§ Q1. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the main subjects which he discussed on his recent visit to Rome.
§ Q7. Mr. Hamling
asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on his recent visit to Rome.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)
I would refer hon. Members to the communiqué issued after my visit. With permission, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Digby
Is the Prime Minister aware that only extracts from the communiqué were printed even in The Times, and that the full text of the communiqué is not available in the Library this afternoon? Having read the extracts, I should like to ask the Prime Minister two questions. First, does the reference to A.N.F. mean that once again it received a lukewarm reception? Secondly, with regard to the study that is to be set up into the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, will he say who is going to undertake this study, and when it is to be taken up?
§ The Prime Minister
I am sorry about The Times, and I shall certainly put a copy of the communiqué in the Library right away.
With regard to the A.N.F., the position is as I described it last week after my return from Rome. Technical talks are going on in a working group on this question, I think in fact today, but, as I have said, and I think we are all realistic about this, there is not much prospect of any decision either on A.N.F., which we favour, or M.L.F. which some right hon. Gentlemen opposite favour, until after the German elections. That is the position.
The question of the peaceful use of atomic energy was raised by the Italians. They feel that we have a great deal to contribute, which we have, and would like to have joint talks about it. The joint talks will take place in a bilateral sense 1104 with representatives of the A.E.A. and the Ministry of Technology on our side.
§ Mr. Hamling
Can my right hon. Friend say anything more about the discussions over E.F.T.A. and the Common Market?
§ The Prime Minister
I informed the Italian Prime Minister about the initiatives that we were taking, the proposals that we were making for a Ministerial meeting of E.F.T.A. to discuss possible initiatives that might be taken, agreed with our colleagues in E.F.T.A.
§ Mr. Gower
Can the Prime Minister explain the emphasis given to the desirability of Britain taking a larger part in the unification of Europe, and, indeed, of Britain narrowing the gap between herself and the European Economic Community, in view of the fact that current Government economic and social policies, and their preoccupation with nationalisation and other irrelevant matters, must surely tend to increase the gap between Britain and Europe?
§ The Prime Minister
I remember once raising this question from the other side of the House. If we are to be told that we must join the Common Market because then we will not be free to decide to take into public ownership any industry—[Interruption.]—that was suggested. It is a very serious suggestion, and I think that hon. Gentlemen opposite will be aware that the success which some countries in Europe have had in improving their economic position, not least the situation in France, was due to the extension of public ownership in those countries.
On the other part of the hon. Gentleman's question, relating to initiatives for bringing the Six and the Seven closer together, I have already explained that this was why I referred in Rome to the initiative that we were taking through E.F.T.A. It is important in these talks that we are able to speak, or E.F.T.A. is able to speak, altogether on behalf of the whole of E.F.T.A., and not just on behalf of individual countries.
§ Mr. Jackson
Can the Prime Minister give us a little more information about co-operation between Italy and Britain on the BAC 111 project?
§ The Prime Minister
I strongly stressed the desirability of the Italian Government not only co-operating with us, or ensuring that there was co-operation between the two industries concerned in production, but making this a reality by doing what they could to ensure that Alitalia bought British civil aircraft at the end of the production process.
§ Following is the information:
§ COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED FOLLOWING THE TALKS IN ROME FROM 27 TO 29TH APRIL, 1965, BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS (SIGNOR ALDO MORO) AND THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER (MR. HAROLD WILSON).
§ At the invitation of the President of the Council of Ministers, Signor Aldo Moro, the British Prime Minister, Mr. Harold Wilson, paid an official visit to Rome from 27–29 April.
§ The British Prime Minister was received by the President of the Republic, Signor Giuseppe Saragat, with whom he had a long and cordial discussion.
§ The President of the Council and the British Prime Minister conducted a frank and thorough exchange of views on the international situation, with particular regard to the main problems of current mutual interest. On the Italian side the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Signor Nenni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Signor Fanfani, the Minister of Defence, Signor Andreotti, the Minister of the Treasury, Signor Colombo, the Minister of Finance, Signor Tremelloni, and the Minister of Foreign Trade, Signor Mattarella, took part. The conversation took place in a friendly atmosphere and revealed a wide measure of agreement on the problems discussed.
§ The President of the Council and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their strong belief in the United Nations and their common determination to uphold the authority and strengthen the influence of the Organisation.
§ Particular attention was paid to the problems of disarmament and agreement was reached on the need for initiatives aimed at promoting measures of balanced and controlled disarmament. They agreed that their two Governments would make every effort to achieve progress at the current session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission and to bring about an early resumption of the Geneva Disarmament Conference.
§ The President of the Council and the Prime Minister agreed in emphasising the great importance of maintaining the strength and cohesion of the Atlantic Alliance. They agreed that in conforming with these aims their Governments would continue, together with other interested Governments, the study of methods of developing nuclear interdependence within the Alliance, including the proposals originally put forward in December 1964 by the British Government for an Atlantic Nuclear Force.1106
§ Reviewing the problems of Europe, the President of the Council explained the most recent developments and the present position with regard to the process of European unification. It was emphasised on the Italian side that the Italian Government had always considered British participation in the construction of Europe to be most desirable.
§ The President of the Council and the Prime Minister discussed the State of East-West relations and agreed that, in spite of all difficulties, it was important to preserve in the search for possible agreements and in efforts to reduce international tension.
§ The President of the Council and the British Prime Minister also discussed current problems in Africa, and the Far East in the light of their common desire to contribute to stability and to peaceful economic progress in those regions. The situation in South East Asia was the subject of particular attention. They recognised that the views of the two Governments largely coincided and expressed the hope that a peaceful solution would be found for the conflict in Vietnam and that the North Vietnamese and their partners would respond to recent initiatives to this end. They welcomed the possibility of a conference on Cambodia, which could contribute to peace and stability in the area.
§ There was a useful and detailed exchange of views on economic problems of common interest, with particular reference to the measures taken in both countries for the strengthening of their economies and the safeguarding of their respective currencies.
§ The main problems of international economic co-operation were also reviewed, including relations with the developing countries. The President of the Council and the Prime Minister agreed on the importance of maintaining international monetary stability and of giving early consideration, together with other interested Governments, to further measures to facilitate international payments and the expansion of world trade. They reaffirmed the resolve of their Governments to contribute to a successful outcome of the Kennedy Round. They also confirmed the importance which they attached to working to strengthen the ties between E.E.C. and E.F.T.A. and to reduce the divisions between them. The Prime Minister informed the President of the Council of the initiative announced by Her Majesty's Government with a view to bridging the gap between the two organisations and this was welcomed by the President.
§ There was wide agreement on the need to find means of strengthening the economic relations between the two countries particularly in the field of industrial and scientific co-operation. The President of the Council and the Prime Minister agreed that they would instruct the appropriate authorities on each side to engage in a study of the possibilities of Anglo-Italian bilateral co-operation in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Special attention was also given to the possibilities of co-operation in the aeronautical field.
§ Finally, the President of the Council and the Prime Minister expressed warm satisfaction at the results of their friendly exchange of ideas 1107 and reaffirmed their complete confidence in the growing co-operation between their two Governments in the interests not only of Anglo-Italian relations but also of world peace.