HC Deb 12 November 1970 vol 806 cc598-9
Q7. Mr. Arthur Davidson

asked the Prime Minister if he will now seek a joint meeting with the Prime Minister of South Africa and the President of Zambia to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Mr. Maudling

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so.

Mr. Davidson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that almost every question that could be asked about arms to South Africa has been asked and that I certainly cannot think of an original supplementary? Nevertheless, will he ask the Prime Minister to point out to the Prime Minister of South Africa, when he meets him, that the opposition to the sale of arms to that country is sincerely and deeply felt by people of all political parties and that this is not just a narrow party political issue?

Mr. Maudling

I accept the premise at the beginning of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question. The answer to the latter part, however, is that sincerely held views exist on both sides of this question.

Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles

Would my right hon. Friend agree that such a meeting would be desirable because it would give my right hon. Friend an opportunity to explain to the President of Zambia that the prosperity and safety of all countries in Africa depend on the security of the sea routes round that continent?

Mr. Maudling

In so far as any meeting might occur between the Heads of other Governments, were such a meeting likely to serve the cause of peace I am sure that my right hon. Friend would be delighted to contribute to it, if he were able to do so.