But my right hon. Friend will realise that this is not going over to the whole of the Rhodesian population. Can he give some assurance that, at any rate from Bechuanaland, the transmitters are being increased in strength? Secondly, could not my right hon. Friend try something a little more imaginative? This is British territory. Could not we try a little leaflet dropping?
During the time that my right hon. and learned Friend and I were in Rhodesia, we saw about 100 people, a pretty good cross-section, all of whom took the view that as far as possible the people of Rhodesia should be acquainted with the views of the British Government and their proposals. Taking into consideration the tight censorship, and the fact that the radio and television are controlled by the Rhodesian illegal régime, this is not quite such an easy exercise, but we shall do our best.
Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that we are in constant touch not only with our Commonwealth friends, but our friends out-with the Commonwealth, on the nature and the degree of the selectivity of the sanctions, with a view to their making quite sure that they will be effective in bringing this Fascist régime to an end?
Bearing in mind that the I.D.I. is nearly 12 months old, will my right hon. Friend consider that Smith is now in a stronger political situation than he was a year ago—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—and that in order to bring down this régime stronger measures must be taken?
I notice the enthusiasm with which the Opposition greeted my hon. Friend's statement, which enthusiasm will not be shared in the country generally. As soon as it is possible to state clearly the British Government's proposals—after the proposals submitted to Mr. Smith have been returned to us and considered—we will of course make a further statement, but it cannot be immediately.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there has been any change in the attitude of the United States Government towards mandatory sanctions from that expressed so clearly and vigorously by Mr. Mennen Williams some months ago? Unless there has been such a change, any talk of mandatory sanctions is absolute nonsense.
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to the amount of Rhodesian copper which has been exported to Great Britain or elsewhere by M.T.D. (Mangula) Limited and other companies during the past six months; and what steps he is taking to end this breach of the United Kingdom's sanctions.
In view of the crucial nature of oil, and the fact that it is not an indigenous product of Rhodesia, will my right hon. Friend give us an assurance that stringent contingency planning is being made for mandatory sanctions for this industry, and also that pressure is being put on Portugal for trade retaliation if she does not obey these sanctions?
As the House will be aware, Mr. Smith's reply to the communication which was made to him three weeks ago by Sir Morrice James was received over the weekend. This is under immediate consideration and the House will be informed of our conclusions as soon as it is possible to do so.
On the first part of that supplementary question, I cannot promise a firm date but it will be as soon as possible. As for the second part, I have no immediate intention of returning to Salisbury.
As it appears that the time set by the Commonwealth Conference has now expired without noticeable progress having been made, will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that in the event of selective mandatory sanctions being sought against Rhodesia it is not intended that there should be an economic confrontation with South Africa which this country cannot afford?
Can my right hon. Friend say whether one of the terms offered by the Government was that African opinion in Rhodesia should be tested by a commission whose composition would be acceptable to the illegal régime? Is he aware that that might be acceptable to Smith but not to a large number of hon. Members on this side of the House?
At the appropriate moment the whole of the British proposals will be laid before the House, but I can confirm to my hon. Friend that, in accordance with the fifth principle, the test of Rhodesian opinion as a whole will be carried out, under our proposals, in a way that will be acceptable to majority opinion.
Will my right hon. Friend accept that this sordid battle with Smith will be a long haul—not weeks or months but perhaps years? In this event will Her Majesty's Government give a guarantee that we shall never give independence to Smith on the terms that he is now advancing?
Does my hon. Friend agree that there are indications that, through indirect routes, tobacco is reaching this country and perhaps even the pipes and cigarettes of hon. Members? Does she agree that until we take over the control of the frontiers this traffic will not be be stopped?
I do not agree with my hon. Friend. We have no information to show that this is taking place. If he has any facts concerning a particular consignment I can assure him that the matter will be looked into very fully.
Can my right hon. Friend say why it is not working? Would not we be within our legal rights so to bomb, in view of the fact that the régime in Rhodesia is a treacherous régime and that, to some of us at least, the operation could easily be carried out by the placing of aircraft carriers in the Mozambique Channel?
I can assure my hon. Friend that Her Majesty's Government are well informed of all the technical problems involved in this sort of exercise, but the Prime Minister stated on 26th April that Her Majesty's Government were opposed to the use of force to bring about a constitutional settlement.
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the difference between the use of force to impose a constitutional settlement and the use of force to make sanctions effective?
I recognise that there is a difference but, as I have said, Her Majesty's Government have already stated their position on the use of force and are not likely to move from that unless circumstances considerably change.
Major Sutton-Pryce's application to the British High Commission Residual Staff in Salisbury for a passport was dealt with in accordance with the policy described by my right hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Bottomley) in the House on 25th January. [Vol. 723, c. 1–4.]
The hon. Member must genuinely fail to understand that when there is an extremely ardent and active propagandist not only for the Rhodesian régime but against Britain it is necessary that the decision which was taken and announced in this House in January should be implemented.
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs if he will estimate the number of murders, burnings and cattle maimings attempted or committed in Rhodesia within the last 12 months by Chinese-trained terrorists infiltrating from Zambia; and, in view of his legal responsibility for Rhodesia, what protests have been made by him to the Government of Zambia.
Is it not a fact that it has taken place? Will the right hon. Gentleman distinguish between the follies of Government—and all Governments are guilty of follies—and the murder or assault of individuals, and agree that where that takes place any country which connives at it deserves reproach?
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the failure of Her Majesty's Government so far to bring down the Smith régime has completely discredited the policy of sanctions, and that the only way to deal satisfactorily with this rebel régime is to go back on Her Majesty's Government's previous declaration not to use force?
In view of all these sabre-rattling questions from hon. Gentlemen opposite, would the right hon. Gentleman go so far as to confirm the view which his hon. Friends have so frequently expressed this afternoon, that sanctions so far have been a ghastly flop?
The Secretary of State will recall that, in answer to an earlier supplementary question, he said that he would not lightly change his policy on the matter of the use of force. Will he make it quite clear that in no circumstances—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—will the Government change the policy announced earlier by the Prime Minister, which is a very important point, that the use of force to solve this constitutional problem would not be contemplated?
Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the very fact that Her Majesty's Government have made it clear throughout that we would not use force has led us into the present very difficult situation?
The right hon. Gentleman said that it is not the intention of the Government to use force. Would he tell his Ministerial colleagues to stop talking about the possibility of using force in private conversations all over the place?
Since the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Meeting, the action we have taken on Rhodesia has throughout been in fulfilment of our purposes and intentions as indicated in the communiqué. We have kept in touch with our Commonwealth colleagues and will continue to do so as events may develop in the light of our consideration of Mr. Smith's reply, to which I have already referred.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Does he not agree that, by supplying Rhodesia with oil, the South African Government have been largely responsible for enabling the illegal régime to continue and that, unless action is taken very soon, it will be enough for Rhodesia to build up sufficient supplies of oil to make sanctions ineffective?
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs how many coloured British citizens awaiting execution in Rhodesia have been sentenced to death under the rebel régime's emergency regulations; and what action he proposes to take against those responsible when the executions are carried out.
No one has been sentenced to death under emergency regulations but a number of persons have been sentenced to death under the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act. There have been no executions and I am sure that the personal responsibility which would rest upon anyone concerned with an illegal execution is fully understood in Rhodesia.
Would my right hon. Friend go a little further than that and give the House a categorical assurance that, if any of these executions are carried out, those responsible will be charged with murder?
I think that the House will appreciate that this is really a question for the Attorney-General rather than for me. I think, however, that I should add that any person, anywhere, who signs a death warrant and has not the authority to do so would involve himself in a most serious offence.
asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs what measures are being taken to train a cadre of civil servants to administer Rhodesia in the period immediately following the overthrow of the illegal Smith régime; if he will consider employing former members of the Overseas Civil Service; and if he will make a statement.
We have made it clear that after the return to constitutional rule the British Government would be ready to give assistance, in the field of administration and in any other ways that might be necessary.
Would my right hon. Friend go a little further than this? Is it not likely that the Civil Service serving the illegal Smith régime will be tainted with the racialism of its masters and that it will be necessary to find a more reliable Civil Service to take its place when the illegal régime has been overthrown?
My hon. Friend may have forgotten that 12 months ago, when I.D.I. was declared, on 11th November, the Queen's Governor indicated at once that he thought that the Civil Service should stand by and serve Rhodesia, which many of them have done. It is not right to assume that those civil servants who are working there are all in support of the illegal régime.
Any question of prosecution would be a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions, who would no doubt consult my right hon. and learned Friend, the Attorney-General; and I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by him to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) on 16th February.—[Vol. 724, c. 1317.]