HC Deb 02 July 1968 vol 767 cc1304-5
Q7. Mr. Evelyn King

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the latest situation in Rhodesia in the light of action taken by the British representative at the United Nations.

The Prime Minister

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answers I gave to Questions on 27th June.—[Vol. 767, c. 807–13.]

Mr. King

Has not the Prime Minister indicated that agreement is now unlikely? If that is so, will he estimate the continuing damage thus deliberately, through sanctions, clamped on the British economy? Will he also represent to fellow members of the United Nations that if within three or six months others do not bear their fair burden this country cannot continue along this course?

The Prime Minister

Hon. Members opposite have recently voted against the proposition that we should bear a fair burden: they opposed the United Nations Security Council resolution. They cannot have it both ways on this question.

In reply to the earlier part of the question, I did not say that an agreement was unlikely, nor do I consider that. I said that we must see a fairly radical change of attitude about the six principles on the part of Rhodesian leaders who would have the power to deliver an agreement— not merely to make it but, after what happened on "Tiger", to deliver afterwards.

Mr. John Lee

Bearing in mind that sanctions have been applied for a considerable time, can my right hon. Friend give his estimate of the length of time that it will now take to bring the Rhodesians to heel in the light of the very welcome imposition of the mandatory sanctions?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, I do not think that it would be possible now to make an estimate about that. It is very well recognised that in Rhodesia there is growing pressure for a reasonable settlement as a result of the sanctions and the fears of the latest developments, but I would like to see that translated into a genuine acceptance of the six principles and of a constitutional settlement which gives effect to them.

Sir G. Nabarro

Will the Prime Minister say what action he is taking in regard to Zambia, which protests most loudly about British behaviour yet continues to trade on the greatest scale of any country in Africa with her neighbour Rhodesia?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member must realise that there has been a very large cut in Zambian purchases from Rhodesia, even though at one time they were almost an integrated economic community in very many respects. Zambia is still importing some essential goods from Rhodesia, but many other goods have been cut out. The United Nations specially recognised the problem of landlocked countries such as Zambia and countries contiguous to Rhodesia whose economies in the past have been very closely integrated.

Forward to