Oral Answers to Questions — Rhodesia

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Evelyn King Mr Evelyn King , South Dorset 12:00 am, 14th November 1967

asked the Prime Minister what new policy he has in mind in view of the fact that Rhodesian sanctions have now failed; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the renewal of talks with Mr. Smith's Government subsequent to the Commonwealth Secretary's visit.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about Rhodesia.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I would ask hon. Members to await the statement which my right hon. Friend the Commonwealth Secretary will be making later this afternoon.

Photo of Mr Evelyn King Mr Evelyn King , South Dorset

Will the Prime Minister tell the House why he went on British television and said that sanctions, at least politically, had not been successful? Is he aware that that statement was headlined in every paper in Central Africa? What was the object of it?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

In the context of the question they have not been successful, and I said that we would continue with them. They have not been successful yet, but the hon. Gentleman will be aware, on the basis of the statement made by Mr. Smith himself, and this has been widely echoed in this country, and recently by the Leader of the Opposition himself, that sanctions are having a considerable effect. They have not had the effect of ending the illegality.

Photo of Mr Patrick Wall Mr Patrick Wall , Haltemprice

Would the Prime Minister agree that the present exchanges appear to offer the last chance of a settlement, and does he expect to meet Mr. Smith between now and the end of the Christmas Recess?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I think that the hon. Gentleman had better await the statement to be made by my right hon. Friend. We have made it clear that we will only commend to the House any settlement that is acceptable to this House as honourable, and that fully accords with the principles which the House, under successive Governments, has laid down.

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the ending of sanctions would cause a crisis of confidence among Afro-Asian and Commonwealth States, and that this might lead to the polarisation of white and coloured nations? Will he therefore take further steps to bring this stalemate to an end?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I am aware of what the situation would be in the Commonwealth if there were any question of a sell-out to Mr. Smith or an agreement not based on the principles approved by the House, though I think that the Commonwealth as a whole would be very happy if it were possible to end sanctions, if there were a return to legality and an honourable settlement.

Photo of Mr Raphael Tuck Mr Raphael Tuck , Watford

Will the Prime Minister make it quite clear that he spurns any suggestion that because we might have been unsuccessful in putting down injustice we should throw in the towel and subsequently condone it?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I think that the position of all parties in this House is that there must be a return to legality, and also that there must be a settlement which fulfils the principles laid down by the House. I do not think that I need go beyond that, particularly as my right hon. Friend will be reporting in more detail to the House later this afternoon.