Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Speech)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th February 1962.

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Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South 12:00 am, 5th February 1962

I feel sure that the whole House will be glad to see the return of the hon. Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South (Lady Tweedsmuir). Sitting opposite to her, as I regularly do, I certainly am.

In the course of an interesting account of her experiences at the United Nations, the hon. Lady, unhappily, accused my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition of distortion in his speech. I should have thought that the House would be impressed by the meticulous fairness with which my right hon. Friend stated the case which had been put forward by the Foreign Secretary and by his massive destruction of it and of the Government's record at the United Nations afterwards. His indictment has as yet not only been unanswered, but there has been no attempt to answer it.

The right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) embarked upon an eloquent statement in praise of the British Commonwealth of Nations. With much of what he said, I agree. The British Commonwealth has not, however, suffered from the granting of freedom to previously dependent peoples. It has enhanced its reputation and the loyalty of those peoples to this country in that way.

I was astounded to hear the right hon. and learned Gentleman's enthusiasm for colonialism extending to an almost unqualified tribute to Belgian colonialism in the Congo.