Oral Answers to Questions — Rhodesia

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th April 1968.

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Photo of Mr Frank Hooley Mr Frank Hooley , Sheffield, Heeley 12:00 am, 4th April 1968

asked the Prime Minister if he will seek a meeting with the President of Portugal to discuss the situation in Rhodesia in so far as it relates to the obligations of the United Kingdom and Portugal under the United Nations Charter.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I do not feel this to be necessary, Sir.

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

Is it not an absurd situation that our so-called ally in N.A.T.O. and our so-called economic partner in E.F.T.A. should be pursuing a policy deliberately calculated to undermine the Government's policy over Rhodesia? What pressures is my right hon. Friend prepared to bring to bear on Portugal to bring it into line?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I referred to this in the debate on Rhodesia recently, and I do not think that a bilateral meeting would be helpful at this time. As I said in that speech—my hon. Friend will be aware of this, of course—these are matters currently under discussion at the Security Council of the United Nations. I am sure that, in the course of those discussions, Portugal will realise how desirable it is for her not to get out of line with her principal allies or with the vast majority of countries represented at the United Nations.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

When will the right hon. Gentleman respond to the offer of my right hon. Friend the Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) to do everything he can to get negotiations going again?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The right hon. Gentleman, of course, did everything he could on his recent visit to Rhodesia, and I gave the Government's appreciation, after very careful study, of what he brought home. Also, of course, as the hon. Gentleman will recognise, since the visit of the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home), whatever hopes might have been raised, the whole thing was entirely changed by the flouting of the rule of law by the very people with whom he had been dealing.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

My hon. Friend asked when the Government proposed to do something about it.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

That seems more a statement than a question. The answer was given by us last week—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—and I said that we are not prepared to deal on a basis of trust—which is implied, whatever the letter of the agreement—with people who reject and flout the rule of law. When those with whom we can deal have broken with racialism, we shall have a chance of getting a satisfactory settlement.