Wednesday, 30 March 1966
Dáil Eireann Debate
Sir Anthony Esmonde: asked the Taoiseach, if in view of the indications of a more liberal attitude by the members of the EEC towards the application of the United Kingdom and other countries for membership of the Common Market, he will indicate if Ireland's application is being actively pursued; and if discussions to that end are taking place.
The Taoiseach: Our interest in acceding to the European Economic Community is being constantly stressed  in the capitals of the member-nations and has been re-emphasised by our embassies quite recently. It is the Government's firm intention to pursue actively our application for membership of the Common Market at the first appropriate moment.
The Taoiseach: What I said was that our interest in acceding to the European Economic Community is being constantly stressed in the capitals of the member-nations and has been re-emphasised by our embassies quite recently.
Mr. Corish: Would the Taoiseach say that the Government are following the examples of the British Government—the same Government as, I suppose, will be there next week-end— ensuring that conditions will be negotiated rather than globally accepted?
Sir Anthony Esmonde: Could the Taoiseach indicate if any negotiations whatever are taking place between our Government and the European Economic Community, other than the blind statement in every capital in Europe that we are going to get in by 1970?
The Taoiseach: The Deputy is not as innocent in this matter as he pretends. This was obviously a situation which is moving at this time and no doubt the pace and movement can be affected by the British. It is clear that the situation is no longer static and naturally we must keep in touch with it to ensure that our application for membership can be re-activated at the earliest moment.
Mr. M.J. O'Higgins: I am not trying to confuse the issue. What I want to know is whether or not the attitude of the Government in relation to any approaches they have made has been  that our entry or our interest in it is conditional on the attitude of the British Government or that our interest remains alive, irrespective of the attitude of the British Government?
The Taoiseach: Our application for membership of the European Economic Community was not conditional on the British application but it is obvious that the EEC is not at the moment considering new applications for membership and it is not likely that they will do so until they have determined their position on the British application.
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