HC Deb 13 March 1969 vol 779 cc1561-2
Q8. Mr. John Lee

asked the Prime Minister if he will now recommend to Her Majesty to appoint a Prime Minister for Rhodesia.

The Prime Minister

I agree with my hon. Friend that Rhodesia should have a constitutional Prime Minister, but this requires a prior return to constitutional rule.

Mr. Lee

Does not my right hon. Friend realise how serious this matter is? If by misfortune there should be a change of Government in two years' time, is it not perfectly clear that a Conservative Government would sell out to Mr. Smith and the chances of our having a reasonable settlement would have gone for ever?

The Prime Minister

I do not accept any of the assumptions underlying my hon. Friend's question—none of them, not even the one that he does not think I am treating the Rhodesian question seriously enough. On the last point, I think it is absolutely right to say, as I have more than once, that the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home), who visited Rhodesia a year ago, and the right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd), who has just returned, both made it clear that there was no future in anyone in Rhodesia seeking to play one party off against another in this House, for all of us are committed to the principles which this House has laid down.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Reverting to the Prime Minister's main Answer, would it not also be a good thing if this country had a Prime Minister who had the support of the electorate?

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. Sir Arthur Vere Harvey.

Mr. Roebuck

Would it not be a good idea if we had a Leader of the Opposition in whom——

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman can address me now only on a point of order.

Mr. Roebuck

I am sorry, Sir. I thought you were calling me for a supplementary question.