§ 46. Mr. Stonehouse
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has given to the protest he has received from the Government of 1327 Belgium regarding the official statement of Sir Roy Welensky with regard to federation of the Katanga area of the Belgian Congo with the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
§ 47. Mr. Brockway
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reply he has made to the communication he has received from the Belgian Government regarding Sir Roy Welensky's official statement that he has received approaches from the Katanga Province of the Belgian Congo for union with the Central African Government.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)
The Belgian Ambassador asked me on 4th March about Sir Roy Welensky's remarks to a Press correspondent about letters he had received suggesting that the Katanga Province of the Belgian Congo might be associated with the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I told the Ambassador that the political association of any other territory with the Federation would require the approval of Her Majesty's Government and legislation in the United Kingdom. I also said that Her Majesty's Government had not considered, nor been asked to consider, the possibility of any such association.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
I thank the Foreign Secretary for that reply, but would he not agree that it is of very great importance that this country should have good relations with the new Congo State which comes into existence on 1st July next? Is it not deplorable that Sir Roy Welensky should make statements of this character which appear to the people concerned as empire-building?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I think it should be noted that in the statement attributed to Sir Roy Welensky he said that any move for the association of this Province would have to come from the people of the Province itself. However, at the recent Round Table Conference in Brussels at which there were delegates from Katanga Province, it was agreed that the Congo should remain a unitary State within its present frontier. That is a factor which Her Majesty's Government will have to take into account.
§ Mr. Brockway
The right hon. and learned Gentleman omitted to mention 1328 any communication having been made to Sir Roy Welensky. Have the Government in fact indicated to him his grave indiscretion in making this statement? If the right hon. and learned Gentleman has investigated this matter at all, is it not the case that the proposal for union came from mining interests in Katanga who feared that their social and economic privileges would be destroyed under an independent African Government?