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Common Market Negotiations (Lord Privy Seal's Speech)

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 30 November 1961

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asked the Prime Minister what reply he has sent to the request by the Canadian Minister of Finance that the Canadian Government should be supplied with the full text of the Lord Privy Seal's speech in Paris on 10th October concerning the United Kingdom's application to join the Common Market.

I would refer the hon. Lady to the reply which I gave to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) on 28th November.

Does not the demand by the Canadian Government to be shown the full text of the Lord Privy Seal's speech prove that the further consultations he had with Commonwealth Governments about that speech have been quite insufficient to allay their fears? In view of this, will the Prime Minister give us a very clear assurance that in the Government's future negotiations with the Six the Commonwealth Governments will be shown the full text of those parts of all working documents which directly affect their interests?

I have nothing to add on this matter, which was very fully discussed on Monday.

Can the Prime Minister say whether the leak was known to the Government while Mr. Fleming was in this country and asked for the documents?

I have nothing to add. This was very fully discussed, and I think the House may wish it to rest there.