LONDON (Nov. 7)
Britain intends to propose a compromise for trade relations between the European Common Market countries and the Mediterranean countries that would meet American objections to the establishment of Mediterranean free trade zones, a development ardently sought by Israel. Foreign Office circles said the compromise would be proposed today by Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home at a meeting in Brussels of the foreign ministers of the nine Common Market countries.
The circles also said that one of Sir Alec’s concerns at the Brussels meeting is the special trade relations between Britain and Israel and he will suggest that these relations be taken into consideration.
Foreign Office circles told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday that the US had registered “strong objections” to the free trade zone concept. The US argued that it was bound to reduce American exports to the participating countries because they would buy from Common Market countries at savings of up to 80 percent.
Sir Alec’s compromise solution calls for the division of the trading group into two parts: one consisting of the nine EEC members plus Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus; and the other of Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The latter group would be released from their reciprocity so that American goods can compete on their markets. Foreign Office circles stressed that Sir Alec excluded Libya from his plan.