HC Deb 23 May 1966 vol 729 cc6-7
5. Mr. G. Campbell

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what consideration he has given to seeking United Nations assistance in South Arabia; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. M. Stewart

As I told the House on 16th May, I have asked by noble Friend Lord Caradon to discuss with the Secretary-General the acceptance of the United Nations resolutions by the Government of the Federation and their invitation to the Secretary-General to appoint an observer to attend the conference to be convened by the Federal Government.

Mr. Campbell

Failing any firm international arrangements to guarantee South Arabia's frontiers, will the British Government be prepared to help withstand a confrontation there in 1968, in the way that was done for Malaysia?

Mr. Stewart

The House knows what the Government's views are with regard to any defence agreement with South Arabia. What is to be both hoped and expected is that there will emerge from the conference to be convened by the Federal Government a stable form of Government and a secure future for Southern Arabia.

Lord Balniel

Has the right hon. Gentleman considered asking the United Nations to delineate the boundaries between the Yemen and the Federation of South Arabia, and to have observers there during the very dangerous situation which is likely to arise following on the creation of a kind of power vacuum resulting from the withdrawal of British troops from this part of the world?

Mr. Stewart

Not at this stage. As I said, our representative in New York is to discuss the matter with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. It is possible that the kind of development which the noble Lord has in mind might emerge, but it is too early to say that yet.