HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 cc9-10
5. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about constitutional relations with Lesotho.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Anthony Royle)

It was announced on 11th June that normal relations were being resumed with Lesotho, and business is now being conducted with the Government of Lesotho in the usual way.

Mr. Wall

While welcoming that reply, may I ask my hon. Friend to inform the House whether aid is now being supplied to Lesotho on the lines already agreed?

Mr. Royle

I understand that the local representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is in touch with the situation concerning refugees. I would refer to the Answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Overseas Development on 9th July regarding the resumption of British aid and the problems of food in Lesotho.

Mr. Steel

Will the Minister explain what constitutional changes took place in Lesotho between the original election and 11th June which made the resumption of constitutional relations possible?

Mr. Royle

The main reason for the delay in resuming normal relations was a matter for the previous Administration and I am unable to answer in that respect. Our normal criteria for recognition are that we should be satisfied that a new Government enjoys, with a reasonable prospect of permanence, the obedience of the mass of the population and effective control over the greater part of the territory concerned.

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