HC Deb 06 March 1952 vol 497 cc647-8
44. Mrs. Eirene White

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what arrangements have been made for the United Kingdom Government to participate in the Van Riebeeck Tercentenary Celebrations in South Africa.

Mr. Foster

Included in the Van Riebeeck Tercentenary Celebrations to which the hon. Member refers, a Festival Fair will be held in Cape Town from 14th March to 5th April. The United Kingdom will have a Pavilion illustrating the contributions made by this country to the development of South Africa over the last 300 years.

Mrs. White

Is the Under-Secretary aware that since the decision was taken to hold these tercentenary celebrations various non-European organisations in South Africa have decided to use the occasion for organised protests against the racial policy at present pursued by the Government of South Africa? Can he assure the House that nothing will be done by those responsible for United Kingdom participation which would imply, directly or indirectly, any approval of racial policies which are repugnant to many people in this country?

Mr. Foster

Participation does not imply the holding of any views by Her Majesty's Government on the party politics or internal policy of the Union. Her Majesty's Government are very glad to be able to take part in these celebrations.

Captain J. A. L. Duncan

Will my hon. Friend assure the House that the person chosen to open the United Kingdom Pavilion in Cape Town will not be the right hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes)?