HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 c30
53. Mr. Robert Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy regarding the recognition of South Africa's right to administer South-West Africa.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The legal status of South West Africa is still in doubt and, pending clarification of the legal position, we acknowledge that the South African Government continues in practice to exercise de facto control over South-West Africa.

Mr. Hughes

Is not the Foreign Secretary's answer disgraceful in view of United Nations Resolution 2145, of October, 1966, which terminated the mandate and brought the territory under the direct control of the United Nations?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

It is no service to the United Nations to ask it to stretch itself beyond its capacity, particularly when the legal position is in doubt. Again I refer to the fact that right hon. Gentlemen opposite had no compunction about sanctioning the placing of British industry in South-West Africa?

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that the legal position is in no doubt at all and that, if the previous Government made a mistake, that is no good reason why he should follow it?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I emphatically agree with the last part of the hon. Gentleman's answer.

Mr. Hastings

Will we recognise that the Rhodesian Government exercise de facto control over Rhodesia?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

No, Sir, we have not taken any decision of that kind.