Common Market: Trust and Good Feelings At The Hague

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As she raised her champagne glass, Queen Juliana of The Netherlands surveyed the guests seated around her palace dinner table: the President of France, the Chancellor of West Germany and the Premiers of Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and her own country. Said the Queen in a simple toast: "I wish you success at this meeting." Rising in his turn, Juliana's consort Prince Bernhard added sternly: "That, gentlemen, is a royal order."

Judging from the communiques and comments that emerged from last week's Common Market summit meeting at The Hague, the royal order was scrupulously obeyed. During the two-day session, a new order for Europe began to take shape. In return for the continuation of sizable agricultural subsidies, French President Georges Pompidou at last agreed to negotiations leading to the admission of new members, most notably Britain.

Uncommon Confrontation. To be sure, Pompidou's concession was surrounded by a tangle of verbal barbed wire. His opening statement was studded with the sort of oblique warnings about British entry that other members had heard repeatedly from France during the days of Charles de Gaulle. West Germany's Willy Brandt, who emerged from last week's summit as spokesman for the Six, supplanting his French counterpart, firmly rebuffed the old position. "The German Parliament and public expect me to return from this conference with concrete arrangements regarding the Community's enlargement," Brandt said determinedly. The French, he continued, should "respond to our clear will."

During Queen Juliana's dinner at Huis ten Bosch ("House in the Woods") palace outside The Hague, Pompidou drew Brandt aside. As the two strolled for half an hour up and down the elegant chinoiserie rooms, cognac glasses in hand, Pompidou gave his word that France would agree to negotiations with Britain. Fearful that France's ardent Gaullists would attack him for that concession, however, Pompidou adamantly refused to specify a date for negotiations to begin. In the 13th-century Hall of Knights where the sessions were held, this refusal led to an uncommon confrontation. Pressed by Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns to stipulate a date, Pompidou finally growled: "Am I to understand that the Dutch Foreign Minister does not trust the word of the President of France?"

"The Dutch Foreign Minister trusts the President of France," Luns hastily assured him. "Everyone in this room trusts the President of France. But we have our public opinion to consider."

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