Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that the memorandum which the E.E.C. Commission produced is a very comprehensive statement of policy towards developing countries? Will he and the Minister for Overseas Development seek any opportunity, perhaps at the U.N.C.T.A.D. conference in Santiago, to discuss the joint application of this policy between the European countries and ourselves?
The accession of Mauritius to the present Yaoundé Convention is not expected to have any effect on the arrangements which govern the flow of development assistance and trade between the United Kingdom and Mauritius. The status quo arrangements on trade between the two countries after United Kingdom accession to the Communities until 1975 would also remain unaffected. These arrangements are set out in Article 109 of the Act annexed to the Treaty of Accession.
Is it not the case that Mauritius is more dependent on sugar exports than any other party to the present Commonwealth Sugar Agreement? Is it not particularly encouraging, therefore, that it should have reached a rapid agreement on close association with the E.E.C? Does not my right hon. and learned Friend also agree that if other developing countries which are parties to the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement reach similar arrangements with the E.E.C, most of the fears expressed about their future will prove to have been ill-founded?
Does not my right hon. and learned Friend agree that Portugal's trade with this country in the kind of products mentioned earlier by my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) on Question No. 15—such as tomato purée—is not only important but needs to be maintained? Since recent action taken by Denmark, Holland and Norway in E.E.C. negotiations endangers that trade, will my right hon. and learned Friend do his best to straighten this out as best he can and see that Portuguese trade with us and with the E.E.C. is increased?
I agree that trade with Portugal is important to us and to Portugal and we understand Portuguese anxieties on a number of matters, particularly in relation to processed food—processed food being regarded as an industrial product in E.F.T.A. and an agricultural product in the E.E.C. These matters are being negotiated and we understand their importance.
Are we a party to these arrangements? If not, what arrangements are we making to become party to their progress? Do not the best prospects for expanding Portuguese economy in Europe lie in Portugal's giving up its African adventures, which are clearly a violation of human rights?
The latter matters are nothing to do with the negotiations now going on about tomato purée and canned sardines. They are important matters but do not arise on these negotiations. We are not a party to the negotiations between Portugal and the E.E.C. but, together with the other applicant countries for full membership, we were consulted about the mandate, and we keep in touch both through meetings of the sort held recently with the Portuguese Foreign Minister and through E.F.T.A.
The entry into force of the Treaty of Accession is dependent on its ratification by all the existing member States
in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements".
These constitutional requirements are internal matters for the member States concerned but it is expected that they will be completed before the end of this year.
Does my right hon. and learned Friend expect that France, Germany and Italy will have completed the ratification process by August and is he aware that Italy has a certain tradition of referenda on constitutional issues? Would my right hon. and learned Friend expect or welcome an Italian referendum on the enlargement of the Community?
As the Government have now declared themselves to be in favour of plebiscites for some part of the British Isles, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider a plebiscite to decide the question of entry into the Common Market? Surely the British nation is entitled to be treated just as well as Northern Ireland?
As the hon. Gentleman knows, the leaders of all parties in this country have condemned the idea of a referendum as being wholly contrary to our constitutional practices and procedures.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with member countries of the European Economic Community about the fulfilment of the United Nations target that official aid should amount to 0·7 per cent. of gross national product; which such countries have already achieved that target and by what date they did so; which have refused to accept the target; what representations he has made to European Economic Community member countries on the need to reach this target by 1975; and what arrangements the British Government are making to do this.
I have had no discussions with the Community but the matter is discussed in the Development Assistance Committee of O.E.C.D. No country in the Community provided official resource flows of 0·7 per cent. of gross national product in 1970. Italy does not accept such a target and France thinks that a lower target should have been fixed. The other Community countries have accepted 0·7 per cent. but some have given no date for attaining it. Her Majesty's Government have made no representations about a separate official target because they do not accept the need for one.
Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the British Government do not accept the need for that target when the Pearson Commission recommended that it was essential and now that the Group of 77, containing 95 developing countries, in its recommendations for U.N.C.T.A.D. III, has called for the immediate implementation of aid targets, including that aid target?
My right hon. Friend made perfectly clear at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1970 that we should do our best to continue to attain the 1 per cent. overall target. He did not commit himself to the official target within that target because he felt that private flows and public aid should be complementary and that it was wrong to fix precise percentages for either.
In any negotiations with the E.E.C. and other countries, will the right hon. Gentleman seek to achieve a standardised method of computation of the percentage both of Government aid and of private aid from other sources? We need a standardised set of figures in order to make a realistic comparison with the Common Market situation.
Will the right hon. Gentleman raise again with his colleagues the desirability of accepting an official target rather than quoting what his right hon. Friend said 18 months ago? Is it not particularly important that he should do so in view of the total decline in world official development assistance because of the severe cutback in the American aid programme?
No, Sir. Not only have I quoted what my right hon. Friend said 18 months ago, but I am quoting from a number of things that I have said very much more recently. I have taken the view that it would be wrong to make this target within a target because the private flow of aid and public aid should be complementary to one another.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will request the French Government to consider granting facilities for a delegation of British Members of Parliament to be present and witness the referendum which is to be held in France on the subject of Great Britain's entry into the Common Market.
While not thanking the right hon. and learned Gentleman for that expected reply, may I ask him whether he will discuss with President Pompidou the possibility of France having a plebiscite instead of a referendum, in which case perhaps he could change his reply and give me an affirmative answer if I were to table another Question?
Would not a visit such as that proposed in the Question give the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) the opportunity of finding out why the Social Democrats in France are strongly in favour of Britain joining the Community and why the Communists are strongly opposed to it—if the hon. Gentleman is capable of drawing the right conclusions?