Oral Answers to Questions — European Economic Community

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1964.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 12:00 am, 12th May 1964

asked the Prime Minister if he will seek a meeting with President de Gaulle either before or after the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference to discuss the subject of Great Britain and the Common Market.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

No, Sir. I can see no practical value in such a meeting on this subject at this stage.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

As the Prime Minister is meeting the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, and as this subject of becoming part of Europe has played a very important part in the Commonwealth's consideration, will the right hon. Gentleman be in a position to give guidance to the Commonwealth on the future policy of this country in regard to entry into the European Economic Community?

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

I think that if I have to give any guidance—I do not know whether this will be necessary—it will be the same as I have given the House. We cannot tell whether the circumstances will arise again in future. If they did, Parliament would have to decide how to deal with the situation.

Mr. H. Wilson:

Would the Prime Minister at any rate make clear to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers on this occasion that he no longer regards as acceptable the terms which the then Lord Privy Seal negotiated in 1962?

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

If these negotiations were to start again, it would be our concern to ensure that the Commonwealth interest was satisfied.

Photo of Mr William Blyton Mr William Blyton , Houghton-le-Spring

Is the Prime Minister aware that we are quite pleased with the Answer that he gave—that he does not want to meet President de Gaulle? Would he further state that he will make this an issue at the next election so that we know where the Conservative Party stands if, unfortunately, it is returned to power?

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

I must make it clear that I did not say that I did not want to meet General de Gaulle. I always enjoy meeting him very much. I said that there was no point in meeting him on this subject at this time.