HC Deb 29 April 1963 vol 676 cc703-4
22. Mrs. Castle

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government will recognise the new régime in the Yemen.

34. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Lord Privy Seal, in view of the changed military circumstances in the Yemen and evidence of the stability of the present Yemen Government, if Her Majesty's Government will now recognise that Government.

Mr. Heath

I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Lincoln (Mr. Taverne) on 20th March.

Mrs. Castle

is not the position of Her Majesty's Government becoming rapidly ridiculous? Is it not thanks to United Nations mediation that an agreement has been reached to end outside intervention in the Yemen and thus meet one of the objections made earlier by Her Majesty's Government? Is it not also a fact that the Yemen is shortly to join the new United Arab Republic, and would it not have strengthened our friendly relations with the Republic had we made the sensible gesture and recognised the new régime of the Yemen before that happened?

Mr. Heath

I told the House earlier of the normal criteria, which we are observing for recognition in this case. We warmly welcome the undertakings which have been given by the United Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia regarding intervention in the Yemen. Perhaps we may also recognise that this was to a considerable extent due to the work of Mr. Bunker on behalf of the American Government and Dr. Bundle on behalf of members of the U.N. It would be wise first to see those undertakings carried out and then to see how the situation progresses.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the Lord Privy Seal not aware that one of the reasons we gave for withholding recognisition was the alleged instability of the country and the possibility of attack by the ex-Imam on the present Government? Seeing that stability has now apparently been restored and that there is no further evidence of attack in the near future, has not one of the reasons for withholding recognition now disappeared and, in consequence, should not recognition now be granted?

Mr. Heath

I do not think that the hon. Member has quite correctly described what was said at the time. It was that the régime in any country has to demonstrate that it is firmly in control over the greater part of the country; and that has not yet been demonstrated in this case.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Does the Lord Privy Seal not realise that he is giving the impression to me that he is fabricating reasons for not recognising the new régime in the Yemen? Is the present régime any less stable than the previous one, which we recognise? That was not very stable, yet we recognised it for a very long time.

Mr. Heath

It was stable for a long time. After a long period it was overthrown.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Can we be assured that there will be no such recognition until all foreign forces have been withdrawn, which will show us how much genuine support the new régime enjoys?

Mr. Heath

I do not wish to deal with assurances in particular on this matter. As I have said, we must abide by the normal criteria we apply to recognition in the case of all countries.