HC Deb 17 November 1969 vol 791 c846
30. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Government policy towards South Africa, following his recent meeting with the South African Foreign Minister.

Mr. M. Stewart

There is no change in Government policy towards South Africa.

Mr. Pardoe

Did the South African Foreign Minister stress his Government's desire to play a greater part in the defence of the free world, and did the right hon. Gentleman assure his guest that Her Majesty's Government did not necessarily think that the ideals of Western freedom would be more secure by having the military support of the South African régime?

Mr. Stewart

I did not say anything like that in the course of conversations, which were confidential.

Mr. Prentice

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that British economic involvement in South Africa has tended to increase recently? Is there a danger in this that we shall have a greater and greater stake in the status quo, and that this might affect our political attitudes in the period ahead?

Mr. Stewart

There has been an increase of trade between us and South Africa, but I take the view, which I have expressed in the House before, that we must desire an increase of peaceful trade with all countries.