HC Deb 16 November 1970 vol 806 cc862-3
53. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the South African troops and policemen operating with the army of the illegal Rhodesian régime along the Zambesi river valley.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) on 9th November.—[Vol. 806, c. 19.]

Mr. Clinton Davis

Has not the Foreign Secretary any idea of the number of troops or policemen who have been used? Have the Government made any representations to the South African Government about this operation, which is clearly designed to perpetuate the racial tyranny of the illegal régime in Rhodesia?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

As I said on that occasion, there are no South African troops in Rhodesia as far as we are aware. The number of 3,000 or 4,000 South African troops or policemen in Southern Rhodesia has been very much exaggerated and the only approximate figure that I have been given is 250.

Mr. Healey

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what reply has been given by the South African Government to the protests which the Minister of State told the House last Monday had been made by Her Majesty's Government on this account?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I am awaiting a reply from the South African Government. I spoke to the South African Foreign Minister on this matter and I expect a reply.

Mr. Dalyell

On a point of order. On Question No. 41 the Foreign Secretary asked that a Question should be put down on the issue of what we are up to concerning Indian Ocean bases. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would care to answer Question No. 76 on the Order Paper on Diego Garcia and Indian Ocean bases?

Mr. Speaker

Order. That is an ingenious request, but it is for the Minister. He has not indicated that he wishes to reply.

Mr. Concannon


Mr. Speaker

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will defer his point of order for a short time.