Heads of Government Meeting

Oral Answers to Questions — European Community – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South 12:00 am, 3rd December 1980

asked the Lord Privy Seal what items he expects to be included in the agenda of the next Heads of Government meeting of the European Economic Community.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

Will the Lord Privy Seal agree that when the Heads of Government next meet, in Maastricht, on 23–24 March, the Community will be moving into a revenue crisis? Since the Heads of Government have already agreed that they will not increase the VAT levy, will he now tell the House that the Government will not agree to any proposals to put an import levy on oil?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Chesham and Amersham

The same answer applies. It is too soon to say. Various proposals on energy have been put forward, one of which includes an import levy on oil. The matter will obviously have to be examined very carefully. It might be something that would not suit us at all well, or, on the other hand, it might suit us. Until proper definite proposals have been put forward, it is much too soon for us to make up our minds.

Photo of Mr James Spicer Mr James Spicer , West Dorset

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that Turkey and the future of Turkey is of the greatest importance to the Western world? Might he not consider suggesting that a discussion on Turkey—and, indeed, the presence of the Turkish President or Foreign Minister—would be appropriate at this very difficult time for that country?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Chesham and Amersham

What happens in Turkey is of great importance to us all, but, as my hon. Friend knows well—none knows better—it is unprecedented for a Head of Government or a Head of State of a country which does not belong to the Community to attend the European Council.

Photo of Mr Lewis Carter-Jones Mr Lewis Carter-Jones , Eccles

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider carefully the problem of the International Year of Disabled People? Is he aware that the European parliamentarians are most dissatisfied with the representation of the Community in this connection? Is he aware that everyone in this House is dissatisfied about it? Will he give an undertaking, as the Minister responsible, that the question will be given some sort of priority on the agenda in Europe?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Chesham and Amersham

I appreciate the importance of this matter, and we are considering what contribution we should make. I cannot give an undertaking about the next agenda of the European Council, because I do not control it, but I am sure that the matter will be discussed in Europe.

Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Barnet Chipping Barnet

At the next meeting of European Heads of Government, will the question of the safety of EEC commissioners be discussed? Will my right hon. Friend make a statement at the earliest possible opportunity about the shooting of Mr. Christopher Tugendhat, which is worrying to all hon. Members?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Chesham and Amersham

As many hon. Members will be aware, two shots were fired at Mr. Tugendhat in Brussels this morning when he was leaving his house. I am happy to say that neither he nor anyone else was hurt, and the matter is now in the hands of the Belgian authorities.