Oral Answers to Questions — Rhodesia (Oil)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West 12:00 am, 17th July 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how much oil has now reached RhodesiaviaLaurenço Marques since the imposition of mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs told the hon. Member for Cardigan (Mr. Elystan Morgan) on 27th January, I should prefer to say nothing which might reveal the extent of our knowledge of the régime's complicated and expensive methods of procurement.—[Vol. 739, c. 389.]

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth West

Will my hon. Friend not agree that this wilful sabotage of internationally agreed action to secure an acceptable solution of the Rhodesia problem is intolerable, and does he realise that he will receive the warm support of this side of the House for any action he regards as necessary to bring effective pressure to bear on the Portuguese Government?

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

I understand my hon. Friend's views, and, of course, they are very much in line with our own, but I think I ought to make it clear that it is for the Security Council itself to decide whether any particular State has failed to meet its obligations in accordance with Article 25 of the United Nations Charter.

Photo of Sir Knox Cunningham Sir Knox Cunningham , South Antrim

Would it not be wise for the Government to call off this ridiculous farce of sanctions?

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

Indeed not. They are having effect, and we must do our best to make them even more effective.

Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley

Will the Government be prepared to bring pressure on the Portuguese Government for the possible establishment of a United Nations inspectorate in this part of the world for the physical control of sanctions?

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

I do not think that this is a matter for bilateral discussions. The United Nations has accepted the responsibility, and I think that that is the forum in which, in this respect, we ought to be seeking to work.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

Will the hon. Gentleman not agree that in view of the fact that many of our trading partners, like the United States, are now clearly disregarding sanctions, it is quite improper to single out one?

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

I would not agree with that. I think the hon. Gentleman has a Question later on the Paper which deals with another aspect of this.

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

Will the Government propose to the United Nations that an inspectorate should be set up, as my hon. Friend proposed?

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

It is an interesting suggestion and we shall certainly look into it.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

Well, then, does the Minister propose to use the Government's famous pressure on the French, the Greeks, the Germans, the Japanese?

An Hon. Member:

And the United States.

Photo of Mr William Rodgers Mr William Rodgers , Stockton-on-Tees

We have made clear our position about this. We are continuing to work through the United Nations, as I have said, under Article 25, which is for special circumstances, and, of course, we are in close touch with friendly Governments with whom we have other working arrangements.