Rhodesia

Oral Answers to Questions — Wireless and Television – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Jack Ashley Mr Jack Ashley , Stoke-on-Trent South 12:00 am, 13th July 1967

asked the Prime Minister what progress has been made in the talks between the illegal Rhodesia régime and Lord Alport.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I have as yet nothing to add to the Answers I gave to Questions on this subject on Tuesday last.—[Vol. 750, c. 415.]

Photo of Mr Jack Ashley Mr Jack Ashley , Stoke-on-Trent South

As the prerequisite to any conceivable settlement is that it is acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole, would my right hon. Friend assure the House that he will not accept the charade of an indaba of chiefs but that all black Africans, including those in detention, will be required to give their consent before any settlement is agreed to?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The question of acceptability to the people of Rhodesia as a whole has long been one of the principles insisted upon by both the previous and the present Government. The idea of an indaba purporting to speak for the African population as a whole was very firmly rejected by right hon. Gentlemen opposite—indeed by the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) on the last day that he held office. That has been the continuing position of this Government.

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

When he last answered Questions on this subject, the Prime Minister said that after Lord Alport returned he would make a statement saying what the Government intended to do about it. Would he give consideration to Lord Alport making a dispatch after his return setting out his conclusions, even if he could not set out the sources of his information, so that Parliament and the country could judge what his conclusions were and what action should be taken?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I will certainly discuss this with Lord Alport when he comes back. I do not know in what form his report will be made, but the House will be given very full information about his visit and its outcome in whatever form it may be given.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

In view of the scandalous and utterly intransigent attacks made on Lord Alport by Mr. Smith's colleagues, will the Prime Minister consider whether the time has not now come to ask the United Nations to apply the full sanctions of Article 41, and will he remember that half-measures rarely succeed?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The quality of the attacks made on Lord Alport by certain of the extremist members of the regime will not be a surprise to hon. Members. They have no significance whatsoever in terms of the responsibilties which Her Majesty's Government have in the matter. The question of future United Nations action must be a matter for the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone

Is the Prime Minister aware that N.I.B.M.A.R., which lies at the heart of the negotiations, is the most massive and monumental stumbling block since the Pharaohs tripped over the Pyramids, and that it shares with those edifices the ability to bury reputations? It is asffitial—[Interruption.]

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

The House should listen to metaphors more patiently.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I thought that the Pharaohs were buried in the Pyramids. As for N.I.B.M.A.R., Mr. Smith anti his colleagues had ample notice from the Commonwealth Conference afterwards that, as a result of a very hard struggle on our part, we had secured acquiescence by the Commonwealth to his having another chance to reach agreement. We gave him that chance. N.I.B.M.A.R. was not then in question. He could have accepted the "Tiger" proposals—I think he wanted to—but he was not allowed to, and his refusal was backed up by right hon. Gentlemen opposide in the Lobby.