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European Community

Volume 892: debated on Monday 12 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if, pursuant to his reply of 5th May (Official Report, column 999), he will particularise those instances since 7th April in which his declared policy as Secretary of State for Trade has been distinct from Government policy as a whole; and if he will make it his future practice specifically so to indicate whenever any such distinction occurs.

The hon. Member is, no doubt, referring to matters concerning the EEC. At the Dispatch Box I have sought to avoid conflict with Government policy in accordance with the agreed guidelines outlined by the Prime Minister on 9th April. Outside the House I have exercised my right to differ on the issue. On occasion, in answering hon. Members' Questions, it has been necessary to refer in the House to statements made outside, but it will have been clear from the context that I was not presenting my personal views as official policy.