HC Deb 25 March 1963 vol 674 cc949-50
51. Mrs. Castle

asked the Lord Privy Seal what negotiations have been entered into with the South African Government for the provision of refuelling bases and repair facilities in South Africa for British military aircraft.

Mr. Heath

These facilities are already available to British service aircraft when required.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not a fact that an extension of these facilities has recently been sought as part of a military deal with the South African Government under which it is to be helped to obtain Buccaneer bombers from this country? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this kind of military deal with South Africa is deeply deplored by all civilised opinion in this country—[HON. MEMBERS "Nonsense."]—which is not happy to see this kind of quid pro quo—bases for Britain against bombers for South Africa—when we know that the armaments which we send there will be used for the oppressive policy of apartheid?

Mr. Heath

There is to be no question of a military deal of the kind suggested by the hon. Lady.

Mr. Wall

Is it not the case that while, clearly, we deprecate the internal policy of the South African Government. we have a joint responsibility for the defence of the Southern Atlantic and the Southern Indian Ocean?

Mr. Heath

I have explained to the House that that is why these facilities are already available.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the Lord Privy Seal consider giving us a White Paper setting out details of the arms which have been supplied to the South African Government over the last three years and of any military arrangements that may have been made?

Mr. Heath

As I think the right hon. Gentleman is aware, details of the sale of arms to particular countries are never published in the form which he suggests.