HC Deb 10 March 1958 vol 584 cc25-6
43. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how the British delegate voted on the Trusteeship Council and at the General Assembly of the United Nations when a resolution requiring information from Portugal on her overseas territories was considered; and what were the votes on each occasion for and against the resolution.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Ian Harvey)

The resolution to which the hon. Member is, I think, referring was concerned with the transmission of information in respect of non-self-governing territories. It did not mention Portugal specifically, and it was, in fact, discussed in the Fourth (Trusteeship) Committee of the General Assembly and not in the Trusteeship Council. The resolution was adopted by the Fourth Committee on 5th November, 1957, by forty-two votes to twenty-seven with eight abstentions. The United Kingdom voted against the resolution.

In the Assembly itself, on 26th November, the resolution failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority and was therefore not carried. The voting was forty-one votes to thirty with ten abstentions. The United Kingdom again voted against the resolution.

Mr. Brockway

Will the hon. Gentleman suggest to his right hon. and learned Friend that the British attitude should be reconsidered? Does not Portugal, by integrating her Colonies, withhold those territories from supervision by the United Nations in the way of annual reports or in any other way?

Mr. Harvey

No, Sir. The attitude upon which our decision was taken was based on the fact that Portugal regards these provinces as part of her metropolitan territory, and we see no reason to change our view.

Mr. Paget

Has the United Nations any jurisdiction to investigate colonial administrations against the will of the colonial Power?

Mr. Harvey

No, Sir.

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