HC Deb 17 November 1970 vol 806 c1031
Q2. Mr. John Fraser

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish as a White Paper the record of his meetings with various deputations on the issue of arms for South Africa.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Fraser

Has it not become apparent from the Prime Minister's meetings with deputations that it is "as much in Britain's interest", using his own words, that we should not sell arms to South Africa in terms of both the stability of the Commonwealth and our reputation for idealism throughout the world in observing the conventions of the United Nations?

The Prime Minister

That is an aspect which must be considered in reaching a decision, but it is not an argument for publishing a record of what were announced beforehand as being confidental discussions.

Mr. Lane

In maintaining this admirable, patient and thorough approach to the problem, will my right hon. Friend continue to allow ample time to secure both the maximum strategic benefit and the maximum Commonwealth understanding?

The Prime Minister

It has been our purpose throughout these discussions, as it has been the object of the leaders of the Commonwealth, that there should be maximum understanding about this problem.

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