HC Deb 18 July 1961 vol 644 cc1052-3
Q1. Mr. Brockway

asked the Prime Minister to which Minister the United Kingdom Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa will be responsible.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

A decision will be made when the review of our relations with South Africa, now in progress, has been completed. Meanwhile the Ambassador will continue to be responsible to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.

Mr. Brockway

May I express our appreciation of this new arrangement for answering Questions and the hope that it will be convenient for the Prime Minister as well as useful to the House?

How long does the Prime Minister expect it will be before a decision is reached on this matter of South Africa? Is he aware that very many of us take the view that, since the Union of South Africa has withdrawn from the Commonwealth, the Ambassador should be representative of the Foreign Office and not of the Commonwealth Relations Department?

The Prime Minister

I am grateful to the hon. Member for what he said about the arrangement of Questions. I can assure him that this arrangement suits me much better because I know when to come here.

Answering the second part of the supplementary question, under the standstill agreement there will be a considerable period before we can negotiate all the many problems which arise. I think that we had better wait to see what progress we make under the standstill arrangements.