HC Deb 13 June 1966 vol 729 c1023
31. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the United Kingdom, although a member of the United Nations Committee on the ending of Colonialism, has not sent a representative on the Committee's tour of African countries.

Mrs. White

As the British representative told the Committee of 24 on 16th March, Her Majesty's Government did not consider that a further tour of Africa by the whole Committee at this time would result in any advantage commensurate with the expense involved. A decision not to go on the tour in no way affects our willingness to co-operate in the constructive work of the Committee.

Mr. Campbell

Does this mean that the Government have decided that it is better to boycott the United Nations Committee rather than attend and use their membership and their moderating influence?

Mrs. White

There is no question at all of boycotting. This Committee went to Africa on an extended tour last year. It is now engaged upon a tour of some 70 persons, lasting six weeks, going around the five capitals, and we felt that this was not the best way to employ the funds of the United Nations or the time of the members of the Committee.

Mr. Paget

Will my hon. Friend tell me whether this is the Committee which gave full endorsement to the activities of the terrorists in Aden and said that it was not interested in the evidence of Her Majesty's Government since Britain was a colonial Power?

Mrs. White

If my hon. and learned Friend wishes to have a complete answer, he should put down a Question. I think that he is referring to the same Committee.

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