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South Africa (Supply of Arms)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1964.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Woolwich East 12:00 am, 23rd January 1964

asked the Prime Minister what machinery exists to co-ordinate the policies of the Foreign Office and Colonial Office with regard to the export of arms to South Africa from or through Colonial Territories.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

Arms cannot be exported from or imported into a Colonial territory except under licence. No case has come to my notice of a Colonial Government being asked to issue a licence for the export of arms to South Africa. An application for the export of repressive arms would be refused. In cases of doubt Her Majesty's Government's advice would be sought.

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Woolwich East

We can assume, then, that no arms of a repressive kind have gone to South Africa from Colonial Territories?

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

I think that that would be a fair assumption.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

Will my right hon. Friend assure us that we will continue to uphold our obligations to South Africa and help to maintain an effective defence of that part of the world? Concerning the co-ordination of policy between the Foreign Office and the Colonial Office, will my right hon. Friend make certain that the Colonial Office is particularly alerted to the dangers of subversion in Colonial and ex-Colonial Territories? Perhaps the Foreign Office will tell it something about that.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Kinross and West Perthshire

What has been happening lately in some ex-Colonial Territories is a matter of great anxiety. I have made our position clear on the question of arms to South Africa time and again.