§ 7.52 p.m.
§ Viscount Goschen rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 18th January be approved [17th Report from the Joint Committee].
§ The noble Viscount said: My Lords, the purpose of the proposed order, subject to the approval of your Lordships' House, is to specify two European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) protocols as Community treaties as defined in the European Communities Act 1972. This is one of the many minor formalities arising from the accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Community. I venture to hope that this matter need take up little of your Lordships' valuable time.
§ Under the terms of their treaties of accession, Spain and Portugal became party to many existing agreements, one of which was the 1955 European Coal and Steel Community agreement on the introduction of through international railway tariffs for the carriage of coal and steel. That agreement laid down a formula for calculating tariffs for the carriage of coal and steel by railway between member states. The agreement was intended to reduce the overall transport charges for coal and steel throughout the Community.
§ The principles of the ECSC agreement of 1955 were extended to Community traffic with Switzerland and Austria by agreements made with those countries in 1956 and 1957 respectively. Under the terms of their treaties of accession, Spain and Portugal were also required to accede to agreements that had been concluded between existing Community member states and third countries.
§ When the Community was enlarged to nine member states in 1973 and on the accession of Greece in 1981, supplementary protocols were negotiated to the ECSC agreements with Switzerland and Austria. 1315 Following these examples, the Third Supplementary Protocols were negotiated to provide for the accession of Spain and Portugal and were signed by Switzerland on 25th September 1986 and by Austria on 10th March 1988.
§ The Third Supplementary Protocols to the ECSC agreements with Switzerland and Austria on through-international rail tariffs are now required to be specified under Section 1(3) of the European Communities Act 1972 in order for them to be regarded as Community treaties and thus given effect in United Kingdom law. I commend the order to the House.
§ Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 18th January be approved [17th Report from the Joint Committee]. —(Viscount Goschen.)1316
§ Lord Graham of Edmonton
My Lords, in the unavoidable absence of my noble friend Lord Underhill, it gives me great pleasure to say that we on this side of the Chamber have no objection to the order and give it our full approval. Perhaps I may say in the presence of the noble Baroness, Lady Trumpington, that I am sure she will share my view that the proceedings tonight end on a less turbulent note than they did last night.
On Question, Motion agreed to.