§ 36. Mr. Brockway
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will introduce legislation to amend the South Africa Act with the object of withdrawing the economic privileges allowed to South Africa; and if he will notify the Government of the Republic of South Africa of the intentions of Her Majesty's Government in this respect.
§ Mr. Brockway
In view of the introduction of the Sabotage Act by the Republic, which is about the crowning of the Nazi system in that territory, why should we give Imperial preferences, subsidise sugar and enter into a defence agreement with a country which is now obvious to the world as a Nazi Power?
§ Mr. Heath
It was only a short time ago that we had long and detailed discussion about the South Africa Act. I fully recognise the hon. Gentleman's point about the introduction of the Sabotage Act, but we cannot at this stage change an Act that we so recently passed.
Does the Lord Privy Seal's reply in regard to the debate we had in this House mean that nothing but a change in the vote of the House will change his attitude on South African preference? If so, does it not mean that 1341 we shall have to wait for a General Election and a change of Government?
§ Mr. Heath
What I was meaning was that we devoted a great deal of time to the South Africa Act, which has so recently been passed. Hon. Members on all sides took part in those debates, in which we examined very thoroughly the relationship between the political policy of South Africa and any economic and other arrangements we made. We came to a decision and it is much too early to consider changing it.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
Have not the developments that have taken place since the South African Act was passed, including the passing of the Sabotage Act, made a new case for reconsideration of the South Africa Act, greatly reinforcing the arguments we advanced from this side?