HC Deb 26 March 1969 vol 780 cc1605-6
20. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total cost of the blockade of Beira since its inception.

Dr. David Owen

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer I gave on 19th March to the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison),—[Vol. 780, c. 114.]

Mr. Wall

As the sum involved is a considerable amount of money, is it not a waste of time when oil reaches Rhodesia from other sources? If it is said that we must support the United Nations, why do not other nations share this futile task?

Dr. Owen

We do not accept that it is a futile task. We feel that the patrol has been fully effective in cutting off the most direct route for the supply of oil to Rhodesia.

Mr. Brooks

Does not my hon. Friend recognise that many of us feel that it is a little purposeless simply to redirect trade via Lorenzo Marques? Is it not time to make this policy effective?

Dr. Owen

That is a question which should properly be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.