HC Deb 20 May 1968 vol 765 cc31-2
41. Mr. Longden

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what was the total cost to public funds and to the United Nations of the recent journey to Africa of the United Nations Council for South West Africa.

Mr. William Rodgers

This information was given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State on 13th May in reply to the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison).—[Vol. 764, c. 181.]

Mr. Longden

Is the Minister aware that these people, about a dozen of them, flew all the way to Dar-es-Salaam to discover, after wasting a certain amount of time there, that South Africa would not give them landing permission at Windhoek, that the Secretary-General said, after consulting several United Nations organs, that the matter would take some time to clear up, and that they then had to fly back to New York? Cannot this nonsense be stopped?

Mr. Rodgers

I am aware of the broad circumstances of the visit, but I think it is right that we should honour our obligations under Article 17 of the Charter and not behave as others do in similar circumstances.

Mr. Hooley

Would my hon. Friend make it clear to the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Mr. Longden) that it would be more in accord with the interests of Her Majesty's Government to support the detachment of South-West Africa from the control of South Africa rather than to simply connive at the present situation?

Mr. Rodgers

We have made it clear that we are in favour of any action which is clearly practical and positive.