European Economic Policies

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1972.

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Photo of Dr John Gilbert Dr John Gilbert , Dudley 12:00 am, 29th February 1972

asked the Prime Minister what discussion of proposals for closer co-ordination of European economic policies he had in his recent talks with M. Pompidou.

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

As I explained to the House last Tuesday, these talks had to be postponed, but I am in touch with President Pompidou about another date for our meeting.

Photo of Dr John Gilbert Dr John Gilbert , Dudley

When the Prime Minister meets the French President, bearing in mind current moves in the Community to narrow exchange rate margins will he make it quite clear to M. Pompidou that there will be no question of this country giving up its right to change its fundamental parities where there are adjustments of some magnitude to be made in the balance of payments?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

One of the prominent matters to be discussed at our meeting will be monetary developments not only in Europe but in the wider international context. I had better wait to hear President Pompidou's views. But the hon. Member will realise that there is a difference between the narrowing of margins and the right to change the exchange parity.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Will the Prime Minister point out to M. Pompidou that the security of Europe and of Britain depends absolutely on the continuance of the American alliance, and that if that alliance is to continue there will have to be a different attitude towards America?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

It has always been the position of France that she remained a member of the Atlantic alliance. What she did not support was the organisation and this I believe still to be the position.

Photo of Mr Daniel Awdry Mr Daniel Awdry , Chippenham

When my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister sees the French President will he explain that there are still many Labour Members who support our European policy and that the reason they voted against it the other day was purely political?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

I think that President Pompidou is well informed on these matters.