Oral Answers to Questions — European Economic Community (Commonwealth Nations)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1970.

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Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough 12:00 am, 12th November 1970

asked the Prime Minister if, at the next Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference at Singapore, he will lay before his colleagues there a plan defining the special position of certain Commonwealth nations as primary producers supplying this country, and request their agreement to the presentation of this document in the form of a special treaty of association for these nations with privileges similar to those accorded to signatories of the Yaounde Convention by the United Kingdom negotiators at Brussels.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir, but no doubt the position of Commonwealth countries in relation to our negotiations for entry into the European Communities will be discussed at the Conference.

Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the position of nations such as New Zealand, Australia and countries of the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement matters just as much as the position of France's African territories mattered to France; and will we insist on similar privileges and protections?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

Throughout the long and repeated negotiations—and I remind my hon. Friend that they began in 1957—in all our relationships with the European Communities the position of New Zealand, Australia and the sugar-producing countries of the Commonwealth have constantly been in our minds.