Wednesday, 21 November 1962
Dáil Eireann Debate
Dr. Browne: and Mr. McQuillan asked the Taoiseach why, in connection with his statement of 15th November, he considers that recent developments within the EEC made it reasonably certain that both Britain and Ireland would be admitted to membership.
The Taoiseach: Apart from the decision of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community to enter into negotiations on our application for membership, the goodwill for the application which was shown on all sides during my recent visits to the Continent indicates a favourable outcome. As regards Britain, the progress in the negotiations, to which member States are now devoting an increasing amount of time, suggests that agreement will be concluded.
Mr. McQuillan: Does the Taoiseach seriously suggest, without any information apparently available to him, that he expects, without Ireland's case either being discussed or active negotiations taking place in regard to it, he has some inside information that our application, and indeed Britain's, will be accepted by the 1st January, 1964?
Mr. McQuillan: May I put it this way? Apart from the fact that the Taoiseach has taken all responsibilities with regard to prediction on the British application, may we take it that the position at the moment is that this state of things is a supposition or, shall we say, taking a gamble that it is suggested in this House will come off—or has the Taoiseach made any promise to those people whom he visited in Europe with regard to defence commitments or political commitments?
Mr. Norton: May I ask the Taoiseach if he would take the House into his confidence and say that the  Irish case is being run on this basis: that, because of the inter-dependence of the two countries in trade and in economic matters generally, the aim is to process both applications simultaneously so that if we get into the Common Market we go in at approximately the same time as the British, because that is calculated to cause the least amount of dislocation in our trade vis-à-vis Britain?
Dr. Browne: Is it not a fact that we could negotiate for associate membership just as easily as we are intending  to negotiate for full membership? Would the same pre-conditions for acceptance, whether for associate or full membership not obtain, whatever Britain does?
When the negotiations with Britain have been concluded, it is expected that the negotiations with the other three applicants for membership will be disposed of quickly and will be completed about the same time.
Mr. McQuillan: Is it not a fact that certain negotiations on the applications of Norway and Denmark are going on at the moment? In view of the fact that in case the British application is accepted and that it is essential that a decision be made as soon as possible on the Irish application,  can the Taoiseach now tell the House why no negotiations so far have taken place on the Irish application, although it was the first application made?
The Taoiseach: So far as Norway is concerned, I understand that a formal decision to open negotiations has not yet been taken. So far as Denmark is concerned, I do not think it is correct to say that negotiations, in a real sense, have yet taken place.
Mr. McQuillan: According to press reports, negotiations are under way between Norway and the Six. How does the Taoiseach hope to have Ireland's position clarified and these negotiations carried through in the short time that will be available after the British application is disposed of?
Mr. McQuillan: Let me put it this way. Does the Taoiseach envisage any delay between the time of decision with regard to the British application and a decision on the Irish application, as no negotiations so far have taken place on the Irish application?
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