HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 cc8-9
4. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now discontinue the Beira blockade.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I have nothing further to add to the Answer I gave to a Question by the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mrs. Shirley Williams) on 6th July.—[Vol. 803, c. 322–3.]

Mr. Wall

While recognising that sanctions will remain until the talks with Rhodesia have been completed, may I ask my right hon. Friend to bear in mind that this ridiculous blockade is unpopular with the Royal Navy, is expensive to the taxpayer and is completely ineffective as Rhodesia receives all the oil she wants by other means?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

That may be but, nevertheless, as part of the negotiating policy, we have said that we will keep sanctions on until we see the position more clearly.

Mr. Maclennan

Why does the right hon. Gentleman say, "That may be"? Does he accept any of the remarks of his hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall)? Will he not deny that this is an ineffective blockade and that it is unpopular with our serving forces?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I can hardly deny what my hon. Friend says. For example, the blockade costs £400,000 a year.

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