§ Mr. McNamara
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the signature on 18th January of the agreements between the EEC and Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
§ Dr. Owen
As I reported to the House on 19th January, these agreements were signed in Brussels on 18th January. Additional protocols to the EEC-Israel Agreement will be signed during the next Council meeting on 8th February.
Once negotiation of the various agreements was complete it was the unanimous wish of all concerned that signature should take place at an early date. This was provisionally fixed for December. But because of the difficulties of finding dates which suited all parties signature of both sets of agreements was postponed.
The Scrutiny Committee were informed of the reasons for proceeding in this way and I am told that they have withdrawn an earlier recommendation for debate. The Agreements will come before the House in due course under Section 1(3) of the European Communities Act.