HC Deb 15 June 1964 vol 696 cc903-4
2. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the action of Her Majesty's Consul-General in Johannesburg in inviting Mrs. Sisulu to the official reception on the Queen's birthday was taken with his authority.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Robert Mathew)

Guest lists for receptions given by Her Majesty's representatives on the occasion of The Queen's Birthday are not normally submitted to my right hon. Friend for approval. The guest list for the reception in question was therefore not submitted to him.

Mrs. Castle

Is the hon. Member aware that we on this side of the House warmly welcome the action taken by the Consul-General? Can he confirm the report that Mr. James Currie is now to leave South Africa, and would he say whether that has any connection with this event? Could he assure the House that the premature transfer of his deputy, Mr. Minford, has no connection with his multi-racial activities in South Africa, or with any protest by the South African Government against those activities?

Mr. Mathew

On the last part of the question, there is no connection whatever between the two. Mr. Minford's posting is in the normal work of the Foreign Office and has absolutely nothing to do with the case to which the hon. Lady referred. I cannot help her about the first part of the question, but if she cares to put down a Question I will attempt to answer it. I should stress here that Mrs. Sisulu was asked in view of her own personal prominent position in the City of Johannesburg, where she is well known for her social and charitable work, and not in respect of her husband at all.