HC Deb 29 January 1962 vol 652 cc687-8
11. Mrs. Castle

asked the Lord Privy Seal how the United Kingdom delegate to the Special Political Committee of the United Nations voted on the resolution calling on the United Nations to institute economic sanctions against South Africa.

Mr. Godber

There were two such resolutions. The United Kingdom voted against one and abstained on the other in Committee. In Plenary, the first was withdrawn. We voted for the second after the paragraphs referring to economic sanctions had been rejected by the Assembly.

Mrs. Castle

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that even the moderate Monrovian group of African States now meeting in Lagos has passed a resolution calling on Britain, France and the United States to bring immediate political and economic pressure to bear on South Africa to compel her to abandon her apartheid policies? Will not Her Majesty's Government alienate even such moderate members of the Commonwealth as Tanganyika and Nigeria by this kind of cowardly action, or lack of action, in the United Nations?

Mr. Godber

I reject the hon. Lady's suggestion that there was anything cowardly about this. We have made our policy about sanctions quite clear. We do not believe that that is the way in which to achieve the results which everybody in the House wants—a change of attitude on the part of the South African Government. We have made our abhorrence of apartheid abundantly clear. On this occasion in the Assembly we were by no means isolated, as the hon. Lady seems to assume. At the very least there were 26 nations voting with us, and on many occasions there were far more than that.

Mr. H. Wilson

Since the hon. Gentleman takes credit for the vote on the final resolution on 28th November, will he say why it was that on 19th December the Government abstained on the subsequent resolution on South-West Africa, which was carried by 90 votes to nil with four absentions? In view of that resolution, pressing for independence and national sovereignty for the people of South-West Africa—

Mr. Speaker

That appears to be a totally different question.