HC Deb 14 July 1964 vol 698 cc1019-20
Q2. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference; and to what extent agreement was reached on the policy to be pursued by the United Kingdom Government towards Southern Rhodesia.

The Prime Minister

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will await the communiqué to be issued at the end of the Conference.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is not the Prime Minister aware that there has already been at least one official communiqué referring to the position of Southern Rhodesia? Has he accepted the advice of the other Prime Ministers and is he willing now to take on the responsibility on the part of the United Kingdom for guiding this territory towards majority rule?

The Prime Minister

I think that the hon. Member had better wait and see.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

While we must await the communiqué, and while the question of Southern Rhodesia is primarily one for Southern Rhodesia and the United Kingdom, may I ask whether it is not gratifying that the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, of all races and continents, should have given such a constructive discussion to the social, economic and cultural advancement of their peoples, and is not the whole Commonwealth grateful for the lead which has been set by my right hon. Friend?

The Prime Minister

I very much hope that we are making good progress with the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference, but I think that we had better await the communiqué before I say very much more.

Mr. Bottomley

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the people of Britain believe in majority rule irrespective of class or creed? In those circumstances, should not Her Majesty's Government see that majority rule prevails?

The Prime Minister

I was asked if I would make a statement and I said no, not before the communiqué.