The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1979-1983 Parliament

Mr Major’s Question Relating to the Council of Foreign Ministers – 28 November 1979

Below is the text of Mr Major’s Commons question regarding the Council of Foreign Ministers on 28th November 1979.

37. Mr. William Hamilton asked the Lord Privy Seal when he next intends to meet the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EEC.

38. Mr. Major asked the Lord Privy Seal when he next intends to meet his colleagues in the EEC.

39. Mr. Spearing asked the Lord Privy Seal when he next expects to attend a meeting of the EEC Council of Ministers.

Sir Ian Gilmour At the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 18 December.

Mr. Hamilton Can the Lord Privy Seal give an assurance that he will take the initiative and raise the question of international co-ordination of aid to Kampuchea and other countries which are in dire need? The individual efforts of separate Governments seem to be inadequate to meet the challenge.

Sir I. Gilmour I entirely agree with the hon. Member that this is a desperately serious problem. He will be aware that Britain has done more individually than most other countries. He will also be aware that on 30 October the Community decided to give a further £16 million for famine relief in Cambodia as its contribution to a world-wide effort to save the Cambodian people.

Mr. Major Will my right hon. Friend convey to his colleagues in Europe, if necessary before his meeting with them in December, that if a suitable settlement to the problem of our net contribution to Europe is not agreed in Dublin, this issue will not go away? This House will not permit it to do so. Will he also advise his colleagues in Europe that if there is protracted wrangling on this issue it will do great damage to the European cause in the United Kingdom, even among its most firm supporters?

Sir I. Gilmour I agree with my hon. Friend. This issue will be discussed tomorrow and the next day in Dublin by the Prime Minister. It is a most serious issue and if it is not solved it certainly will not go away.