Situation

Oral Answers to Questions — Southern Rhodesia – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston 12:00 am, 21st July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies whether he will make a further statement on the situation in British Guiana.

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies if he will make a statement on the present situation in British Guiana.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Since my statement a month ago there have been a series of further acts of inter-racial violence. The Governor has made new regulations and some additional troops have been sent to reinforce the garrison.

Photo of Mr Robert Edwards Mr Robert Edwards , Bilston

Is the Secretary of State aware that there seems to be overwhelming evidence of massive American intervention in British Guiana? Will he investigate the activities of the American Central Intelligence Agency, whose agents seem to be able to move in and out of British Guiana without any difficulty? Does he agree that since the emergency has been imposed 150 people have been killed, and that there never was such a situation in British Guiana until democracy was completely eliminated from this area?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Is the hon. Member really suggesting that American agents are killing people in British Guiana?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

That is a monstrous suggestion.

An Hon. Member:

The Government are creating another Cuba.

Photo of Mr Fenner Brockway Mr Fenner Brockway , Eton and Slough

What is the Secretary of State's constructive proposal to deal with the situation in British Guiana? He cannot possibly be content with it as it is. Is he not now prepared to consider a United Nations mission of good will? If he is not prepared to accept either a Commonwealth or a United Nations mission of good will, what is the right hon. Gentleman's proposal to deal with the situation in British Guiana, which is the result of his own administration and is resulting in the killing of human beings?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

The hon. Member asked exactly the same supplementary question on Question No. 6 and I answered it then. [HON. MEMBERS: "The Minister did not answer it."]

Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Ebbw Vale

Does not the Minister realise that there could be nothing more provocative than his reiterating that he does not propose to lift his finger to try to influence the desperate situation in British Guiana? Even if he rejects the proposals from Dr. Eric Williams and others, has he no single proposal of his own to try to deal with the situation? Is that what he is telling the House of Commons at the end of his whole period of dealing with the problem?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

I explained fully my policy and my views about how we should deal with the situation when we had a half day's debate on the subject. Nobody from the benches opposite suggested—[HON. MEMBERS: "What are your suggestions?"]—any alternative policy—

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

—which stood any chance of solving this problem.

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Middlesbrough East

If the suggestion is that we suggested anything other than that law and order should prevail, the Secretary of State is quite right. We did, however, suggest ways in which he could tackle the problem. One suggestion was to send out a Commonwealth team, which at that time, I think, could have done some good.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

We go on having this suggestion about a Commonwealth team. We have had a team from Ghana and efforts have been made by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Prime Minister of Jamaica and the Premier of Barbados. They have all tried their hand at this, and the Commonwealth Prime Ministers collectively discussed it but were unable to produce any suggestions about how we could handle the matter which would stand a better chance of securing good results. I am sure that what we must do is try to maintain law and order and proceed to the elections, the preparations for which are going ahead. There has been registration on a considerable scale and I hope that we shall be able to preserve law and order sufficiently to hold the elections in the autumn as planned.