§ 31. Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT, with an English translation, the text of the Katanga Government's Memorandum pour le Government de Léopoldville, offering that Government an economic, customs, monetary and military union, and financial help, a copy of which document, dated Elisabethville, 17th October, 1961, and signed by President Tshombe, his Minister of the Interior, Monsieur G. Munongo, and Foreign Minister, Monsieur E. Kimba, has been sent him by the hon. Member for Chigwell.
§ Mr. Warbey
On a point of order. In this Question a certain Mr. Kimba is described as the Foreign Minister. Is it in order so to describe a member of a provincial administration in a country with which we have friendly relations?
§ Mr. Speaker
An hon. Member tabling a Question takes responsibility for apparent statements of fact therein.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
May I thank my right hon. Friend for that, at least, and ask him if it is not the case that this is a reasonable document which disposes of the charge of secessionism—
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
—often levelled against the Katanga Government, and would not the United Nations be better employed in trying to arrange to start peaceful negotiations on some such basis as this rather than in continuing to rain 933 death and destruction upon Katanga in defiance of the The Hague Convention and of the canons of military honour?
Mr. H. Wilson
As it obviously has not entered the heads of the right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends below the Gangway that a province does not normally enter into customs unions and monetary unions with the Government of the country of which it forms part, and as the whole argument has been whether Katanga is, as some hon. Members regard it, a separate State or is a province, and in view of the right hon. Gentleman's own clear statements that it is a province and his statements of the Government's view that it should not secede from the Congo, would he perhaps spare a little time, take a little time off, to explain to his hon. Friend's these very elementary points?