HC Deb 30 April 1969 vol 782 cc1425-6
29. Mr. Wall

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will facilitate efforts by British companies to participate in South African shipbuilding and aircraft industries.

Mr. Crosland

Companies investing in South Africa are expected to operate in accordance with the Voluntary Programme of investment restraint.

Mr. Wall

Is it not a fact that, because of the United Nations embargo, the Government have deliberately prevented or discouraged participation in these industries, and that the right hon. Gentleman gave an incorrect Answer in the House on 19th March, saying that our exports to South Africa had increased, when, in fact, they have declined by £65 million and our total share of South African exports has decreased by 2 per cent.? What will he do about this?

Mr. Crosland

I shall be answering the latter part of that question in about two minutes. On the first part, I do not have the evidence which the hon. Gentleman has. If he sends it to me, I will examine it.

Mr. Hooley

Would my right hon. Friend agree that it is dangerous and unwise to send valuable and scarce capital resources to an area which is politically highly unstable, which could have serious political repercussions on this country's standing in the United Nations and elsewhere?

Mr. Crosland

No, Sir. If my hon. Friend is proposing that we should impose a unilateral ban on the export of capital to South Africa, I cannot accept that. There is no suggestion of this in the United Nations Resolution. As far as I know, such a ban has never been suggested in the United Nations, and our policy on the export of capital is identical with that of those other countries which are faithfully carrying out the Security Council Resolution.

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