HC Deb 28 February 1966 vol 725 cc883-4
16. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on his recent efforts to pro mote understanding with Indonesia.

Mr. George Thomson

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 8th February, we would like to see a steady improvement in relations with Indonesia.

17. Mr Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many, commercial and technical personnel are attached to Her Majesty's Embassy in Djakarta.

Mr. George Thomson

There are at present seven representational officers at Her Majesty's Embassy in Djakarta who between them deal with the main work of the Embassy including the commercial work.

Mr. Dalyell

Are these sufficient?

Mr. Thomson

Yes, Sir, they are sufficient. We are considering appointing a full-time commercial secretary as soon as practicable, but it would be premature while the present state of tension and uncertainty persists.

Mr. Hooson

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the time is ripe for a major diplomatic initiative to improve the relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia? With this in mind, is it not time that our representation in Djakarta was greatly strengthened?

Mr. Thomson

Our representation in Djakarta is adequate. We are taking every opportunity to assure the Indonesian leaders that to improve relations we are ready to take any steps which are compatible with our obligations to Malaysia and to Singapore. I recently met informally the Indonesia Charge d'Affaires in this country and so informed him.

Mr. Soames

While fully agreeing that our representation in Djakarta should be sufficient for this purpose, does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the fact that the Government in the Defence White Paper have announced that there is not to be a carrier force in the Far East after the mid '70s—

Mr. Speaker

Order. We must keep to Questions on the Order Paper.