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Space Research (European Co-Operation)

Volume 645: debated on Wednesday 26 July 1961

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asked the Lord Privy Seal what action has been taken in furtherance of Recommendation 251 of the Council of Europe on European cooperation in space research and space technology.

Events since its adoption in September, 1960, have overtaken much of Recommendation 251.Firstly, eleven European countries, including the United Kingdom, agreed at Meyrin on 1st December, 1960 (Cmnd. 1425), to set up a Preparatory Commission to study the possibilities of European collaboration in space research. This commission started work some time ago and is making satisfactory progress. Its report, which may lead to the establishment of a permanent organisation, is expected before the end of the year.Secondly, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation told the House on 6th February that a conference convened by the Governments of the United Kingdom and France had just concluded at Strasbourg. The object of this conference was to consider the ideas of the two Governments for the development, through co-operation between European States, of space launchers for peaceful purposes. As to progress in this matter, I have nothing at present to add to my right hon. Friend's replies of 10th and 18th July.The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe reported to the Consultative Assembly in March of this year that the formation of the European Space Research Organisation Preparatory Commission had set at rest the anxieties expressed by the Assembly in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Recommendation 251. On the remainder, the Committee of Ministers reported that it intended to keep in touch with the European Space Research Organisation Preparatory Commission. This it is doing.