HC Deb 05 March 1968 vol 760 cc201-2
2. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs what has been the extent and trend of trade between Zambia and Rhodesia since unilateral declaration of independence.

Mr. Whitlock

According to the figures published by the Zambian Government, imports from Rhodesia for the first nine months of 1967 were valued at £13.189 million, compared with £23.18 million for 1966, and £35.538 million for 1965. Exports, including re-exports, from Zambia to Rhodesia for the same periods were valued at £0.931 million, £2.506 million, and £5.47 million respectively.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Do those figures include services such as electricity, which of course form part of trade? Have any proposals from the Zambian Government reached the hon. Gentleman's Department proposing to further limit this trade?

Mr. Whitlock

I am not absolutely certain that the figures include the electricity element to which the hon. Gentleman referred. Negotiations have taken place with the Zambians—there were talks last December—and the proposals put forward by them are now the subject of a review; and an announcement will be made at a later date.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Can my hon. Friend confirm that it would be the intention of the Zambian Government to limit their trade with Rhodesia very much more if the Zambians could be provided with alternative access to the north? Is he aware of the importance, in this connection, of our reconsidering our attitude towards the Tanzanian railway, where we have so far made no move?

Mr. Whitlock

The figures I have given show that the Zambians have made substantial reductions in their trade with Rhodesia. With our contingency support, they are continuing to take urgent steps to reduce their dependency on Rhodesian trade. New supply routes and new local coal and power resources are being developed as urgently as possible.