HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc3-5
2. Dr. David Kerr

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what diplomatic initiatives he has taken in non- Commonwealth countries to secure adherence to the United Nations resolution on sanctions against Rhodesia.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Frederick Mulley)

As has been made clear on many occasions in the House, Her Majesty's Government are in regular touch with other Governments, including non-Commonwealth countries, about the implementation of the Security Council resolution on sanctions.

Dr. Kerr

Since being in touch with countries is not the same as bringing diplomatic pressure to bear on them, may I ask my right hon. Friend to appreciate that what is happening over the breaking of sanctions—not the least alarming report of which came over the weekend from Germany—is causing us a certain amount of despondency at the failure of the Government to take the necessary initiatives with other countries?

Mr. Mulley

Whatever my hon. Friend may think about the course of our communications, one thing is certain and that is that they would be of no value if they were not confidential. On the broad question of the implementation of sanctions, it is, of course, a matter for the Security Council to determine whether members of the United Nations are in breach of their obligations under Article 25.

Mr. Ridsdale

What is the attitude of the Japanese Government to sanctions? Is it not a fact that they are very sceptical of this policy succeeding? When will Her Majesty's Government face the reality of the situation and realise that this policy is a very unrealistic one and is not getting the support of some Asiatic countries?

Mr. Mulley

On the contrary. There is every evidence that a number of African and Asiatic countries want further sanctions to those now proposed. As I have already said, it is a mistake to think that it is our responsibility, or that we have the means, to enforce sanctions resolutions of the Security Council. This is a matter for the U.N. and very recently the matter was reviewed there, when it was shown that the majority of members are carrying out the mandatory resolution concerned.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

Would my right hon. Friend believe, in the bowels of Christ, that he is wrong about private conversations? Will he try, instead, public debate in the Security Council, calling on Governments to ensure that their nationals do not violate the sanctions and, at the same time, show the evidence we have that this has happened; and then he would get a real result?

Mr. Mulley

My reference to confidential discussions was on the basis of representations between one Government and another. There have been many public discussions in the Security Council and, as my hon. Friend reported to the House on 24th April, one is now going on about our proposal for further sanctions.

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