Her Majesty's Government's policy in Angola is to concentrate on English language teaching. A small team of English language teachers was appointed in 1981 to assist the National Language Institute in Luanda. In addition, small items of equipment are provided to Angola under the heads of mission gifts scheme.
I join hon. Members in congratulating the right hon. Gentleman and also welcome his reply. Does he agree that there is scope for further aid to Angola, especially if the problem of the seven British detainees can be resolved? Will he accept that the cost to the Angolan Government of keeping seven British detainees in prison for 18 years must be considerable and that it would be within the resources of this country to make such a sum available if the problem could be satisfactorily resolved?
I understand the hon. Gentleman's concern for his constituent. I do not think that it would help the prisoners if we were to link our aid programme direct to the question of their future treatment.
In welcoming the Minister to his new responsibility on the Front Bench, may I apologise for the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich (Mr. Barnett) who is indisposed? Will the Minister confirm that, prior to his departure for discussions taking place later this week with colleagues in Africa on the future of that continent's development, he will announce to the House that it is no longer his intention, as reported, to stay in South Africa en route to the talks?
I am greatly looking forward to my visit to southern Africa this week. The fact is that I felt it my duty to be here to answer questions. The only way in which I could answer questions today was to catch the particular aircraft on which I am flying.
May I add my congratulations to my right hon. Friend on his new appointment? Further to the supplementary question raised by the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Ginsburg), is my right hon. Friend aware that a constituent of mine is also incarcerated in Angola? Will he draw the attention of other Foreign Office Ministers to the urgent need for a meeting between our ambassador in Angola and President Dos Santos at the earliest opportunity?