asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will propose to the Governmental Conference on the Constitution of a Council of Europe that the proposed Consultative Assembly shall be competent to discuss economic questions.
My right hon. Friend would certainly not wish to exclude economic questions from the discussions of the proposed Consultative Assembly. It will, however, be necessary to ensure that the new organisation does not duplicate the work of existing organisations, such as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.
Does that reply mean that it is proposed that the Consultative Assembly shall not discuss such economic questions as are within the purview of O.E.E.C., because if it does it would turn the Consultative Assembly into a sheer farce?
The reply means no more or no less than is indicated; with the reservation—or perhaps qualification—which I have made, the remainder will lie inside the purview of the Assembly.
My right hon. Friend says the remainder will lie within the purview of the Consultative Assembly. What is left for the Consultative Assembly to discuss, since it will be primarily concerned with economic matters affecting Western Europe?
My hon. Friend, I know, is not attempting to pretend that O.E.E.C. covers all European economic subjects, nor the European economic subjects which will develop as O.E.E.C. develops or, perhaps, as the Marshall programme comes to an end.