Detailed information about arms inquiries or sales to any country is confidential but, as the House knows, in the case of South Africa these would be dealt with in the light of our arms embargo policy which was explained to the House by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 17th and 25th November, 1964.—[Vol. 702, c. 199–208; Vol. 702, c. 1281–7.]
The hon. Gentleman will know that in our opinion there are many good political reasons for this. We decided to limit the chances of British arms exporters so far as South Africa was concerned. We still believe that those considerations are correct.
As we are very short of naval orders on nearly all our great rivers, if the right hon. Gentleman is to pursue this policy towards South Africa, will the Government kindly place some orders to make sure that men have employment in naval shipbuilding?
Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that he will not yield to this financial expediency as against political principle? Will he also bear in mind that countries like South Africa are conniving at the breach of the sanctions against Rhodesia?