HC Deb 25 November 1969 vol 792 cc197-9
Q4. Mr. Winnick

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he has recently held with the Prime Minister of South Africa.

The Prime Minister

None, Sir.

Mr. Winnick

Would the Prime Minister consider telling the Prime Minister of South Africa of the contempt felt here about the way in which South Africa not only chooses its sporting teams on a colour basis, but tries to dictate to foreign sports teams that this shall be done? In view of this, would he not agree that the M.C.C. should seriously consider cancelling its invitation to the South Africans next year?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that it would help if I made further comments on this matter. The attitude of most people in this country has been made clear, and it was made clear last year over the d'Oliveira incident when the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) —I am sorry that he is not present— produced the wrong answer in his diplomatic negotiations; but the House as a whole agreed that it was wrong for us to be told whom we could have in our British national teams. I should not like to comment further, because I know that my hon. Friend is trying to make me comment about the Maoris about which there have been a number of statements —indeed, the latest seems rather better than the earlier statements.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is it not clear, despite such incidents as the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, that we still retain full use of the naval base at Simonstown?

The Prime Minister

There has been no change in that position for many years, as the right hon. Gentleman knows.

Mr. Dickens

Will the Prime Minister take up with Pretoria the question of the use of South African police and military personnel in Rhodesia?

The Prime Minister

This matter has been fully represented, both in informal talks with the regime in Rhodesia—I do not think that it is particularly keen to have these police in Rhodesia—and with the South African Government. Their use is illegal.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Will the Prime Minister take into account the fact that we have a considerable balance of trade with South Africa? Will he also bear in mind that, as a result of two speeches by two junior Ministers recently, a constituent of mine has lost a large order in South Africa which could have resulted in the employment of people in the North-West of England?

The Prime Minister

I welcome the hon. Gentleman's tribute to the fact that not only have our exports to South Africa substantially increased, but we have a substantial balance of trade with South Africa. For more than five years we heard from hon. Gentlemen opposite the allegation that our decision to adhere to the United Nations resolution, for which right hon. Gentlemen opposite voted, would destroy our ability to maintain trade in non-arms. I am glad to feel that trade has increased so rapidly.