Inter-governmental Committee on the Establishment of a European Free Trade AreaDocuments from  to 
1 microfilm/5 files
The Inter-governmental Committee on the establishment of a European Free Trade Area was also known as the Maudling Committee. In early 1957 the OEEC decided to enter into negotiations with a view to creating such a free trade area, at the same time it set up three further Working Parties to deal with different aspects of the matter. These working parties conducted their studies during the Spring and Summer of 1957 and reported to the Council in October. The Council took a formal decision of principle declaring its intention to establish a Free Trade Area comprising all member countries of the Organisation, at the same time it set up an Inter-Governmental Committee at Ministerial level, including representatives of the CSC and of the Economic Community to negotiate an agreement for the purpose in accordance with the terms of the Council's resolution. Mr Reginald Maudling, the British Paymaster General was appointed Chairman. This Inter-governmental Committee had responsibility for the three above-mentioned working parties of Council: Working Party No. 21 concerned with general economic matters of the FTA, Working Party No. 22 concerned with FTA and agriculture and Working Party No. 23 regarding financial assistance to less developed counrtries.;The main priorities of Sir Maudling when he took the Chair were: the problems of freeing trade, agriculture and fisheries, economic and financial questions, problems of particular sectors and constitutional questions.