Are the Defence Secretary and the British Government sensitive to Indonesia's legitimate concern about French nuclear testing in the Pacific? Since we supported the United Nations resolution on 29th November expressing serious concern about this testing, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will at least talk seriously to President Pompidou about it?
As the nearest part of Indonesia to the atoll where the tests take place is more than 6,000 miles away, and as the tests are conducted by the French in such a way that the prevailing winds carry any debris in the opposite direction, the hon. Gentleman's question would not appear to be very relevant.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that one the greatest desires of the people in Indonesia is to learn the English language? Although the British Council and VSO do a very good job, it is not enough. Will he take a leaf out of the book of the French Government, who are very enthusiastic about pushing the French language, and be more enthusiastic about making sure that the English language can be learned by people in Indonesia?
I agree with my hon. Friend. When I was in Indonesia I found a deep desire by people to have the facilities for learning English extended, and we have tried to help. If my memory serves me correctly, Indonesia receives more aid from us than any other country outside the Commonwealth.
Agreeing with the right hon. Gentleman—in answer to similar questions—that both the previous and present Governments were desperately anxious that France should join the test ban agreement, as they show no signs of doing so is the right hon Gentleman against their carrying out these tests in the Pacific?
The French Government are well aware of our views on this matter. We would much prefer them to adhere to the agreement and not carry out the tests. They are well aware of our views—and they were well aware of the Labour Government's views. Our responsibility, so long as tests continue, is to carry out the monitoring so that we can look after the interests of British citizens.
That is understood. As I have already said, we both take this view—indeed the whole House takes this view—about the French joining the agreement. As they are not joining the agreement, may I ask whether the Prime Minister has represented to the French Government that in present and all future circumstances they should not go ahead with the tests, or has he not made any such representation?
As I have said, the French Government are well aware of our views on the matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] I am not going to enable the right hon. Gentleman to cause trouble between ourselves and France, however much he may be trying to do so in his present irresponsible mood. They are well aware of our preference that they should sign the treaty and should therefore not carry out the tests.