From Our Parliamentary Correspondent Considerable interest has been stirred far beyond the precincts of Westminster by the formal move of Members of the House of Commons from the three main parties and the few independents for a Federal Union of Western Europe.
Last week a list of 71 names, which included those of three Catholic members—Mr. William Teeling (Cons.), Mr. Hugh Delargy (Soc.), and Mr. John Timmins (Lab.) was appended to the all-party motion.
Since then at least another 32 names have been added to the original list, including that of the Catholic M.P., the Hon. • Hugh Fraser (Con.)
" I regard the motion that's been tabled as one of unusual importance," Mr. Teeling told me. " The twin ideas of an Economic Council in permanent session and a democratic federation with a definite constitution are most constructive.
" And it's excellent that this step should have been taken independently by members of Parliament.
"Why ?" I asked.
"For the good reason that it gives a courageous lead to the West as a whole," he answered. " In addition, sit's the first attempt to span the differences here in Britain between the Socialist conception and other conceptions of a United Europe.
THE COUDENHOVE PLAN " There's no question of rushing matters without due care and forethought. The scheme is based on the federalist ideas of Count Coudenhove, and adapted by a Parlia
mentary group. Coudenhove has long fostered the aim of a European Union along these lines. And the fact that his ideas have proved their worth is an encouragement to all who have been working towards the same goal."
Mr. Teeling flatly rejected the suggestion that the motion tabled in the House was " too broad and ambitious." " It's no broader or more ambitious than Soviet Russia's expansionist tactics," he said, with g:onviction.
Most reyolutionary of the measures outlined in the motion is the proposed limiting of the sovereign rights of all countries joining the Federal Union.
Anything less than such sacrifice of sovereignty, it is argued, would weaken Western Europe's power to make concerted decisions and act on them without delay.
Although no front-benchers on either side of the House have so far associated themselves with the motion as it stands, it is known that both Government and Opposition leaders are not unsympathetic.