FEARS that under the Common Market Europe would turn in on itself and disregard developing countries were shared by Catholics and Anglicans. Mr. Erik Pearse, secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission, said last week.
A working party of the Commission, he said, was preparing the final draft of a paper on the problem of the poorer countries. It would be a contribution to the second meeting of the European Justice and Peace Commissions to be held this year.
Mr. Pearsc added: "We are particularly worried about textiles and sugar— commodities which poorer countries depend on for export earnings--which may be discriminated against by the Common Market."
Similar fears were expressed in the Anglican Church's report on Christian Responsibility in the New Europe, published last week. On the same day, a group of Catholics, including several M.P.s met to discuss the subject.
Fr. Peter Hebblethwaite, S.J., who has visited Brussels three times already this year to explore the role of Catholics in the Common Market, called a representative group together to meet Fr. Jean Weydert, S.J. who runs the Office Catholique d'Information sur les Prohlemes Europeens.
OCIPE was founded in 1957, the year the Treaty of Rome was signed. to study ethical problems affecting Catholics in the Common Market and to bring Catholic influence to bear in the debate on common policies.
Fr. Hebblethwaite said: "OCIPE works at the highest available level, bringing together top experts. including government ministers and members of the Common Market Commis.sion.
"Very often the policies advocated at OCIPE meetings are taken up by govern ments, though there may be no direct connection, "We discussed at our meeting whether the OCIPE bulletin, which gives summaries of Common Market policies, should be translated into English or whether we could produce our own, but rejected both ideas, he said. "There are other ways the information can be re leased."
The international steering committee of OCIPE was to meet at the House of Commons in November. said Fr. Hebblethwaite. Two Catholic M.P.s, Mrs. Shirley Williams, Labour Shadow Minister for Health and Social Security, and Mr. Maurice Foley had attended previous meetings of OCIPE on the Continent.
Fr. Weydert, who also visited Britain last year, said then that he believed the Common Market Com mission had virtually "lifted" some of their policy aims relating to underdeveloped countries from an OCIPE conference document.
Fr. Thomas Corbishley, S.J., the writer, has got the support of Cardinal Heenan and the Archbishop of Canterbury for an ecumenical meeting in 1974 to discuss the moral and spiritual responsibilities of the new Europe.
Fr. Corbishley 's a i d: "About 200 people will attend the meeting, which we will hold in Digby Stuart Catholic College of Education. London. The growing power of the enlarged EEC gives its members gre-ater responsibility.
"The conference will be organised with the help of a European ecumenical group, the Christian Study Group for European Unity, some of whose members have visited Britain."
Mr. Noel Charles, Administrator of the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, said it was a member of the Catholic organisation, Co-operation International Development Socio-Economique (CIDSE). which made representations to the European Economic Commission on behalf of poorer countries.
"The question of aid is a complicated one," he said. ''A certain type of increase in aid to developing nations may well help the rich countries of Europe more than those apparently being assisted.
"Much current aid is capital investment and does not provide employment or reach rural areas, where often most of the people live."
Mr. Charles recently read a paper to members of the Justice and Peace. Commission, outlining the most valuable sort of aid the Common Market could give to help poorer countries.
Miss Catherine Noonan, acting secretary of Pax Christi, . the International Catholic peace movement. said the organisation most feared the increasing European export of arms to the developing world.
"A former Pax Christi secretary. Mr. Joe Camileri, recently wrote a book called ' I he Death Trade' on this very problem," she said. The Pope had said recently that arms were "the principal cause of the world's polluted environment."
Pax Christi had been a European movement from its foundations, and last year hundreds of young Europeans had gone to Rome to meet the inhabitants of the city's shanty towns and discuss their problems. This year a similar international group was visiting Ireland.
Spain. which was becoming associated with the Common Market. did not allow conscientious objection, and several people who had refused to serve in the Spanish Army were still in prison. Miss Noonan said: "Our group in Britain has written protesting to the Spanish Government on several occasions."
Miss Noonan said that following recent Fax Christi elections a programme had still to be planned, but she was sure the British section would be holding a meeting on entry to Europe. The subject would also be discussed at the movement's international meeting in Strasbourg in November.
Late last year the Cath olic Institute for International Relations published a leaflet on the moral implications of British membership of the Common Market, which has recently been incorporated into a "teaching kit" by the British Council of Churches.
Mr. Tim Sheehy. of CIIR, in the institute's latest information sheet, out this month, also emphasised the need to channel resources to the poorer nations.
The Race Relations Corn mittee of the Catholic Bishop's Conference last October expressed doubts about the Common Market's treatment of immigrant workers.
They stated: "In a number of the EEC member countries, the rights of these new immigrant workers are ill defined, their position and job security precarious and their housing appalling."