Britain is paying too high a price for entry into a Common Market that is closed, rigid and inefficient, former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson told a Tufts audience last night in the second of a three-lecture series.
Wilson was interrupted at several points in his address by hecklers questioning his government's activities in Northern Ireland, Biafra and Hong Kong. Before the speech several members of Harvard-Radcliffe and Tufts SDS were ejected from the lobby of Cohen Auditorium by plainclothes police.
Wilson discussed in detail the changes in Common Market economic policy since his government sought membership in 1967. He said that the new Common Agricultural Policy of the six-member continental market would place an insupportable burden on Britain's strained economy.
"Britain would be making a big payment across the exchanges to the Common Fund. All the others would be making a net gain as a result of our contribution from the British taxpayer and the British housewife," Wilson said.
Wilson defended the concept of a Common Market based on economic integration and concern for developing countries, but attacked the "domination by the rigged market of Western Europe, indeed of the totality of Western agriculture and the whole of world trade in temperate foodstuffs."
Wilson also criticized the Common Market for ignoring the interests of cheap food producers like New Zealand and placing more importance on "protectionism than on the security of sugar producers."
During a question period after the address, Wilson was repeatedly attacked for sending troops into Northern Ireland. He defended his action as necessary to prevent "civil commotion."
Wilson--who was Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and is now leader of the Labour opposition in Parliament--is delivering the Clayton Memorial Lectures for the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a joint project of Harvard and Tufts