Rhodesia

Oral Answers to Questions — Technology – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone 12:00 am, 17th January 1967

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the Rhodesian situation.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about recent developments in the Rhodesian problem.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

asked the Prime Minister whether the British Government regard themselves are now being firmly committed to the principle of no independence before majority rule in Rhodesia.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Croydon South

asked the Prime Minister what is the latest position with regard to Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

.asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr John Rodgers Mr John Rodgers , Sevenoaks

asked the Prime Minister what further steps he now contemplates to try to reach agreement with the régime in Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I have been asked to reply.

The Rhodesian situation, and Her Majesty's Government's attitude towards it, remain as described by my right hon. Friend in this House on the 20th December last and my right hon. Friend has no further Statement to make to the House as yet.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone

Does the First Secretary realise that what he has just said will be received in the country with the enthusiasm appropriate to someone who has just discovered that he has cut his own throat? Can he now give the House some solid assurance that Her Majesty's Government appreciate both the scale and the permanence of the economic damage which is being done and that their present posture on Rhodesia is about as convincing as Lady Godiva on a camel?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I think that the seriousness of the situation merits a more serious comment than that. Her Majesty's Government are very well aware of all that is involved in this situation. It was that which guided my right hon. Friend's statement, and that describes the Government's position.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that we shall have to negotiate a settlement of the Rhodesian problem sooner or later—

Hon. Members:

Go to Trafalgar Square.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Surbiton

—that remark shows only that hon. Members did not hear my speech there—but that this cannot be—done—I say this in no unfriendly spirit—in the new and unrealistic policy of no independence before majority rule, because there is a demand for unconditional surrender to which no Government of Rhodesia, however moderate, could possibly agree?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

If one wants negotiation—and one does—the first step must be a return to legality. As to negotiations with the present illegal régime, they are living in an unreal world and a bygone century, as the hon. Gentleman himself said last Sunday.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

Can my right hon. Friend assure us that the Government will make it abundantly clear that they now regard the principle of no independence before majority rule as of much more fundamental significance than the seven principles which have so often been referred to in the past? Can my right hon. Friend further assure us that the Government are prepared to take all necessary action to make the present policy of mandatory sanctions effective?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

The Government stand quite firmly by the statement of the principle of no independence before majority rule. It is our intention to carry out the policy of mandatory sanctions. There will be a report to the Security Council on 1st March on the working of mandatory sanctions, and Her Majesty's Government stand resolutely behind that policy.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Croydon South

Can my right hon. Friend give us no clue as to how mandatory sanctions by other members of the United Nations are working? Further, does he know whether the Leader of the Opposition in this Parliament has dissociated himself from the disgraceful and provocative rally organised on Sunday by the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys)?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I do not know the answer to the second part of the question. I think that we await it with interest. As to the first part of the question, we should await the Secretary-General's report to the Security Council, but it is clear that there is massive international support for the policy approved by the Security Council.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. The hon. Member for Watford (Mr. Raphael Tuck) must conduct himself properly. Mr. Duncan Sandys.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that after the meeting referred to, at which I advocated the resumption of talks with Rhodesia, the Minister of State, Commonwealth Affairs, issued a statement attacking me in terms which I am advised amount virtually to a charge of treason? Will the right hon. Gentleman clearly dissociate the Government from this grave and utterly unfair accusation?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

The right hon. Gentleman attacks so many people that he really should not fuss so much when he is attacked himself. If he chooses to hold meetings like that held last Sunday, he should notice some of the kind of people who support him.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the recent speech of Mr. Dean Acheson on the Rhodesian question? Is he aware of the growing opposition in Congress to United States involvement in the U.N. campaign started by Her Majesty's Government? Can he say whether Her Majesty's Government have or have not taken soundings of the United States Government about the use of force?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

The answer to the latter part of the question is, "No, Sir". I do not think what was said earlier contravenes at all the point that I made a little while ago that we have solid international support for the policy of mandatory sanctions, and we and the other nations will proceed with it.

Photo of Mr John Rodgers Mr John Rodgers , Sevenoaks

As the right hon. Gentleman has no plans dealing with the impasse to reveal to the House at the moment, may I ask him to see that in-formation regarding dangerous drugs is passed immediately by his right hon. Friend the Minister of Health to the Rhodesians and not held up as appears to be the case?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I think that that question possibly should be put on the Paper.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

What steps is the right hon. Gentleman taking to make contact with and to encourage the 3,500 people in Rhodesia who replied to an advertisement opposing the Smith régime and advocating the adoption of the sort of proposals which were made on H.M.S. "Tiger"?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

That is a rather different question from the others which have been asked, but I accept the importance of what the hon. Member says.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

Reverting to the question asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys), may I ask the First Secretary whether he regards the advocacy of further talks with Rhodesia as tantamount to something like treason?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

That is a question on which it might be better to get a legal opinion. I should have thought it was perfectly clear that remarks like that strengthen any there may be in Rhodesia who want to continue illegality. Anyone who claims to have any influence in Rhodesia might better use it to urge people there to return to legality.