HC Deb 18 November 1966 vol 736 cc204-5W
Mr. Carol Johnson

asked the President of the Board of Trade what official arrangements Her Majesty's Government have made, or propose to make, to celebrate fittingly the achievement of complete industrial free trade within the European Free Trade Association countries on 31st December next, three years ahead of the original schedule.

Mr. Jay

The establishment of an industrial free trade area of 100 million people is an important and historic event, and Her Majesty's Government intend that its significance should be appropriately recognised. As my hon. Friend will know, the Lord Mayors of the capital cities of E.F.T.A. countries and Finland have just visited London, as guests of Her Majesty's Government and the City of London, on the occasion of the Lord Mayor's Show and Banquet. The General Post Office will issue commemorative stamps. I am arranging for a special edition of theBoard of Trade Journal and for suitable publicity to be given to the occasion in other ways.

In addition to the arrangements sponsored by the Government, I am glad to say that a number of other bodies, with my encouragement, are arranging to celebrate the event in an appropriate manner. The British Broadcasting Corporation are considering the production of a special television programme; the European-Atlantic Group and the British Council of the European Movement are organising a dinner-discussion in December; the British E.F.T.A. Action Committee is organising discussions and lectures throughout the country; the Export Council for Europe plan to hold a special Conference next January on exporting to E.F.T.A.; and some department stores plan to mount displays of E.F.T.A. goods. Her Majesty's Government welcome these activities, and hope that all concerned with trade and public affairs will do what they can to draw attention to the advantages that E.F.T.A. can bring to both producers and consumers.

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