Mr. Edward Heath - on his first mission abroad as Britain's Lord Privy Seal -?
Mr. Edward Heath - on his first mission abroad as Britain's Lord Privy Seal - flew into Ciampino Airport, Rome, August 22 for consultations on European questions with the Italian Premier, Amintore Fanfani and other members of his Government. He was greeted by the British Ambassador, Sir Ashley Clarke and Italian Minister Esteri.
In answer to questions from waiting reporters Mr. Heath said that the seven-nation European Free Trade Area - of which Britain is a member - and the six-nation European Common Market - of which Italy is a member - would be discussed at the talks. "The Italian Government considered it necessary to maintain western unity and the British Government shared this conviction."
The Lord Privy Seal began talks the same evening with Signor Fanfani and Foreign Minister Antonio Segni. Later, he was the guest at dinner with the Italian Prime Minister. It was reported that Signor Fanfani - who holds different views from those of his predecessors concerning the urgent need for Britain to be linked with Western Europe - now shares West German Chancellor Adenauer's concern over a possible breach in Europe, arising out of the rivalry between the Common Market and the British-led E.F.T.A.
Continuing his first major international consultations, Signor Fanfani will meet Dr. Adenauer September 2 before flying on to Paris for a meeting with President de Gaulle.
British Premier Harold Macmillan discussed European trade difficulties with Dr. Adenauer recently in Bonn. Afterwards he said "we decided that it was absolutely essential to find a solution to the problems arising from the existence of two economic groups in Europe." He indicated that that had not been done "in a few hours discussion" but he thought the first step had been made in the right direction.