HC Deb 01 November 1966 vol 735 cc240-1
Q3. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister when he now expects to visit the Far East.

The Prime Minister

I have, as yet, nothing to add to the Answer I gave on 25th October [Vol. 734, c. 158] to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Dr. Gray).

Mr. Dalyell

In making preparations for an Asian visit, would my right hon. Friend give consideration to the possibilities of linking British aid to developing countries with under-used resources in this country, such for instance as the capacity at Bathgate where there is 9 per cent. unemployment?

The Prime Minister

That is a bit remote from the visit. As my hon. Friend knows, I had to decline, with regret, because of the possibility of an early recall of the House, an invitation to visit India. On the question my hon. Friend raises, this is very much our policy so far as possible. Indeed, as soon as the Bathgate position became clear, I asked whether in the aid we are giving to Zambia in the matter of trucks we could use Bathgate's capacity. Unfortunately, Bathgate did not produce the kind of trucks needed in Zambia.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

While aid is a question of the greatest importance, would the Prime Minister agree that there are now opportunities for British diplomacy and leadership which are opening up in the Far East, particularly in the context of the S.E.A.T.O. Alliance, which might enable our country to make specific proposals to give this a slant towards Asian collective security for Asians? Are any diplomatic initiatives being taken in this direction?

The Prime Minister

On the all-important question affecting Asia, namely, the question of Vietnam, the right hon. Gentleman will have seen, and I hope endorsed, the initiative taken by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. This week my right hon. Friend is entertaining, and I have seen and will be seeing again, the Japanese Foreign Minister for a discussion of all these points.