Bilaterals before Parliament next year
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From a special correspondent FRENCH officials in London this week have been in deep discussion with Ministry of Transport representatives on the second—and vital—round of the talks on a bilateral transport agreement. First indications are that these have gone as well as anyone expected (France and Germany were thought to be the toughest propositions on the 10-nation list), although there is not much prospect of the whole second 'round being completed this month, as was at one time hoped.
Starting in June, the talks have been with Germany, Holland, Sweden and now France; this leaves Denmark, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium and Italy to come.
As soon as agreement has been reached between officials on each bilateral transport plan, measures can be drafted for its Parliamentary approval. The plans will come before Parliament next year, probably separately, but perhaps in some cases as a bunch of several at one time.
As explained in COMMERCIAL MOTOR on May 13, some of the smaller, more liberal nations are prepared to go as far as waiving quotas and even documentation, but much tougher bargaining was expected with countries whose natural authoritarianism is backed by an understandable reluctance to yield more to the UK on a bilateral than they would to their fellow EEC members.