HC Deb 16 November 1970 vol 806 cc846-7
16. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider the appointment of a roving ambassador for the purpose of explaining the policies of Her Majesty's Government in African territories within the Commonwealth.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I am not at present convinced that there is any necessity to supplement the normal diplomatic channels. Her Majesty's Ambassadors and High Commissioners maintain a regular contact with the Governments to which they are accredited and explain our policies as required.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain, then, why there is such almost universal hostility among the African members of the Commonwealth to the policies of Her Majesty's Government? Would he hazard a guess whether this is because they do not understand the policies of Her Majesty's Government or because they understand them only too well?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I think that it is partly because the policies are not understood. Our recent talks with Commonwealth Prime Ministers and other leaders of Commonwealth Governments in Africa have, I think, helped explain Her Majesty's Government's policy.

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