Oral Answers to Questions — E.F.T.a. and European Economic Community

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

asked the Prime Minister what further steps he has taken to bring about the partnership between the European Free Trade Association and the Common Market; and what direct bilateral arrangements have now been worked out other than in the field of aviation.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

At its meeting at Copenhagen in October the European Free Trade Association Ministerial Council reaffirmed its desire for a dialogue with the European Economic Community, on these matters, and we hope that the Community will soon be in a position to reply. It is our policy to develop technical co-operation with other European countries over as wide a range as possible. We have already made an encouraging start on a number of specific projects.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone

Would the Prime Minister not concede that the time for dialogue has passed? Would he, perhaps, include himself among that small band of hon. Members who have been abroad giving advice to good Europeans and their Governments to the effect that no real progress is likely to be made unless there is a change of Government in this country?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I thought that hon. Members in all parts of the House felt that it would be useful for E.F.T.A. and the E.E.C. to get together. The only reason why we have not is the difficulty, which we understand, in the E.E.C., which has prevented the E.E.C. so far from responding to the initiative taken by E.F.T.A.