HL Deb 23 November 1967 vol 286 cc1217-8WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In view of their application to join the E.E.C., what is their attitude regarding:

  1. (a) a European Defence Community of which this country would be part;
  2. (b) European consultations on an Atlantic strategy;
  3. (c) Community action or a common political (but mainly economic) policy towards Eastern European countries and in particular the U.S.S.R.


The Government's attitude has been stated on a number of occasions, for example in the speech by my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary to the Council of Western European Union at The Hague on July 4, in which he saidWe believe that Europe can emerge as a Community expressing its own point of view and exercising influence in world affairs, not only in the commercial and economic but also in the political and defence fields. We shall play our full part in this process. Indeed it is the realisation of this European potential which has, above all, aroused our desire to join the Communities. As a member we shall accept whatever responsibilities the evolving Community may decide to assume and we shall join as eagerly as other members in creating new opportunities for the expression of European unity.

In a speech in the debate on the Address in your Lordships' House on November 2 I referred to the changing relationship between Eastern and Western Europe as an example of the way in which this European influence could be exerted.