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Council Of Foreign Ministers

Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 16 April 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal when next his noble Friend expects to met his European Economic Community colleagues.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the unanimity shown by the Council of Foreign Ministers last week over Iran represents a significant step forward in the development of an EEC foreign policy? Will this process continue at the meeting?

I think that we would all agree that next week's meeting will be very important. As my hon. Friend the Minister of State said, it will not be the be-all and end-all of our policy on Iran.

When my right hon. Friend next meets his European Economic Community colleagues, will he raise the subject of the operation of the European Investment Bank and of our contribution to it? Does he agree that we have our own Commonwealth Development Corporation, which is more worthy of the contributions that we make from our limited resources? Will he reduce our contribution to the European Investment Bank in favour of the Commonwealth Development Corporation?

Both institutions are important. I shall certainly look at the question, but it is unnecessary to denigrate one while praising the other.

If the Lord Privy Seal were a stubborn Iranian, would a blockade with the possibility of a military threat make him more, or less, amenable to releasing hostages?