The two-day summit session of the nine European Economic Community (EEC) leaders ended in the French capital, Paris, on Tuesday (10 December) with major decisions on the question of Britain's attempts to re-negotiate its terms of entry into the Common Market.
CU Wilson speaking
WILSON: "The remark I used following something the French President had said about his attitude to these questions, was what I meant. And at that time, both the Foreign Secretary and I felt that if this was going to be the attitude, we might as well stop wasting our time on re-negotations, and that we would so report, on returning to London, to the Cabinet. In fact, later in the day, we got what we wanted."
WHEELER: "So there was a point....?"
WILSON: "It was not a ploy. It was not a negotiating ploy, or anything of that kind. It wasn't meant to get things moving again. It was just to state the plain facts. And, as I say, there are many more issues on which we have to be satisfied."
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In a filmed interview in Paris with British Broadcasting Corporation reporter Charles Wheeler, following the conclusion of the EEC summit, the British Prime Minister spoke about his clash with President Giscard d'Estaing. A transcript follows:
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Background: The two-day summit session of the nine European Economic Community (EEC) leaders ended in the French capital, Paris, on Tuesday (10 December) with major decisions on the question of Britain's attempts to re-negotiate its terms of entry into the Common Market.
The meeting -- dubbed "the summit of modest expectations" -- seamed, at one point, to have reached an impasse during discussion of Britain's share of the EEC budget. French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing -- chairing the conference -- clashed strongly with British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, after the French leader had expressed French opposition to Britain's desire for a reduction in budgeted contributions. However, the issue was resolved when all nine EEC leaders agreed to work out a corrective mechanism to avoid unfair budgetary burdens upon any member state.
This film includes a part of a news conference given by the French President after the summit. Referring in French to the British attempt to re-negotiate budgeted contributions he said that Mr. Wilson "...had repeated the topics, which have already been raised before. He did not ask for re-negotiation of the terms of the Treaty of Rome, nor re-negotiation of the Treaty of Entry. But he did request discussion of the terms applying to Great Britain's membership of the Community. The communique indicates the spirit in which the institution of the Community will be called upon to work out the budgeted contribution as far as Great Britain is concerned."
The EEC session also produced full backing for France's proposed world oil conference -- a three cornered meeting of producer and consumer nations and developing countries.