HC Deb 06 July 1965 vol 715 cc1331-2
15. Mr. Jackson

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what representations he has received from the Government of Zambia for the establishment of a United Kingdom defence base in that country in the event of a threat to its economic or political well-being; and what reply he gave.

Mr. Bottomley

None, Sir.

Mr. Jackson

In view of the possibility of illegal action by the Rhodesian Government, such as the declaration of unilateral independence, will my right hon. Friend assure our friends in Zambia that, should the position of the Zambian Republic be affected, either economically or in a defence sense, we would at once come to their assistance?

Mr. Bottomley

My hon. Friend will appreciate that that is a hypothetical question. I prefer to say nothing further.

Mr. Gower

Is it not inconceivable that anybody in a United Kingdom Parliament, whatever the merits of the problem of Southern Rhodesia, should contemplate an establishment of this kind in Zambia, which could only be directed against Southern Rhodesia, against our kith and kin there who came to our aid as recently at 1939?

Mr. Goodhew

Is the Secretary of State aware that in an earlier answer this afternoon he gave great cause for concern by talking about resort to warfare where negotiations broke down? Perhaps he would now like to explain to the House what he meant.

Mr. Bottomley

I did not say anything at all about warfare resulting from a breakdown in negotiations. What I said was that when there is a question of war or peace one always tries to negotiate without violence of any kind. It was in this sense that I referred to peaceful negotiations.