Does my right hon. Friend agree that a majority of people in this country are neither fanatically for or against our entry but believe that we should go in if suitable conditions can be negotiated, and will he agree also that there are certain matters, such as the free movement of capital, which will need a good deal of negotiating before our entry?
I agree that there is a considerable body of opinion, the majority of opinion in this country, which thinks that we should enter the European Economic Community if the right terms can be obtained. The purpose of our visits is to learn more about the sort of conditions which could be obtained. Certain aspects of the question of the free movement of capital raise one of the difficult questions which I have told the House still remain unsolved.
As I have told the House, as soon as the complete round of visits is over it will then be for the Government to consider their next step. I agree with what I think is at the back of the hon. Gentleman's mind. I have said more than once that it is essential to maintain the momentum of what we have started.
I agree very much with what the right hon. Gentleman has just said about maintaining the momentum, but does he think that after his visit to Luxembourg he will be able to make a statement in the House on the Government's decision before the Easter Recess?
I doubt that it will be before the Easter Recess. The whole House will recognise the serious importance of any decision of this kind. It is certainly our intention to get down to this question as quickly as possible after we, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I, have been able to evaluate the results of our visits. A decision will not be delayed a day longer than is necessary, but it will be recognised that, while we desire to maintain the momentum, momentum depends on other people as well.
I have already answered the question about what we shall do in coming to a decision after returning from Luxembourg. As for the rest of that laboured supplementary question, the hon. Gentleman's standing outside the House—I say this quite seriously—is so great in other matters that it is unfortunate that he believes that he is also a Parliamentary wit. If he goes on like that, he will never reach half that level.
In any consideration of our obligations to the Commonwealth, which are very real, will my right hon. Friend take into account that yesterday it was announced that Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika were once more opening formal negotiations for association with the Six, thus following the example of Nigeria?
Yes, Sir, that is very important for dealing with an important area of Commonwealth difficulty, although, as the House recognised when negotiations were on foot four or five years ago, there are other very important Commonwealth problems particularly in the area of the temperate countries in relation to their food exports to Britain.
As the right hon. Gentleman knows, my right hon. Friend the Commonwealth Secretary is on the way back from Australia and New Zealand and has discussed these matters there. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that we shall do everything reasonable in the matter of consultation with Commonwealth countries as well as with the E.F.T.A. countries, whose interests are concerned.