HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc239-40
Q6. Mr. John Page

asked the Prime Minister if, in view of the facts that the Governor of Rhodesia represents the Crown and that the only protection afforded to him is provided by a Government that Her Majesty's Government do not recognise, he will advise Her Majesty to recall the Governor to this country so that his person is not in jeopardy; and if he will only advise Her Majesty to re-appoint a Governor in Rhodesia when Her Majesty's Government is able to afford him protection.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I know that Sir Humphrey Gibbs feels that he should remain in Salisbury at this critical time.

Mr. Page

Is the Prime Minister aware that many people feel that it is quite irresponsible that the representative of the Crown should be left as a virtual hostage in Rhodesia, guarded by a régime which Her Majesty's Government do not recognise? Would it not be possible for him to recommend to Her Majesty that Sir Humphrey be recalled and that some other individual should be nominated who could act very importantly in the rôle of a go-between at a later stage?

The Prime Minister

Fortunately, Sir Humphrey Gibbs does not take the view which the hon. Gentleman has expressed, and I think it is very important that he should remain in his post at this critical time.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the question just asked by the hon. Member for Harrow. West (Mr. John Page) is in itself an etxremely irresponsible one?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I do not think that either the original Question or the supplementary question was irresponsible, because I thought that the hon. Gentleman was trying to express the concern that we feel for Sir Humphrey Gibbs. He was expressing a perfectly fair point that perhaps Sir Humphrey ought to be in this country. But that is not Sir Humphrey's view and it is not our view, and, therefore, I think that it would be wrong to pursue it.

Mr. Gower

Is it not a fact probably Sir Humphrey Gibbs is in no great danger, as was evidenced by the sight of him playing crocquet?