HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc27-8
54. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps he is taking to promote friendship and closer relations with countries in South America, following his recent visit there.

Mr. M. Stewart

I have agreed with the Foreign Ministers of the three countries I visited that we will engage in much closer political consultation on bilateral and international questions. Other measures, particularly in the field of trade, are subject to consultation with my colleagues. Meanwhile, I would like to think that recent evidence of the importance which Her Majesty's Government attach to Latin America, including my own tour and that of my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has itself contributed to the strengthening of our already friendly relations with the countries of the area.

Mr. Digby

While agreeing that the right hon. Gentleman is to be congratulated on undertaking this trip to a part of the world where there is so much good will towards this country, may I ask him to be quite sure to follow this up and not lose the full effect of the visit?

Mr. Stewart

That is certainly very much in our mind.

Lord Balniel

I, too, welcome the trip which the right hon. Gentleman made to Latin America. Was he able to put forward any proposals for increasing aid to those of the under-developed nations in Latin America?

Mr. Stewart

There was a step which we were able to take and which, I believe, I have previously mentioned in the House, concerning Chile. We had more general discussions on this and I hope that we may be able to do something.