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European Economic Community
21 June 1971
Volume 819

1.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now specify the safeguards which he has been able to obtain from the European Economic Community for Australian and New Zealand trade with the United Kingdom.

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In relation to trade with Australia we have secured explicit recognition by the Community that if circumstances arose during the transitional period in which significant volumes of trade in commodities subject to Community levy systems risked serious disruption the enlarged Community would deal with the position and would likewise take rapid and effective action to deal with any difficulties which might arise in the operation of the transitional mechanisms. The problem of New Zealand's exports remains to be resolved in the negotiations.

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Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the recently expressed disquiet in Australia and New Zealand? He continually talks about the transitional period. Where does he expect Australia and New Zealand to sell their goods after the transitional period—to the moon or Mars? These countries fought alongside us in two world wars. Is the right hon. Gentleman now going to throw them gaily to the mercy of the winds? Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that the Australian or New Zealand wife of long standing will be more faithful to him than the new German or French mistress?

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I need not pursue the latter point very far. We are aware of our obligations to these two faithful allies. I hope that the Australians will be able to export a great deal to an expanding and rich market. If, by any chance, the hon. Gentleman is thinking of sugar, the International Sugar Agreement is to be reviewed in 1973, and Australia is a member and Britain is a member. This comes before the transitional period begins.

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Would not my right hon. Friend agree that Australia asked for no special safeguards at the beginning of the negotiations? With regard to New Zealand, would he not agree that, while it is eminently reasonable that safeguards should be provided, no pattern of trade for any country can be permanently frozen?

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That is so. I do not know what the future would have been even if there had been no Common Market in the picture.

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Would the Foreign Secretary say whether he has yet reached agreement with the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia on how the matter should be handled in Brussels?

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I have just said how the matter has been handled in Brussels. If there are any further matters that the Australians want us to take up with the Commission or the Community, we shall be only too glad to do so.

3.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs if he will make a statement on the latest position in the negotiations to join the Common Market.

4.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the latest position in the negotiations for entry into the European Economic Community.

7.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on the progress of the negotiations for Great Britain to join the European Economic Community.

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I have nothing to add at present to the statements made by my right hon. and learned Friend of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 9th June and by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 10th June. As the House will be aware, my right hon. and learned Friend is about to start a further round of discussions with the members of the Community, and, with Mr. Speaker's permission, will make a further statement on his return.—[Vol. 818, c. 1043–5; c. 1235–7.]

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Has my right hon. Friend noticed the vote last week in the Norwegian Parliament, where, by only one vote, Norway voted to continue the negotiations, and subsequently resolved unanimously to consider alternative arrangements? In the event of all our three co-applicants not getting into the Common Market, what will be the British position? Shall we be out because of that, or shall we go in and leave them out?

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Britain's concern is with British interests and their protection. My hon. Friend has mentioned the vote in the Norwegian Parliament, which I understand to be largely concerned with fisheries. The situation in Norway is different from that in this country.

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Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Chancellor of the Duchy to ensure that when he makes his statement to the House on the present round of meetings he makes it in English English and not Common Market English, so that we may all know what he has been up to in the last day or two?

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There are various forms of English in different parts of the world, as I have found. I shall ask by right hon. and learned Friend to make his statement in the English to which the House is accustomed.

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Will my right hon. Friend tell the Chancellor of the Duchy that he has conducted the negotiations so far with great skill and that the House wishes him success in this week's meetings?

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I am obliged to my hon. Friend, and so will my right hon. and learned Friend be.

5.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements have been made for the continued entry of Australian sugar and fruit products to the United Kingdom, in the event of Britain joining the European Economic Community.

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I have nothing to add to the statement made on 17th May by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and to his answer that day to my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Miss Joan Hall).—[Vol. 817, c. 882–6; c. 859–61.]

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I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but will it not be a consequence of our entering the Common Market that all the imports which we take from Australia at present will have a tariff imposed on them, which will not only be bad for Australia but will have a serious reciprocal effect on our exports to that country, which is our third biggest customer now?

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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already stressed that Australia's sugar exports will be safeguarded until the International Sugar Agreement is renewed in 1973. The Community has explicitly recognised the risk to trade with third countries through the transitional period and has agreed that it would be the intention of the enlarged Community to take effective measures to avoid any unnecessary disruption.

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Since my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) has sought to defend the attitude to New Zealand's exports by saying that no trade pattern could be frozen for ever, could my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State explain why we are seeking admission to the European Economic Community, which has precisely that purpose and effect?

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There would be continuing developments in trade after we joined the Community, and there would be discussions between ourselves and the Community on measures to avoid unnecessary disruption; this would be achieved by action through the appropriate institutions of an enlarged Community, both at the level of longer-term policy and at the level of day-to-day management.

6.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects detailed negotiations with the European Economic Community to commence on fisheries policy within an enlarged Community; and if he will make a statement.

19.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to negotiate with the European Economic Community on amendment to the common fisheries policy to safeguard the interests of the British fishing industry.

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Her Majesty's Government made proposals to the Community for the modification of the common fisheries policy on 1st June. As recorded in his statement of 9th June, these were taken up again on 7th June by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The question is being discussed in Luxembourg again this week.—[Vol. 818, c. 1045.]

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I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, but does he understand the considerable disquiet which still remains within the inshore fishing industry about the whole of the negotiations, not least because of the fall-back to the six-mile limit before the negotiations took place? Would it not be far more reassuring and more satisfactory if these negotiations were completed before Britain's possible entry into the E.E.C.?

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The answer to the last part of my hon. Friend's question is, "Yes". We must get a satisfactory and fair settlement. The fisheries proposals themselves are proposals by the Commission and, therefore, informal; they have not been adopted one way or another by the Community. To that extent, therefore, the situation is open for the negotiations on which my right hon. and learned Friend is now engaged.

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Why were the Government unable to support the Norwegian Government's counter-proposals to the common fisheries policy? Second, could the right hon. Gentleman answer the earlier question, namely, why is the starting point the six-mile limit? Why are we not going into the negotiations at least asking for the 12-mile limit to be retained?

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The Norwegian situation differs from our situation here in that they have complete fishing rights within 12 miles, and we have never had that. We have our own complete rights within six miles, but from six to 12 miles six or seven European countries fish for certain species of fish, and certain conditions are applied. So our situation is not the same as the Norwegian.

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Have the Government yet been able to make an estimate of the number of British fishermen who would lose as inshore fishermen by opening the waters from six to 12 miles, and of those deep-water fishermen who would gain from exploiting those waters in foreign territories?

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I should like to have notice of that question, if I may. There is no question of opening the six miles to unlimited fishing from abroad. Quite the contrary. The six-mile limit will remain as it is. There may be some more people fishing within six to 12 miles.

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With respect, I think the right hon. Gentleman misunderstood my question. Have the Government yet made an estimate of the number of British fishermen who would lose as inshore fishermen in British waters as a result of opening the six to 12 miles, and of the number of those who would gain as British fishermen who would fish in deeper waters now closed to them, and will he put these figures in the White Paper if he is not able to give them now?

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I said that I should like notice of that, and I shall see that the figures are included.

9.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Comonwealth Affairs what further consultations he has had with the European Economic Community about the agreement on sugar from developing Commonwealth countries after 1974, concerning the quantities involved, in view of representations from the Commonwealth countries concerned.

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My right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster reported to the House on his most recent discussions with the European Economic Community on sugar from developing Commonwealth countries in his statement on 9th June. The communiqué published in the OFFICIAL REPORT on 9th June represents the official view of the developing member countries of the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement.—[Vol. 818, c. 1043, 1061–2.]

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Is it certain that the Six accept and agree with our interpretation of the agreement on Commonwealth sugar?

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It was arranged at the Lancaster House Conference with the representatives of the Governments of the developing Commonwealth that the communiqué should be presented to the Six at the meeting at Luxembourg. That was done.

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Does my hon. Friend agree that the communiqué has been written into the report in Luxembourg and is therefore now part of the negotiations and accepted as such? Does he also agree that the Common Market countries are not likely to increase their quota and their manufacture of sugar from beet?

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It is certainly correct that the communiqué has been written into the record at Luxembourg. The question of beet sugar production in the Community was not affected by the discussions with the developing Commonwealth.

10.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, as a result of his negotiations, he is now in a position to quantify the dynamic effects on Great Britain's rate of economic growth if Great Britain were to join the European Economic Community.

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There are many difficulties in making an overall estimate in quantitative terms, but we are confident that the beneficial effect of entry in industry, in terms of levels of productivity and industrial investment, would be substantial.

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Does my hon. Friend agree that the German rate of growth dropped after the formation of the European Economic Community? Is that the sort of dynamic effect he would expect for this country?

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If my hon. Friend looks at the record of the countries in the Community over the past few years he will see that their growth has been considerably in excess of this country's.

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Does the Minister agree that the economic situation 12 months ago was better than it is today, and that whether we enter the E.E.C. or stay out, it is time that the rate of growth of this nation was increased? Otherwise, the party opposite may as well not bother being the Government of this country.

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I am interested to hear the hon. Gentleman's comments. I agree with him that if we join the European Economic Community growth will come to this country.

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Is it not a fact that Lord Stokes has advertised fairly freely that there would be a certain amount of growth in the motor car industry if we entered the Common Market?

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I should have thought that Lord Stokes's comment on behalf of the motor industry would be greeted with pleasure by right hon. and hon. Members on both sides.

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If the Minister does not know what the economic consequences of joining the E.E.C. will be, why does he go around saying how wonderful they will be?

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I think the right hon. Gentleman, I am sure quite unwittingly, is not playing quite fair with the House. I did not say—and I think that he knows this—that I did not know what the economic benefits might be. All I have said is that it is not possible to prove that entry will produce particular results. This is different from what might be expected.

11.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in the discussions on the terms of entry for Great Britain into the Common Market, the possibility of New Zealand either joining the Common Market herself or federating with Great Britain was raised.

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These matters have not been raised in the present negotiations, nor have they been raised by New Zealand with us.

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But since New Zealand is part of British and European civilisation, and since in terms of transport Wellington is nearer London than Edinburgh was at the time of Union, could not arrangements be made in the future for New Zealand, if she so wishes, to join the E.E.C., especially as in 10 years' time an over-populated Europe may be in need of cheap New Zealand food?

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The New Zealand Government must have thought of this. If they want to make any approaches in the future, of course they would be considered.

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Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that very many people in this country share the apprehensions of the New Zealanders about the grave situation they would be in if the present Parliament pitchforked this country into the E.E.C., and that many people believe that in the event of that calamity the latter part of the right hon. Gentleman's title, "Commonwealth Affairs", would become defunct? Many people do not wish that to happen.

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The hon. Gentleman is expecting calamity. I am not inclined to do that.

12.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further consultations he has now had with the Foreign Minister of Norway concerning the effect upon the respective countries' fishing fleets of their applications to join the European Economic Community.

16.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the official visit of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to Norway.

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I would refer to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) on 8th June.—[Vol. 818, c. 317.]

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Is my hon. Friend aware that the House, or some hon. Members, should be extremely grateful to our right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary who, in answer to supplementary questions on Questions 6 and 19, used the words, "The six-mile limit will remain the same"? We presume that that means "on accession". If that is true, instead of people saying "Promises, promises" to the Government about what will happen if we enter the E.E.C., they will be able to say, "We are now getting firm promises from top members of the Cabinet." Is it, in fact, a firm commitment? Only a few days ago my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food said that the Government had proposed that exclusive rights within the six-mile limit should be granted to British ships. Which is true? If this is a promise, that is marvellous, and the fishing industries in this country will be very pleased. But is it?

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My hon. Friend is not being entirely fair. He must accept that my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is now engaged in key negotiations in Luxembourg. I am certain that my hon. Friend, like right hon. and hon. Members on both sides, hopes that the negotiations will produce the safeguards we need for the British fishing industry. What we have asked for is a categoric statement that the present common fisheries policy would be modified after enlargement to meet the circumstances and the needs of a Community of ten. I think that on reflection my hon. Friend will agree that it is best to let my right hon. and learned Friend get on with the job of negotiating.

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Is the Minister aware that the reply he has just given is in complete contradiction to the reply of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary a few minutes earlier, when he categorically stated that we would maintain the six-mile limit? Had it been my good fortune to catch the eye of the Chair, I would have asked whether that was merely for the transitional period or for perpetuity, because this matter is of great importance to the inshore fishing community. To revert to the question under discussion—[HON. MEMBERS: "Too long!"]—it has been said that if they enter the E.E.C. the Norwegians are prepared to surrender those rights they are now demanding for themselves on maintaining the 12-mile limit and that they will go back upon the pledge they have already made that they will ban trawling within that 12-mile limit. If that is so, is not the offer being made to the British deep-sea fleet—

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Too long!

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Order. The hon. Gentleman should be as short as possible.

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With the greatest respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am trying to be, but I am being interrupted by hon. Members opposite. These points are of interest to those of us who represent fishing constituencies, and they need further enlargement than we have had from the Government. The point I was trying to make was this—

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Too long!

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Order. I must ask the hon. Gentleman to conclude his question in one sentence, quickly.

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Does it not mean that the benefits offered to the deep-sea fleet of being able to fish within the 12-mile Norwegian limit will not exist?

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Garrulous old windbag.

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The six-mile proposal is on the table for the discussions in Luxembourg this week. We are, of course, aware of the Norwegian proposals and have been studying them closely. The problems faced by the two countries are by no means identical but we shall continue to consult the Norwegian Government closely, particularly on matters of common interest.

15.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent amendment to the Treaty of Rome is now considered necessary by Her Majesty's Government.

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Her Majesty's Government accept the Treaty of Rome and the decisions flowing from it, subject to the agreements reached and to be reached in the negotiations. On enlargement of the Community, the Treaty of Rome needs certain technical amendments necessary to provide for the additional membership.

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I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. As the full implications, if Britain is to join, cannot clearly be foreseen, will he press for an amendment to Article 240 of the Treaty of Rome to limit the binding effects which may arise for us as a result of the passage of time and to protect our overriding national interest?

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Where matters of over-riding national interest are concerned, we have made it plain—as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister did in his talks with President Pompidou—that decisions should be reached by unanimity. This, I think, is the big protection against any vital interest of a member country being overridden.

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Is it not clear that the harmonisation programme, particularly in relation to taxation, means that this country will have to accept the value-added tax and that even if we dislike that tax and we have a Labour Government, we cannot, if we are in the Common Market, get rid of it because of the harmonisation programme?

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That would be for the Labour Government to decide, if there ever is a Labour Government again.

17.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will ensure that the White Paper on the terms for entry into the European Economic Community refers specifically to the degree of Great Britain's commitment to initiatives for closer co-operation which go beyond the scope of the Treaty of Rome.

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I would ask my hon. Friend to await the White Paper that we are about to issue.

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Does not my right hon. Friend agree that there are initiatives under way in Europe in respect of economic, monetary and political union which could have no less profound an effect on the future of this country than the Treaty of Rome itself? Will he ensure that these matters, particularly the question of our commitments to them, are dealt with as clearly and as specifically as possible in the White Paper?

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Yes, Sir. It is intended that the White Paper should be as comprehensive as possible so as to give the House and the country all the information we have.

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Reference has been made to the West German growth rate. Will the White Paper say whether the effects on the British economy of joining the E.E.C. would be as dynamic as the effects of membership on the Italian economy?

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The hon. Gentleman will be able to make all the necessary comparisons, including the one he has mentioned.

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Does not my right hon. Friend agree that any further initiative in the political, monetary or defence sectors would be the subject of separate negotiations after our entry into the Community?

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Questions relating to sterling are to be taken outside the context of the present negotiations. The only commitment which the E.E.C. has undertaken in regard to financial matters is that there will be discussion to see how far economic and financial cooperation can be taken. So these will be outside the negotiations.

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I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has quite got the point. There really is rather more agreement amongst the Six than just a kind of loose decision to make progress with economic and monetary union. Is he not aware that there is a substantial body of Community policy in the form of regulations and other directives which need to be published and made available to the House not later than the time that he introduces his proposed White Paper?

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Yes, Sir; but that was not the question I was asked. I was asked about economic discussions, which go beyond the scope of the present negotiations.

18.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he now expects to be able to publish a White Paper on the Common Market negotiations before mid-July.

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I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 17th June.—[Vol. 819, c. 643–5.]

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If things go well in Luxembourg this week, as many of us hope, and if the Government then decide to recommend British entry, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the White Paper devotes plenty of space to the alternatives and makes clear that no practical alternative will offer such good prospects, both economic and political, as membership of an enlarged Community?

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I have never made it a secret that I cannot see an alternative which would offer as good a prospect for this country as joining the E.E.C.

21.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on discussions involving the acceptability of overseas workers in this country as Community workers within the European Economic Community in the event of Great Britain joining.

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We are clarifying in discussions with the Community the definition of British national for the purposes of the provisions of the European Economic Community on freedom of movement of labour. Its reactions to our proposals are awaited.

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Bearing in mind that that answer is similar to the answer that we have been receiving during the last year from the Prime Minister, and the Home Secretary during the passage of the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill, may I ask the hon. Gentleman to confirm one thing; namely, that Commonwealth and other workers from overseas in this country who are citizens of this country will be acceptable as Community workers and that those who are eligible to take up citizenship if they wish to be accepted as Community workers would be well advised to do so?

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I never like to disappoint the hon. Lady, and I am sorry that I should have disappointed her this afternoon. The facts are that we are awaiting the details of our proposals to be agreed with the Community, and until these are agreed, until we know the final decision on the question of nationality, it is impossible to give the hon. Lady an accurate answer, and I know she would not want an inaccurate answer.

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Surely the position is that if we join the Community anyone who is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and resident in this country will be able to work in the Community. As for those who are resident but not citizens, has not the Community pursued a very liberal policy with regard to labour from countries outside the Community?

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There will be free movement of labour between the various nationals of the six countries. The position of Commonwealth workers in this country will depend upon their nationality in relation to the definition of British nationality to be agreed with the Community for the purpose of free movement of labour.

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Is it not a fact that the Government are considering restricting the free flow of Community workers into Northern Ireland on account of the economic situation there? If this is so, will the same concessions be considered for areas such as Wales and Scotland, which are likewise afflicted by unemployment?

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No decision has been taken regarding the movement of labour between Northern and Southern Ireland. This is something yet to be discussed in Brussels.

23.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what forms of information relating to the British entry into the European Economic Community, other than fact-sheets issued through the Post Office Corporation, he intends to spend public money in the present financial year.

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No decisions have at present been taken to incur expenditure on forms of information relating to this subject, other than the factsheets to which the right hon. Gentleman refers and means of publicising their availability.

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Does the hon. Gentleman understand that it is improper to use public money for partisan propaganda? Can he give a categoric assurance that the Foreign Office is not using for this purpose moneys which have been voted by this House for other purposes?

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As to the latter half of the right hon. Gentleman's question the answer is "No, Sir". On the earlier part—

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I think the Minister has said what he did not mean. I asked him whether he could give an assurance that this was not being done.

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What I am saying is that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not using funds in the way suggested. I can give the right hon. Gentleman the assurance he asks for in the latter part of his question. As to the earlier part, I would reiterate what has been said to the House, that the fact-sheets simply put into convenient form the information for which the public is asking. It is inconsistent to complain about the fact-sheets and at the same time to complain that the public are being kept in the dark about the issues.

24.

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asked the Secretary of Slate for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what subjects are to be raised at the next session of negotiating talks between the representatives of the United Kingdom Government and the European Economic Community in Brussels; and whether he will make a statement.

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The agenda for the next Ministerial meeting, which begins later this evening, will not be finalised until immediately before the meeting.

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Would my right hon. Friend confirm that the negotiations currently being carried out about New Zealand, although highly important, deal only with the very narrow commercial problem of butter exports to this country and that nothing is being contemplated which would oblige this country to sever its trading links with New Zealand or which would threaten the deep emotional and cultural ties between the two countries, as some anti-European pressure groups are trying to tell the public?

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Our purpose in the negotiations in the next few days will be to get a fair solution to the New Zealand problem acceptable to everyone, including New Zealand.

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Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the present negotiations, before the publication of the White Paper, will cover the main issues affecting our relations with the developing countries? Can he say whether the negotiations and the White Paper will cover the kind of commodity agreements that we are likely to have with countries depending upon us so much for their trade? Can he also say what form of association is likely to be entered into with those countries which have been offered it and whether it will be in precisely the same form of association as for the Yaoundé countries?

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I have noted the two points made by the right hon. Lady and I see no reason why they should not be in the White Paper. We will try to include as much information as possible on these points if that is the desire of the Opposition.

28.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will define the extent to which he has agreed, during the recent negotiations with the European Economic Community, to adopt the system of community preferences during the transitional period; and what exceptions to the community preference rule it has been agreed will be permitted to continue after the end of the transitional period.

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I would refer my right hon. Friend to the statement by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 17th May. Apart from the separate issue of sugar, none of the arrangements so far agreed with the Community extends beyond the end of the five-year transitional period.—[Vol. 817, c. 883–4.]

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That is not a reply to my Question. Is not our correct stand against raising tariff barriers against non-applicant E.F.T.A. countries such as Sweden, Austria and Switzerland an exemption from the Community preference rule? Why do we not make a similar stand against erecting new barriers against our Commonwealth partners?

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I think my right hon. Friend is aware that our E.F.T.A. partners are completely satisfied with the way in which we have conducted the negotiations and our attitude to Community preference. I am sure that right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House will remember that this was said when my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster attended the E.F.T.A. meeting at Reykjavik last month. On the question of Commonwealth countries, our approach has been not to seek detailed plans in advance to cover all possible contingencies, which would be impossible and, moreover, out of line with the general basis on which the negotiations are being conducted, but to seek from the Community an unequivocal declaration of principle and to make effective and flexible arrangements for implementing it.

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In the absence of an agreed Community policy on sheep, will the importation of sheep products from New Zealand be unaffected by the negotiations save for the common external tariff? Also, are the special interests of the hill farming industry in this country being protected in the current negotiations?

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We understand that the Community has no intention of going ahead with a sheep meat regulation. It is our intention to do all we can to safeguard the position of the hill farmers.

30.

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what stage during the transitional period following Great Britain's entry into the European Economic Community the United Kingdom Government will begin to participate in the work of administering the European Development Fund.

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Negotiations should begin in 1973 on arrangements to succeed the present Yaoundé Convention. These would, no doubt, include such a Fund, which would come into being early in 1975. If Britain is then a member of the Community, we should expect to take part in these negotiations and subsequently in the administration of any such Fund.

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Will my right hon. Friend confirm that every under-developed Commonwealth country offered associated status on the Yaoundé Convention model can look forward to receiving substantial aid from the next European Development Fund once Britain has become a member of the Common Market, which could be of great advantage to the economies of the British Caribbean countries, Commonwealth African countries and our smaller dependencies?

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I agree with my hon. Friend.

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Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to increase the aid budget to take account of our contribution to the E.D.F. or will the contribution, which is likely to be substantial, be subtracted from the aid budget? If the latter, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it will have considerable effect on our present aid levels to Commonwealth countries in Asia?

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I have already made clear that the British contribution to the fourth European Development Fund will fall within the levels of the aid programme, which will be determined in advance in the course of the annual review of public expenditure.