§ 37. Mr. Stonehouse
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on his participation in the Ministerial meeting of Western European Union at The Hague.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
I gave an account in my speech in the House of 15th November and have nothing which I can usefully add.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
Did the right hon. Gentleman go to The Hague in his new role as peacemaker to try to smooth out the quarrels among the Six, particularly on agriculture? In view of those quarrels and disagreements among the Six, would it not be foolhardy for Britain to attempt to reach agreement within Western European Union on our attitude to the forthcoming negotiations in, for instance, the G.A.T.T., and would it not be wiser to retain our independence on these questions?
§ Mr. Butler
There are two quite distinct questions. First, I must make clear that it is not for Her Majesty's Government to settle the problems of the Six;we have quite enough problems of our own. While we would regard it as valuable for the Six to have a successful outcome of their negotiations, I made quite clear at The Hague that Her Majesty's Government cannot interfere in the internal affairs of the Community. In relation to the next round in the G.A.T.T., the Kennedy Round, it is our desire to see this a success. It will mean a distinct cut in tariffs which will benefit not only us but the under-developed nations. Whether this is possible or not, following upon the negotiations about agriculture, is something we have to see, but the two matters must be kept separate.