Posts Tagged With : Common Market
From Andrew McEwan in Strasburg
The main threat to Europe’s oil comes neither from the Arab producers nor opinionated members of the Dutch cabinet but from the loud- voiced MP’s of all Common Market countries.
The became clear yesterday following the European Parliaments 1.30 a.m resolution calling for ‘economic counter-measures’ against Arabs who are boycotting Holland.
The strong anti-Arab statement contrasted sharply with the conciliatory statement the Council of Ministers made last Tuesday in a bid to appease the Arabs.
If things were as they appear to be the prospect of economic sanctions would have delighted the Israelis – and horrified British Conservatives, since Britain has most to lose.
But both sides reacted cautiously. British, French and Israeli interests are much less far apart than generally realised.
The Council’s pro-Arab statement was a cover for a very different policy, details of which are being kept quiet for fear of upsetting the whole delicate artifice.
The plan is to ensure Holland’s oil supplies discreetly so as to not arouse the Arabs anger.
But the MP’s at Strasburg, either ignorant of the strategy or willing to upset it, made more and more inflammatory statements.
By Wilfrid Sendsll & George Lochhead
112 Votes Decide It
Mr Heath rode home tiumphant last night with a majority of 112 for British entry into Europe, a figure that exceeded all hopes and boosted the aim of winning “full hearted” consent.
The result of 356 votes to 244 was attained by a massive revolt of Labour MP’s, who despite intense pressure and a three line whip , flocked into the Government lobby behind deputy leader Mr Roy Jenkins and left leader Mr Wilson reeling in defeat.
Over one third of Labour MP’s supported the Tory Government either by votes or by abstention, and the Shadow Cabinet itself was split in half. It is a situation which tears open a rift not only in the parliamentary party but with the anti Market trades unions and party conference and must call into question the leadership of Mr Wilson.
After the vote Mr Heath said “Todays’s decision has been reached by a clear majority of the elected representatives of the people, men and women who, irrespective of party political differences, share the conviction that this decision is right for their country.
This is the outcome of years of patient negotiations by Governments of both parties. It marks the of ten years of debate. Now we stand ready to take our first step into a new world full of opportunities.
Our historic decision has been made. The British people accept the challenge. Let us show the ourselves to the that new world as we would wish it to see us, confident, proud and strong.”
The dramatic size of the Government’s majority now makes it extremely difficult for the Tory anti Marketeers to continue the battle against legislation in the coming session to take Britain into the European Community.
As for Labour, Mr Wilson admitted it was a “very disturbing result.” he said he hoped Mr Robert Mellish would stand again for the post of Opposition Chief Whip though Mr Mellish himself was saying he was “seriously considering” whether to accept re-nomination.
Mr Wilson claimed he had been able to work very closely with Mr Jenkins and he would work with the deputy leader “whoever it might be.” He said that “our one first purpose will be to reunite the party as a coherent force.”
Meanwhile the Government Chief Whip, Mr Francis Pym, was happily analysing his figures.
It was calculated that 39 Tories voted against entry with two abstentions while on the Labour side 69 voted for and 19 abstained. A total of 282 Tories voted for entry.
This, it was claimed, meant that the Tory party carried the motion on it’s own by a majority of 38 over all others.
In the House when the final figures were announced a mighty shout if jubilation came from the pro-Europe men, and of course the Prime Minister looked very pleased indeed.
Within the Labour Party, however, was dissension, “Why don’t you cheer with them?” Mrs Barbara Castle snapped at Mr Jenkins. All forgotten were the promises Mr Wilson had made as the six day debate neared it’s end.
“Today,” he had told the House, “is not the end. It is the beginning.”
Then came a pledge on the position of a future Labour Government in the event of Britain joining the Marketin, say, 1973 or 1974.
Mr Wilson said “It is a fact that one Parliament cannot bind it’s successor. But we recognise what is involved in a treaty signature.”
To Labour cheers he went on “We would immediately give notice that we could not accept the terms negotiated by the Tories and, in particular, the unacceptable burdens arising out of the common agricultural policy, the blows to the Commonwealth, and any threats to our essential regional policies.
“If the Community then refused to negotiate, or if negotiations were to fail, we would sit down amicably and discuss the situation with them. The Community could accept, or decide that we should agree to part.”
Shades of Frances’s late President de Gaulle and his vetoes of 1963 and 1967?
Mr Wilson slammed Mr Heath’s claim to have a mandate for Market entry and shouted for
the policy to be decided by “the free vote of a free British people.”
But it was, in the event, decided by the men on the spot. Triumph for Mr Heath. Disaster for Mr Wilson.