I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker) on 17th June last [Vol. 729, c. 353–4.], which sets out the Government's policy on the creation of a permanent United Nations Peacekeeping Force, and what we are already doing or stand ready to do to assist peacekeeping activities of the United Nations. This statement applies as much to the area east of Suez as to any other part of the world.
Would my right hon. Friend agree that if we are serious about rationalising our overseas commitments, particularly east of Suez, we must give a great deal more dynamic thought now to how international and collective agreements can specifically operate in that area under the United Nations?
I would agree in principle with my hon. Friend, although I hope that his suplementary question did not imply that the Government are not giving a great deal of dynamic thought to this question. I would say, and I know that my hon. Friend will agree, that the Government's support for the United Nations decision to send a mission to Aden in the near future may, and I hope will, lead to the United Nations accepting some responsibility for the security of that part of the world when British forces are withdrawn.