Oral Answers to Questions — Rhodesia

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1967.

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Photo of Sir John Langford-Holt Sir John Langford-Holt , Shrewsbury 12:00 am, 20th July 1967

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an assurance that it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to implement all resolutions on Rhodesia which have been passed by the Security Council or the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

We accept our obligations under Article 25 of the United Nations Charter to carry out decisions of the Security Council. We also give great weight to recommendations of the Security Council or of the General Assembly, but our action is determined by the merits of each case.

Photo of Sir John Langford-Holt Sir John Langford-Holt , Shrewsbury

Would I be right, therefore, in assuming that the answer to the question is "No", and will the Prime Minister bear in mind that this contradicts what he and his right hon. and hon. Friends have been saying for years, implying that they would at all times accept resolutions of the United Nations? The understanding that he will not do this will give great satisfaction to many people.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

We have never said that we would accept every recommendation, for example, of the General Assembly in relation to Rhodesia. There are some resolutions passed by the General Assembly, for instance, that calling for immediate majority rule in Rhodesia, which we have always rejected. There has never been any question that we would have to act in that way. Our policy on the question of majority rule is well known.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Whitaker Mr Benjamin Whitaker , Hampstead

But will my right hon. Friend confirm that, rather than abrogate the principle of Nibmar, he will allow the United Nations to take any step to implement it?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The rôle of the United Nations in the matter of Rhodesia which we have often debated in the House, is to faciltate and to make more universal the sanctions on which this House has decided. Responsibility for Rhodesia is that of the British Government and will remain so, but we went to the United Nations to ensure that the sanctions which we are applying, by decision of the House, should be applied by other countries. That, I believe, is the role of the United Nations, not the operation of principles like Nibmar.