M. Couve de Murville, the French Foreign Minister, was obviously embarrassed when he explained the French Government’s policy on Britain’s admission to the Common Market to a half-empty National Assembly this evening.
“The Brussels negotiations,” he read from a prepared statement, “next week risk adjournment without achieving their aim.” France, he said, had in no way obstructed the negotiations.
Only small problems such as those of industrial products from the Commonwealth had been solved, but on the main issues of the common external tariff, the agricultural policy and the European Free Trade Association, the British Government had completely failed to satisfy the negotiators on the other side.
He paid tribute to the integrity of the British Government’s intentions, and drew a small applause at this point from the deputies, but he returned to President de Gaulle’s argument that the British people were divided on this issue, and repeated the President’s offer for “association.”
“But the door has not just been closed to Britain (he added). Evolution is happening in the United Kingdom and we believe the moment will come when she will be ready to enter Europe. That is why the French Government has proposed an association between Britain and the Common Market during this period. We have in any case put forward in completely good faith these proposals, and I am sure the last word has not been said.”
The Minister’s references to the United States were more barbed than those to Britain. Washington, he said, wanted to retain the final word on the basic and fundamental decisions of defence. Germany was bound by treaty to have no nuclear weapons, and Britain, since Nassau, was completely tied to the US.
So, he argued, France had no choice but to continue with its own policy of an independent atomic force. He admitted, however that it would be years before France could achieve the technical position which such offers as the one at Nassau would have made available to her.
Earlier in the day the Minister of Information, M. Alain Peyrefitte, made a surprising statement. He said there were no differences of opinion between President de Gaulle and Dr Adenauer, on how they should act at Brussels when the Ministers meet on Monday next “to adjourn the negotiations at the suggestion of the French Government.”
“The policy of France,” he said, “is to create a Europe which will be able to exist alone economically, militarily, culturally, and politically. This Europe must not be drowned in Atlanticism “where it would lose its real personality.”
Terence Prittie writes from Bonn:
The chairman of the West German Free Democratic Party, Dr Erich Mende, spoke very strongly today in favour of Britain’s entry into the Common Market to Mr Donald Wade, Liberal MP for Huddersfield West and deputy chairman of the Liberal Party.
Dr Mende told Mr Wade, who has been lecturing in West Germany, that his party did not believe that a Europe from which Britain and the Scandinavian countries were excluded could ever comprise a satisfactory political and economic entity.
He said the Free Democrats would insist that everything possible should be done to overcome the present difficulties in Brussels and to bring Britain into the European community. He forecast the postponement of Parliamentary ratification of the Franco-German treaty until the end of March, and suggested that the talks could be got under way again in Brussels in the meantime and could make adequate progress by that date.
The Free Democrats are being careful at present not to suggest that they will oppose ratification of the treaty should the Brussels talks break down completely. But the indications are that they would be ready to ask for even longer postponement of the ratification and will certainly press for a far clearer explanation from Dr Adenauer than was given by him to the press yesterday.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.