HC Deb 16 November 1964 vol 702 cc31-3
Mr. Sandys

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will make urgent representations to the Government of Tanzania to suspend the expulsion order against Mr. L. H. Gallagher, a former British Official, which followed the expulsion last Friday of Mr. Dunmore, also a former British Official; and if he will ask the Government of Tanzania to refrain from further expulsions pending consultations with the British Government.

The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. Arthur Bottomley)

Yes, Sir. This is being done.

Mr. Sandys

May I, first, take this opportunity to wish the right hon. Gentleman well in his important office.

Will the right hon. Gentleman make it very clear to the Government of Tanzania that the rough arbitrary expulsion of British officials who have rendered long service to Tanganyika has been very badly received in this country? Secondly, will he take this opportunity to deny categorically the groundless allegation that the British Government have been involved in a Western plot to overthrow the Government of Tanzania? Thirdly, will he tell us whether any special steps are being taken to provide for the security and safety of British citizens resident in Zanzibar, where the situation is extremely disturbing?

Mr. Bottomley

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kind reference to me, which I appreciate very much.

With regard to the allegation mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman that the United Kingdom Government are involved, perhaps I should tell him that the High Commissioner for Tanzania has told me that that is not so.

With regard to the rough treatment of British officials to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, whilst not accepting that, may I point out that last Friday my hon. Friend the Minister of State saw the Tanzania High Commissioner and told him that we took this matter very seriously. We have also asked our High Commissioner in Tanzania to make representations on behalf of this country.

Mr. Thorpe

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether those representations are being made in Dar-es-Salaam, to the Tanzanian Government, or whether representations are being made direct to those who are in charge—but not, obviously, the Government—in Zanzibar itself? There seems to me to be some difference between the two.

Mr. Bottomley

Zanzibar is a different part of the question, but I will answer it because the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) wishes me to do so. He tried to get the answer from me by a Private Notice Question earlier, and failed to do so.

The responsibility for the safety of British subjects in Zanzibar is that of the Tanzanian Government, but the advice that I have is that there is no need to fear for the safety of British citizens.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Is it not the case that quite recently British forces were of great service to what was then the Tanganyikan Government, in upholding their lawful authority? Are not the suggestions that British subjects may be engaged in a plot a bit much? Are not the British people, as taxpayers, giving considerable help to the Tanzanian Government? Are not we glad to do so? Do not we wish their people very well indeed? Will Her Majesty's Government do everything possible to see that, in turn, we receive fair treatment? We ask no more than that British nationals in these countries are justly treated.

Mr. Bottomley

The Tanzanian authorities have made no allegations that British citizens are engaged in a plot. What they have said is that British subjects have failed to conform to the leasehold requirements. We are further investigating the matter, and I hope in due course to inform the right hon. Gentleman on the matter, should he wish to persist with this point.

Mr. Sandys

With regard to the situation in Zanzibar, the right hon. Gentleman said that at the moment he did not feel that there was any danger. But in view of the highly uncertain and disturbed situation there, may I take it that the situation is being studied, and that we shall be in a position to take whatever measures are required to secure the safety of our citizens should it be necessary?

Mr. Bottomley

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Bellenger

Is it not the case that President Nyerere's writ does not run in Zanzibar?