual general meeting, this is not only making more profits in Europe; this is bringing in more business to Britain to give more work to the 30,000 people we employ here; and I can prove it, so I think on practical grounds again it makes sense.

I would mention one last point. My noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor touched on this. I really think that this country has to consider in a practical and sensible way what will happen if the Government cannot attain a reasonable majority to conclude our negotiations for entry. Can we really think of the sight of a British Prime Minister going back to the Community and saying, "Although the terms have been accepted by those in both Parties who are best qualified to know as being fair and the best terms we can get, my public opinion is so divided and is so weak and is so uncertain that I am sorry we cannot continue with this application". Does any noble Lord think that that will improve our relations with the Commonwealth? Does any noble Lord think that that will make it easier for us in exports and international business to do our job? Does anyone think it would not be a confession of absolute national weakness and infirmness and of a kind of narrow, inward-looking nation, which will, in my view, condemn itself to a siege economy for its 60 million people? I think that is the choice, and I think whichever way you put it we ought to go ahead. As I said to a very old Australian friend of mine, a very great man, I believe, in the world, "Britain needs something new to do and this may give it us to do". I do not think he disagreed with that. I hope that we shall show by our evidence here, for what it is worth, that we strongly support this concept of entry, and that we encourage the Government to get on and complete these negotiations as soon as possible.

4.23 p.m.


My Lords, the noble Viscount, Lord Watkinson, will acquit me of any discourtesy if I do not follow up his assumptions and conjectures about the future of the European Community, and in particular the future of our own country. At the same time, perhaps I may offer one or two observations about his speech, or at any rate some aspects of his speech. It struck me that he was inclined to be somewhat superior when he made reference to my noble friend Lord Beswick. He addressed your Lordships' House in a superior fashion and said that the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, had actually ventured to offer some constructive proposals.


My Lords, if the noble Lord thinks I was being superior, I certainly apologise. I had no intention of being superior; I merely wanted to counter what I thought were very well put arguments.


My Lords, I accept what the noble Viscount says, but it struck me as being somewhat superior. However, we will forgive him for that.

If I may venture to ask a question, now that I have the noble Viscount's attention, what are his constructive proposals? There is only one—go into the Common Market. There are no others. Who is he to talk about an absence of constructive proposals? Indeed, what the noble Viscount, Lord Watkinson, did in that speech to which we have just listened was to follow the general line taken by many other of his colleagues on that side of your Lordships' House and it may be also on this side of your Lordships' House. What was that? We had yesterday, and we are having some more of it this afternoon, a spate, a veritable torrent, of denigration and derision and mockery of our own industrial situation, our economic life and our future. If ever defeatism was exposed it has been in your Lordships' House in the past 24 hours. I shall venture a few further observations on this topic a little later.

It may not have escaped your Lordships' notice that yesterday, when the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, addressed the House the Press Gallery was crowded almost to suffocation. And for what purpose? Interest in the Common Market? Not at all: interest in what is alleged to be internecine strife in the Labour Party, and the consequences this very day. For the purposes of accuracy, (if I may use an expression commonly used by Mr. Speaker in another place), here it is. The Daily Mail—I charge them nothing for this gratuitous advertisement—has the headline, "George knocks Wilson for six". But the Daily Mirror could do better than that: "George puts the knife in". That is what it is all about; that is what the Press is concerned with.

Moreover, there have been some personal references in other quarters. The noble and learned Lord, the Lord Chancellor, was doing his best to avoid it—I know him so well; he was seeking to impose a restraint upon himself—but now and again thoughts escaped. So he talked about personal honour. These terms " personal honour "and" credibility "have been bandied about. Noble Lords should be careful. I speak as one with a somewhat long Parliamentary experience, almost 50 years. I can remember what was said about Lloyd George—I do not want to enter into details. It can be recalled what was said about Stanley Baldwin (for whom, by the way, I had a very high regard):"Trust Stanley "—until 1935, when it was understood that he had completely deceived the electorate of this country. Ramsay Macdonald has been persistently denigrated as to credibility: it was not his line of country, according to some people. Over and over again prominent politicians and Prime Ministers have been subjected to criticism of the most harsh character. We ought to be careful. The academic historians know all about it and write about it because they have read about it; I have been through it, and speak from personal experience. One must be careful.

On the question of trouble in the Labour Party, noble Lords should take note of what the noble Lord, Lord Thorneycroft, said in the course of his speech yesterday afternoon. It was in reference to the Labour Party, when he warned your Lordships that nothing should be done to weaken it, much less destroy it. He was right. Your Lordships might get worse, if anything happened to the Labour Party: be warned in time. Something less moderate, less conciliatory, may come about, and we ought to be careful. In this controversy about whether or not we should enter the Common Market, leave out the personalities. That is what they all say, but immediately they declare their desire to leave out personalities they indulge in them, as we have discovered during the course of this debate, and because of the Press.

We were asked yesterday by the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, to stand up and be counted. I have stood up for the last 25 years and been counted on this controversy. It goes back much further than the Lord Chancellor's 1951, or what was said by the noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham. Apart from Cabinet discussions, I can recall when the late Winston Churchill, who was keenly interested in the idea and vision of a united Europe, approached the late Mr. Attlee, who was then Prime Minister, and asked whether the Labour Party would encourage the project. Mr. Attlee sent him to see me because I happened to be Chairman of the Labour Party at the time. Mr. Winston Churchill, as he then was, came to the War Office, to the room which he had previously occupied as Secretary for War. He pleaded with me to encourage the Executive of the Labour Party to foster this concept of a united Europe. It was all very vague at the time: "supranational authority" and "economic unity", and, in particular, "agricultural policy", which is now apparently acceptable to many people but rejected by others—this was just a vision. Out of courtesy to Mr. Winston Churchill I took it to the Labour Party Executive and they rejected it out of hand, as indeed did the Labour Cabinet. There was some vague discussion about it, something nebulous. Nobody appeared to understand it, and it was rejected. I would say this about the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham, on this aspect of the question: he has many accomplishments, but I never thought he would adopt the role of astrologer, a subject in which I have no particular interest. He told us that if only we had accepted this vague, nebulous idea thrust upon us by M. Schumann, the world would have been completely re-orientated, Europe would be flourishing and we should be living in luxury. That is just an assumption.

I want to use that idea in order to fortify the stand I take in this matter. I have never objected at any time to trade with European countries, with the erection of tariff barriers, if necessary, and with the withdrawal of tariff barriers and the liberalisation of trade. We are a trading nation—that is a cliché, of course, but it is understandable and accepted. Of course we must trade with them. Therefore, on the economic issue I have never quarrelled. It may be that prices will rise and that there will be an escalation of prices in food and other commodities. That may be, or it may not be: who can tell? How can we foretell the future? Prices may go up, or they may go down. It depends on production, on scarcity and on a variety of other matters. We cannot be sure at all. What we do know is this—and this is really the crux and what I regard as the solar plexus of the problem—that there is the question of whether our institutions are to be dominated and controlled by an undemocratic assembly sited in Brussels, or Bonn, or wherever they may happen to be.

This subject of sovereignty has been played around with, and it becomes almost difficult to understand what they have been talking about. Of course we have had to abandon some of our powers and authority—with NATO, for example. I was associated with the formation of NATO in 1947, 1948 and onwards, and I recognised that we had to give something away; but nothing was irrevocable. We could go in, and we could come out. Go into the European Economic Community and you cannot come out. You are in. The term "irrevocable" is not embodied in the Treaty of Rome, but the term "unlimited" is and it is practically the same thing; you are in. That makes all the difference.

When the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor was addressing your Lordships' House, I ventured to interrupt him and he kindly gave way. I asked him to define the term "unity". After all, what are we talking about but European economic unity?—a Community based on unity, where there is general agreement on a great variety of issues and where there is co-ordination and co-operation. That is what we are talking about. But is that what your Lordships are prepared to accept? Because if your Lordships are prepared to accept that, you must accept the consequences. The noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham, dismissed the objection that it might affect the European Coal and Steel Community. The Coal and Steel Community has had its ups and downs. Sometimes it has opened pits and steelworks, and sometimes it has closed them, and nobody knows more about closing down pits than the noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham. It has become almost an art with him. It is nothing to do with the question of sovereignty. Of course not. The European Coal and Steel Community may go out of existence with the advent of nuclear energy. I may be regarded as a bit of an astrologer when I suggest that it might go out of existence, but it is lust a possibility; put it that way.

When it comes to the question of control and domination—not of economic matters, because trade, tariffs and the rest, the customs union and agriculture, are all trivia, and what might be called "pocket fluff"—I am concerned with the real substance, and that is that control must be effective. Here I should like to mention the speech made by the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn. I am sorry that he is not in his place. I have known him as a persistent advocate of British entry into the Common Market. I think, though I do not agree with him, that he may take pride in the fact that he has never deviated in any fashion from his original intention and beliefs. But yesterday he said something which was important, and I advise your Lordships to read the report of his speech. He said, in effect, that in order to make the European Economic Community effective there must be coordination and co-operation, and for that purpose you must have political control. Whether that political control is democratic is another matter. But that is what he said and I agree with him.

From the very outset, that is the line I have taken. From the day when Mr. Harold Macmillan came to another place and announced the intention to approach the countries of the Six with a view to negotiations, that was the line I took—not the economic line, not the food line, not the prices line, but the possibility that our destiny and future, in foreign affairs, defence and the like, could be controlled by somebody outside this country. I am aware of the fact that in matters of defence we sometimes have to give way to the views of, say, the United States and of our other allies. I recognise that. But to abandon our ideas, to abandon our policies, to abandon our destiny, is not something to which I ever could agree.

What I cannot understand is this. Yesterday we had speeches which derided and made a mockery of our institutions. I took a note of some of them, but I do not want to weary your Lordships with them. We are asked for an alternative. Why ask for an alternative? Noble Lords in this House who are associated with industry, such as the noble Viscount, Lord Watkinson, the noble Lord, Lord Thorneycroft, the noble Lord, Lord Stokes, and others, seem satisfied that British industry can no longer regard itself as efficient; that there is something wrong with management; that the trade unions are not likely to be co-operative; that something has gone wrong with this country. Perhaps I should read what the noble Lord, Lord McFadzean, said yesterday, because it is the whole point of the argument. He said that we have some of the best inventive genius in the world, we have some of the best management staff in the world, and we have some splendid people working on the benches. On the shop floor we have a huge advantage over many countries, because for generations the men have been used to working in that environment and within engineering limits, so that it comes as second nature. We have all that. He then went on to argue that, because of our economic position and because many industrialists have now come to the conclusion that this country is down and out, we must enter the Common Market. I do not follow that argument.

It has been argued by noble Lords that the standard of living is higher in the countries of the Six than in this country. I ask your Lordships to take, for example, Germany. Is their position surprising? Noble Lords should know their history over the past 25 years or so. At the end of the last war, what happened? Germany was defeated and we gained a victory. But something else happened. Germany had to engage in reconstruction. Germany was encouraged to undertake that task by the Dawes Loan and the Young Loan and eventually by the Marshall Plan. We had none of those. We had Lend-Lease during the war, but that was terminated when the peace came. That was the reason why we had to obtain credit from the United States of America to the tune of £1,000 million. The noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham, was not in the Cabinet then—it was long afterwards that he emerged—but I was.


I knew about it.


Of course he was bound to know about it. It appeared in the newspapers. I know that the noble Lord can read. But let us not be controversial. I do not see the noble Baroness, Lady Lee of Asheridge, here, but may I say this? I may be violating the Official Secrets Act, but what does that matter? I understand that the Tower is a very accommodating place, so why worry? We do not vote in the Cabinet and we did not do it then, but when the Prime Minister collected the voices, despite all the argument by Ernest Bevin, Stafford Cripps, Hugh Dalton and all the others, Nye Bevan and myself opposed it resolutely. We were right.

This brings me to the point which the noble and learned Lord, the Lord Chancellor, made about the majority. Of course he has a majority here. He would not expect it to be otherwise. Your Lordships' House, being what it is, with no responsibility to constituents or to anybody but themselves, noble Lords are entitled to express their opinions. But the minority is sometimes right, and nobody knows that better than the noble and learned Lord, the Lord Chancellor, himself. He has been in the minority. What I am saying is personal, but it is not offensive. I can remember an occasion when the noble and learned Lord was very depressed indeed. He was in a minority. There was something going on in the Conservative Party. He was in a terrible state of depression and I said to him what I say to Britain now: "You will recover". And so he has. After all, even a political opponent has compassion. If we have any guts, Britain will recover. I can understand the position of noble Lords who are industrial tycoons—if I may use that expression—industrialists of all kinds occupying managerial positions, but I cannot understand the aristocrats in the House, the descendants of kings, whose families were associated as advisers to Queen Elizabeth and succeeding monarchs, being ready to enter Europe. For what? For a higher standard of living and to get a share of a bigger market. Well, well, well! It is enough to make their ancestors turn in their graves.

So I stand up to be counted. I make no apology for my views. I want to trade with every country of the Six, if they do not shut us out completely. But, make no bones about it, my Lords, they cannot shut us out completely, if we stay out, they cannot shut us out completely. There are things they want from us and there are things we want from them. Of course there are difficulties about standing on our own feet, just as it is admitted that there are going to be difficulties in the short-term if we go in. That has been admitted by noble Lords who are experts on the subject. And as for the long term, who can tell what will happen? It is a gamble, a speculation, a risk—not even a calculated risk. So we may have to suffer a bit. But one would imagine—and this is my final observation—that there was something very serious, something depressing, something disastrous happening in this country. There are hundreds of thousands of tourists in London from other countries, but there are hundreds of thousands of our people in other countries on holiday. Besides, I read that the dockers are going to get £50 or £60 a week—more than I get myself. I read that we still have Rolls-Royce, we still have Rio Tinto, we still have the B.B.C. and I.T.V., we still have Leyland's, we still have genius, we still have character and quality. These are all cliches that I am indulging in, and everybody is familiar with these facts.

So why do we not have a little guts and say, "Yes, we will trade with the world"? It is our destiny to trade with the world. But to abandon ourselves, lock, stock and barrel, hook, line and sinker to the countries of the Six—oh, no! We like you, the Germans, and we like you, the French, though I do not like them so much, because I have had dealings with them as Minister of Defence. They have contracted out of NATO and for the Government then to come along and talk about promoting peace in Europe and its acting as a deterrent, is just an absurdity. Moreover, there is no unity in Europe. There it is. My advice to your Lordships is to stay out, to be firm and resolute, to go on fighting, and even suffering. In other words, I say to your Lordships that Britain is still great. If Britain became greater by entering Europe, it could be greater still by putting up a fight. I wonder what kind of flag will be flying in Europe if we enter the Common Market? Will it be the Union Jack? No. Will it be the Tricolour? No. It will be the skull and crossbones—and that I will not accept.

My Lords, I am not going to ask for indulgence at the end of a speech of this character. Why should I? Nor am I going to apologise for being controversial. That was my intention. Moreover, when I am told, as I have been told so often in the course of this debate, that we anti-Common Marketeers are defeated by 33 to 1, I realise that I have not had time to make a complete speech. I warn noble Lords: do not get any wrong ideas. We do not reflect opinion in this country. There is not a single noble Lord, whether on one side of the House or on the other, who could claim that he could go to any constituency in the country and get a majority for entering the Common Market. It is recorded in the Press today that Mr. Prior, the Minister of Agriculture, when a referendum was held in his own constituency, was defeated by more than two to one on a huge vote. That is enough for me, and I hope it is enough for your Lordships.

4.52 p.m.


My Lords, may I first follow the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, by paying tribute to the maiden speech which we heard from the noble Lord, Lord Robens of Woldingham? Lord Robens, the best Chairman of the National Coal Board we have not got (I say that without any disrespect to his successor, who we hope will have as great success as he had), was a Minister whom I did not have the chance to serve because I went to his Ministry of Fuel and Power only after a change of Government. But there, in the Ministry of Fuel and Power, when there was a little local trouble in another place and a Conservative Minister was persecuted a little by the "fuel furies", we hacks back there in the Department did not mind at all. What we feared was the terror of Lord Robens, as he then was not, when he rose from the Opposition Benches with that gift of oratory and persuasiveness that we have heard with such pleasure this afternoon.

As to the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, I feel very humble in following him, and though he is not listening to me at the moment I want to tell him that nothing I say is intended to be in any way superior. On the contrary, as an old "hack" in the Ministry of Fuel and Power I can say that he left a reputation, which means that all old "Minfupovians" respect him and it is in a mood of respect that I must tell him and your Lordships that I absolutely decline to take his advice, which he so emphatically and curtly gave us, that we should stay out of the Common Market. I have very great respect for the long tradition that the noble Lord has of sustained opposition to anything of this kind. I did not follow his argument when he rejected any evidence that Lord Robens produced from experience in the Coal and Steel Community. It seems to me that the Communities which we have asked to join, and which I hope we do join very soon, are three Communities, and one of them is the Coal and Steel Community. While Lord Robens was able to tell us, out of his experience, how little sovereignty was in fact lost by the members of that Community, what he did not have time to tell us was how much more advantageous to this country it would have been if he had been a member of the Council which determined policy in that Community. That seems to me a piece of solid evidence which we cannot reject when we ask ourselves: what are we giving up, and what risks are we running, if we join all three Communities?

I listened with very great interest, and again with humility rather than with a sense of superiority, to what the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, said when he addressed the House, but I could not understand why he felt that we should be rejecting the potential of this great new multi-racial Commonwealth of 700 million or 800 million citizens of the world if we went into Europe. Quite frankly, I could not follow the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, when he appealed to us to have guts, suggesting that by going into the Common Market we were showing a lack of guts, and that it would be the skull and cross-bones that would be flying at the masthead if we did go in. With great respect to bosh those speakers, I passionately believe that they are wrong in both these respects.

I have been, and still am, a believer in the Commonwealth, and I have been anxious about the Commonwealth over the last 25 years, during which I have been wanting us to go into Europe, and in particular into the Coal and Steel Community and Euratom, which has not so far been mentioned in this debate and which again was not a popular cause to sponsor as a "hack" in the Ministry of Fuel and Power. I had a little say, but I was always in a minority of one or two. But as one who wanted to go into Europe, and who regretted that we were not in at the beginning, I was anxious lest, in going in, we were going to jeopardise the opportunities that were opening up to us, as the new Commonwealth unfolded, to make our contribution to the world, through the Commonwealth. I have come to the conclusion, for what it is worth, in all humility, that we are not going to jeopardise the big contribution which the Commonwealth can make to the world and which we can make through the Commonwealth if we go into Europe—and may I very briefly say why?

The characteristic of the modern Commonwealth, my Lords, surely is the great pattern of nation States, utterly free and independent but linked by a whole pattern of roads and bridges; and there are no road blocks at the other side of the Commonwealth members. In other words, if I may change the metaphor, if you think of the present members of the Commonwealth as a great orchestra—the brass perhaps coming from Africa, the woodwind from Asia, the fiddles (we will not say who the fiddlers are) and Britain playing the continuo part to fill in the awkward silences—there is no reason why any member of the Commonwealth orchestra should not play in any other ensemble. This is exactly what they do, as the noble Viscount, Lord Watkinson, said. Australia plays in an ensemble with Japan and Indonesia, and to some extent Germany; Canada plays with the United States; the Organisation of African Unity is an orchestra in which our African members of the Commonwealth often play, and so on. It is because each member can play in any other ensemble it wishes, that there is no reason in the world, in my opinion, why we should not play in the European Communities without surrendering our faith in the Commonwealth or, as it were, contracting out of the great future which I believe the Commonwealth has.

But some of my friends say: what about the less developed countries? Are we not going to let those members of the Commonwealth down if we join this European Community where the French, the critics say, bullied the other members into allowing some associated status for their ex-Colonies but where it is going to be most unpleasant for our associated States, particularly the Asian ones, if not the African ones, if all we can give them is something as a member of the Community instead of what we might give them as a member of the Commonwealth? Here again, I am sincere in asking your Lordships to accept that I do not believe that to be true. If we have the will, we can do more for the less developed countries—in particular those of the Commonwealth; but those outside it, too—if we go inside the Community and become a part of its policy making; if we help to use the European Development Fund in ways consistent with our ideas of the partnership, between the richer and the poorer countries, which must be made real if, as the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, said, we are to avoid terrible troubles ahead.

If we do that, let us take heart from the fact that, whatever may have happened at the beginning of the European Economic Community, and whatever truth there may be in the criticism that it was originally liable to be inward-looking, to be not so interested in the world outside and to be more interested in making the members themselves richer, over these last twelve years the record of what the Community and its members have done for the less-developed countries has been very good, and increasingly good. In fact trade has increased between the less-developed countries and the Community faster and on a larger scale than trade between those same less-developed countries and the U.S.A., and faster and bigger than the increase between those less-developed countries and the United Kingdom. It is not too bad a record, if I may put it that way. In fact, Holland and Belgium and France are all doing more in what might be called aid for the less-developed countries than the United Kingdom itself; and all the members of the Community have already reached that target of 1 per cent. of the gross national product, if you include the total flows from both the private and the public sectors.

I believe that we can do better by the less-developed world if we ourselves have an increasing will to that end, for that is indispensable; and if we carry that conviction into the Common Market in all humility (not assuming that they have not done well or that we know more) through our great experience of this kind of partnership and nation-building and help through trade in particular, but aid also, and technical assistance. I believe that going into Europe in this institutional sense will make it more possible for us within that framework to do what I passionately believe this country and the West must do for the less wealthy two-thirds of the world. I wondered also whether going into Europe would mean that we had to weaken our links with the U.S.A. Again, this is a matter of faith, but I do not believe that those links need be weakened. I believe that one of the contributions that we can make to a more civilised world is to help the Community of Europe to be more sensible about the U.S.A. and to help form a Grand Alliance between the U.S.A. and Europe for the benefit of the less-developed world.

My Lords, may I pay one personal tribute which I do not think has been paid so far, to those who got so near to the point where we can choose to go into Europe on acceptable terms? We have paid tributes (and all would do so) to our negotiators and, in particular, to the Chancellor of the Duchy; but let there be a word said in praise of our Ambassador in Paris, Mr. Christopher Soames. That was a key post; and it was Mr. Harold Wilson who spotted that it was a key post and who invited an ex-Tory Minister to fill it. How well he has done in preparation for Mr. Heath's visit to M. Pompidou and in all these intricate relations between our negotiators in Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris! I pay tribute, too, to all our missions in the Six countries, our Ambassadors there and their staff. I would also pay tribute to my old friends in Whitehall, if ever there was a case of consultation between the Heads of so many Departments in order to produce briefs for both the last Government and for this one, the briefs which were the raw material out of which the negotiations have come!

My Lords, having made that short-term point may I end with a rather longer one. Charlemagne was mentioned as having created Europe. In Homer's opinion, Europe came into existence in Greek mythology very much longer ago than Charlemagne. Europa was a very beautiful lady. In the debate yesterday there was much talk of marriages of convenience, of affection and love as represented by Britain and Europe. Here it was no question of marriage; but Zeus, the all powerful, fell in love with Europa. Perhaps with some imagination of what John Bull might one day be, he disguised himself and took the form of a bull to woo, and to woo successfully, and to consummate his love for Europa. Out of that—and this is no laughing matter—came Minos and that whole great Minoan civilisation which goes back such a long way.

I suggest seriously that there is now a moment when Britain and Europe can mark the beginning of a new phase in that civilisation which Europe has done much to create but which, as I am sure Lord Soper would agree, is something which is much wider than Europe and is a world civilisation. I believe myself that we are asked whether to go in or not to a new chapter in the civilisation of the world. For my part I shall go in "un-Whipped", whoever else is "Whipped".

5.7 p.m.


My Lords, I hope I may crave the indulgence which is traditionally accorded to those who address your Lordships for the first time. I should also like to offer an apology for any seeming discourtesy in the fact that I shall not be here for the debate to-morrow. I have an excuse not open to the noble Lord, Lord Robens: I entered into an engagement well before I had any idea that I should have the privilege of becoming a Member of your Lordships' House.

My own field of study has been history. I am not an economist, a financial expert or a legal expert. My field has been modern history. I am the last to argue that one can draw any clear lessons from history. I would not wish to resemble the immortal professor in a Kingsley Amis novel who was heard to pick up the departmental telephone and say, "History speaking". History speaks with many voices and in a very confusing vocabulary. I have little doubt that just as the pro-Marketeers, of whom I am one, can adduce historical arguments to support their cause, so, too, can the anti-Marketeers. But there is one thing of which I am convinced and it is this. We ought to make up our minds, and all history shows that we should, on the big general questions involved and not on the small print. It is the big general question which will matter in the eventual perspective of history and which will justify, if it is justified at all, the title of the "Great Debate".

Disraeli in speaking in another place on the subject of the Indian Mutiny once said: The rise and fall of empires are not affairs of greased cartridges. The issues involved in joining the European Community are not in the end a matter of the price of butter or of rump steak. Of course these things are not to be overlooked; of course they play their part in the argument; but they are not going to be the things which future generations will take account of in judging whether we were wise or foolish to join or not to join the Common Market.

My Lords, the last occasion I think when in time of peace, as opposed to times of decisions for war, that Britain was confronted with a similar major choice, a clear question of yes or no to a definite issue at all comparable to that which confronts us to-day was when a Conservative Government under Sir Robert Peel repealed the Corn Laws in 1846. That decision established the system of Free Trade in which the country was destined to be the greatest industrial power in the world for the next 70 years. Arguments of the sort we hear to-day were used at that time about prices and costs. There was also a great deal of recrimination about who had said what to whom, when, and what promises had been made. But those are not the things that we remember to-day. We do not remember what Peel said about the price of a loaf of bread, or what Disraeli said about the rate of agricultural rents. It is rather what they said about the broad prospects of their country. Was its greatness dependent on the landed interests or on industry? In the jargon of the time, was the field of corn or the field of coal to prevail?

No doubt the issues which confront us are very different to-day, but it has been alleged that the present Government are acting in a way which is quite out of consonance with the tradition adopted by Peel and his Government at that time. It is of course true that Peel's policy resulted in cheaper food, and that one of the main fears of those who are against joining the Common Market is that it will result in dearer food, or rather dearer food. But in a wider sense I think the situation is not quite like that. In the time of Peel food entered into the cost of living to the extent of something like 80 per cent., and now it is only 20 per cent. to 25 per cent. When the great relaxation of trade restrictions took place in the 1840s, those who favoured that course were thinking in terms of the economic prosperity of the nation as a whole, and of the great impetus which would be given to the nation's economy. It was the opponents of the repeal of the Corn Laws who took the narrower, the more timorous, the more traditional, more parochial and restrictive attitude; indeed if I may say so, a more xenophobic attitude.

If Peel, the greatest 19th century Conservative statesman, had been alive to-day, I believe that he would have been in favour of the Common Market as the bolder, more expansionist course to take The decision of the present Prime Minister and the present Conservative Government is very far from being out of character or contrary to the natural ethos or tradition of the Conservative Party in that respect. Having said that of Peel, I do not attempt to hazard a guess of what Disraeli would have done. I believe that, as in 1846, the future lies in the bolder, more adventurous and more challenging policy. I believe that the fears entertained—I am sure genuinely and sincerely entertained—about the consequences of joining the Common Market will prove to be as groundless as the fears of those who dreaded Free Trade proved a century and a quarter ago.

Of course the Common Market is not a panacea to cure all our economic ills. In the end one is involved in guess work, in a hunch, an act of faith and a balancing of probabilities. I can only say that, although I do not believe we shall be ruined in a dramatic way if we do not go into the E.E.C., I do believe there is a high probability that we will do much better if we go in, and that our experience will be the same or similar to that of the separate countries which constituted the Six when they originally formed their union. But, having said that, and having earlier said that the price of butter and steak are not the fundamental issues, I must in fairness to the other side agree that a great many people are uneasy about entry into the Common Market, and do fear precisely those dangers of immense price rises and other disagreeable changes of which we have heard a great deal in the last two days.

I was very struck by what the noble Earl, Lord Selkirk, said late in the debate last night, when he expressed the view that the battle of the Common Market in Parliament had been won, or largely won, but the battle as far as the public was concerned had not been won at all. This I think is profoundly true. Although of course public opinion may change during the summer, it would be idle to pretend that it is favourable at the moment to entry into the Common Market. I think one of the most important things for the Government is to try to do all in their power to recognise that fears which are, as I believe and the Government must believe, largely based on unreal assumptions, may none the less be very real fears, and to do all they can to place the true facts before the public.

It would be a calamity if we entered the E.E.C. torn, divided, suspicious, resentful and fearful. Much of the good effects which I believe will flow from it would be greatly reduced, if not diminished almost to nothing, if that were to be the case. I should like to refer very briefly to two, if I may so call them, non-economic—indeed political—fears which exercise a great many thoughtful people. The first was dealt with by the noble Lord, Lord Redcliffe-Maud who spoke just before me. That is the feat that the E.E.C. may be a rich man's club and that by joining it we shall become a selfish, greedy, introverted nation, heedless of our responsibilities to the developing countries of Asia and Africa and in particular those of the Commonwealth. I do not believe there is any danger of that. I think this fear may have had a sounder basis in 1961, but it is important to realise how immensely the Community itself has changed in the last 10 years.

The other danger, which has not been discussed to any extent in your Lordships' House but which I have seen mentioned often elsewhere, is that the political systems of the Six are less stable, less reliable than ours, that France has twice been on the verge of civil war in the last 15 years, that Italy is in a state of political turmoil, that democracy in Germany is but skin deep. I am not sure when we look at Northern Ireland that it is for us to cast the first stone, if I may use a perhaps unfortunate metaphor in that connection, but I believe that in general political stability, the capacity to accommodate our institutions to peaceful change in Parliament, is one of our great contributions to modern Western civilisation. I like to think that our adherence to the Community will enhance all the stabilising tendencies in the Community, rather than that we shall be convulsed by some sort of revolution or anarchy from the Continent. I like to hope, and I do hope, that they will gain something good from us rather than that we shall catch some infection or malady from them. This of course is the hope that is shared by a great many of those in the Community itself who want us, and deeply want us, to join them.

My Lords, it would be quite wrong for me to detain you at any length when so many noble Lords of far superior experience and wisdom than mine intend to address your Lordships' House. I should like to end simply by saying this. We are in too much danger as a country of under-estimating our own high qualities, and of forgetting the immense respect and prestige which we still possess in spite of everything that has been said outside. I believe that we are in danger of thinking too much in terms of the short-term and basically minor difficulties and annoyances which joining the E.E.C. may cause us rather than of the enormous advantages which we ourselves shall bring to the Community and which the Community, with those advantages, will in its turn bring to us. We should not under-estimate what we can do to shape the Community or overlook the fact that the Community, with us in it, is going to be a very different affair from what is with us out of it.

At some time about the beginning of this century, acute observers saw that power was passing from the old European-based, seaborne empires to the great continental, land-based nations. This is what the last 30 years have seen taking place at extraordinary speed—America, Russia, China. Europe ought to be in that league. I believe that, with the further development of E.E.C., and probably greater steps towards political unity (and here I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn), this may come about; but it will not come about on a satisfactory basis, if we remain out of the Community. My Lords, much has been said about sovereignty. I believe that our sovereignty, in any real sense of the word, will be more effective if we join than if we do not. It is a challenging opportunity and an exciting one. It would be a tragedy if, having lost it twice despite ourselves, we should miss it yet again, because of ourselves.

5.22 p.m.


My Lords, I have three separate congratulations to offer. The first and most important is to the noble Lord, Lord Blake, to whom we have all listened with so much interest. It is not surprising that we have been interested in what he said, because he is a man of great distinction in the academic world and of great experience. He is, as we all know, the leading student of the Conservative Party in its full flowering. It will be interesting to listen and to read eventually his first-hand studies of the Conservative Party at—but I must not be controversial at the present time. He is, of course, from the "other" university. I think that must be his fault, because I understand that his roots are in East Anglia, and, possibly for that reason, there is running through all he says a great element of realism. We look forward greatly to hearing more from him. Congratulations also to my noble friend Lord Robens of Woldingham—a shocking dereliction of duty, if I may say so in his absence, that he has sat for ten years before allowing us to hear him, although we have had an opportunity of listening to him elsewhere. Now that the ice has been broken we hope to hear more from him and more frequently. My third congratulations come oddly from me and from this side of the House. They are to Her Majesty's Government for the progress they have made to date with these vitally important and extremely difficult negotiations.

Without any hesitation, I align myself with those who say that these conditions are acceptable and are every bit as acceptable as I should have expected, and even hoped, that a Labour Government would have achieved. From that, there is little need for me to say that I am an avowed proponent of the E.E.C. I will not go at any great length into the reasons why that is so, but I think it is only right to say briefly what those reasons are. First, I believe that an enlarged Europe is part of the general tide of events. The movement is there; it has been in that direction over the centuries. In the presence of the noble Lord, Lord Blake, I will not embark on any historical looking backward. But we are now moving with the tide—and we all know what happens to people who swim against it. We must move with it willingly and happily.

The second reason is because I am conceited—chauvinist if you like—about Europe. I believe that Europe has a great deal to offer to the whole world. I believe that a world that is dominated solely by the two present great Powers, the United States and the Soviet Union (and in due course perhaps sharing that with a third super-Power in the shape of China) will be a worse world, in every sense of the word, than a world from which the voice of Europe, with all its traditions, all that it stands for and all that it has to offer, is absent. I think it is essential for the welfare of those who come after us that Europe's voice should be heard. I am also sufficiently chauvinist to believe that Europe is a poorer place without Britain. We have something to offer which other countries in Europe cannot offer, and they have much to offer which we cannot offer. Between us we can create a power for good in the world which cannot be equalled by my other great Power. Those are my basic reasons for being a European.

Now I shall run the risk of doing what the noble Lord, Lord Blake avoided doing, and "talk about butter"—not specifically but about some of the more detailed problems which have been issues and still are issues in this debate. I do so because some of these matters have not yet been mentioned in this debate; and though I imagine that most noble Lords are well aware of the facts I shall bring forward, I think it would be unrealistic of us if we confined ourselves to the wider generalities, basic though they are, and forgot the problems which are exercising the minds of many people outside this Chamber.

First of all, there is agriculture. The National Farmers' Union have come out in favour of entry into the Community. With all respect to the N.F.U., I do not put a great deal of stress on that, though it is worth mentioning. This is not surprising because there can be no doubt at all that farmers in Britain will be better off, in the main, under the Community's prices and under the Community's system than they are at the present time. To give three examples, wheat under the guaranteed price at the present time brings to the producer £32.60 per ton, whereas with the Common Agricultural Policy it would be £42.80—approximately 35 per cent. more. Barley is £29 per ton to-day, but the new system would bring the producer £37.90. The price of pool milk, which is the important thing for the actual milk producer, is 19p per gallon, compared with 23.5p in the Community. So, in the main, for agricultural commodities there will be a real improvement for farmers. There will be certain farmers who will be worse off, or rather certain aspects of farming will be worse off—specialised pork and specialised poultry producers will have a much harder time: there is no doubt about that. But it is worth remembering that the prices of pork and chicken in Europe to-day is little, if any, higher than it is in this country, and there is a very rapid expansion of both those industries, not only of the backyard farmer but of the specialist pig producer and poultry producer. So there are farmers in Europe under this policy who find it worth while expanding and investing and I believe that our farmers are good enough to be able to meet that challenge. Even with those people I have no very great fears that the situation is going to be unduly difficult for them.

My Lords, you might say, "That is all very well, but what about the food? If the farmer is going to get so much for what he produces, what about the price to the consumer?" This argument has gone on for many months, for years in fact. We know that the price of food will go up, but we do not know by how much it will go up; nobody will know that. But there is one other factor which we do know, and where there are statistics to help us, and that is how much of these foodstuffs is consumed in the countries of the Community in spite of these admittedly higher prices. I do not think that it is without significance to see that in the year 1968–69, the last year for which statistics are available, France and Germany both consumed more meat than we did, in spite of higher prices, and Belgium was very close behind. All members of the Community consumed more fish than we did; the Netherlands consumed more milk and cream; all members consumed more cheese, and even with butter, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany consumed as much or more than we did and ail consumed considerably more vegetables and fruit—expensive, and on the whole attractive products. Therefore, my Lords, it is not right to say that automatically by adopting the Common Agricultural Policy we are condemning the people of this country to a lower standard of living or less food, or less food of high quality or variety. That is disproved by the figures.

Nor is it right to say that the British farmer in certain special areas is going to have a great deal more difficulty, and that many of our particular grants and methods of assistance will not be available. There are many systems which are going on in different countries of the Common Market which are specifically designed to help farmers in special areas. The outstanding example, of course, is in the southern part of Italy where special funds are provided for helping this very depressed and backward area. There are many other special grants. There are cheap credit arrangements for farmers; there are even tax concessions in Germany, specific capital grants for buildings and even for the acquisition of sheep in the case of France. There are many examples already in existence where farmers in special areas of difficulty get special treatment, so I believe that we should have no fear in this country that those areas which we have traditionally helped and which we wish to go on helping will be in any way harmed by our acceptance of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Far more important, to my mind, than the effect of food and of agriculture in Britain is the effect on the overseas territories. We have frequently heard, not during this debate but on other occasions, the acusation levelled at the Community that it is inward-looking and that it ignores the developing countries, whereas in this country we are outward-looking and we help the developing countries in a generous and effective manner. I rather wish that that were true, but of course it is not. Again, there are figures to show what has happened. If you look at the net resources flowing from Community members to developing countries and compare them with what happened between 1957 and 1969 in their aid to developing countries compared with ours, your Lordships will see that they have increased their aid by 85 per cent. whereas we have increased our aid by 9½ per cent.

So much for the Community being inward-looking. If you look at it in terms of contribution per head of the population, you will find that they give considerably more. I will not weary your Lordships with the actual figures, but they give considerably more in every individual country than we do ourselves. As a percentage of the gross national product, for instance, Germany gives 1.33 per cent. compared with our 1.04 per cent. and the only country of the Community which gives less is Italy which is only 0.01 per cent. behind us. Therefore, I think we have good reason for thinking that by going into the Community we may well be stimulated to rise to their heights and to give rather more in actual cash aid than we have been doing in the past.

It is not only in cash that their record is superior to ours; it is in people too. Noble Lords know the importance of people when it comes to aid. The number of students and trainees who came into the Community in 1969 is over three and a half times as many as the number which came into the United Kingdom; and the number of experts and volunteers who have gone out from the Community is in the same proportion, three and a half to four times as many compared with this country, so on a per head basis their record is significantly better than ours. So it is in whatever statistics you care to look at. If you look, for instance, at imports from developing countries, in 1958 our imports were just under 4 billion dollars from the developing countries compared with the Community which was about 7 billion dollars. Ours rose by 1970 from 4 billion dollars to 5 billion dollars, a rise of only 25 per cent.; theirs rose from 7 billion dollars to 16 billion dollars, a rise of over 100 per cent. That is what their imports are from the developing countries, and to-day Germany is investing more in the underdeveloped world than is the United States; and Italy is investing more than we are ourselves. So in investment and in imports they again are superior to us.

And, my Lords, it is not only what they are doing but what they would like to do. The Readers Digest carried out a survey of this in 1969 and asked the usual representative sample of people in different countries, "Are you for or against using part or taxes to help poorer countries outside of Europe?" The percentage of people against, who did not want to use their taxes to help outside Europe, was as follows: Italy, 18 per cent.; Belgium and Germany, 24 per cent.; Holland, 29 per cent.; France, 33 per cent. and the United Kingdom, 51 per cent. So it is not only just what they do, but the intentions of the ordinary people are without doubt more outward looking than are the intentions of the ordinary people in this country. Many of your Lordships, I know, have a great interest in this, and certainly many of my friends on this side of the House have a particular interest in it. If your interest is in helping underdeveloped countries by buying more from them, by investing more, by giving more aid and more technical assistance and by persuading the ordinary voter of the country that this is the right thing to do, we have to admit that the Community is in every respect superior to us in all these matters. If we enter, there can be no question of our saying, "We shall become more inward looking, we shall abandon those countries that are dependent on us, whether in the Commonwealth or other parts of the developing world". We shall be stimulated to greater efforts.

That is the position as it is to-day. That does not mean to say that I am complacent either about our own agricultural policy, our own overseas aid policy or about the Common Agricultural Policy and Overseas Aid Policy of the Six. I think there is a great deal that should and must be done to improve both those matters, and I hope that it will be one of the prime jobs of the United Kingdom representatives, when they get to Brussels, to help to reframe the agricultural policy (which is admitted on all sides to be had, to be ineffectual and to have many faults) and to stimulate and reframe the policies for giving aid in every respect to overseas countries.

I would suggest that there are two or three things that we ought to do and to which I hope we shall be able to get our future partners of the Community to subscribe. First, our agricultural policy in the enlarged Community cannot be run "hand to mouth" nor, as it is in this country, with an Annual Price Review. That is not a long enough period in these days of long-term investment, whether it be in science, seed breeding or in actual agricultural investment. There must be a much longer-term policy. We must strive for a five-year plan—if that is not too reminiscent of other countries which we have not always liked very much and of their ways of altering their economies. So we shall have long-term security for our producers and those associated with them. Secondly—and I believe that both we and the members of the Community are moving towards this, but we must accelerate it—we must separate very clearly the economic from the social problems. We must make quite sure that when we are helping the hill farmers in Wales or the Auvergne, or the farmers in Southern Italy or wherever it may be, we are helping them for social reasons; in other words, because they are members of the Community and not because we particularly want what may be the high-cost food that they can only produce there. We must give them social and not economic aid. Our economic aid must be directed towards those products which in the long term will be economic to produce, not high-cost products which in proper free competition could never compete with the outside world. These are things which, among others, we must include in our discussions concerning the new agricultural policy.

When it come; to aid, there again we must think far more in terms of long-term contracts and security for the overseas producer; and we must learn from the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement—an admirable concept which I believe we can show to our partners in the Community as having advantages and with which, I believe, in certain respects they will be prepared to go along. We must also make certain that our internal agricultural policies are integrated with our import policies from oveseas and that they are not run in watertight compartments so that domestic agriculture is dealt with on one side and our overseas policy on another. In the overseas world they are, above all, producers of primary products, just as the farmers of Europe are, and there should be an integrated production programme, gaining benefits from the natural facilities of both areas and giving benefits to those who actually produce. Those, my Lords, are some of the things we shall be able to help the Six with when we become members, and as a result of that I believe that we shall have a better Europe and a better world.

I would say to my noble friend Lord Soper, if he were here, that I believe we are going to make far more progress towards World Government and also, so far as both of us are concerned, towards practical Socialism—whatever Party political labels may be attached—by showing the Community ideas of this kind which we can help to put across than by saying, "We will have nothing to do with you; you are not a World Government; you are only a nation State, albeit a rather larger nation; you are only a rich man's club, not interested in poverty or human values". Even if that were true—which it is not—it would still be right for us to do our best to improve matters rather than standing out on one side and saying, "We are good and we shall have nothing to do with you".