Is it not now clear that the initiative lies with the Rhodesians and that very soon they are likely to break their last links with this country? Would not the right hon. Gentleman consider making some concessions at least to salve something from the debacle of Government policy?
I am not sure who the hon. Gentleman thinks has to salve something from whose debacle. We have gone as far as we could go; the Smith régime has not moved at all. We both know that there are situations which, if they wished, they could take hold of and help. I do not think that we are called upon to do anything else now except to hold on to the course which not only we but the world outside believe to be the right course.
No obstacles emerged during the Commonwealth Secretary's visit. The obstacles are that the Smith régime went back on agreements and arrangements which Smith had made. Difficulties are rising in Rhodesia. I suggest that the right thing for all of us to do is to hold the position and wait until people in Rhodesia understand what is happening, as, I believe, many of them are doing.
I must press the Foreign Secretary. During the Commonwealth Secretary's visit, Mr. Smith asked for certain changes to be made in the "Tiger" constitution, changes which Her Majesty's Government said they found unacceptable. Is the Foreign Secretary saying that the Government are to take absolutely no action whatever to try to find ways round those difficulties with Mr. Smith?
What I am saying is that Mr. Smith has gone so far back on agreements which he made that it is not for us to find ways round the difficulty. It is for him to go back to the agreement which he made and to work it out with his own people. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition that he would do far better making that plain to Mr. Smith than trying to lecture us.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that since the "Tiger" constitution the Smith régime has introduced a great deal of racialist and repressive legislation which is moving it far away from the community of nations?
That may well be so. At the time of the "Tiger" constitution, we thought that we had an arrangement on which we could get an honourable settlement. It is still the purpose of the Government to get an honourable settlement. I do not think that we can be asked to be those who move from here.
—since the Commonwealth Secretary's visit? Does the right lion. Gentleman realise that if he allows things just to drift, he will find that the Rhodesian authorities have set up a new constitution and that after that there will be no possibility of a settlement?
Even knowing the right hon. Gentleman as well as I do, I am very surprised that he should espouse an illegal régime as he does. We have contacts with the Governor; we do not have contacts in that sense with an illegal régime.