§ Mr. Speaker
Before I call the right hon. Gentleman to move the Motion, I must inform the House that I have selected the Amendment in the names of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition and other right hon. Gentlemen, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:declines to approve Her Majesty's Government's proposals for the settlement of the Rhodesia dispute on the grounds that they fail to satisfy the Five Principles".
§ 4.12 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)
I beg to move,That this House approves Her Majesty's Government's proposals for the settlement of the Rhodesian dispute; and endorses Her Majesty's Government's decision that they should be put to the people of Rhodesia for their judgment.I shall try to deploy the case for so doing as carefully and as fairly as I can because during the whole period of these negotiations, and during our discussions and debates in the House, I have been very conscious of the fact that we are dealing with and debating other people's affairs.
Hon. Members will by now have had time to study in more detail the proposals for a settlement of the Rhodesian dispute with Britain. The main point for decision today is whether they should be placed before the Rhodesian people for their verdict.
Before I come to analyse the substance of the terms, I should like, as a background, to give the House some general observations and conclusions which I drew from the many contacts that I made during my visit to Salisbury. Many of the Africans whom I saw--groups of Africans and individual Africans—were certainly concerned about their political future, but the problem which presses on them more and more as time goes by is the search for work and the dignity that work brings with it.
I went one day, completely unannounced, to an African township to talk to those people who wished to talk to me about a settlement, and very quickly a large group of people assembled. There 465 was a lot of interest in a possible settlement. Without exception, the questions were on the same theme, particularly from the young Africans—would a settlement help to bring them work? I met a delegation of African business men from Salisbury and from African trade unionists. Their concern was with work for the Africans—would a settlement bring investment, stem, and then reverse the great unemployment growing so fast in the African tribal trust areas?
Their concern is not surprising. The birth rate in the African population is increasing very rapidly. Boys are coming into the labour market at the rate of 40,000 a year, and at present there simply is not enough capital for the expansion of agriculture or the introduction of labour-intensive industries on the scale that is needed to absorb the growing and alarming pool of surplus labour.
In that context it is possible to argue that sanctions have bitten, but only a few Europeans have suffered. It is, unhappily, the Africans who are the witnesses to any success that sanctions have had. Some rather airily detached critics of a settlement have said that Mr. Smith might be forced, in two or three years' time, to concede better terms than those available now to the British Government. I can only say that I could not be, that I would not consent to be, the one who went back to that township and advocated such a delay to the thousands of Africans who are today pleading for work and who, because there is so much competition in the labour market, have to accept wages—[Interruption.]I had thought that hon. Gentlemen opposite would be interested in the employment of Africans and their prospects.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I must be allowed to finish this part of what I want to say. Because there is such a flood of labour into the labour market, Africans are forced to accept a wage which is miserably low.
All the Africans, and the many Europeans whom I saw who are sympathetic to the plight of the Africans, testified that the priorities for the well-being of African Rhodesians were: first, capital to spend on infrastructure in the tribal 466 trust areas, to facilitate modern farming and other developments such as minerals and country industries; second, investment in labour-intensive industries in the cities—vital for the future of the Africans; third, funds for African education, directed in particular to the provision of technical training colleges in agriculture and in engineering.
I do not think that enough attention has been paid to the development section of the White Paper which contains the British offer of substantial aid which is to be matched by money from Rhodesia additional to that already voted for the development programme. That programme will be directed to three sectors in particular of Rhodesia's economic life—to the development of African tribal trust areas, to education in technical colleges, and to the general development of industry in the cities of Rhodesia.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to continue.
All the evidence is that many countries are only waiting for a settlement to invest heavily in Rhodesian enterprise. Such expansion would transform the prospects for the Rhodesian African and, incidentally, as his education and income increased, have a significant effect on his political status and the pace of political advance under the first principle. I cannot stress too strongly that the African's priority is for work, and work now.
There is a second broad impression which I gained. I spoke briefly last week of the deep concern of almost all those to whom I talked—African and European—with the trend which they saw towards the South African pattern of life. Until now, among the moderates, both African and European, there has been a certain fatalism as they have watched this creeping advance towards apartheid. Thus the alternative to these proposals is, in my mind, a certain and rapid move to apartheid and that, surely cannot be a thing which any hon. Member in this House wants to see. There is not yet—[Interruption.] I am trying to deal with this as objectively as I can. There is not yet the fear in Rhodesia which one finds further south, in South 467 Africa, but there is a widespread apprehension about the spread of discrimination by Ministerial decree, against which neither African nor European has any effective appeal at present.
There was no doubt whatever, therefore, as to the second priority for the African: it was a justifiable declaration of rights through which there would be restored to the individual the protection of the courts—an appeal beyond and above Ministers who today have the last word. The request for a declaration of rights, to be made justiciable, was universal from all those whom I saw on my visit to Rhodesia.
The Act which has caused most alarm and distress is, undoubtedly, the Land Tenure Act. Here, one broad qualification of the condemnation of the Act has to be made. Whatever such an Act is called whether Land Apportionment as it was when we still had reserve powers in Rhodesia, or Land Tenure as it is now—there must be a law which requires that large areas of land are reserved for African farming and ownership.
If there were today a free market in land in Rhodesia, all the good land would be bought up by those with the money, who are the Europeans, and, possibly, some Asians. I can tell hon. Members opposite who may not have been to Rhodesia lately that young South Africans, young Afrikaaners, are coming into Rhodesia and buying up any land which they can find. Unless there is a law which protects the African and reserves for him farming land, the African has no defences whatever against those who come in and buy it up.
A bad feature of the Land Tenure Act—this is where much of the trouble lies—is that it enables the Minister to prevent, for example, professional and qualified Africans—as qualified as any European—from conducting their business in white areas, and to prevent the European from conducting his business in an African area, or, for example, to do such things as to restrict admission to multi-racial schools.
If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that in the past there were restrictions under the Land Apportionment Act which we operated; for example, on Africans working in white areas. But in 1961 the whole trend was 468 towards multi-racialism and a non-racial State. The difference now is that the trend in the last five or six years has been reversed and is towards discrimination. That is the position now. The discrimination which is made is always petty, very irksome and very unfair and unjust.
That brings me to the Commission which is to examine and report upon all discriminatory legislation. It will have to pay attention to all discriminatory legislation, but pay particular attention to those matters of discrimination which I have mentioned, which cause most of the trouble in the Rhodesia of today.
There has been criticism that the Rhodesian Government are not pledged to accept all the recommendations of the Commission, whatever they may be. I cannot think that hon. Members who have considered it for a moment can really believe that any Government anywhere could be asked to accept all the recommendations of a Commission blind. But the wording of the proposals clearly carries an obligation to act and to change the law in respect of those recommendations which are made in the context of improving and fostering racial harmony.
Hon. Members opposite who criticise these arrangements should compare the Rhodesian obligations under these proposals with the absence of any commitment whatever in the case of the similar Commission proposed in the "Fearless" terms. Furthermore, under our proposals there is to be an African on the Commission, and our agreement to the composition of the Commission is required. This was not so under the "Fearless" terms, which required only consultation.
As to the political attitudes in Rhodesia, it is much more difficult to judge. One eminent churchman said to me that a few years ago when he arrived in the country he was sure that he knew all the answers to Rhodesia's problems; now he was filled with uncertainty.
The outlook of the extremists on both sides is clear. The extreme African nationalist approach—apart from adherence to N.I.B.M.A.R.—was vividly expressed to me, as I have no doubt it will be to the Commission which is to carry out the test of acceptability. It was, and for some it still is, that Britain ought to have used force, that we ought still to 469 be prepared to use force to quell the rebellion, and that they, the African nationalists, are only prepared to do what Britain ought to have done and ought to be doing now. They still want to use violence, and some of them are still prepared to advocate it.
I told them that I could understand this point of view but I could not accept it or recommend it, and that is why in terms of release from detention it is impossible for any British Government to lay down which individual should or should not be released.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will allow me to go on. I have something to say which may, possibly, convince even him.
As the House knows, 23 detainees have lately been released, and 31 are to follow shortly. There will remain in detention 62, and a tribunal, on which we shall have an observer, is to make a special review of those cases. I can tell the hon. Gentleman how the situation now as regards detention compares with the situation when the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition was conducting the "Fearless" talks. There were then 133 in detention. There are now 62. There were then 318 restrictees. There are now two. This is an advance, although a great deal more has to be done. I shall return to that matter later.
At the other extreme, there are some Europeans who told me plainly that they wished to retain the right to use additional discrimination and to perpetuate minority rule. They were a small number, but they told me this quite plainly. To them I had to make it crystal clear that it was Britain's purpose not to freeze but to thaw racial relations, that there could be no agreement of any kind with a British Government on their terms. I made that absolutely clear.
For the great majority of Rhodesians, black and white, the future is seen as one of evolutionary change in which the African gradually and on merit assumes his rightful place in society and on the franchise. For that reason, with the exception of the extremists on either side—the African nationalist on one side, the extreme European on the other—there 470 was unanimity that Rhodesia must work its way back to a common roll as the only true political expression of a nation which seeks to live at peace within itself.
There is one other comment on the background to Rhodesian life which it is necessary to make before I come to the principles one by one. If a settlement which is fair can be reached, the siege mentality can be lifted. It is far too easy now in Rhodesia for an ordinary critic to be accused of rocking the boat, even further to be accused of being treasonable to his country. Many men of good will who do not now like to speak will begin to do so because there can be a fair settlement. Indeed, in recent days a good many have been gaining the courage to speak up and say what they believe the future of Rhodesia ought to be. Not before but after the Rhodesian Parliament has embodied these proposals in its law, not before but after Mr. Smith has put all his authority behind the constitutional changes—not till then does Parliament have to legislate here for independence. These exchanges which Mr. Smith has to put through his own Parliament with his own authority are very extensive indeed as far as the Constitution is concerned. When this is done, and only when this is done, will the way be clear for the lifting of sanctions.
I will now turn to test the proposals in the White Paper against each of the five principles. Principle 1 is the essence of the whole matter. Power in any country stems from Parliament, and it was clear to me, therefore, that it was in the Constitution that the major changes had to be sought and made. The Rhodesian Parliament and Constitution had to be set on a new direction and on a new course. First, it was necessary to decide the essential changes that had to be made. The income tax arrangement which governed the rate of increase in African representation had to go. It was a hopeless, unjustifiable arrangement. A new blocking mechanism against retrogression had to be installed and entrenched because the present one is totally inadequate. The express provision forbidding progress beyond parity—the creed of the Rhodesian Front Party—had to be replaced by firm provision for majority rule.
All these essentials necessary to turn the signpost in the opposite direction to that at present pursued by the Rhodesian 471 Front have been achieved, as well as the provision that at parity before the election to the common roll seats a referendum will be held among enrolled Africans as to whether or not they wish to be represented only by directly elected members.
§ Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)
As the right hon. Gentleman says, it is important to know when the majority may expect to have a majority in Parliament in Rhodesia. When does the right hon. Gentleman expect there will be a black majority in the Rhodesian Parliament?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I am just about to come to that point.
I think it is essential to recognise that these are major changes in the political opportunities for Africans. There will be all the difference in a few months' time, as these arrangements go through the Rhodesian Parliament, between the position as it is now and the position when this legislation is passed through the Rhodesian Parliament. They will have entirely new opportunities.
Inevitably—this is the point which the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) raised the statisticians are doing their sums as to when majority rule may be reached. Those calculations cannot be more impressive than guesswork. Our own statisticians on matters of population are not too clever here. There are too many variables. There is the question of how many Africans will register. There is the question of how many, under the new education drive, will receive secondary and technical education. Above all, it depends on the pace of the agricultural and industrial development. Under all those headings the prospect for the African advance is good.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition said, I think it was just before "Fearless", that one can measure this not by the calendar or the clock but by achievement, and this is right. Achievement, I hope, will tell.
§ Mr. Harold Wilson (Huyton)
It may be quite a small point, but, to get the record right, I said that in Salisbury at the Press conference. I was picked up 472 a number of times after that. The right hon. Gentleman will also realise that the plans that we were making envisaged majority rule somewhere around 15 years from the date of signature, and the Chief Justice of Rhodesia estimated that it would be as soon as seven years that majority rule could be reached on our proposals.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for the correction as to when he used those words. As he said, they were repeated many times. On the question of 15 years, I do not remember the right hon. Gentleman or anybody in his Government saying that in public. I think the calculation is really impossible to make.
Next we have principle 2, the essential safeguard of the sanctity of principle 1 which must be taken with it. I come to the second of the principles. In the proposals there is from the start a blocking mechanism of the elected Africans alone. I repeat that: there is a blocking mechanism of the elected Africans alone. In the event of discriminatory or undesirable legislation being brought to Parliament they will undoubtedly receive reinforcement from the indirectly elected Africans. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] I will say why. Hon. Members have sometimes equated indirectly elected Africans with the chiefs. In all cases since 1969 when there has been a division in the Rhodesian Lower House the indirectly elected Africans have voted with the directly elected Africans against the Rhodesian Government. In fact—I do not know whether this is known to hon. Members—the tribal election colleges contain a majority of elected councillors. So the elective process governs the situation as far as the indirectly elected Africans are concerned.
I have seen it suggested that this mechanism would depend on the chiefs. In fact, this is not the case. The chiefs have no status in this matter. After parity is reached, the 10 common roll seats will be created. Any change, any departure from that course, to be carried, would have to have the assent of at least 17 out of the 50 Africans, who by then would in all probability be all directly elected members, and such a number would be a very ample blocking vote. Some of the newspapers have suggested that the creation of these 10 common roll 473 seats is dependent on the recommendation of the Constitutional Review Commission and on a two-thirds' majority. The reverse happens to be the case. The 10 seats are created unless two-thirds of the Assembly, including 17 Africans at least, vote for some alternative which they themselves prefer.
§ Mr. Healey
The right hon. Gentleman will recall that this is a very important point and has been the cause of some confusion between what Mr. Smith said in Salisbury and what he is saying now. He said in Salisbury, in recommending these proposals to his own Assembly, that the passage to the 10 common roll seats would depend on the Rhodesian Parliament. Secondly, may I point out that the relevant paragraph in the right hon. Gentleman's proposals says that the Commission at that time will have to decide whether or not to recommend to proceed, and, as to whether it recommends to proceed to the 10 seats or not—I am now quoting from paragraph (k) on page 13—A law to give effect to any recommendation of the Commission would have to be passed in accordance with the requirements for the amendment of the Constitution.The requirement for the amendment of the Constitution gives the whites a blocking third. Is that not the case?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
It is complicated, I agree, but a Commission will sit, and that Commission may propose certain alterations to the constitution. If it does so propose, then that alteration can only be carried by a two-thirds' majority of the House. It also has to include the assent of 17 out of the 50 Africans present in the House at that time. It is governed by Parliament, but the blocking mechanism operates in that way. I shall ask my right hon. Friend to explain that more clearly later on.
It has been said that at the first election after parity there may be equality, that the seats may be divided five and five. If the qualified voters were at that time exactly equal and proportional representation were applied, we would get that result. Proportional representation was one of the methods suggested and discussed. What is certain is that from the first election onwards the pace at which Africans will come on to the register will ensure majority rule. It 474 must be hoped that by that time the divisions would be those of political parties and not of races.
The blocking mechanism, the return to objective criteria for the increase of African representation in the House of Assembly, the accession of African members to the Parliament at each election as qualified numbers grow, the provision of the referendum when Africans can decide to be all elected, the transition through and beyond parity to 10 common roll seats—all this amounts to "unimpeded progress to majority rule" under principle 1.
Principles 2 and 4 reinforce each other. The blocking mechanism in Parliament to prevent the introduction of new, discriminatory laws should be taken with the Declaration of Rights, which allows not only new laws—this is a very important point—and new regulations to be challenged in the courts, but new regulations which might be made under the old laws. For example, new regulations made under the Land Tenure Act could be challenged in the courts.
When I left this House, right hon. Gentlemen were worried about the Epworth situation. I took this up with Mr. Smith. Any eviction, as right hon. Gentlemen know, is to be delayed until after the Commission has reported, but plans are being made—I do not know when these are likely to be announced, and I gather that they are supported by the Methodist Church—for creating an African township, and there are opportunities for this to remain an African area.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at this moment the first of 50,000 Africans are being forcibly removed from Stapleford to make way for a wattle plantation? Does this enhance his statement?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The right hon. Gentleman is wildly out with his facts. I shall check this. I know that there is a long-term forestry scheme afoot in which certain people are being moved from the hill areas but the operation does not involve anything like the numbers suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. This is an afforestation 475 scheme, similar to what is being done in many other countries—in Swaziland for example, which involved the movement of people. They were moved to good agricultural land. All these things I have listed are gains from the point of view of the Africans, and some of them are major gains.
The matter of subordinate legislation is of particular consequence in relation to the Land Tenure Act. The trouble with the present Land Tenure Act is that the division of land is too rigid; there is too much power to discriminate in the hands of the Minister and of the landlord, and particularly of the urban landlord.
The attention of the Commission, which is to review all existing legislation, is specifically drawn to those areas in which Africans, and many Europeans feel that the discrimination is particularly unwarranted and offensive in a society which should have as its standards merit and responsibility.
Under principle 3 there will be an immediate improvement in the lot of the African. If the Africans register, there will be at least four African seats added to Parliament immediately—a 25 per cent. increase. There will be an extended franchise for the lower roll. Economic help for development and education will hasten the pace of political advance.
I have dealt with the fourth principle in connection with the second.
Finally, I come to the fifth principle—the test of acceptability. It is important from every point of view that it should be thorough and seen to be fair. The terms of reference are designed to meet this and state that the Commissionshall satisfy itself that the proposals for a settlement, as set out in Annex B to Cmnd. 4835, have been fully and properly explained to the population of Rhodesia; to ascertain by direct contact with all sections of the population whether the people of Rhodesia as a whole regard these proposals as acceptable as a basis for independence and to report to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary accordingly".Mr. Smith has agreed that the Commission should have every facility to conduct its inquiries as it thinks best, after the members have decided how they want to proceed and whom they want to see.
In the context of normal political activity a number of questions have been 476 asked as, for example, who might be allowed to broadcast or which detainees may be released in addition to those already released.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I shall consider in a moment, when I have finished the sentence, whether I shall give way to the hon. Gentleman. It was impossible for me, and it would be impossible for anyone else to say whether an individual will be released. No such proposal was made on "Fearless"and it would be impossible to make it, but the Commission will be able to hear the opinion of anyone it wishes, and if it feels it is handicapped in its work it will say so. I have no doubt that its wishes will be met.
It has to be remembered that there are in Rhodesia unrepentant advocates of force and violence. They will be heard by the Commission, as I was able to hear them and talk to them, but it is clearly desirable that the Commission should conduct its business in an atmosphere where it can hear, and be heard, in peaceful conditions.
As the House knows, the Commission will consist of Lord Pearce, Lord Harlech and Sir Maurice Dorman, but I am considering adding to the membership. It is important to get the right people on the Commission. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] This is not a very easy task at comparatively short notice because prominent men are busy men. The Commission will have the necessary number of assistants.
§ Mr. John Mendelson
Anyone in this House who met Mr. Nkomo in the last few months, when he was still free before his imprisonment in 1963, will know that he told them, as he told me in Salisbury at the time, that his greatest problem was to keep up communication with his supporters and have consultations with them. Is not the absolute minimum guarantee that the Government should give that they will insist that Mr. Nkomo be released at once to take up contact with his supporters and start the process of really presenting what he wrongly called "extremist opinions" but which were merely demands for self-government by the African people? The right hon. Gentleman should give this guarantee now.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I have had the advantage of seeing Mr. Nkomo rather more recently than the hon. Gentleman and having a conversation with him only a short time ago. I have no doubt that the Commission will be able to see him and hear all his views.
I have been very conscious during these last years that Britain's influence on the Rhodesian situation was running out but that we must exercise it while anything of it remained, to try to obtain the best deal we possibly could for the Rhodesian African. That is the sole reason why I assumed the responsibility of trying to find a settlement with Mr. Smith's Government. It was a heavy responsibility because one cannot but be conscious of the limitations on the "best" which is involved in compromise. In Africa perhaps more than any other place in the world one is deeply conscious of the fallibility of man.
I can only say in conscience to this House that I do not believe that better terms could have been negotiated, and I was interested that Sir Robert Tredgold, who is held in the highest opinion in all quarters of this House, has said that he regards the settlement as honourable. Sir Robert has been a liberal all his life and one of very advanced views. I can only add my honest conviction that if the proposals are accepted all the races in Rhodesia have the chance to build a new, non-racial country.
§ Mr. Faulds
Will the right hon. Gentleman give way? It is about Sir Robert Tredgold. It is about what he said.
§ Mr. Faulds
Will the right hon. Gentleman give way? He obviously does not want to hear what Sir Robert said. He said he was astounded. That is the report in the Press.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
If the hon. Gentleman will be quiet I will reply to him. I do not think that Sir Robert Tredgold needs any interpretation by the hon. Gentleman or anyone else.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Such a non-racial community in the centre of Africa, if it could be established, cannot be over priced or over-prized. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."]
§ 4.53 p.m.
§ Mr. Denis Healey (Leeds, East)
I beg to move, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof,declines to approve Her Majesty's Government's proposals for the settlement of the Rhodesia dispute on the grounds that they fail to satisfy the five principles.The Foreign Secretary spent a lot of time at the beginning of his speech describing the accelerating slide into apartheid in Rhodesia in the last six years. In doing so he offered a well-merited rebuke to those of his hon. and right hon. Friends who had been asking various Governments to recognise the Smith regime over the last six years and to take off sanctions. Incidentally, among those right hon. Friends one of them is sitting next to him at the moment.
§ The Attorney-General (Sir Peter Rawlinson)
If the right hon. Gentleman is about to speak of me, may I remind him that I wrote to him a fortnight ago and asked him for the reference and I also later spoke to him, when he did not reply to my letter. I have told him that I have the cuttings here following a Press conference which I gave, in which I said specifically that I called for the negotiations, and in which I said that Conservatives supported sanctions so that Smith should be brought to negotiate. I explained to him that the date which he announced in this House was the date of the Press conference which was reported in the local Press. He has had the courtesy neither to reply to my letter nor to give me the reference.
§ Mr. Healey
I am able to quote from an article in the Epsom and Ewell Advertiser dated 27th January, 1966. I not only have the cutting here but I got an hon. Friend of mine to check the reports in this and another local paper, and I 479 have a full list of the reports, which I have sent to the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ Mr. Healey
When I have answered the question I will give way. The heading of this cutting is:Recognise the Smith regime.Underneath it says:The Tory Member of Parliament for Epsom Division, Sir Peter Rawlinson, wants immediate official recognition of the rebel Rhodesian Government.
§ Mr. Healey
Similar reports appeared in other local newspapers. The local anti-apartheid movement asked to see the right hon. and learned Gentleman about these reports and the correspondence continued in the local newspapers for three or four weeks afterwards. At no point did the right hon. and learned Gentleman contest the accuracy of the reports. If he wishes to intervene, I will gladly give way.
§ The Attorney-General
I certainly do. The right hon. Gentleman should know that the only newspaper which published this report on 27th January was the Epsom Herald. That carried a report of a Press conference I held because of the inaccurate reports which had been circulating earlier. At that conference there was a reporter there with a tape recorder and the accurate, proper report of my views, which I had expressed before, was set out in newspapers as a result. In the reports I was saying that the time had come to negotiate, but I specifically said that Conservatives supported sanctions to bring Mr. Smith back to legality. That was the correct and proper report of my views, and the earlier reports had been corrected by that Press conference.
§ Mr. Healey
As I told the House, I have here a cutting from the newspaper concerned. I accept what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said and I will seek further confirmation of these cuttings. As I said, I have done so already, and I have the actual cutting, not a photograph, but I readily accept what the 480 right hon. and learned Gentleman has said and I will—
§ Mr. Healey
With great respect I have my own cutting here. I accept what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said and having confirmed the accuracy or inaccuracy of my own report—
§ Mr. Healey
This is not a mean gesture. This is the cutting. I conditionally withdraw what I have said pending confirmation of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's statements. I do not think that I can be expected to do more than that in the light of the cutting which I have.
The main feature of the right hon. Gentleman's speech and the whole purpose of the setting in which he has put his document was that he had secured in his recent visit to Salisbury the best agreement which could be reached with the Smith régime, and an agreement which, whatever else might be said of it, gave a chance of some improvement on the existing situation. That was not the purpose of his mission as he defined it to the House before he left. What he said then was that he would not accept any agreement unless it fully satisfied the letter of the five principles, and that meant ensuring that any settlement would have to be understood by the Africans in Rhodesia and accepted by them. I think he will agree that that is a fair account of what he said.
In fact the right hon. Gentleman has settled for what he believes is the best he could get. He said so. What he has got fails to satisfy the five principles at every point. There is no sign that it is understood by the Africans in Rhodesia as a whole or that he will see that his proposals are understood. But what is certain, in the light of the views expressed to him by the Africans to whom he spoke during his visit, is that if it is understood, it will not be accepted.
However, the proposals are understood by the Europeans in Rhodesia. There is a long report in the Daily Telegraph this morning of the attempts which have been made in the last week by the Rhodesian Front to explain the proposals to its own members. The report can be 481 summarised in the following paragraph, which I quote:This form of explanation to the rank-and file of the ruling party has drawn the sting from the Right-wing attack. Quietly, the proposals are being 'sold' to wavering Rhodesians as a total capitulation by Britain, suitably garbed in deliberately confusing legal terminology.I believe that in this at least the Rhodesian Front is right. That is an accurate description of the proposals, as I intend to demonstrate in going over the points which the right hon. Gentleman made today.
When the proposals were announced in the House last Thursday, many Members attacked them on the ground that they contained no guarantee that the agreement would not be violated whenever the Rhodesian Front thought right. But many of us have read the straw poll carried out in Rhodesia and quoted in The Guardian which showed that about 88 per cent. of European voters wanted permanent white rule and that of the Rhodesian Front, of which 70 per cent. of Europeans are supporters, only 11 per cent. would accept the five principles for the sake of a settlement—but would advocate its repudiation once settlement was achieved.
Many of us saw on the television Mr. Smith's reaction when he and the right hon. Gentleman left the room where the talks were held. All of us in the House saw Mr. Smith break his Oath of Allegiance to the Queen in 1965 in order to prevent the distant possibility of majority rule from coming about. We do not believe that Mr. Smith will be more scrupulous about any agreement he has made with the right hon. Gentleman. However, now that we have had a chance to study the agreement in detail, it is clear that there is no reason why Mr. Smith should seek to follow the precedent he set in 1965 because he can get everything he wants within the terms of the agreement.
Like the right hon. Gentleman, I propose to test the agreement in detail against each of the five principles in turn, and I also ask the indulgence of the House because the factors concerned are complicated in the extreme. If I make any mistakes, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will correct me, and I shall welcome any correction if he can convince me that he is right.
482 The first point which needs to be established, as the White Paper makes clear, is that the five principles were first defined by the right hon. Gentleman himself in 1963 and 1964 against the background of the 1961 constitution. Sir Edgar Whitehead had said that under the 1961 constitution African rule would be achieved by 1976—only five years from now. The purpose of the five principles was to accelerate this process to achieve certain improvements in the situation then existing under the 1961 constitution.
The situation is very different now. We have had the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. We have had the 1969 constitution. We have had the Land Tenure Act. We have a situation which the present Prime Minister has described as containing aspects of a police State and which the right hon. Gentleman has admitted involves a vast stride towards apartheid. Yet the 1969 constitution is the basis of the whole settlement which the right hon. Gentleman has asked the House to approve. I recall that the Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath), said, even before the 1969 constitution had been introduced, that once Rhodesia became a Republic the chances of an honourable settlement would be negligible. I believe that he was right, and that he is proved to have been right by the proposals put before the House last week.
Let me take the first principle, which is worth reading in full from the White Paper:The principle and intention of unimpeded progress to majority rule, already enshrined in the 1961 Constitution, would have to be maintained and guaranteed.On 16th October, 1969—only two years ago—the right hon. Gentleman said in the House that unimpeded progress towards majority rule meant that one continues to process of bringing Africans on to the common roll. There is now no common roll. There will be no common roll until parity is reached, and un-impeded progress to majority rule is not guaranteed by the proposals.
Strictly speaking, it is impossible ever to have majority rule under the proposals because in order to determine what constitutes a majority everybody has to have a vote and those votes must count equally. That is specifically prevented by the proposals before the House, because 483 the process comes to a full stop if and when there are 110 seats in the Rhodesian Parliament. At that point, a quarter of a million Europeans are guaranteed 50 seats in perpetuity; five million Africans are guaranteed at most 60 seats. In other words, when this process comes to an end, the Europeans will continue to have 20 times as much political representation in the Rhodesian Parliament as five million Africans. This situation will not and cannot change as long as 37 of the 50 Europeans in the Rhodesian Parliament oppose a change because they constitute, at that point, a blocking one-third.
The question on which all of us would like more guidance is when parity is likely to be achieved. The right hon. Gentleman refused to give an estimate, although my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition quoted the estimate which the Labour Government had made and put to Mr. Smith at the time of the "Fearless" talks.
Mr. Bernard Braise (Essex, South-East)
Is it not a fact that at no time between U.D.I. and the time when they went out of office did the Labour Government specify in the House or publicly the date by which majority rule in Rhodesia would be assured? The quotation which my right hon. Friend made showed that the then Prime Minister well understood that it was impossible in those conditions to specify a date.
§ Mr. Healey
My right hon. Friend stated in the House this afternoon and I know this to be true—that he had given Mr. Smith his estimate of the date, and anybody who has read Professor Palley's attempt in the Sunday Times of last week to analyse the problem would agree that it is possible to specify a series of assumptions concerning the rate of economic advance, the rate at which Africans register and the rate at which African education improves, on which one can reach conclusions about the date at which parity is likely to be achieved. I would entirely agree with any hon. Member who argued that this did not guarantee that the assumptions would, in practice, be fulfilled. But it is possible to state assumptions and then, on the basis of a mixture of assumptions, to come to various conclusions. We know what was 484 Mr. Smith's view about the time at which parity would be achieved under the 1969 constitution. He stated it as being 500 years.
The right hon. Gentleman has got agreement to some changes in the franchise to permit additional African seats, but the new income qualification is double the average income of the four best paid groups of Africans in Rhodesia at the present time. It is far above anything at which the average African can aim. Indeed, only a small number of Africans belonging to what might be called the African middle class have achieved this level of qualification today and most Africans have no hope of achieving it in the near future. Indeed, the lowest level of the income qualification as it is put in the present proposals is twice as high as the income qualification under the 1961 constitution against which the original five conditions were put.
Mr. Smith has also given some indication of his own views of when parity will be reached under the new proposals because he stated in his speech in the Rhodesian Parliament, commending the proposals to the Rhodesian Parliament, that the position of the European in Rhodesia would not be affected in the lifetime of Europeans now living, and that suggests to any ordinary person a period of decades—three, four, five or six.
I must confess that I was not personally convinced by Dr. Palley's assessment in the Sunday Times because it seemed to me that perhaps the sub-editors had been cutting it about and misplacing some of the figures, which did not fully jibe with my own understanding, and I think that perhaps it would be unwise to place too much reliance on those specific calculations at this time. My own calculation is that if the number of Africans getting four years' secondary education—which is one of the qualifications—has a compound annual increase of 20 per cent. in the first five years, with an increase at half that rate in the succeeding quinquennia, the earliest date for parity will be 2,014, which is 43 years from now, but I readily confess that it is open to all hon. Members to make their own calculations on the basis of their own assumptions. What I would say is that it is possible to make calculations and to offer them for consideration, and then to decide whether the 485 time is acceptable and whether the assumptions are reasonable.
§ Sir Frederic Bennett (Torquay)
On the question of the calculations, the right hon. Gentleman is quoting Professor Palley's article, which I also read. Has the right hon. Gentleman taken the trouble to look back to what that same distinguished individual said after "Fearless"? It was:Mr. Wilson's estimate of majority rule for Africans within 15 years simply does not bear scrutiny. No majority rule is possible before 1999.
§ Mr. Healey
I am grateful to the hon. Member. I do not see that he is making much of a point against me because I specifically dissociated myself from Dr. Palley's calculations in last week's Sunday Times.
§ Mr. Healey
With great respect, I have just made my own calculations, on very favourable assumptions, and they do suggest a shorter period than Dr. Palley suggested.
Of course, there is absolutely no guarantee whatever either that the income of Africans or the educational qualifications of Africans will rise at the rate I assume from Dr. Palley's estimate, because the rate at which African incomes and education improve is entirely in the hands of the Rhodesian Front Government. Moreover—and this is a critically important point—white immigration into Rhodesia in 1970 amounted to 12,000 people, nearly all of whom would have gone straight on to the white register, and immigration well above those levels is expected by the Rhodesian Front Government to follow acceptance of the current proposals, if they are accepted.
What will be the effect of an increase of white immigration? First of all, those white immigrants will take the skilled jobs which would have gone to Africans and thereby will prevent the Africans from obtaining the employment about which the right hon. Gentleman spoke so movingly a moment ago; and also, of course, will prevent Africans from qualifying income-wise for their places on the higher roll. In the second place, any increase in African representation depends on the Africans achieving a 6 per cent. share of the white electorate. If 486 the white electorate increases at the rate of 10,000, or 20,000, a year, of course the speed at which the number of African seats is increased will steadily fall.
I think that Mr. Smith has these points very much in mind, because when he recommended the proposals to his own Parliament on 25th November he said:It is our carefully considered assessment that, in view of the expansion of the economy and the increase in immigration to which we can confidently look forward, no European need harbour any anxiety about the security of his future in Rhodesia.I think the House must recall that when he said "European" in that assembly he was speaking very largely to members of the Rhodesian Front Party who were responsible for U.D.I., the 1969 constitution and the Land Tenure Act, and fears for the security of their future mean no change—no substantial change—in the current situation.
When parity is reached in 40 or 50 years, or 100 years if I am right about the way in which it is possible for the Government to slow down the increase in the number of African seats, 24 Africans in an assembly of 100 will still be indirectly elected and dependent on the European Government for their wages and employment, and I do not think anybody can doubt that if pressure were put on them they would be liable to yield.
It is no good the right hon. Gentleman quoting how the indirectly elected Africans voted in the last two years, because at the moment the indirectly elected and the directly elected Africans together have only 16 seats in an assembly of 66, and therefore there is no need for the Government to put any pressure on them to vote one way or the other. But, of course, the situation will be very different indeed when we come to the implementation of the proposals which the right hon. Gentleman has put before the House.
I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General will deal with the next point. It is not clear from the White Paper as drafted whether the 10 common roll seats will ever come about, because according to the Paper as drafted the relevant paragraph, paragraph (k) on page 13, says that when parity is achievedan independent Commission will be appointed to ascertain whether the creation of Common Roll seats … is acceptable to the 487 people of Rhodesia and, if it is not so acceptable, whether any alternative arrangements would command general support.The paragraph continues:A law to give effect to any recommendation of the Commission would have to be passed…".and this can only mean a further recommendation to proceed with the creation of 10 common roll seats as well as a reservation for an alternative. That, with respect, is all that it can mean, but I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will deal with this point. A recommendation to vary the proposal would require an amendment to the constitution and would, therefore, be subject to the blocking one-third.
I understand from reports in the Press in Rhodesia that Mr. Smith clearly interprets this paragraph as meaning that the blocking one-third of Europeans in the Assembly at the point of parity would have the right to prevent parity from passing to the extra 10 common roll seats. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will clear this point up. I agree that there is confusion, which may well be due to the drafting, because the very next paragraph takes the creation of 10 common roll seats for granted. It cannot be taken for granted, because it is quite conceivable that the Commission's proposal to vary this recommendation would be accepted whether or not there was a blocking one-third.
I do not believe that anyone who has gone through these points, none of which has been contested from the other side of the House, can describe them as unimpeded progress. The impossibility of guaranteeing an adequate increase in the qualification of Africans; the impossibility of guaranteeing that white immigrants will not bring the whole process to an end; the impossibility of ever having majority rule properly defined as deriving from universal franchise; the uncertainty whether even the ten extra common roll seats will ever be established, cannot be described as unimpeded progress. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman might describe it as progress, but it certainly cannot be described as unimpeded progress. In fact, it is the greatest obstacle race of all time.
I come now to the second principle, safeguards against retrogressive legisla 488 tion. The right hon. Gentleman will admit that he made no attempt to involve any external authority, as the previous Government did, in a safeguard against retrogression. The safeguards depend entirely on the rules laid down in the White Paper and on the readiness of the Europeans in Rhodesia to obey them. I think the right hon. Gentleman would concede that.
If the indirectly elected Africans were pressed to support a retrogressive amendment by the sort of pressures I have mentioned, since their employment and salary depend on the European Government, only one of the elected Africans need support a retrogressive amendment for that amendment to be passed, and there are many means of persuasion open to those in authority in Rhodesia.
I am not quite clear whether the absence of an African from a vote would detract from the number of votes required. Is what is intended a majority of all the Africans present at a debate, or a majority of all Africans elected to Parliament at the time when Parliament takes a decision'? If it were the former, then the kidnapping of one M.P. could have the effect of allowing a retrogressive amendment legally to be passed through the Rhodesian Parliament.
I come now to the third principle, immediate advance in the political status of Africans. The right hon. Gentleman was quite frank this afternoon in admitting that the only immediate advance secured by these proposals is an increase in the number of African voters on the lower roll. But however many Africans are on the lower roll, they still vote for the same number of seats. Therefore, there is no effective increase in the political power of the Africans. It simply means that more people vote for the same number of M.P.s.
The only early prospect of real improvement in the status of Africans will be the addition of two directly elected Africans on the higher roll when there is the adequate 6 per cent. quota of Africans qualifying to be inscribed on the roll. Even assuming that this comes about in the near future, say, in three or four years time—and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will tell us whether he expects this improvement to be achieved in weeks, months or years—that can be 489 cancelled when the next improvement in African representation occurs, because the next two Africans who go on will be indirectly elected and, therefore, susceptible to European pressure when they reach the House. So I do not believe that the Government can maintain that the third principle of an immediate improvement in the political status of the Africans is met.
I come now to a matter on which the right hon. Gentleman, very rightly, placed great force, progress in ending racial discrimination. As he admitted, there has been an enormous increase in racial discrimination in Rhodesia in the last ten years, particularly in the last three years. There is the 1969 constitution and the Land Tenure Act, and racial rolls have been introduced in Rhodesia for the first time. The right hon. Gentleman rests his hopes in this regard on the Declaration of Rights and on the Commission to review existing legislation. My right hon. Friend who is to wind up for the Opposition will deal in more detail with the Declaration of Rights, but in many respects it represents no advance on the 1969 constitution, of which the Foreign Secretary has so bitterly complained, since the clauses relating to freedom of conscience, expression and assembly and the clauses relating to discrimination are qualified by considerations of public morality, law and order, public safety and defence, of which the Rhodesian Front Government are the sole interpreter.
Many hon. Members on both sides of the House were deeply shocked at the recent closing down of Cold Comfort Farm. The closing down of Cold Comfort Farm or any similar establishment is still possible under paragraph 5(3)(f) of the new Declaration of Rights. Indeed, the whole apparatus of law is nullified by the discretion given to the Government to withdraw the protection of these rights if they think the safety of the realm, considerations of public morality, and so on, are threatened. Meanwhile, all the existing legislation like the Land Tenure Act and the Law and Order Maintenance Act, which Justice Treadgold, to whom the right hon. Gentleman paid a reasonable tribute, described as involving all the characteristics of a police state, remain in force.
The only way of getting rid of these appalling examples of apartheid is 490 through the procedure of a Commission of three persons who can look at the legislation but whose recommendations can be ignored if the Government decide that overriding considerations are present. Of what value is the work of this Commission when these considerations can be invoked by the Rhodesian Government?
There have been many examples of this problem in recent Rhodesian history. The last Conservative Government were responsible for setting up an African Affairs Board in Rhodesia to protect the rights of the Africans, but its recommendations were repeatedly ignored in 1957, and on one disgraceful occasion the ignoring by the local authority of a recommendation was supported by the Conservative Government in Westminster. The Constitutional Commission which was set up later to protect the constitution was ignored in 1961 when it ruled against the Land Apportionment Act. There is no protection whatever in a Commission whose recommendations the Government of the day are under no obligation to accept.
Another point of great importance—
§ Mr. Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler (King's Lynn)
As the right hon. Gentleman is so against this provision, would he care to explain to the House why his Government were in favour of the provisions on page 9 of the White Paper on the "Fearless" proposals, when the Commission recommended there had less power to examine the situation than the Commission which the Government are now putting forward? The right hon. Gentleman, with great respect, should read that paragraph very carefully.
§ Mr. Healey
The Declaration is entirely different, and there is no protecting clause for the Rhodesian Government in the "Fearless" proposal similar to that which I have quoted which gives the Rhodesian Government carte blanche to ignore recommendations of which they disapprove.
I come now to the Land Tenure Act. The right hon. Gentleman attempted to defend the Act on the ground that it protected the African's right to land. That is an extraordinary argument when the Land Tenure Act gives the European on the land 500 times as much land as the African on the land, and gives a quarter of a million Europeans on the land or 491 in the cities exactly as much land as five million Africans. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman attempted to defend it. Most of us who know Rhodesian problems on both sides of the House would agree that the Act must go. The Land Tenure Act is entrenched in paragraph 87 of the proposals for the 1969 constitution in the sense that a third of the Rhodesian M.P.s can veto any change in that Act.
What chance is there that there will not be a third of Rhodesian Front Members of Parliament who will veto any change in the Land Tenure Act, even if the Smith Government recommend such a change? There is no provision in the proposals before the House to change this element in the 1969 constitution this remains in force. If I am wrong, I should be grateful if the Attorney-General will correct me when he replies. But I have been through the 1969 constitution carefully and it appears to me—and I accept that I am not a lawyer—that a third of the Europeans in the Rhodesian Parliament could block any attempt to amend or repeal the Land Tenure Act if it is recommended by the Commission—and even if it is accepted by the Rhodesian Front Government.
I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman can claim that any of the first four principles are met in the letter, which was the test he set himself when he set out on his journey. I am not surprised that Mr. Smith said on television, "I think I got the better of the bargain". Nor am I surprised that, according to the Daily Telegraph, the Rhodesian Front believes that this represents a total capitulation by the British Government. There is no risk of a Rhodesian Front revolt. The Rhodesian Front does not need to break the agreement to prevent any further improvement in the position of the African in Rhodesia.
Any real improvement for the African in these proposals depends, not on the good faith of the Rhodesian Government—thank God!—but on the Rhodesian Front deliberately refraining from using opportunities given to it in these proposals to maintain the principles and objectives to which it dedicated itself and over which it betrayed its oath of allegiance to the Queen six years ago. This is the simple conclusion that any honest per- 492 son is forced to reach after reading the proposals. For this reason the fifth principle, as the right hon. Gentleman recognised, is of crucial importance.
Do these proposals give us a chance to ensure that the Africans in Rhodesia understand the meaning of the agreement? And will the machinery which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to set up be able to test whether, having understood it, they find this agreement acceptable?
In 1964, the right hon. Gentleman, who was then in authority on Rhodesian questions, suggested a referendum, in which nearly all Africans should vote, as a test of acceptability. In 1969 in this House he suggested a referendum of all Rhodesians—African and European alike—on the entrenched clauses on any change in those matters. Now he is relying instead on a Commission. I understand why, since there was no chance whatever of Smith agreeing to a referendum.
If we are to have an effective Commission it is worth looking at the precedents for using a Commission in similar circumstances. Two recent precedents are worth examining. First, the Monckton Commission on the Central African Federation. That had 26 members, of whom five were African, and two were distinguished Commonwealth figures, neither British nor African. Its work took nine months, three months of which were spent in careful travel and interviews in the three territories concerned.
There was then the Cobbold Commission, which forms a very close parallel because its function at that time was to test the acceptability of entry into the Malaysian Federation among the people of Sabah and Sarawak. The Cob-bold Commission had five members, it spent three months travelling and during its travels saw 4,000 people in 690 separate groups out of a total population of only 1,200,000. The population in Rhodesia is well over five million.
Against this background, let us look at the proposals for the test of acceptability. I readily concede that if an honest test were carried out, if this House were satisfied that all Rhodesians understood the proposals and their implications and genuinely accepted them, this would undoubtedly carry great weight even with those who criticised the proposals as unacceptable. The importance of having 493 an adequate test is even greater here than it was with the Monckton and Cobbold Commissions because, as the right hon. Gentleman made clear a week ago in the House, this is a British responsibility laid on us by the United Nations. We must carry it out, and not only must we satisfy ourselves but, if we are to be effective, we must satisfy the United Nations that it has been an honest and adequate test of acceptability. Therefore, we must carefully consider the composition of the Commission, the conditions on which it operates, the methods by which it carries out the test of acceptability and the time available.
I hope that we can have the right hon. Gentleman's assurance as to composition and as to determining the conditions under which the Commission should operate and move within the territory to carry out the test. Can we be assured that the Commission will be totally subject to the views of Her Majesty's Government and that the Smith régime will have no authority whatever to interfere with or block any proposals which Her Majesty's Government would wish to make in these three areas?
In composition the Commission must be seen by the Africans as an objective Commission in which they can have confidence. It must be so seen by the United Nations, too. After all, the Commission is to rule on one of the most important matters of racial conflict in the world today, and the United Nations is rightly concerned with matters of racial conflict.
I cannot help feeling that the choice of chairman for the Commission was unfortunate. The only connection Lord Pearce has had with Rhodesian affairs, so far as I know, was in 1968 when he dissented from the view of five Rhodesian High Court judges and his four fellow Privy Council judges in the case of an appeal against detention by the régime. According to The Times, he held that law and order should be enforced, even with technically illegal measures. He said that the principle of necessity was for the preservation of the citizen, for keeping law and order rebus sic stantibus, regardless of whose fault it was that the constitutional crisis had been created.
I am not in a position in any sense to challenge this judgment of Lord Pearce or to question its correctness in law. That 494 is not the point. But surely if the right hon. Gentleman were fully aware of the importance of finding a chairman of this Commission who could command confidence among the African people in Rhodesia, this was a most unfortunate choice.
I make no complaint whatever about the proposal to appoint Lord Harlech or about the decision to announce Sir Maurice Dorman's appointment before he had even been told about it. I gather that this was one of those slips which happens sometimes in the best regulated Governments—or perhaps I am wrong on that.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The right hon. Gentleman is wrong about whether Sir Maurice Dorman was told. I had not meant to announce any name but that of the Chairman until I had their agreement; but, as the right hon. Gentleman said, this was one of those slips that sometimes happens.
§ Mr. Healey
I readily withdraw that accusation. I think, however, that the right hon. Gentleman would agree that these three members will not constitute an adequate body for carrying out this test.
I wish to make some serious suggestions to him. First, that he must have on the Commission somebody with personal knowledge of Rhodesia and some skill in explaining complicated problems to the Africans in Rhodesia. I cannot think of any class of person better qualified in this regard than a distinguished churchman who has recently served in Rhodesia. I forbear to mention names, but I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman might consult the British Council of Churches to see whether they could agree on a churchman—Catholic, Methodist or Protestant—who meets the qualifications I have just mentioned.
The next addition I suggest is that there must be some representative on the Commission who is himself a black African I do not see how the Africans in Rhodesia or, indeed, the Afro-Asians in the United Nations, can be expected to have confidence in a Commission all of whose members are white and are ruling on the acceptability of proposals to five million Africans in what is at the moment, in practice, servitude to a tiny white minority.
495 I make two suggestions here, though I confess readily that hon. Members may have better ideas. I have in mind someone like Mr. Robert Gardiner, a very distinguished Ghanaian, who commands the confidence of the United Nations for his work in the United Nations Secretariat. Another possible idea would be someone like Mr. Adu, who was secretary of the East African Commission at one time and did very distinguished work in the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and who, I believe, at the moment is in private life in Ghana. The addition of some such black African would do a great deal to strengthen international as well as national confidence in the objectivity of the Commission.
Finally, there is a strong case for having some outsider who has the confidence of all races in the United Nations and the Commonwealth. I have in mind someone like Lester Pearson or Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, someone who is white but who has a very wide range of experience and who, as I say, would command general confidence in this House and outside it. I think that if three such additions were made to the Commission, at least the composition would begin to look right.
The next question to which we come is, who are to be the assessors? As the right hon. Gentleman pointed out, it is a mammoth task, especially in the tribal areas, to get round, to explain and to evaluate the reaction to the proposals. It must involve people who have person knowledge of Africa if not of Rhodesia itself. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will give us some idea of the sort of persons that it is proposed to employ.
I make one suggestion in this connection. There are hundreds of black Rhodesians in Rhodesia at the moment who have university degrees and who are doing menial jobs because there is no other work for them. The right hon. Gentleman referred to such people in his opening remarks. Is not it possible for the right hon. Gentleman to employ some of these highly qualified young Africans to do this work of assessment in their own territory? It is not just a question of evaluation. It is a question of explaining to people who have not had our educational advantages proposals which we 496 ourselves find it very difficult properly to grip, after a week of study.
The conditions in which this test will operate are again all-important. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the Law and Order Maintenance Act remains in force. It is an Act about which Sir Robert Tredgold resigned because he thought that it had turned Rhodesia into a police State. If the Commission is to command any confidence in its work, it must be able to decide whether conditions exist for freedom of argument and discussion by all groups of the Rhodesian population. That must include the leading African nationalist parties, not at the moment represented in the Rhodesian Parliament but many of whose members are not in detention.
I know that the right hon. Gentleman met Mr. Chinamano and a number of other Africans. Will Mr. Chinamano be free to travel round the country, including the tribal areas, to give his own view of the proposals, to seek to explain them and to gather support for his view, or are the only people free to express their view to be the legal parties and the Rhodesian Front, backed by the apparatus of the official propaganda machine?
I come then to the detainees. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, when we discussed these problems on "Fearless" during the time that the Labour Government were in power, we insisted that there should be a full review of all the cases of detainees before the test of acceptability was completed, and that if any detainee appealed against a decision of a Rhodesian judge, his case should be reviewed by a tribunal on which the British Lord Chancellor had a representative.
What is most disappointing about the right hon. Gentleman's proposals is that, apart from the 33 detainees due for release very shortly, all the others will not have their cases even reviewed until the test of acceptability is complete. I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman can consider that that is good enough. Why cannot Mr. Nkomo be released from detention? He is not in detention on a criminal charge, like Mr. Sithole. Why cannot he have the same freedom as African politicians belonging to the legal parties to organise in the country—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—and to express 497 his views on radio and television? If the right hon. Gentleman would care to reply, I think that the whole House would be glad to hear him. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] The inability of the right hon. Gentleman to answer any of those questions as I have put them is a sorry augury for the success of the agreement.
Then there is the question of the length of time that the Commission spends on its work. We have read various stories in the Press. I suggest that a three-month period spent on travel similar to that spent by the Monckton Commission in Central Africa and the Cobbold Commission in Borneo is an absolute minimum if the test is to be carried out fully in a country with over five million inhabitants, with 75 per cent. of the Africans living in tribal areas and extremely dispersed, to whom the explaining of the proposals and their implications will itself be a major task.
One question which must have disturbed many hon. Members is, why will only the chairman and deputy chairman of the Commission be asked to sign the report? Surely this is a unique procedure. Every other commission of this nature about which I have ever read has sought to get the agreement of all its members in signing the report. If it has failed, those who have disagreed with the majority have signed a dissenting report or made reservations. Will that be possible on this occasion?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
There is nothing in this point. If five members want to sign the report, they can. It is the chairman's decision, in consultation with the other members. It is just an arrangement which has been made.
§ Mr. Healey
We are getting on. We have had one concession, though only one, from the right hon. Gentleman. I think that that at least does something to relieve our gloom.
I raise one final point about the test of acceptability. It is said that the Commission will have its services provided by the Rhodesian Government. This is another of the matters which have concerned right hon. and hon. Members on many occasions in the past. Is the Com- 498 mission to be travelling round with a big escort of Rhodesian police, with sirens blaring? If it is, what chance is there of the Africans having the courage to give their honest, considered view to a Commission which appears to them to be an arm of the Rhodesian Government? I suggest that the Commission must at least be equipped with sufficient day-to-day nuts and bolts services to be able to be seen to operate in Rhodesia as an instrument of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and not to appear to operate as an instrument of the Smith régime.
At the end of his speech, the right hon. Gentleman sought to suggest that there was wide agreement with his proposals. I beg leave to disagree with him. It is very difficult to find among the people who have commented in or out of Parliament on these proposals so far anyone who has said that they fulfil the letter of the five principles, which was the test that the right hon. Gentleman set himself. He mentioned Sir Robert Tredgold, and his quotation was challenged by one of my hon. Friends. He must have seen the views of Lord Alport, one of his own distinguished colleagues in the past in another place, than whom there is no Conservative in Britain with a better knowledge of the Rhodesian problem. He felt that the proposals were a sell-out. The right hon. Gentleman knows that the Africans in Rhodesia regard them as a sell-out, because they told him so when they saw them, and they themselves set the terms which they would have regarded as consistent with the principles.
I am not just talking of the leaders of the nationalist parties, whom the right hon. Gentleman chooses to call "extremists". I am talking of the representatives of African business who saw him in Salisbury and who, according to The Times, insisted on the repeal of the Land Tenure Act and of the 1969 constitution as a pre-condition to any proposals obtaining acceptability from the Africans.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
My right hon. Friend was saying just now that the Commission would have great difficulty in finding anyone who dared to speak. He is now telling us how everyone dares to speak and says the most uncomplimentary things. I do not 499 think that my right hon. Friend has been to Rhodesia. Certainly when I was there I never met anyone less inhibited about speaking against the Government than every African whom I met, both in the reserves and in the townships. I think that the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary is of the same opinion.
§ Mr. Healey
If the right hon. Gentleman turns out to be right, I shall be very pleased. But many of the Africans to whom the right hon. Gentleman spoke on his tour had only recently been released from detention—a detention to which they had been subjected because they had had the courage to speak their minds. I think that the applause and praise of this House must go to those who, with this background of experience, nevertheless have the courage to say what they wish. However, the Commission will have to talk to Africans who do not have that sort of courage, and it is about the views of the ordinary African in the street and on the tribal reserve that this House must be concerned.
The right hon. Gentleman's final appeal is the one by which I think many people have been swayed. From time to time, many people like Mr. Peregrine Worsthorne in last week's Sunday Telegraph, have said, "Well, let us face it. These proposals do not satisfy the five principles. But they are the best that can be got. They are better than nothing. So let us make the best of a bad job and quit with as little fuss as we can manage."
More and more, those who are prepared to support these proposals, like The Times in its leader this morning, are doing so fundamentally on these grounds. They say, "Is not it better than going on as we are now? In any case, what is your alternative?" I put two points to the House. The first is that if there ever were to be a chance of an honourable settlement in Rhodesia, the right hon. Gentleman should have waited, as I think he personally wanted to wait.
A few weeks ago, the Finance Minister of Rhodesia said that Rhodesia was already scraping the bottom of the barrel, that within a year or so she would have run out of foreign reserves entirely. And it is already becoming clear that the 500 South African Government were losing the will to continue financing an illegal Government. Indeed, South Africa is herself in deep foreign exchange trouble and has had to introduce severe import restrictions.
For myself, I do not believe that there has been a chance of reaching an honourable settlement with the Smith régime since the 1969 constitution was brought into force.
What is the alternative if there is no honourable solution available? The alternative is to slog on with a policy to which we are committed both by honour and loyalty to the United Nations and by a sense of our interest in maintaining some influence among those hundreds of millions of human beings who live in the coloured part of the globe.
Let us face the global implications of this issue. Rhodesia is one of the three main islands of white racialist rule on the Continent of Africa, along with South Africa and the Portuguese colonies. It is a small territory in which the Africans outnumber the Europeans by more than 20 to one, and of the 250,000 Europeans, only just over half were born there. Indeed, the majority of Europeans there today, I think, have arrived there entirely during the period when in all other parts of the world, the history of imperialism was coming to an end—since the end of the second world war.
The big question we must ask ourselves, if we are conscious of these global issues, is this: do we want to hand over our remaining vestigial responsibilities in this territory in such a way as to involve ourselves in a long-standing collaboration with a racialist régime? If it were the Government's desire, as I suspect it is, simply to wash their hands of the issue, to get rid of it, on the ground that they are impotent or that they are indifferent to what happens in Rhodesia, it is far better to take the advice of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), to admit that impotence and clear out. I do not believe that that is the right course to take. But the tragedy of the proposals before the House is that if they are accepted, they involve Britain entering on a long collaboration with a racialist régime; they involve Britain being morally and politically implicated in everything the Rhodesia 501 Front Government do or do not do during the whole period in which the proposals must take effect; they involve giving a formal certificate of respectability to a group of politicians in central Africa who have already betrayed their oath to the Queen and whose activity in the last six years represents a steady slide towards the extreme of apartheid, as the right hon. Gentleman admitted.
To accept these proposals does not mean simply signing a treaty with the Smith régime. It means supplying that régime with up to £50 million over the next ten years for a very wide variety of purposes over which we have no direct control whatever. It may involve giving economic support to the régime in paying the debts they inherited during the period of the illegal rule.
I should like the right hon. and learned Gentleman to say whether it is true, as some newspapers report, that there has been a private exchange of letters between the Foreign Secretary and Mr. Smith concerning the economic aid which the British Government are prepared to give to the Rhodesian Government once the proposals go through in order to enable them to deal with their accumulated debts.
The proposals may involve helping the Rhodesian régime, or attempting to help them, in getting a deal from the Common Market in Brussels as an associated territory. They will certainly involve, according to the statement of the Minister of State yesterday, direct help for the Rhodesian régime in the United Nations, because we are committed to maintain sanctions by the mandatory resolution of the Security Council and we are not free to break that decision unless all the permanent members of the Security Council form part of a majority which supports the breaking of the resolution.
I should like the Attorney General to give us the answer to a question which the right hon. Gentleman dismissed the other day. Are the British Government prepared to drop sanctions willy-nilly, irrespective of a decision of the United Nations, if these proposals go through? Or are they prepared to accept their responsibilities to the Charter. If the United Nations Security Council chooses to put another resolution on sanctions, are the Government committed to Mr. Smith to veto it in order to be free to 502 remove sanctions once these proposals come into force?
If the Government go through this shabby charade, which is regarded by the majority of people who have examined it as a hypocritical sell-out of African interests, they will carry the responsibility for the next half-century in Rhodesia round their necks like an albatross, with immense damage to Britain's image and interests throughout the world. I believe that by reaching this agreement the right hon. Gentleman has betrayed the principles he himself laid down, has betrayed Britain's responsibilities for five million fellow human beings, and, saddest of all, has betrayed himself.
§ 6 p.m.
§ Mr. David Lane (Cambridge)
I have very great doubt and hesitation in supporting the Government's Motion.
Let me pay warm tribute at once to my right hon. Friend's negotiating success, in apparently reversing the trend towards apartheid which Mr. Smith had been following and in gaining important concessions. Nevertheless, the proposals are a flimsier foundation for Rhodesia's future than we should like. At best, this is not a glorious chapter in British history. Having, rightly as I believe, eschewed force, our power to discharge our responsibilities has been limited, particularly in view of the facts of geography in southern Africa. Sanctions clearly have had some effect, but they would have worked faster and the illegality would have been ended sooner if other countries had been as conscientious as Britain in applying them.
As things are, even with the concessions which my right hon. Friend and his team have won during these months of negotiation, the proposals in my judgment barely fulfil the five principles.
Progress to majority rule, for one thing, will be very slow, and I hope that the British Government will do all they can through aid and in other ways to help the economic and educational advance of the Africans in Rhodesia during the years ahead. Again, over the ending of racial discrimination there are many question marks. I hope that the Rhodesian Government will see the wisdom of taking one or two definite, practical steps beyond the strict terms of the agreement if they 503 wish to convince world opinion of their sincerity.
But it is the fifth principle that in the present context I consider most crucial. If this test of acceptability is to carry conviction, especially in Africa, the Commission must be seen to do its work objectively, thoroughly and with an absolutely free hand. I welcome what my right hon. Friend said at the beginning, and I hope that the Attorney-General will be able to fill in still more of the details.
To make sure that the membership of the Commission is demonstrably well balanced, I would strongly urge that its size should be increased to five. Again, the assessors, as has been mentioned, also must carry conviction. The Commission should take its time and by this I certainly mean months rather than weeks—and must insist on normal political activities in Rhodesia throughout this period.
Having expressed these anxieties and the importance I attach to the Commission, I have to ask myself and others, "What is the alternative to proceeding as the Government propose?" Some critics—and this was the gist of the speech of the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) at the end—say that we should wait a bit longer until the pressures on the Smith Government have increased further. This is a very difficult judgment, but it seems just as possible, as things are today, that international sanctions may grow weaker and not stronger, and I cannot feel sure that we could get a better deal in six or 12 months' time.
Other critics say, "Whatever the terms, we cannot trust the Smith régime to honour any settlement at all." This seems to me a counsel of despair. I believe we have to take some risk if we are to have any hope of Rhodesia being deflected from her present course and of doors being opened to African advance.
So I believe that, on balance, we are right to put these proposals to the test of acceptability in Rhodesia, as being preferable to any alternative, on the understanding that all of us must consider the issue afresh when the Commission has reported. This is a desperately hard choice for Britain. Whatever we do or fail to do, we shall be criticised, and it 504 is vital that our case and the alternative should be effectively deployed in international discussions. For everyone here and overseas, surely the paramount consideration is this: what course—a settlement with all its uncertainties or no settlement at all—offers most hope to the five million Africans for whom we still have responsibility?
Some of my constituents, whom I greatly respect, have publicly declared that the proposed settlement will prove in retrospect as disastrous as the granting of sovereignty to South Africa earlier this century. I take a rather more optimistic view. Our hope must be that, given an acceptable settlement, the exercise of moderate influences in Rhodesia over the years and the continuing pressure of world influence outside will set Rhodesia on a different course, by which all races can look forward, as my right hon. Friend said the other day, to growing harmony and prosperity.
§ 6.6 p.m.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
The White Paper starts by referring to the fifth principle and says that the proposals are conditional on the British Government being satisfied… that they are acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole.I propose to start by referring to this test of acceptability and I agree with much of what the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane) has just said in that particular. I hope the Government will agree that the Commission must be credible not only to the Government but to this House and to the world—credible to the world because our own good faith and reputation are at stake credible to this House because what we are in effect doing, if the agreement goes through, is relinquishing for all time the albeit tenuous but nonetheless present and legal responsibility for five million of Her Majesty's subjects.
That is why it is of vital importance that, if this Commission goes out, whatever view we may take of the settlement, it shall be seen to be credible. So, before the test of acceptability, we have the test of the credibility of the Commission itself. I want to see plainly in my mind the conditions in which it will operate.
505 So far as we know, in the course of discussions throughout Rhodesia there will be no facilities on radio or on television for any of the African nationalist parties. There is no suggestion that censorship will be lifted, or that this subject was even raised by the Foreign Secretary. There will be a special review of the 62 remaining detainees, and, again, there is no suggestion that that review will take place before the test of acceptability—in fact, the reverse. Certainly there is no indication that Mr. Joshua Nkomo, who is perhaps the leading African politician, with a very wide body of support behind him, will be released. Indeed, if the Minister of State's remarks, as reported in New York, are correct, very much the reverse.
There is no suggestion that the test of acceptability will in any way be influenced by the work of the Commission on Discrimination which in itself will be an acid test of the good will of Mr. Smith. That will conveniently follow the test of acceptability, not precede it.
Whilst in 1964 the Foreign Secretary, the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys), and Lord Dilhorne believed that there could be no independence without proof of the existence of representative institutions, and they therefore pressed for a representative conference of all races and a referendum of almost all Africans, neither of those two factors seems, in the mind of the Foreign Secretary, to be relevant or needed today. They were necessary in the conditions of the 1961 Constitution. They are not thought by the right hon. Gentleman to be of such vital significance to the 1969 Constitution in the atmosphere of 1971.
Likewise, just as in 1964 the Foreign Secretary refused to accept the Chiefs indaba at Dombashawa as representative of African opinion, now half the African Members of Parliament are to be elected through the tribal system. So, to put it at its lowest, it is not a very promising start. The conditions do not bode extremely well for free and unfettered discussion throughout Rhodesia. Censorship will not be lifted and the review of detainees will not have started. Certainly, it will not have been concluded. There is no suggestion that the Commission on Discrimination will have been started, there will still be the power of internment and the apparatus of the police state, to 506 which the Prime Minister referred on 10th December, 1965, will still be there in all its panoply. Therefore, as I have said, the background is not very promising.
As the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) said, we can learn from previous experience. There is some suggestion that the Government—having already made up their minds on the matter in any event and unlikely to be swayed by any considerations—will rush the matter. I hope that they will not. The Willink Commission, which had to go into the difficult and delicate problems of the regions and the federal structure in Nigeria, was a very rushed commission. I do not say in whole, but certainly in part I believe that it contributed to the subsequent problems in the Federation of Nigeria.
I and my party—probably the only party to do so—consistently opposed Central African federation from its inception. Although we were persuaded of the economic advantages which were put forward, we were convinced that if that Federation was formed in the teeth of African opposition it would be only a matter of years before it had to be dismantled. But a Labour Government disregarded those views or thought that the findings of the Bledisloe Commission in 1938 were no longer applicable.
In September, 1951, the Victoria Falls conference took place with the right hon. Member for Leyton (Mr. Gordon Walker) and Mr. James Griffiths. No African represented Southern Rhodesia and at no stage was African consent a condition precedent to the grant of federation. The Tory Government followed on, agreed with that, and the London Conference took place.
When the normal review of the Constitution of the Federation took place in 1960 the Monckton Commission had to go very much further. For the first time it had to test African opinion and, in order to test African opinion, it had members of the distinction of Elspeth Huxley, Professor Jack, Members of this House and Members of another place who had experience of Africa. It received over 1,000 memoranda and 750 witnesses or groups of witnesses. At the end of the day it found that the opposition to federation, at any rate in the two Northern Territories, was widespread, 507 sincere, long-standing and almost pathological. It therefore recommended that the federation should be dismembered. It was dismembered and Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia moved towards independence.
However much the Government may temporarily solve the problem by a convenient reply from the Commission, if they are going ahead with a political decision which does not have the support of even a narrow majority of the African population in Rhodesia they are storing up for themselves and for the Continent of Africa a problem the like of which will not have been seen in Southern Africa. Therefore, it is of critical importance that we learn from the Monckton experience and have a credible Commission which is unfettered and free. I want to suggest one or two particulars in which I think that might be achieved.
It is interesting that the Devlin Commission on Nyasaland, in paragraph 3 of its Report, went out of its way to say how much it had been assisted by the fact that detainees and others had the right of legal representation. It said:As a result of inquiries made by these advisers other witnesses were produced to testify to relevant matters; we were grateful for this as it lightened the burden of investigation put upon us.The House might think that it sounds somewhat melodramatic, but what used to happen was that counsel would go out in the evening, and sometimes late at night, to the Church of Scotland headquarters in Nyasaland. They would there interview people who wished to give evidence before the Commission but did not feel that during the day, whilst there was a state of emergency, they wanted to be seen coming and going and running the risk of having their names taken by the security forces. Indeed, the names of those witnesses who went in were taken. Many went in with blankets over their heads, hooded, at their own request. This may be thought very melodramatic, but they were people who, had it not been for the availability of counsel, would not have been known to the Commission and would not have given evidence which was extremely valuable. Therefore, it is vital that there should be the right of representation at this inquiry.
508 If the Commission is to be credible, I believe that there should be representation on it from this House. I accept that that will involve a long period of absence, but ultimately this House must take the decision about the future of 5 million Africans. This is one of the last of our imperial responsibilities. We simply cannot hive it off to a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and whoever may be appointed his assessors. This is a matter for which this House has a very real responsibility.
If the Commission is to be credible there must be a release of all detainees, subject to this one factor: that those released must give an undertaking that they will neither indulge in nor advocate violence and that it is understood that if they do, they may run the risk, subject to suitable legal appeal, of further internment. I do not believe that we can have a civilised authoritative debate whilst many leading Africans are in prison.
I recall flying back with Dr. Banda after he came out of Gwelo gaol and saying: "I must congratulate you. You have now been through the university course which has to take place in all British colonies. You will now, of course, be the first Prime Minister of your country."
There must be equal broadcasting rights. I believe that an interim report from the Commission must be submitted to this House to say whether it is satisfied about the conditions in which it operates on behalf of this House. We want to know how it sees the task of informing African opinion on what is involved.
I believe that the Labour Government—I respect their reasons and good faith in the matter—were profoundly wrong, at the time of federation, to say that no district commissioner or officer could express any opinion on the merits of federation because this would be seen to be expressing a view for or against it. A job of political education has to be done here.
It has also to be made plain that many of those persons will find that they are out of the British Commonwealth if the proposals go through and they will want to know whether they are entitled to passports and to come to this country. What about some of those who have been loyal to this country and to the Crown? Are 509 they now to be swept aside? If we give them the right to opt for a British passport, we must see to it that we do not in this instance follow the lead of the Labour Government, backed by the majority of the Tory Party, but instead ensure that Africans or Europeans, having been given passports, do not subsequently find that they have been devalued, as with the Kenyan Asians.
There is a reference to the Commission receiving Government assistance. I think that the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) put it very concisely, and I shall not add to the argument save to say that it is very important that the interpreters who tell the Commission what various people in Rhodesia are saying should be seen to be independent, and should not be Government or police interpreters or tribal chief interpreters. They should be drawn from a panel recommended by the Churches. That will be another test of the credibility of the Commission.
If one considers the fourth principle, that of progress towards ending racial discrimination, what does one find? The Commission is to scrutinise the Land Tenure Act and it will make recommendations, but all that has to happen is for the Rhodesian Front to say that it does not accept its recommendations because it believes that there is another consideration which any Government would be obliged to regard as overriding. With any normal Government that might be reasonable, but the Government in Rhodesia have moved 100,000 Africans from their homes against their will. That was regarded as an overriding consideration.
The right hon. Gentleman has told us that the Epworth-Chishawasha moves will not take place until the Commission has reported, but he manifestly failed to get any undertaking in that regard. The White Paper says that in the right hon. Gentleman's view there were only two cases, and he and I could differ about the number of persons involved, but he conceded that there was a third, at Staple-ford, where even now many Africans are being told to prepare to leave the area in which they live so that it can be turned over to a wattle plantation. Are we really to have great faith in this Rhodesian Front which has an overriding veto and 510 which has the right to say that something is of an overriding character?
These are the people who only a few weeks ago were locked in a furious row with the Roman Catholic Church because the Church put forward the dangerous and revolutionary idea that it might have more than 6 per cent. of its pupils who were not of white skins. That proposal had the whole of the Rhodesian Front up in arms. That is the kind of test that one has to apply as to the nature of an overriding consideration when dealing with the Rhodesian Front.
§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
I understand the right hon. Gentleman's feelings about the movement of people off the land for agricultural reasons. He may not have worked, as I have, in agriculture in East Africa. I can tell him that on occasion there are many genuine reasons why people should be moved from an area. There can be unacceptably serious soil erosion, and unless the land is to be spoiled for all time certain interim action has to be taken to restore it to productive capacity.
§ Mr. Thorpe
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not think me offensive if I say that I understand the difficulties of a so-called liberal Tory. If this issue has proved anything, it is that there is no such animal. [An HON. MEMBER: "How many does the right hon. Gentleman represent?"I I represent two million people in this country. If we had a civilised electoral system, I should probably represent five million, and that is why the system is unlikely to be changed. I very much doubt whether the moving of the Tangwena tribe can be explained away in terms of preventing soil erosion or the need for good husbandry. The hon. Gentleman must nurse his conscience and not air it during my speech.
On the principle of unimpeded progress towards majority rule, I think that Mr. Smith is right. I think that he has got what he wanted, which was no African majority rule in his lifetime. He has got that, and I congratulate him. Whatever may have been said about the late Iain Macleod in Northern Rhodesia, the Foreign Secretary has been too unclever by half. He has been a pushover for the Rhodesian Front.
First, the qualifications for the higher roll are related to 6 per cent. of the European population, depending on what the 511 European population happens to be, but of course there will be mass immigration, so again we are to see this drawn out.
The money qualifications will be based on the value of money. It is almost inevitable that there will be a devaluation in Rhodesia after the agreement goes through and the Rhodesians want to attract money on the foreign exchanges. So again the qualifications will go down. At most, 2,000 Africans will be on the higher roll, and it will be 30 years before those on the higher roll elect as many Members of Parliament as can be elected at the moment by those on the lower roll, namely, eight.
What about guarantees against retrogressive amendments? Under the 1961 Constitution there could be no amendment of the entrenched clauses without a majority of each racial group voting separately. That was the proposal in 1961. All we have now is the Rhodesian Front saying that it does not intend to introduce or support for at least three years any retrogressive amendments of the constitution, but after the additional Africans are elected it will need only the support of back-benchers and the majority of African Members of Parliament, one of whom must be directly elected, for any amendment to the constitution to go through. That does not seem to be a solid base on which to build for the future. When I listened to the Foreign Secretary I began to think that the basis of his speech might be summed up as faith, hope and parity, and the greatest of these was hope. I wish that I had the same confidence.
What about the declaration of rights? In 1964 the Appeal Court of Rhodesia held that preventive detention was contrary to the 1961 Declaration of Human Rights. It is allowed under the 1969 constitution, and it will continue in operation as a result of this agreement. There is already a public security Bill in draft, which Mr. Lardner Burke has said will be introduced and passed through Parliament when time allows. Indeed, the Law and Order Maintenance Act of 1960, against which Sir Robert Tredgold resigned, likewise will remain in force. How right the Prime Minister was to say that we were seeing the apparatus of a police state, and how little of it is being dismantled. Not only are all those provisions on the Statute Book, and not 512 only is there this flimsy hope for the future, but we are to pay for the privilege of legalising the régime. We are to pay £5 million a year, or £50 million over 10 years, with no economic control at all over that money.
I believe that sanctions were beginning to bite. I believe, too, that this country would have been entitled to go to the United Nations and say, "Do you take this seriously, or not? We are not for ever going on bearing the brunt in this, and we demand support from the rest of the world".
The most respectable argument used for Munich was that it gave us time to avert war and to have a period for preparation. All that this settlement is doing is mortgaging the future of the Africans to rid ourselves of a nagging problem. I believe it is a very sad last chapter in our imperial history.
If the Government were to say, "We want to rid ourselves of this problem; we want to throw in the towel", let them say so. If the Conservative Party wants to enjoy the same temporary euphoria which followed Munich, let it do so. But let it also realise that Mr. Smith, as a result of this agreement, has now got everything he wanted. He has got everything for which he did a U.D.I. He came to power to prevent effective partnership in his lifetime. He came to power in order to have emergency legislation to maintain that situation, and that he will do. He also has got a grant from this country to assist him in doing so.
I believe it would be churlish not to congratulate Mr. Smith and his illegal régime on what they have achieved from our Government. I only wish it were possible to congratulate our Government on having retained their own principles which they themselves enunciated. I fear that one cannot.
§ Mr. Speaker
I should inform the House that over 40 right hon. and hon. Members have indicated to me that they wish to catch my eye.
§ 6.31 p.m.
§ Colonel Sir Tufton Beamish (Lewes)
The Leader of the Liberal Party, the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe), has made what I regard as an over-critical and highly pessimistic speech 513 about this very difficult problem. I hope he will regard my speech as being a reasonable comment upon it.
In particular, I comment on his suggestion that a settlement on these lines would amount to "mortgaging the future of the Africans". I believe the opposite is true. The Leader of the Liberal Party was wrong, too, to suggest that the Government probably made up their minds before the terms were known. Indeed, it is an open secret that the negotiations were more than once on the verge of breakdown because of the absolute determination of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to pursue certain points which he regarded as being of fundamental importance.
I think the House will contrast the tone of the speech made by the Leader of the Liberal Party with the very exaggerated tone used by the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) in what I thought was an unconvincing and unconstructive speech. I would make this comment on his speech. I sincerely believe that the Labour Party, had they been in power, would have presented terms broadly like these to the House as being a considerable diplomatic triumph, in exactly the same way as they would have presented terms similar to those of the present Government for joining the Common Market. We certainly do not—
§ Sir T. Beamish
I would prefer not to give way on this occasion.
The absurdity of the argument used by the right hon. Member for Leeds, East was best illustrated when he said that Mr. Smith went on television to claim that he had got "the best of the bargain". What did the right hon. Gentleman expect—that Mr. Smith would have said he got the worst of it? For heavens sake! I do not believe we could have hoped to get better terms. One of the reasons for this is that there is a legacy of distrust that has poisoned all previous attempts to solve this unhappy, unnecessary and damaging dispute. Over the years attitudes have hardened on both sides. This is a fact, and it is because I do not wish to be unnecessarily controversial that I shall not apportion blame.
514 Mutual confidence and understanding cannot be restored by the stroke of a pen or even by 12 months patient, quiet diplomacy which we have seen—something which is greatly to the credit of my Government. It may take many years to undo the harm that has been done. Let us try at least to speed the process of approaching this fresh situation in a mood of realism, patience and qualified optimism.
Much eloquence has been expended on the impossibility of placing any faith in the word of the Rhodesian Government. If this is to be a principle on which we conduct our foreign affairs, all I can say is that I can easily count on my fingers and toes those Governments with whom I would be prepared to enter into an agreement. It is about time we stopped having disarmament discussions with the Soviet Union, for one. I could give a great many more examples. Incidentally, it is the right hon. Member for Leeds, East who is keenest on a top level discussion with the Soviet Union about the future of the occupied countries. Apparently he places faith in the Kremlin. I certainly do not. But I am very much in favour of negotiations.
I want to speak about three things: first, the pressures which have made a settlement possible; second, the alternative if it is not accepted; third, the grounds for hope that these proposals can help Rhodesia in the way we all wish to see her take.
I have been a consistent supporter of trade sanctions, in spite of many misgivings. History did not encourage me to think they would be likely to be effective. Sanctions, if they hurt at all, are liable to bear most harshly on the poorer sections of the community, in this case the Rhodesian Africans. When I voted for sanctions I recognised these facts. It is also an inescapable fact that sanctions, with the active connivance of certain countries which pay lip service to them, are easily evaded.
For some time many have come to regard sanctions in Rhodesia's case as the symbol of our condemnation of illegality rather than as an effective weapon. I think they are wrong in this. Beneath the veneer of prosperity, sanctions have bitten very hard indeed. Sanctions have been popular with the "spivs" 515 who have been encouraged, and the middle men who have made a fat profit out of helping Rhodesia to carry on trading. Many of these people are in South Africa.
The chief impact of sanctions, however, has been on foreign exchange, causing a very severe balance of payments problem. Industry has suffered through restrictions on the import of machinery. Rhodesian Railways cannot replace their rolling stock or their engines. Exports have declined, and for all these and other reasons African unemployment, as my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary emphasised, has steadily increased, and, in my opinion, if there were to be no settlement, would get considerably worse. This in turn, coupled with lack of capital investment in the tribal trust areas, has created a tense and dangerous situation, so that the Rhodesian, the British and the South African Governments are only too aware of the possibility of unrest, of which there is quite a lot beneath the surface, erupting into violence.
Apart from these pressures which Rhodesian business men have brought to their Government's notice with increasing anxiety and urgency, there is a strong and growing body of opinion which fears and dislikes what the Foreign Secretary called the "certain and rapid" trend towards apartheid if there is to be no settlement. I am not saying that any settlement would be better than nothing; certainly not. It would not be better than continued deadlock. Therefore, I must satisfy myself that this settlement is fair and the best that we can possibly get. I am not for one moment saying that it is perfect. Indeed, I share some of the criticisms that have been made of it. None the less, having carefully studied the White Paper, and having followed all of this tragic story from the beginning, I am in no doubt that the recommendations made to us are broadly consistent with the general intentions and the spirit of the five principles.
This settlement with all its imperfections is, as I have said, the best we can hope to get. It is yet another example of the best being the enemy of the good. One big alternative often put forward, and which will certainly be put forward later in this debate, is NIBMAR, but 516 that never has been a practical possibility, and anybody who recommends it knows perfectly well that that is true. If these terms were to be rejected, the prospects for the African majority in Rhodesia would be far worse, not better. The alternative to our accepting these terms, if they are acceptable in Rhodesia, is to watch Rhodesia move further and even more rapidly towards apartheid on the South African pattern with all its gross injustices and inhumanity—a system which, leaving morals aside, in the end simply will not work.
§ Sir T. Beamish
I am sorry—no. I very often give way, as hon. Members know, but there are some occasions—and this is one—when many hon. Members wish to speak, and I think it better that one should without interruption deliver a carefully-thought-out speech.
Such a trend towards apartheid could, in my opinion, be reversed eventually only by bloodshed. If that is what is wanted by those who oppose this settlement—retribution for retribution's sake, through violence involving not only black and white Rhodesians but millions of people in other parts of Africa and far beyond—let them say so honestly.
What are the prospects of Rhodesia becoming a genuinely multi-racial country within a reasonable period on the basis of this proposed settlement? I confess that I am not over-sanguine, but I think that the prospects, for several reasons, are by no means dim. If it turns out that things work well, this settlement will make history. Other African countries hardly waited till the ink was dry before tearing up the constitutions on which Britain granted independence. In this case, however, I believe that there are some genuinely hopeful factors to take into account.
The first of these factors is world opinion. Rhodesia will remain in the limelight, subject to scrutiny by those nations which she hopes to regard as her friends and by those neighbours whom she regards at present, unhappily, as her potential enemies.
Second, there is the renewal of contacts at a national and personal level 517 with those nations whom white Rhodesians regard as their kith and kin. I have never believed that a country "sent to Coventry" is likely to progress in a liberal and civilised direction. Very much the reverse. That is entirely the wrong treatment. There is no greater critic of Communism in this House than I am, but I have always been in favour of the maximum trade with the Soviet Union and the maximum exchange of visits, and I believe that this approach should apply whether a totalitarian régime be of the extreme right or of the extreme left.
I am not referring here solely to British influence. The Rhodesia of 1971 is not the Rhodesia of 1965. This point has been touched upon, but I think that the size of the change is not fully realised. Here are a few facts. Three-quarters of the present white population over the age of 16 were born outside Rhodesia. Only just over half the total white population of all ages were living in Rhodesia ten years ago. Before 1965, nearly half Rhodesia's white immigrants came from Britain. Now only one-fifth do so, and an increasing number of their kith and kin are Italians, Germans, Portuguese, Scandinavians or Greeks.
The Rhodesian Government and people must come to terms with these and other changes in the population pattern. The ratio of black Rhodesians to white, which was 16 to one only a few years ago, is now 21 to one, or perhaps rather more. While the proportion of white Rhodesians over 45 is rising, the number of white Rhodesians under 45 is steadily falling.
Those are some of the facts of life which must affect the policies of the Rhodesian Government unless they are to lead the white minority headlong into self-destruction.
The third hopeful factor is that Rhodesia is extremely lucky in the African context in having a considerable number of well-trained, highly-educated and experienced civil servants, black and white, to run the country—and the more that black Africans contribute to this process, the better pleased I shall be. There is, therefore, a good prospect of Rhodesia having what many other African countries do not have, namely, an efficient administration, and this, after 518 all, is an essential prerequisite of orderly progress.
Those who cannot contemplate living under majority rule in Rhodesia have a choice: they can sell up and go elsewhere, and they have time to consider whether to do so. Those who stay must sweat it out, as the Europeans in Kenya, in Zambia and a good many other African countries have done—and, may I add, as many West Indians, Indians and Pakistanis are sweating it out in this country, putting up, in some cases, with discrimination and injustice in various guises but believing that in the course of time they will enjoy equal rights in practice as well as in law.
Whether the new settlement brings steady and smooth advance towards greater political power and responsibility for the African depends as much on the black man as on the white man. Many of us felt at the time that the refusal of Mr. Joshua Nkomo and Mr. Sithole to help to work the 1961 constitution was a sad mistake, and we said so. I said so to both of them; I knew them both quite well at the time. It was a bitter disappointment to Sir Edgar Whitehead. Perhaps, with hindsight, one may say that we should have granted Rhodesia independence on the basis of the 1961 constitution, after the Central African Federation broke up. It might well have been that the advance towards majority rule would have been a great deal faster. But, as I say, that is only hindsight, and there were not many people who recommended that at the time, although there were certainly some.
Now, inevitably, the haul will be longer, and how long will partly depend, as I say, on the readiness of black Rhodesians to take maximum advantage of the prospects for advance which the new settlement undoubtedly offers.
Of course, the terms of the settlement have aroused a clamour of vituperation from certain quarters. This has come, in particular, from those directions and those people whose example and behaviour give them no moral right whatever to criticise, still less criticise in such excessive terms this genuine effort to find the best possible solution.
This is our problem and our responsibility. If we are satisfied that we have made every conceivable honest effort to 519 achieve the best attainable answer, our consciences are clear. Mine is. Let others examine their consciences when they criticise.
Let us by all means be constructively critical of the settlement. Let us continue to regard the five principles as idealistic guidelines for Rhodesia's development. Frankly, to be realistic, they are no more than that. So let us above all be realistic. Let us be constructive and sober in our judgment, and united in a determination to use every scrap of influence we have to start and keep Rhodesia on a course towards a just, multi-racial society, difficult as this is bound to be.
§ 6.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Bottomley (Middlesbrough, East)
I refute the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) that we on this side would have accepted a settlement similar to the one presented by the Foreign Secretary today. Perhaps I may refresh the hon. and gallant Gentleman's memory. At the last Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference which he attended, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition committed the Government of the day to NIBMR, which the hon. and gallant Gentleman dislikes.
I agree very much with what was said by the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane). If other countries had applied economic sanctions as Britain did, the Rhodesian problem would have been over by now. I believe that it is the application of financial sanctions which has compelled Mr. Smith to have a settlement now.
I have had a long association with Southern Rhodesia. I first went there in 1947, as a junior Minister, and I met a great Rhodesian leader, Sir Godfrey Huggins. I got into trouble for meeting him. Harold Laski wrote to Clem Attlee, who was Prime Minister at the time. I mention this because on the occasion of my last visit to Rhodesia Lord Malvern, as he then was, gave me a dinner and after it, shouting at the top of him voice, he said, and I quote:That bloody fool Smith has upset everything that I have tried to do.By that he meant to enable the Europeans to have a future in Rhodesia. Mr. 520 Smith has made sure that that will not happen, and I am sorry about it.
If there is an author of the five principles, it is the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys). When I was Shadow Commonwealth Secretary at the time, we talked together about the five principles. But I can claim to be the first to make them public. As one who has lived with the five principles for a long time, I say that not one has been met in the present settlement.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary has said that this is an act of faith. An act of faith with whom? Mr. Smith? I wonder whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary recalls when he was Prime Minister and kindly invited me to dinner one night at No. 10 Downing Street, when Mr. Smith was the chief guest: we had just honoured the loyal toast when the Rhodesians proposed a toast to the Prime Minister of South Africa. To say the least, it was impolite and I thought it offensive.
I recall being told by Lord Butler as I left that dinner, "Do not trust that man Smith". He, too, had had dealings with him. I remember Colin Legum of the Observer warning me when I became Secretary of State not to trust "that man Smith". I pushed him aside and said that I liked to form my own judgments. It did not take long before I was able to do so. When Winston Churchill died and the Heads of State, the Prime Ministers and other leaders were invited to the funeral, I was deputed to tell the Commonwealth statesmen that the Queen was giving a lunch for all of them the next day. Smith ignored it. Smith had to be sent for, and when he came he behaved in a manner which would not be described as gentlemanly. By bitter experience, I learnt not to trust that man.
How did he treat his friends? Sir Roy Welensky himself acknowledged on one occasion that he had been double-crossed by Mr. Smith. Worst of all, how did he treat the Governor of Rhodesia, that man who served the Queen well and who, as many who have met him will know, is one of nature's gentlemen? Smith asked for emergency regulations to be signed and when the Governor asked, "It is not for a declaration of independence?", Smith said, "No, it is not". But those regulations were used 521 in effect for U.D.I. I can have no faith in that man.
I am disappointed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary should say that this is an act of faith. I do not believe that faith can be kept with the Rhodesian Front. As has been said, the very declaration of independence, an illegal act, was dishonourable in itself. I can tell the House that it was from that time that I made up my mind that I would support NIBMR. I can also say that my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) and I privately agreed that if ever there were a settlement on Rhodesia on anything less than NIBMR, we would both resign from the Government.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary said that the terms were fair and honourable. Honourable to whom? No-where in the document are there the words "majority rule". There is no suggestion that there should be immediate progress towards the removal of racial discrimination. The repressive legislation passed during the last few years remains. I will not deal with this repressive legislation, because I want to make my speech as short as I can, but many hon. Members know, from having seen some of the victims, what they have suffered.
The Commission is to be appointed by the Rhodesian Government itself. It will consider changing the race laws. It may be a Commission headed by a judge. The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary considers it a great achievement that the Declaration of Human Rights is to be enforceable in the courts. He has more faith in Rhodesian justice than I have. The House already knows that my impression of the Chief Justice of Rhodesia is not good. However, another judge has been connected with the terms of the settlement.
Between the two visits of Lord Goodman to Rhodesia, Mr. Julian Greenfield came to this country. I refused to believe that he, as a constitutional authority, was not involved in the talks in some form or other. Mr. Julian Greenfield is the lawyer who, when a constitutional case came before the Rhodesian court, told the court—I paraphrase—"Unless you give the kind of decision required by the Government, you judges will be dismissed." The result can be imagined—the court gave a decision favourable to the régime. 522 I do not have all that confidence in either the Declaration of Human Rights or the Commission as long as the Rhodesian authorities are responsible for them.
The right hon. Gentleman claimed that the required immediate improvement in the political status of the African population had been reached. As he has said, many have found it difficult to follow the complicated procedures, but it appears to mean that if the franchise is to be given on an educational and income qualification, even with the improvement a person will have to earn £1,200 a year for two years, or own a house, or earn £800 a year and have four years of secondary education. I can tell the House that if these standards had been applied before the war, I and millions of others in this country could not have voted.
We all like to talk about the pioneers and founders of the Commonwealth and Empire. Credit must be given to Cecil Rhodes himself, who laid down a maxim which I challenge any hon. Member to contest. He said that there should be equal rights for every civilised man south of the Zambesi. He asked what a civilised man was and defined him as a man black or white having sufficient education to write his name and having some property, or who worked—in fact, who was not a loafer. On that basis, nearly every African in Rhodesia is entitled to vote.
By abandoning Rhodesia we do not disown the responsibility or solve the problem. We forfeit our right to speak in Africa, or perhaps anywhere else. It was Sir Roy Welensky who was reported in a newspaper the other day as having said:If it is not a fair settlement it will be settled here—by the Africans".I believe that that is true. The Africans are now being controlled by a policy of intimidation and a system of paid informers. Broadcasting is strictly controlled by the Government and the Press is far from free. It is a police State. It is resulting in Africans who want to co-operate and be peaceful turning to violent means to achieve their objectives.
We all regret violence, which is near at home at the moment. I wonder how many know that since the troubles in Ulster began, the number of deaths in 523 Rhodesia has been double that in Ulster. Because of the censorship, we do not know about that. It is not known that hundreds of guerrillas are penetrating Rhodesia with Russian and Chinese arms. They are not co-ordinated yet, but in time they will be. We are assisting this violent movement to grow by not giving justice to the Africans.
I am genuinely concerned about the Europeans, particularly those liberal Europeans who were born in Rhodesia and know no other land. Rhodesia today is governed by a group of people who did not know that generation. I refer to the so-called President. He was a member of a reactionary movement in the borough where I now live. When I first met him he said to me: "You do not know me, but I know you. When you were Mayor of Walthamstow, I was a solicitor at the top of the road." And how reactionary he was then! He went out to Southern Rhodesia after I had been there. These are the kind of people who are in control of Rhodesia—not the liberal-minded ones who help to build up the country and for whom we should have concern. By the policy being followed today, we are making the situation precarious for Europeans of that kind and their families.
Over the years we have tried to bring a formerly dependent group of countries into a great organisation. We call it the Commonwealth. I am proud of the Commonwealth and I want it to continue. It comprises people of every race, colour and creed, from every continent, who have joined in complete equality and mutual trust to work in many areas for the benefit of all.
To accept a settlement with Rhodesia on anything less than equality is to undermine the very basis on which the Commonwealth is established. If we accept the suggestion made by the Foreign Secretary, it will be an affront to many of its members and to ourselves it will mean a lowering of our own moral standards. It makes nonsense of the work of successive Governments of this country which have done so much to uphold human dignity and promote equality in the human family. I say to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary that I am disappointed that his name should be associated with it. It is a sad and ignoble way to end an Empire.
§ 7.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler (King's Lynn)
I had not expected to be called at this moment. I was still reflecting on a final point of my speech, but I am nevertheless grateful for being called to speak.
I yield to no one in my concern for the well-being of Africans. I pay tribute to Lord Goodman and my right hon. Friend in having achieved agreement on possible terms for a settlement. That in itself is significant, even if, in the final analysis, it is not acceptable to the Rhodesian people. It is significant because it is a considerable advance over the situation which has obtained during the last four or five years in which there has been no consultation between the illegal regime and the British Government. I believe that, in this situation, any sign of movement is welcome.
I am reassured particularly, although I do not feel that the terms are ideal in any way, that the final decision whether those terms are acceptable will lie with the Rhodesian people in the first place, as a result of their views being made known to the Commission, and secondly through an act of Rhodesian Members of Parliament in the Rhodesian Parliament. I welcome in general terms the fact that we are in regular contact with the illegal regime, working to find a solution to the problem which has proved so intractable over the most recent years.
There are one or two points that bear looking at closely. First, we should consider the well-being of Africans as a whole, not only the well-being of those who have had the advantages of a good education and of practice in the political arts. We should think of many hundreds of thousands of simple African people, striving to improve their not particularly good standards of living, in villages scattered through Rhodesia.
It is with these simple ordinary country folk that I am most concerned. I believe that sanctions have hit them particularly hard. We have heard from my right hon. Friend the extent to which African unemployment has grown. I recognise, as do many others on this side of the House, that sanctions have played a part in enabling my right hon. Friend to agree with Mr. Smith on proposals for a settlement.
525 Equally, I feel that there is a period in time beyond which sanctions would cease to have an effect in enabling Mr. Smith to come to terms with us. We have reached that optimum moment now. It is possible that, after Christmas, the United States will take the decision to get its supplies of chrome from Rhodesia and, that decision having been taken, we would see a rapidly accelerating breakdown of international sanctions. I believe that, as a result of this, we are entitled to make the judgment that this is the moment at which the effect of sanctions is most likely to result in the best possible solution in the interest of African population as a whole.
I turn briefly to one or two queries in respect of the qualification whereby Africans come on to the higher roll and the lower roll. It occurs to me that, first of all, the income qualifications are pretty high. I ask the Minister, when he winds up the debate this evening, to tell us by what methods the income of Africans will be assessed. Will the assessment be made by the Rhodesian Department of Revenue? We should be told the answer to that question. We must be sure in our minds that the assessments, be they made by an African or by a European, will be made on a similar basis for both African and European. I understand that there is a possibility of an inflation provision being introduced which will apply to the income qualifications. If that is so, on what basis will the rate of inflation be assessed, and how will it be applied to changes in the income qualification for the electoral rolls?
We should have reassurances on how property values will be established. Will this be done by public valuation? Will the same valuer establish the value of property owned by both Africans and Europeans? It is important that we should have answers to these questions, and I look for assurances this evening.
I turn to aid. My right hon. Friend has been consistent over the years in saying that it would be Britain's willingness to give financial assistance for the education of Africans that would become a major factor in enabling Africans to qualify for the electoral roll. The Government have announced that £50 million will be spent over 10 years, but, if I understood my right hon. Friend aright, a proportion of that will be spent 526 on the vital work of stopping soil erosion and improving the standards of agriculture in the tribal trust areas.
I regret that the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) is not here. He referred to my remarks earlier. There is genuinely a serious problem of soil erosion which can result from the overpopulation of small areas, or even quite large areas of land. This can result from over-intensive development and is a common problem in many parts of the world where the system of agriculture is principally that of peasant farming.
I welcome the fact that my right hon. Friend has said that sums of money will be spent to enable large numbers of African farmers to settle permanently on land and to improve the standard of agriculture of the land on which they settle. This is very important, but if that sort of task is to be undertaken in the same way as it was undertaken by the British Government in the early years of the Mau Mau emergency in Kenya it will cost a great deal of money.
Similarly, if we are to give technical assistance to develop educational opportunities for engineers and so on, that, too, will cost a great deal of money. If all that assistance has to come out of the total of £50 million which the Government are to make available over a period of 10 years, it follows that there will be a considerably reduced amount of money available for secondary education. I should like to know what proportion of the total aid will be devoted to secondary education, particularly as the secondary education qualification is an important part of the various alternative qualifications to the African rolls.
§ 7.12 p.m.
§ Miss Joan Lestor (Eton and Slough)
Underlying the presentation of this settlement are two assumptions to which I want to devote most of my remarks. The first is that Southern Rhodesia, Ian Smith and his party, can be diverted from the path of apartheid, to which the Foreign Secretary has told us they are dedicated, by the signing of a piece of paper which purports to legislate Ian Smith and his Government finally out of existence. The second assumption is that the economic development in Southern Rhodesia which undoubtedly will be enhanced by this settlement will lead to political, economic 527 and social advance for the black African. On those two assumptions the whole of the settlement rests.
Before dealing with them I want to echo what the leader of the Liberal Party and others have said about the strict principle and the importance of the test of acceptability. During the period of this test we have been told that normal political activities will be permitted. What constitutes normal political activities in a country in which the parties that appeal to the majority are banned? I am particularly concerned in another capacity with the test of acceptability. Unless African nationalist leaders are allowed to operate freely and express their political views, unless they are released from detention and restriction to participate in the great debate and argument that must take place over these principles, the test of acceptability will be meaningless. We have had no assurance on this point.
Although the right hon. Gentleman has said that 31 of the detainees have been released, they are not completely released from restriction and there has been absolutely no guarantee that they will be free to take part in opposing and campaigning on the whole question of these principles. The test of acceptability is one of the most vital principles in the whole operation and I hope that we will be enlightened further and may know why the right hon. Gentleman did not insist on these things when he negotiated the settlement.
We have been told, sadly, by the Foreign Secretary that Smith and his party are, to say the least, apartheid-minded and that if we did not have the settlement he has told us that, sadly, Southern Rhodesia would continue on the path that it has followed since U.D.I., that is unimpeded progress towards apatheid. He asked us to study these terms for a settlement, but what we ought to be studying is past history and the present realities of power. All that the right hon. Gentleman has said to-night has made it clear that he has been unable to convince Ian Smith to grant genuine African advance and Ian Smith has made it perfectly clear that he is not prepared to grant genuine African advance.
Instead Ian Smith has shown us, and nothing the right hon. Gentleman has 528 said has shown us differently, that he has agreed to make apparent concessions which will appear to offer some political advance to Africans. The right hon. Gentleman has not said that this guarantees anything, that it is even within the five principles, because they had a degree of entrenchment at the back of them. He has said that it is an act of faith. It gives us a chance, he says, but in my view it is a chance, on the basis of what he has said, that I am not prepared to take. No one can genuinely get up and say, "If we do not do this we will have apartheid", because this man and his party believe in apartheid. That is why there was U.D.I. No one can say," If he signs this piece of paper he will change his mind and we will not have apartheid." His party was determined to save Rhodesia from multi-racialism, let alone majority rule, and there has been no indication from anything said to-night that that has changed.
When the deal is completed and the independence of Southern Rhodesia legalised, apartheid in Southern Rhodesia will not be halted. It will be accelerated and Britain will have helped with this acceleration. Not only is Southern Rhodesia apartheid-minded, as we have all seen, and this has not been denied by the Foreign Secretary—the Smith régime has been marching steadily along that road—but the right hon. Gentleman has not been able to get out of Smith a single concession, a single way of repealing one of these Acts while he has been making the settlement. The apartheid will continue. If the Foreign Secretary knows his history, he will know that people who believe in apartheid are not deterred by constitutions.
The right hon. Gentleman said that we did not want Southern Rhodesia to follow the path of South Africa. I have been reading the debate of 1909, the speeches by people like Mr. Balfour, who said that the Constitution that became law in 1910 would ultimately lead to liberation and freedom for the Africans in South Africa. What happened? What is the history of South Africa? When the South African Constitution was drawn up, South Africa got self-government in 1910 and it was fully expected by all those who pushed it through that the white liberalism of the Cape would 529 be extended to the rest of the country. It took exactly 25 years before this was eroded and the British Government, which had talked about entrenched clauses and protection, stood by and was unable to do anything about it. The terrifying thing today about South Africa is that many right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite defend what has been taking place there.
The tragedy is that after the removal of the Cape coloureds from the roll in South Africa, it took 20 years to establish apartheid firmly. I do not think that apartheid is anything to laugh about, as the Foreign Secretary apparently thinks. The reason it took 20 years to establish apartheid was this—and it is the basic contradiction in the argument that if there is economic advance in Southern Rhodesia there will be economic, social and political advancement for the Africans. Economic advancement in South Africa was needed in order to provide the tool whereby apartheid could be endorsed and enhanced. Apartheid in South Africa is not weaker but stronger than it has ever been. Year after year more apartheid legislation is passed as the South African economy gets stronger. This is what will hapen in Southern Rhodesia.
An hon. Member opposite who spoke about the pattern of immigration in South Africa made a vital point against himself. We have seen what has happened in the investment and business world there. White immigration will increase in Southern Rhodesia. When some hon. Members opposite talk about political rights and other rights in Southern Rhodesia, give examples of the immigration pattern and point out how many of the white people in power in Southern Rhodesia were not born there but are immigrants, I am reminded that their criticisms of immigrants in this country are not the same when it comes to immigrants in Southern Rhodesia. It is the immigrants in Southern Rhodesia in whom power is to be vested at the expense of the indigenous population and of those who were born there. I believe in equal rights for all immigrants and non-immigrants in this country and in Southern Rhodesia, and it is very strange justice when some hon Members oppo- 530 site are contemptuous and critical of immigrants in this country but are prepared to advance a different argument in respect of white immigrants in Southern Rhodesia.
When those of us who are interested in South Africa and in the advancement of the African go there, we see different things and different people. When people say that advancement under Ian Smith, as under Vorster, will lead to freedom for and the political and economic advancement of the African, I wonder what they have seen in the apartheid State of South Africa. I have recently been there and I have seen the operation of the pass laws. I have seen how a black or brown man or woman is prosecuted under the pass laws once every 50 seconds every day of the year, and the situation is getting worse. Apartheid is being strengthened because South Africa can now afford to strengthen it.
We have seen what has happened when people like the Dean of Johannesburg condemn, as any Christian should, what is taking place there. But this is what will happen in Southern Rhodesia if the proposed deal goes through, because the deal offers nothing for the African except the removal of any hope that he had that Britain would recognise the dilemma in which she has placed him and would be prepared to save him from the white supremacy régime there.
I wonder whether the Foreign Secretary has any idea of the effect that it had on some of us to see him riding round Salisbury in a sanctions-breaking car supplied by the Smith régime. This showed insensitivity which I find very hard to understand. I should have thought that when the Foreign Secretary was discussing how he could make a deal with Smith, he would not want to be identified with the breaking of sanctions or with people who were breaking sanctions.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Would the hon. Lady tell me how I could have ridden round Salisbury in a British car?
§ Miss Lestor
The Foreign Secretary has made my point. When we make deals with people like Ian Smith, we are bound to live by their rules. That is what the right hon. Gentleman did, and it was not missed in Africa.
I said at the beginning of my speech that there were two assumptions on which 531 the deal was based, leaving aside the terms of acceptability. One was the belief that a man dedicated to apartheid, as the Foreign Secretary says lan Smith is, will legislate himself out of existence and back on the road to equality. The second was the assumption of economic advancement, which I believe is a nonsense and the Foreign Secretary knows it is a nonsense.
If and when this deal goes through, the British Government will have taken a decisive step towards identifying Britain with those who believe that political responsibility in Southern Rhodesia is the right of those people with white skins against the belief which, in my view, has been the basic principle of British political history since Magna Carta, namely, that every citizen has the right to an equal share in forming the character of his own society. If we in Britain deny the African that right, we shall bear the responsibility for paving the way for whatever may happen in Southern Rhodesia. I am afraid that it is our children who will suffer because of this settlement.
§ 7.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Evelyn King (Dorset, South)
It is seven years since the unilateral declaration of independence and since we began to debate Rhodesia in that context, and we get near, whether we want it or not, the end of the road. It is time to assess the nature and quality of British statesmanship as conducted by more than one party in reaching the situation in which we now find ourselves.
The hon. Lady the Member for Eton and Slough (Miss Lestor) referred to the test of acceptability. If she meant, as I hope, that it was desirable that the Commission should show every sign of impartiality and should fulfil the conditions she enumerated, I wholly accept her statement. However, if she meant, as she might have meant, that those conditions should have been imposed by my right hon Friend the Foreign Secretary before he left Rhodesia, that is a different matter because, even in the context of her approach, it is normal and natural to leave the Commission to decide its own procedure. I understand that my right hon. Friend obtained an assurance from the Rhodesian Government that every facility would be given to the Commis- 532 sion. I hope that the facilities offered will include the sort of facilities which the hon. Lady has in mind. But that single, narrow point should not influence our vote tonight, because that is a matter which the Commission will decide itself.
I should like to think—and I may have said this before in speeches on Rhodesia—that there was not so great a divergence between hon. Members opposite and we on this side of the House as sometimes supposed. May we not at least agree with one another that our objective, the easing of race relations, and a generally more liberal approach, is the same, and that what we differ about is the method? There are those, I know, on the other side of the House who think that success is best attained—to use a metaphor—by banging the other side on the head. There are those on this side who think a more rational and negotiated approach is likely to have better and quicker results. That is the difference between us.
Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen have spent a good deal of time tonight explaining to us where the Rhodesian Government have in the past been wrong and where they are likely to go on being wrong. If it is any consolation to anybody, I will accept all that straightaway, but this is the British Parliament, and it is no bad thing sometimes if, in a spirit of humility, we consider not only where Rhodesia went wrong but also where, in the last seven years, Britain went wrong. I think that that possibly may be a more helpful exercise. I will deal first in a little detail, and then in more general terms, with these errors.
First, in detail, rightly or wrongly we gave to Rhodesia internal independence in 1923, when no Member of this House now was present. But it was done, and I would doubt whether one could think, of Rhodesia or any other State in Africa, or indeed in the world, that it is a practicable thing to withdraw even some portion of independence, as we sought to do, once that independence has been granted. That was error number one.
Then we came to the blunder of taking the issue to the United Nations. I would argue, and I shall not spare my own side any more than the other side, my belief that it was a blunder to take this issue to the United Nations. I do not say this 533 on my own authority. Sir Lionel Heald and other distinguished lawyers have said the same thing. The United Nations acted illegally in that they declared to be a threat to peace an action of an independent State which, on their own argument, was not in fact independent. Whether or not that was legally wrong, they certainly committed another legal wrong, supported by the British Government, when they denied to that State, directly contrary to the Charter of the United Nations, the right even to make its own defence before the United Nations Organisation.
These are minor wrongs, and now I come to the greater wrongs. Here I speak of what I have seen and learned when I have been in Rhodesia.
I think that most right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House would concede that the name of Great Britain, among both Africans and Europeans, almost equally, but perhaps especially so a year or two ago, did not stand high. Africans resented—it is hardly in dispute—what they thought the Labour Party had done to them. Europeans resented equally, though for quite different reasons, no doubt, the way in which Britain and this Parliament was treating Rhodesia. Why was that? The fundamental reason, and I think it is important, was that they were convinced that what we were doing was not being done, nor even being attempted, in the interests of Rhodesia itself. The constant charge was, "Great Britain is interested in obtaining votes at the United Nations; Great Britain is interested in her reputation among other African leaders, or interested in pacifying some other African personality; Great Britain has no interest in the political or economic state of Rhodesia, and it is not in the interests of us as a people that Great Britain is acting." This is a serious charge, but I state it as a view held alike by Africans and Europeans and, I sometimes think, almost more by Africans than by Europeans. And that was our first psychological blunder.
The second charge I would bring against British Parliaments and the British Government now and in the past—and here I make no particular distinction of date—is the fact is that up to about 1955 we were an African Power. We had soldiers, we had bases, we had 534 inmmense influence, throughout the Continent of Africa, from north to south. By the time this thing came to a head we had not a single solider stationed in Africa, we had not a naval base, and yet this House thought that by some extraordinary means it could dictate events in central Africa. If all that has happened has taught us nothing else, I hope it has taught us that this was a fallacy.
Nor do I apply the argument particularly to Rhodesia. It is the case that independence has been given to every State in Africa. Independence is independence. The suggestion that Britain in Tanzania, Zambia, or Rhodesia, can act as a great African Power able to dictate its will is an illusion. It is an illusion that I hope we shed for all time. It is a fundamental illusion.
One word on an allied subject. I have returned, having been fortunate enough recently to visit Africa, where I was for three or four weeks. In the time I was abroad I had the opportunity to see three Heads of Commonwealth States. It is commonly said that if the form of action which my right hon. Friend recommended to the House he pursued, then we shall incur the enmity of the Commonwealth. This statement is not untrue. I do not believe that hon. Members who take that line are yet sufficiently familiar with the second wind of change which is sweeping across Africa.—[An HON. MEMBER: "Name the State."]—I will gladly do so. I was in Cyprus and I have seen Archbishop Makarios. I put to him a question which I put to others: "If there is an agreement following my right hon. Friend's negotiations with Rhodesia", I said to him, "may I ask you whether you would feel in any sense bound to be critical of it?" He said clearly, "There are theoretical objections and I think also practical difficulties. It is not for us to urge that British troops should be stationed on former colonial soil. If agreement were reached I for one would be happy to vote what the British Government recommend without comment.
Before I went to Cyprus I was in Uganda, where I had an interview with General Amin. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] It is all very well for hon. Gentlemen opposite to laugh. That is the second State whose Head I visited. It is no good the hon. Members laughing at the words of Heads of State whom they do not 535 appreciate, and regarding highly the words of Heads of State whom they happen to admire. I talked to three Heads of State, all of whom spoke to me in perfect freedom, giving expressions of opinion which I thought would be worth while now recalling.
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon
Did the hon. Member speak to the more politically aware Foreign Secretary of President Amin who would have given a very different opinion about Uganda's reaction?
§ Mr. King
I think the suggestion that the Foreign Secretary and the Head of a foreign State are at loggerheads is hardly worthy of the hon. Gentleman. I must assume that a Head of State is capable of expressing his own opinion, the more so when that opinion was expressed in the presence of a number of officials of the Ministry to which the hon. Member refers.
I put to him the same question. He said, "My first duty is to my own people." He went on, "Increasingly in Africa you will find that Heads of State who in the past have been all too willing to make excursions into foreign affairs are concerned with the welfare of their own people." He went on to say, and to say with emphasis--he spoke of Pakistan and India at the end of our talk" These things are not my particular concern. If Britain comes to an agreement with Rhodesia, Uganda will have little to say. My concern is to raise the economic standards of my people." He went on to pay tribute—and this surprised me—to the work done by British district commissioners in Uganda in the past, and to the strength which the British connection had given to his country.
The third Head of State I met was Dr. Banda—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—I expected that noise. Dr. Banda specifically asked me to say this in the British House of Commons. As I was his guest. I think I have the right to do so, and hon. Members may put on it what value they like. I referred first to the Continent of Africa. Dr. Banda asked for a map, ran his finger over it and said, "There is no such Continent; it does not exist. In the north are Arabs, in the south are Africans. If my grandfather were to see an African embracing an Arab he would be horrified. The Arabs sold Africans 536 into slavery." Dr. Banda went on to say that he had lived in South Africa, and he spoke of Rhodesia. He said, "Of course things that are wrong go on there, but the solution is dialogue. Brutality is found not just in South Africa or Rhodesia but in the Sudan, where Africans are driven into huts and the huts are set fire to and riddled with machine gun bullets. The world hears nothing of this. The world is obsessed with South Africa and Rhodesia." His view was that dialogue was the way to bring about changes—
§ Mr. Faulds
In these conversations, did Dr. Banda mention the well-listed number of politically motivated murders for which he has given orders?
§ Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)
Will the hon. Gentleman inform the House how many former Cabinet Ministers who have been exiled would be hanged on gallows in Malawi if they came back?
§ Mr. King
I do not follow the point of the question. What I assume the hon. Gentleman to be arguing is that States with African rulers are dictatorships. If that is the point of his argument, what is he grumbling about over Rhodesia?
To get back to something a little less controversial, right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have spent a lot of time being critical of what is happening in Rhodesia. If independence is conferred upon Rhodesia, as independence has been conferred on every other African State, that independence will be permanent. The suggestion made in speech after speech that after independence, in 1980 or 1990, Great Britain can interfere is an Alice-in-Wonderland suggestion.
I was bewildered when the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) seriously discussed what would happen in 2014. I do not claim the mantle of a prophet. Does any hon. Member know what will happen in England in 2014? I was not surprised to hear one of my hon. Friends say, "I am going to where 537 they debate better, to the House of Lords". The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition once said that a week in politics was a long time. What then of a 40-year prophecy? What has happened to the principle that no Parliament can bind a future Parliament? If that be true in Britain, and it is, it is equally true in Rhodesia. All we can hope to do is to try to get the country, for which in the past we had responsibility, off to a good start. The suggestion that we can bind that country for 30 or 40 years ahead is a piece of nonsense, as everyone knows in his heart.
The hon. Member for Eton and Slough argued, rightly, that in the last 10 years Rhodesia had moved to the right. Many of us remember Rhodesia in the days when there was a liberal tradition carried through from Garfield Todd, Whitehead and Winston Field to Ian Smith. We observe that as British pressure has increased Rhodesia has moved further and further to the right. That is exactly what any intelligent diplomat would prophesy. What we are doing now is taking Rhodesia out of the situation in which no man dare criticise the Government for fear of being thought to be disloyal. When the centre of gravity is in Rhodesia and not in London, a liberal and progressive party has the chance to emerge. It is our hope and prayer that that will happen. No one in this House can prophesy with certainty what will happen, but that is an intelligent and statesmanlike approach. I wish we had made it 10 years ago.
§ 7.47 p.m.
§ Mr. John Stonehouse (Wednesbury)
It is now clear that the failure to dispatch troops to Salisbury when independence was declared was a grave miscalculation. Had we acted quickly at that time, the revolt might have collapsed like a house of cards.
When I was at the independence celebration in Zambia in 1964, I met many of the military commanders who were then being transferred to the Zambian forces who knew their counterparts in Rhodesia, men who had served in the British Army. They told me that in the event of a declaration of independence in Southern Rhodesia, the troops, and certainly the officers, in Southern Rhodesia would be in two minds which 538 authority to follow. It was believed that the majority would refuse to accept orders from an illegal régime. It is a sad reflection on us when we look back on the events of 1965 that if the revolt had been conducted by 200,000 blacks in the middle of five million white, there would have been no doubt about the action which would have been taken by the United Kingdom Administration. We should have acted decisively and quickly against such a régime.
It was assumed at that time that sanctions would have such a severe effect on the Rhodesian economy that the rebel régime would be brought to heel within a short time. That has been shown to be a false hope, because sanctions have not been very effective. Politically the régime has prospered and economically the situation for the whites, but not for the blacks, is not so bad. We hear news from the United States and other countries of the gradual dismantling of the sanctions that were imposed at the suggestion of the United Kingdom.
This is a very sad day for Britain. We are now acknowledging the capitulation of the United Kingdom to a rebel régime which has acted in defiance of a Constitution and the Queen during the last six years. This is the first time since the founding of the United States of America that a rebel régime has received independence from the United Kingdom. It is over half a century since a minority régime received power from Britain; it was done legally then and everybody knows the result.
Every fair-minded Member on the Conservative benches must regret the fact that South Africa was given independence over 50 years ago. Since that time there has been a gradual development of white power there which uses the black majority as a cheap source of labour and denies the black majority any political or human rights. What is happening in Southern Rhodesia now is exactly the same as has happened in South Africa throughout the past half century. This capitulation of the United Kingdom is an historic event because it is the first time in British history that we have capitulated to a rebel régime representing only a minority in such a State.
There has been talk about an agreement between the United Kingdom and 539 Rhodesia. But it is not an agreement between the people of the United Kingdom and the people of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe have not yet been consulted, and so the Commission which is being set up will not be properly consulted. It will not even be consulted on the criteria laid down by the Foreign Secretary when he was Prime Minister in 1964. There will not be a referendum and the people will not be consulted in that way. It will be a collection of views, but it will not be an honest representation of views.
This is an agreement between a Conservative Government who are anxious to get this problem off their back because they have other things to deal with—they want to get into Europe, and so on. This has been negotiation with a tiny minority of people in Rhodesia amounting to only 200,000 people, most of whom are immigrants and very few of whom were born in Rhodesia. We are negotiating and concluding an agreement with a people whose population is the size of the population of Bournemouth, with an electorate of 80,000—only slightly larger than one of our British constituencies. It is ludicrous for us in the 1970s to expect the transfer of power in such a way to stand the test of time. What we are doing is transferring power to a State based not only on racial discrimination but also on class exploitation.
The white minority in Rhodesia uses its political power to grant to the white minority economic privileges over the exploited majority. We all know about the Land Tenure Act, which allocates over half the land area to less than 5 per cent. of the population. We also know about job discrimination which allows a white artisan who does the same job as a black man to receive on average 10 times what the black man receives. Class discrimination plays a large part in the system, and this will enhance the rule of the whites in Rhodesia because they have a vested interest to pursue.
In this situation we should not talk about giving votes to people who happen to have a high income. We should be talking of giving votes to the dispossessed people since this would be the only way to redress the wrong done against them.
540 I have been concerned for the lives and safety of the white majority in Rhodesia. In 1959, when I visited Salisbury and Bulawayo, I spoke to African leaders about the need to recognise that whites wanted to stay in Rhodesia and to help in partnership with the black majority. They accepted that and were willing to embrace the concept of racial equality by allowing whites to take their place. What they did not want was exploitation.
When I made one or two speeches to audiences on that there, I was astounded by the reaction of the ordinary people to this concept of racial amity between white and black. I was also struck by the attitude of liberal whites, including Members of Parliament in Southern Rhodesia, who told me on that visit how much they applauded this approach to the problem. By trying to bring whites and blacks together, we sought to recognise that one Rhodesia could mean that there was enough room for both.
What I regret about this farce of an agreement is that it will make the situation of the whites in Rhodesia much more dangerous in future. Reference has been made to the development of the situation in other countries in Africa Let us reflect that in countries where we have had an orderly transfer of power to the black majority—for example, in Kenya and Zambia where there were large minorities of whites—there was a great deal of foreboding before it took place. Today, however, a white person is more secure when walking the streets of Nairobi, Lusaka or Ndola at night than is a white person when walking the streets of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.
§ Mr. Evelyn King
I largely accept what the hon. Gentleman says but would he concede that of all the constitutions painfully negotiated with independent Africa, not a single one has lasted five years?
§ Mr. Stonehouse
Yes, but the constitutions have been changed by Governments which have been elected by the majority of the people and which have the support of that majority. Nobody attempts to claim that the Government of Rhodesia reflects the majority. It may reflect a majority of the tiny minority of whites but it does not reflect the views of five million people in the population.
541 This is not an agreement which settles the future of Rhodesia. It is simply that the British Government, because they have other things on their mind, are withdrawing from their responsibilities in this area. The real agreement will have to come later between the whites who remain in Rhodesia and the African majority. The victory of the rebel Smith régime makes it more likely that agreement will be reached only after a sea of violence in which many white as well as black lives will be lost.
§ 7.58 p.m.
§ Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)
It seems just possible that my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary and his team may have broken a log jam in Rhodesia, and I congratulate them on that achievement. But it is difficult to forecast what results may follow. I share many of the doubts and worries which were expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane).
Since U.D.I. in Rhodesia there has been a sustained and steady movement towards apartheid. I believe that that has not been due to sanctions. It has been due to the policies of those who hold rule in Rhodesia.
What, then, are the factors which have led Mr. Ian Smith and his Cabinet to accept an agreement which should mean a reversal of this movement and which should set in train and sustain progress towards African majority rule?
There is little doubt in my mind that sanctions have been the major influence. Their main effects have been a reduction of external investment, a reduction of external trade, political isolation, dangerous African unemployment in the tribal areas, and a halt in the kind of immigration favoured by the Rhodesian Front. These effects and the prospects of their continuing have, I suggest, been the decisive factor.
All these factors could vanish once Rhodesia became legally independent and free from sanctions. Are there, then, other factors which will continue after sanctions and which might influence the independent Rhodesian Government to make good progress in the direction described in the agreement?
It has been argued that Mr. Ian Smith and his Government wish to go no further in the direction of apartheid. It is said 542 that they do not wish to be swamped by land-hungry Afrikaaners and to be dominated by them and eventually by the South African Government. We hear that internal security is now becoming a major worry, especially for those living and working in the rural areas. It is difficult to forecast what combination of these factors and what new ones will influence Rhodesian Governments in favour of carrying out the current proposals or of frustrating them.
What will make such a Government and their successors judge that their long-term interests lie in seeing these proposals through to African majority rule within a reasonable time? Perhaps the main and growing influence will be the African political pressures within Rhodesia and from elsewhere in the continent and other pressures from outside. These could be a major factor. But we must recognise that they could lead an independent Rhodesian Government in one of two directions: to increase the pace towards majority rule, or to attempt to slow the pace.
If Mr. Smith and his Cabinet wish to imrove the prospect that Africans will accept these proposals, I believe that they will need to give some clear indication now, before the consultation of African opinion, that they are determined to set off on the new course outlined in the proposals. Certainly some of the more irksome measures of discrimination and the announcement that the proposal to remove two African mission settlements to other areas under the Land Tenure Act should be dropped if they wish to gain credence.
I deal now with the Commission which is to test African opinion. It is essential that Africans in Rhodesia should feel that the members of the Commission will be able to understand their views and their feelings. This is important also for us in this House and for world opinion.
As announced so far, the membership of the Commission is a long way from meeting this need. But I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary has said that he will try to ensure a better balance in the Commission. In view of what has happened about it, I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to announce a membership of at least five instead of four 543 to restore the balance and to give the Commission more credibility. Certainly I believe that an African should be included.
In the end, the three factors which will weigh most with Rhodesian Africans and their leaders in judging this issue are their estimates of the time that it will take to reach African majority rule, their confidence that discrimination will be abolished, especially in access to jobs of all ranges for which they may become qualified, and changes in the Land Tenure Act which will ensure their access to good land, with security of tenure.
In my view, if a Government based on the white community in Rhodesia has the will to implement these proposals fully, there is just enough in them to give some hope that Africans in Rhodesia may benefit and make reasonable progress to majority rule.
I believe that these proposals should be put to the Africans. Their answer will depend on their own assessment of whether they are likely to achieve majority rule more quickly by these proposals and by the pressures that they will hope to exert later to speed the process, or by taking the risk of rejecting the proposals and relying on their own strength and the help of the outside world.
I believe that it is better to put these proposals to Rhodesian Africans now rather than to reject them tonight. It is for that reason, in spite of all my worries and doubts, that I shall support the Government in the Division Lobby.
§ 8.7 p.m.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
Throughout these last six years, I have been a lonely voice in my party upon this issue. Recently I have been reinforced by Lord Goodman. We are still a small minority, but I think that we happen to be the two who know most about Rhodesia.
From the beginning, I said that sanctions would be counter-effective in dealing with the Rhodesian Front and that they would hang round our necks like a dead chicken of which we should find it difficut to rid ourselves. This agreement provides us with an opportunity to get rid of that chicken, and it is a good deal better than I had expected it would be.
544 It has been attacked on various grounds. One is that it is useless to have an agreement with Mr. Smith because it is unenforceable and depends on Mr. Smith's good will. That argument is more available to the Liberal Party than it is to the Labor Party, because it applied with equal force to "Tiger" and "Fearless".
I believe that hon. Members have always been under a delusion about its enforceability. I informed the Leader of the Liberal Party that I intended to refer to him. I remember his suggesting that we should enforce our will upon Rhodesia by bombing her railway lines. I remember referring to a passage in the Rand Research on the Cost Effectiveness of Operations of War. The final one dealt with was bombing railways. It said:As far as we can ascertain, the cost of making the hole exceeds by 600 times the cost of filling it up again.The right hon. Gentleman's latest suggestion is that, to be effective, a sovereign base should enforce any agreement. How one uses a sovereign base, which is separated by a thousand miles of alien soil from the sea and by 5,000 miles of alien soil from the nearest airfield, I do not know. At any rate, I should have thought that a sovereign base would have been eminently acceptable to Mr. Smith. After all, it would be a source of exchange and an admirable hostage if ever he had any difficulty with us. After all, he would only have to cut off the water supply to reduce it.
The idea that at any point we were in a position to exercise force over communications through a thousand miles of someone else's territory was always militarily fantastic. We have never been in a position to do other than negotiate. We have always been powerless.
Having put that aspect out of the way, we should look at this agreement realising that it depends upon the sincerity of Mr. Smith and his friends in Rhodesia. That is what we have to examine. I know Mr. Smith and many of his people quite well. I believe in his sincerity, within a limited context. After all, both on "Tiger" and on "Fearless" he could have had sovereignty and he could have had sanctions called off. Both were offered to him on the two occasions. If he had been prepared to behave like any other 'leader of a Government in 545 Africa and, having got his independence, torn up the constitution which gave it, nothing could have stopped him. It was because he was not prepared to do that that those two negotiations failed.
§ Mr. Paget
It was not one which gave him his independence. Having taken his independence, he made his own constitution. But he was not prepared to make a bargain on the basis of a constitution and then tear it up, as every other African Government have done.
It may be said that I am relying on Mr. Smith's sincerity for the worst of reasons, racial arrogance. I believe that it is a tremendously powerful argument within the Rhodesian Front to say, "We are not people who behave like black Governments". The very fact that the black Governments have rejected their constitutions or have been insincere in administering them is a strong reason why the Rhodesians will not be.
§ Mr. Paget
It is said, after all, that this agreement is worthless. There is nothing for him to tear up. My own analysis from a legal point of view—and my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) may very well tear this to pieces; I do not think that it will be very difficult for him—is that the small print is not of very much value here. What we have seen since sanctions is a march by Rhodesia towards apartheid. Now we are seeing a turning back towards multi-racialism. It is tentative, doubtful, uncertain and unclearly defined. None the less, it is forcing Mr. Smith to get through his Parliament a series of measures reversing Acts which he has passed in the last few years. That is a very formidable exercise, and it gets things moving backwards from apartheid.
I do not believe for a second that this action has been forced upon Mr. Smith by sanctions. Sanctions have served Rhodesia remarkably well. They have made her into a nation. We have tried to make a lot of nations in Africa, and we have given much aid and assistance to them to do so. All that we have produced is black neo-Colonialist Govern- 546 ments which have become military dictatorships.
§ Mr. Paget
No. Here, although sanctions have been much more expensive than aid, by sanctions we have created what is a very effective and viable nation with the feelings of a nation.
Sanctions have proved very successful economically. After all, the worst that can be done for an ergent nation is to give it free trade. That was the great fault of our imperial era. We imposed free trade, and the result is that in not one of the areas where we ruled did any industrial infrastructure grow up. One can grow that infrastructure only under tight protection—and sanctions were a tight protection.
This involved in Rhodesia a building up of every kind of new industry instead of almost the single industry of tobacco with which they started. Rhodesia is today a vastly more viable economic than it was six years ago. It has had a pretty steady growth rate of about 8 per cent. It has had a very manageable balance of payments. The Minister of Finance about a year ago talked about scraping the barrel. What Chancellor of the Exchequer does not talk about scraping the barrel when he is asking the country to be economical and save? It has been and still is a very manageable balance of payment.
I remember discussing with the Chamber of Commerce on the Rand the problem of Rhodesian finance. My host said, "There are six of us round the table. We can provide Rhodesia with anything she wants without it be noticeable in our balance sheets." That is an example of the small things that happen. The idea that Rhodesia was being squeezed in that way is not real.
I believe that the essence of this settlement is that it was an achievement in persuasion, and this I believe has been due greatly to the magic of Lord Goodman. I think it was an astonishing effort in honest persuasion. In earlier days, when I was talking with Mr. Smith, I had this feeling. I remember coming back and reporting to my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson) when he was Prime 547 Minister. I told him what I thought was the settlement available. He replied, "If you do not think that sanctions can bite, why should Mr. Smith do this?" I told him, "Because I think he feels lonely." My right hon. Friend said, "I think I know what you mean. I think that is a perceptive observation." There has been a feeling of loneliness there, a wanting to come back into society. This has been, I think, the effective factor. It is equally the reason why the settlement will be worked sincerely. It is a wanting to get back into the gang of civilisation, to get the approval of mankind. I believe that this has been the most important factor.
I am exceedingly glad and this is one of the things I discussed with Mr. Smith six years ago—that we are providing financial aid. I suggested at that time that we might provide the cost of a secondary education. He said, "Yes—provided there are jobs for them when they are educated, and that means an economic scheme which can be geared to the outflow of educated Africans." This I believe is the essential to the growth. I also believe that it is the key to the situation.
When one talks about how many years it would take to get an African majority, I find that of no importance. No one can look that distance in advance. The important thing is that these kinds of institution reflect not numbers but power, and in Rhodesia's evolving economy—and the scope for growth in Rhodesia is enormous—it is 20 to one and not three to one, as in South Africa, where apartheid might conceivably be possible. In Rhodesia, the great burden of the expansion must be borne by the Africans and a large part of its profits gained by them. They are the only people who can do that expansion, and as their economic power in that society grows, so will their effectiveness and voice in Parliament grow, regardless of what we write in the constitution. That is how it grows and that is how it will work.
We have never seen a society which is growing in which the proletariat is not coming up. It builds up and gains its power that way. I may be right or wrong, but to this hope and chance there is only the alternative—
§ Mr. Paget
I cannot give way. The alternative is to go back on the road to apartheid, to an economy tightly confined, in which the squeeze is always on the black man, although it is all right for the white man—and all this for a matter of principle. I have great respect for martyrs in principle but I have less respect for people who prefer the martyrdom to be done by proxy—and the martyrdom will be done by the Africans in this case. I believe that would be quite wrong.
I shall not be able to support the Opposition Amendment. Nor shall I support the Government's Motion. If I did, I should be wishing to continue them in office, and I do not want to do that. I think they are a very bad Government. But I equally feel that in this issue they have made the best move which is available and, largely thanks to Lord Goodman, they have got a negotiation which has far better prospects than anything that I, frankly, thought possible when negotiations started.
§ 8.21 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Hamilton (Salisbury)
I used to represent a constituency alongside that of the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). I do not think that he would necessarily appreciate it, however, if across the Floor I were to compliment him on his speech. But I can say that on both sides of the House there is genuine admiration for anyone who so consistently through the years has demonstrated such independence of spirit as his.
I do not think that the House has realised tonight that it is exactly five years ago, on 1st December, that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, then Prime Minister, flew to Gibraltar for talks on board H.M.S. "Tiger". I well remember that he went with the good wishes of the whole House. Two years later, he flew off again for talks on board H.M.S. "Fearless", and once again he went with the good wishes of the whole House. In fairness to the Labour Administration, it must be said that no one could have tried harder to reach a settlement. Equally in fairness, it must be said that no Administration 549 received such unqualified support from the Opposition of the day.
Today, after so much endeavour and disappointment, the House has before it proposals for a settlement, and this is surely a moment for which the House has been waiting for six years. The one thing that troubles me in the debate is the inability of some sections of the House to match the occasion with adequate generosity. After all, on both sides we have longed to see an end to this unhappy breach, and on both sides we have been anxious and concerned for the advancement of the Africans. But as with Europe the other day, so with Rhodesia now. When the moment comes and when the first break in the clouds appears, there are some here who say, "Yes, we subscribe to the principle of settlement and we have cherished the hope of settlement, but we have looked for better terms."
With very few exceptions today, there has been not a word of gratitude from the benches opposite for the exertions of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. I have some modest knowledge not only of Salisbury, Wiltshire, which I represent, but also of Salisbury, Rhodesia. I have been out there since U.D.I. was declared. I have not met members of the Rhodesian Administration. But I remember going into the stadium in Salisbury one afternoon and seeing Mr. Smith being granted the freedom of the city. I believe that many hon. Members who have visited Rhodesia recently will agree with me that this crisis has stirred more emotion and anguish in this country than it has done within Rhodesia itself.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I think that the hon. Gentleman will agree that Rhodesia superficially is calm and outwardly it is prosperous. I think that the hon. Gentleman will also agree with the next point I have to make. I have never forgotten that the number of Europeans in Rhodesia is fewer than in the average English county, and therefore—this is where the hon. Gentleman will also agree—I have always felt that it is unreasonable for any of us to look to the Rhodesia Government for a higher standard of statesmanship than we look for from a well-regulated county council here.
§ Mr. Hamilton
I hope the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, but I promised to be not more than about six minutes.
It is because of this that I am certain that my right hon. Friend was right not to stand upon ceremony but to take the initiative. It could not been an easy decision for him to decide to fly out there. His judgment was vindicated and the negotiations have succeeded where other negotiations failed. These proposals go a long way to helping the Africans, and the whole House should, as I say, be grateful to my right hon. Friend for what he has achieved.
The United Nations has been mentioned. I was there myself last autumn and I am delighted that my hon. Friend the Member for City of Chester (Mr. Temple), who is among our team there now, is able to hear much of this debate and to report back there the feelings on the settlement within the House of Commons.
I believe that when hon. Members go abroad it is only then that they are able to assess the true value and influence of our own foreign service. I do not believe that the House realises what a very impressive mission we field at the United Nations. It is a dedicated and professional body led by Sir Colin Crowe, and it is right when debating this issue that we should have the mission in mind.
Rhodesia, as has been said in the debate, is the last chapter in the long history of de-colonisation. For still a few more months our mission at the United Nations will need to rely on its reserves of patience and philosophy.
The United Kingdom at the United Nations sits alphabetically between the United Arab Republic, on the one side, and the United Kingdoms of Tanzania on the other. It is hardly surprising if some tension still exists between former colonial powers—we are one—on the one hand, and the numerous Afro-Asian bloc on the other. On the one hand, we have those who are proud of their colonial record and contribution; on the other, we have those who regard colonialism as an unmitigated crime.
No settlement acceptable to this House, whether proposed by a Labour or by a 551 Conservative Government, could hope to commend itself to those who have consistently advocated force as a solution to the Rhodesian problem. Equally, no time scale for majority rule, be it lone, be it short, could hope to gain approval amongst those who have consistently cried for one man, one vote immediately.
These are the realities of the situation, and we must recognise them. We must recognise them, because the final stages in the Rhodesian story will not be easy for our mission at the United Nations, and we should spare a thought for it in New York during the coming weeks. We have a blueprint for settlement. It lies fully within the five principles. I am very happy to give it my support.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Andrew Faulds (Smethwick)
I hope that the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. Michael Hamilton) will forgive me if I do not take up any of the points which he seemed to be trying to make in what struck me as a wash of rather wasteful verbiage. I have more important things to say to the House than to take part in an exchange of chit-chat with him.
I accept—this may be to the surprise of some of my hon. Friends—that the Foreign Secretary negotiated with the illegal régime in Southern Rhodesia in good faith and in the prayerful hope, because he is that sort of fellow, that the authorities in Rhodesia would turn out to be honourable and trustworthy fellows. Unfortunately—I wish he were in his place to hear me say this—the Foreign Secretary is that sort of political simpleton. Had he pondered on the characters with whom he was dealing and bothered to study their statements, he might have had the political sense to preserve his own reputation—he has done himself no good at all—and prove himself, with what is probably his last political act before retirement, a better and wiser statesman than his record so far would support.
I have no intention of wasting the time of the House or my own in analysing the implications of the agreement in terms of what may transpire if the terms agreed are actually accepted. I am not much concerned about the statistical analyses which suggest that it may be 64 years—2035 A.D.—before the African majority 552 achieves its rightful political power. Those analyses assume absolute good faith on the part of the Smith Government and their successors. That is pretty bloody unlikely, but that is what they assume.
They also assume a major increase in the output of African schools and full registration by all qualified Africans, both of which are pretty unlikely eventualities. I am not much concerned with those analyses or statistics or, indeed, with these, to me, absolutely worthless documents, because we all know that when Southern Rhodesia is granted recognition her minority settler Government will change her constitution as their selfish self-preservation and privilege demand.
The Observer, in a brilliant assessment of the agreement terms, which it titled, quite correctly, "A Dud Prospectus" said:Our main doubts about the proposed settlement have less to do with the legal small print than with the simple facts of human logic. It is not just that Mr. Smith is not to be trusted"—we can say "Hear, hear" to thator that his party, the Rhodesia Front, came to power with a mandate to prevent majority rule. It is that no minority, anywhere, has ever voluntarily given up its power and privileges to a majority that it basically feared and distrusted.We do not need the words of The Observer to spell out the realities of what will happen after the settler community has been recognised by an agreement shunted through the British House of Commons which is, in the final analysis, responsible for the future destiny of five million Africans, the people of Zimbabwe. We have the unequivocal words of a Mr. Howman, the so-called Minister for External Affairs of the illegal régime. In June, 1969, as reported in the Rhodesian Press, he said as regards "Fearless" and "Tiger" thatthe Rhodesian régime had intended, throughout discussions between the British and Rhodesian authorities, to alter any independence constitution it mieht have eventually negotiated with Britain.He went on to say:We made these offers (concessions to British demands) always with this understanding, that we would change the constitution as we thought fit.We have the example of the Republic of South Africa to see that it does not take 553 64 years to set up a police State and entrench a racialist régime.
I am sorry that the Foreign Secretary is not present and I should like to apologise to him later, perhaps, for saying this in his absence. Last Monday I took part, with a group of Methodist Ministers, in presenting to Sir Alec's secretary at the Foreign Office 25 pieces of symbolic silver—
Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant Ferris)
Order. The Foreign Secretary should not be referred to by his name of Sir Alec.
§ Mr. Faulds
I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I thought that he was the Foreign Secretary. We took part in presenting to him 25 pieces of symbolic silver to add to a previous down payment of five, which had been presented to him before his departure for Salisbury—a total tally of 30 pieces of silver, which a previous betrayal earned. Is the right hon. Gentleman less worried by that symbolic gesture, by a body of Ministers of the Gospel of Christ, than he is by the support of the National Front and other idiot peripheral Fascist organisations?
Let me read to the House a letter from one of the right hon. Gentleman's supporters. Perhaps I should explain that my sister is married to a white South African who lives in Gwelo in Southern Rhodesia. The letter, from a gentleman named Guest from Pinner, reads:Dear Mr. Faulds,Most of us have already celebrated 'victory for Rhodesia' and continued European rule for all time.That is what the agreement means. You should be pleased as your sister will be safe. Just think of that and stop being a bloody fool."—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] It those are the sentiments which hon. Gentlemen opposite like, let me finish the letter:After all you don't really want her raped by a buck negro! Now, do you?Sir Alec is welcome to the support that he gets in letters of that sort. I prefer the company of the gentlemen whom I accompanied to the Foreign Office the other day, the gentlemen of the cloth.
Is the Foreign Secretary, is Sir Alec, really so stupid—
Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. The hon. Member has been a Member of the House long enough to know that he cannot refer to hon. Members by name. He must, in this instance, refer either to the Foreign Secretary, or to the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire.
§ Mr. Faulds
Is the Foreign Secretary really so stupid, as his bland smile would sometimes suggest, as to believe that the present and any future settler Government in Southern Rhodesia will ever allow African majority rule? Or is there lurking in the wings the sinister figure of the Prime Minister, the one who is responsible for the betrayal of our trust in Southern Rhodesia and who has urged on both the Foreign Secretary and his compliant client, the aptly named Mr. Gross-Smith, a settlement on any terms, a sell-out of the Africans and the abandonment of the five principles which the Foreign Secretary first enunciated and to which subsequent Governments have heretofore honourably adhered
That is one of the few explanations which to me make sense, in view of the Prime Minister's total ignorance of Africa and African affairs, the disdain for African and Asian reaction which he so unashamedly revealed in Singapore and in his whole handling of the South African arms issue. Do the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary both really hate apartheid, as they claim? If they do, they have a funny way of showing it. How could they have been willing, indeed eager, parties to its inevitable extension north from South Africa up to the banks of the Zambesi, which is what will happen?
What an achievement on the part of the Foreign Secretary, to crown a career which started with the betrayal of Czechoslovakia at Munich—[Interruption.] Some of us do not forget these political historical facts. The right hon. Gentleman proposes to crown that with the sell-out and betrayal of the real Rhodesians, the African majority at Salisbury. He has ratted on his own five principles—the gentleman we all, nobody more than I, used to regard as a man of honour.
Every responsible commentator and anybody with real knowledge of Africa realises that there is no doubt that the Africans of Zimbabwe will never be 555 permitted to come to power constitutionally. What the Foreign Secretary, Lord Goodman, and the other lesser figures in the drama have done is to ensure—indeed, to guarantee—that the way to majority rule now lies only through bloodshed. That is now the historical inevitability of what this House will decide tonight. That is the disastrous course that the Foreign Secretary has charted for Southern Africa.
In those circumstances I want to be absolutely honest. Those of us who care for Africa and for Africans can only regrettably and with deep distress wish the liberation movements every success in their future fight for the freedom of Zimbabwe. Regardless of the Foreign Secretary and Mr. Smith, regardless of any other settler Government which may struggle for survival, the freedom of Zimbabwe will come through the efforts of the Africans themselves, and I wish them luck.
§ 8.42 p.m.
§ Mr. Peter Tapsell (Horncastle)
The tasteless and rather vulgar comments of the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) about my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs are not worthy of comment.
§ Mr. Tapsell
The occasion for this debate is a melancholy one in the history of our country and of this House. We are being asked to approve terms of settlement for the independence of Rhodesia which constitute an abandonment of the declared purposes which have governed British imperial statesmanship for over a century, certainly since the publication of the Durham Report.
We are being asked to give our support in principle to a settlement which would legalise the control of a majority by a minority—the very thing which our soldiers, at our behest, are fighting and dying to prevent in Ulster. We have only twice before, at independence, handed over a majority to the control of a minority—in Zanzibar and in Aden—on both occasions with disastrous results, the full consequences of which may not yet have been seen. It is no coincidence that those are the two former colonies 556 of ours where injustice is most rife and Communism most rampant.
The truth is that in the struggle with the Rhodesia Front we have lost. It will be better for our own political health at home and for our future standing in Africa if we frankly face that fact. Let no one be in a position to say that we added hypocrisy and deceit to humiliation and defeat.
I shall nevertheless support the Government in the Lobby tonight for three reasons: first, because of the realities of power in Central Africa today; secondly, because I believe that my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary and Lord Goodman have negotiated the best possible terms obtainable in the circumstances; thirdly, because I believe the Africans, as provided in the terms, must be given the opportunity to decide for themselves—something which they have never had before. [An HON. MEMBER: "Fourth because of the Whips."] If the hon. Member had studied my career in the House on this issue over the last 12 years he would not make that remark.
Rhodesian Africans, for the first time, are to be given the chance to decide for themselves whether they prefer this constitutional settlement, with all its glaring imperfections and injustice, or whether they prefer the grim alternative. It is easy to be a hero by proxy. I would not presume to advise my African friends in Rhodesia whether they and their children should fight and die for their rights and freedom now, or seek peacefully to work towards a society fit for their grandchildren to live in. They must decide that harsh question for themselves. It is essential that they have the opportunity to do so in fullest measure.
The work and membership of the Pearce Commission will be crucial. Its members and its methods must not only command our confidence; they must be calculated also to command the confidence of the Rhodesian Africans. Distinguished and high-minded as are the three members of the Commission whose names have already been announced, I believe it to be essential that the membership of the Commission, in African terms, be broadened and strengthened. In my view, there should be five commissioners instead of four as at present proposed, 557 and the additional two should be of the stamp, experience, and knowledge of Africa and Africans, of men such as Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, Sir Michael Blundell or Mr. Bruce Mackenzie, to name but three eminently suitable candidates for the task.
The assessors also, of whom there are to be 14, I understand, are of great importance. I do not think that they should be civil servants. We in this country have our own rather special brand of integrity. This is not always understood or even believed abroad. If the assessors are paid servants of the Crown, our enemies throughout the world will seek to discredit them, however unfairly, for that very reason. Each assessor should be his own man. There is still no shortage of such men in Britain, or in this House. Finally, on the question of the Pearce Commission, the interpreters should not be Rhodesian Government employees.
I started by saying that we had been defeated by the Rhodesia Front. Perhaps it would be truer to say that we had been defeated by history, of which the Rhodesia Front is the heir and will in course of time become the victim. The original European settlement of Rhodesia, and the manner of it, leading on to the 1923 constitution and the 1931 Land Apportionment Act, perhaps inevitably, contained the seeds of the present situation and of the disaster which almost certainly lies ahead for Central Africa.
It is not open to the Labour Party to seek to make a party issue of the problem we now face or of the solution proposed, however unsatisfactory. If there was one utterly fatal error of British statesmanship in the handling of Rhodesian affairs in this century, it was the public declaration by the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson) in 1965, when the feasibility of U.D.I. was being anxiously discussed by the plotters, that in no circumstances would Britain use force.
It was fatal to say so before U.D.I., which it inevitably precipitated. It was equally fatal not to use force as soon as U.D.I. occurred. There are times when power can be kept in civilised hands only by the use of force. That is something which the Labour Party still finds it extraordinarily difficult to grasp. For 558 that failure, five million Africans must pay the price.
§ 8.48 p.m.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)
I am not usually a bitter man, but this debate began on a note which I found utterly distasteful, and it has become more and more distasteful to me as the hours have passed. I believe that this whole exercise is a cynical exercise in power politics. I detest it.
I have never before sensed so many Tory hearts bleeding for poor helpless Africans in that Continent. It has been like something in a Dickens novel. I do not accuse any Conservative Member of deliberate hypocrisy.
Like my hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds), I am sorry that the Foreign Secretary is not here, because I like a man to be able to answer back when I criticise him. I have never seen him worse than he was today. He is a man for whom I have had a high regard. He talked about debating other people's affairs in Africa. The Conservative Party is a paternalistic party, always was, always will be; but when colour comes in, the Conservatives are doubly paternalistic.
But there are hon. Members on this side of the House, of whom I count myself one, who spent some years in Africa with black men attempting to help them in their independence movements, and perhaps we can claim—although we do not have any black men here today, which is the fault of our constitution, for, unlike the Vendôme in Paris, in the past, we have no one here from our former colonial territories—that we have championed them in the past. When I listened to the Foreign Secretary, I wondered what would be thought of his speech by black men, by their leaders in the detention camps, by Joshua Nkomo and others. If they had been here, they could have given vent to their feelings about the sort of pantomime which is being perpetrated and perhaps even perpetuated upon men south of the Zambesi.
To me the whole thing is distasteful. I do not care how much textbook philosophy we get from hon. Members opposite, but I do not want to be lectured by hon. Members like the hon. Member for Horncastle (Mr. Tapsell) about my party using force. We reject the chopping and 559 chipping of Conservative philosophy. I know what black men would feel about it if they were in the Chamber.
I challenge any Minister speaking on behalf of the absent Foreign Secretary to tell me where in Africa since the war any white settlers' society, such as that of Smith and his colleagues, has ever been a party to what they would like us to believe will be a willing contract to hand over power to black men, whom they have despised in the past and whom today they regard as their serfs. I am reminded of some men who were boys at my school in Northumberland many years ago and who are now different men in Salisbury. They were decent schoolboys and when they grew up they married fine young women. I could multiply this example many times from among Welsh miners, or mechanics, or dockers from Hull, indeed some are distant members of my own family.
In England we have a sheltered, openly democratic society where people can be good Christians, even if only on the long-distance telephone. But when they go to Rhodesia, what a change there is! When I am told that white men will behave in the fashion suggested by the Foreign Secretary, I ask where they have done so and where they are doing so. They did not do so in Kenya and they did not do so in Northern Rhodesia.
They did not do so in any place of which I know except where the House of Commons, ultimately responsible for millions of black men and women and youngsters, had power to tell a governor, or a chief secretary or a chief of police, and the army, of course, what to do, and so to put the white settlers in their place. But that is not so in Salisbury, or Bulawayo or elsewhere in Rhodesia. Anyone who has been to Rhodesia knows that the political atmosphere there is totally different.
Some of the actors on this stage, some of those whose names have been bandied about by Mr. Smith, are known to people like my right hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Bottomley), who spoke feelingly about his face-to-face confrontations with Smith and people like him. Garfield Todd, who was bathed in accolades earlier in the debate, did not behave himself; down went Todd. 560 Then we had Edgar Whitehead, a fine, decent, liberal man; he could not satisfy the people behind him, and down he went. Then we had Winston Field; he, too, went down. If this man Smith does not perform, does not behave as the cohorts behind want him to behave, the tobacco farmers and the other farmers, the copper miners and the coal miners, he, too, will go down.
I should like hon. Gentlemen opposite to look on both sides of the Rhodesian border. There they will see Southern Rhodesia's two chief allies, countries that have held Southern Rhodesia's flanks—Mozambique and Angola. When I am asked to believe that British families—English, Scots, Irish or Welsh will behave like people out of the New Testament, I suggest that we look next door where we have Latins, the Catholic Church and the Portuguese. They have done more than any other European stock in Africa to assimilate and to mix with the indigenous population in the creation of social and political harmony.
The black man in Mozambique and Angola wants his own political party, his own Government and his own independence movement, and this in a region where they have much less chance—and less cause—to challenge apartheid than is the case in Salisbury or Cape Town. There are these movements such as FRELIMO which want independence and which, sooner rather than later, will get their own black Government. These movements are sustained and fed by movements outside, in the adjacent sites of Zambia and Tanzania.
Hon. Gentlemen may be shocked by the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick, but he is talking in absolute, geo-political terms. What he said will happen in Southern Rhodesia, will indeed happen, and the Conservative Party by its actions today, is hastening the day when it will happen.
I do not know whether the Foreign Secretary is a good jockey, but although he has got himself to the start of the course, and may even begin to canter, he will never finish this course. This is not a starter. When I hear it declared that parity can be attained by the year 2035; and that if the black Africans agree to pay annually 6 per cent. more income tax, they can have two more elected representatives next year in Parliament, I just do 561 not believe it. It is a sham, a pantomime, and if the black African leaders now in the camps were in this House they would say so.
I believe, like many of my colleagues, that sooner or later those millions of Africans will say the situation occurred in the United States, where white man faced white man—that this is their land, whether it is the gentle Shona or the more militant Matabele. We all know how in Rhodesia, it has been easier for settlers to increase there because of the more pacific nature of the local people, unlike, say, the Kikuyu in Kenya.
The writing is on the wall. One can talk about the composition of commissions and perhaps say that Malcolm MacDonald ought to be on a commission rather than some judge who has blotted his copy book on a past commission, but that does not really matter. I shall vote against this Motion tonight and if there were any black African leaders on these benches, they would happily vote alongside me.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Soref (Ormskirk)
I am sure that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson) will forgive me if I do not spend too much time dealing with his remarks. He referred to the halcyon days of Sir Edgar Whitehead whom he described as a fine liberal man. He will recall that during the time Sir Edgar was Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia there were 4,000 people detained in camps there as the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) reminded us, compared with the few score people detained today. It is largely in view of the events during the period when Sir Edgar was Prime Minister that the changes took place which produced the Rhodesian Front Government, such was the dissatisfaction with the anarchy being created in Salisbury and the country generally. I pay tribute to the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Ian Smith and Lord Goodman for making possible something which very few people thought conceivable—that is, the possibility of a peaceful settlement and the end of an unnecesary conflict with Rhodesia.
§ Mr. Soref
I am sure that that settlement is the wish of the majority of the people in this country.
This debate has shown, as have its predecessors, that there has been this routine denigration of Rhodesia. This is the staple diet of hon. Members opposite. The hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) made the most obscene reference to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.
§ Mr. Soref
They were disgusting and highly offensive. I would like the hon. Member, when he criticises the company that my right hon. Friend has kept, to say whether he recalls denying an article which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on 11th May, 1969, dealing with the occasion when he attended in Khartoum a Russian-dominated gathering to spread guerrilla warfare throughout Southern Africa, together with Mr. Jack Woddis of the British Communist Party, a meeting at which the chair was taken by the head of the African Bureau of the Kremlin.
§ Mr. Faulds
I beg your pardon, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am grateful that the hon. Gentleman has allowed me to intervene. May I put a few points to him? First, I do not entirely understand his use of the word "obscene". Perhaps he has a new definition of which the rest of us know not. Secondly, the conference I attended in Khartoum, with some pride, was the first ever get-together of the African liberation movements. It was not Russian-dominated and it had nothing to do with guerrilla activities. It was a political organisation, where all the liberation movements met for the first time. Very shortly before the death of that great man Mondlane. I do not regret my attendance and I will attend the next meeting if I am invited.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
Before the hon. Gentleman raises a point of order with me, I hope he is quite sure that it really is a point of order for me.
§ Mr. Faulds
I hope it is. The hon. Member is quoting from some document of which I know not. I did not write it and I have never heard of it, if that is not a point of order, I am sorry, but at least I have got it in.
§ Mr. William Baxter (West Stirlingshire)
Further to the point of order. I understood that if any document was quoted it should be placed upon the Table for other Members to refer to, to see whether it was authentic. If the hon. Member does not place the document on the Table, he is out of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
I know what the hon. Gentleman has in mind, but that does not apply in this case because it is not a Ministerial statement.
§ Mr. Soref
Did the hon. Member for Smethwick say that I had fabricated what I read? The extract is available for the Table or anyone else who cares to read it and the original in the Sunday Telegraph is available in the Library. In those circumstances I demand an apology and that the hon. Member withdraws his accusation that I fabricated the passage I read.
§ Mr. Frank Judd (Portsmouth, West)
On a point or order. How can the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref) pos- 564 sibly claim that he was giving way when no Member was on his feet when the hon. Gentleman sat down?
Mr. Deputy Speaker
I have to deem that the hon. Gentleman had completed his speech. I shall call the next speaker.
§ Mr. Tapsell
Further to the point of order. Is it not fairly common practice in the House for an hon. Member to offer to give way when he is in dispute with another hon. Member and momentarily to resume his seat? is it not harsh on my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref) for him to have his speech suddenly brought to a halt?
Mr. Deputy Speaker
I do not think so. The practice of the House is clear: that one hon. Member can invite another to give way while he is on his feet, but if no one rises and the hon. Member sits down and no one is addressing the House, it is the duty of the Chair to call the next speaker.
§ Mr. Evelyn King
Further to the point of order. Is it not clear that what happened, however unfortunate it might have been, was that my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref) believed that the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) intended to interrupt and sought to give the hon. Gentleman a chance to do so? Is it not a great injustice to my hon. Friend, who has sat in the Chamber for many hours, that through a misunderstanding he should be deprived of his rights?
Mr. Deputy Speaker
I have dealt with that point of order. I am extremely sorry for the hon. Gentleman whose speech has been cut short, but he must be deemed to know the rules of the House. If the House is left without anyone addressing it, it is the duty of the Chair to call the next speaker.
§ Mr. Braine
Further to that point of order. I have listened very carefully to what has been said. In fairness to my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref), may I say that what happened was this. It was alleged by the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) that my hon. Friend had fabricated a document from which he had quoted. This is a very serious charge indeed to make against any hon. Member. My hon. Friend 565 the Member for Ormskirk gave way to the hon. Member for Smethwick to give the hon. Member an opportunity to withdraw.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
I have dealt with that point and I have called the next speaker, so no point of order arises.
§ Mr. Braine
I wish to ask for guidance on a further point of order. The charge was hurled across the Floor of the House that my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk was reading from a document which he had fabricated. Is it in order for an hon. Member to make a charge of that nature? This is a fresh point of order. May we have a ruling on it?
§ Mr. Faulds
Further to that point of order. May I make the situation somewhat easier for all parties concerned? What I hurled across the Floor of the House was a merry quip. If the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref) will accept it in those terms and admit that I am not responsible for the misreporting of the Sunday Telegraph, I will gladly allow him to rise to his feet again.
§ 9.09 p.m.
§ Mr. Brynmor John (Pontypridd)
I am sorry to have to follow the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref), the brevity of whose speech we so much regret, but during that speech two things emerged. The first was that we might well say, "Come back, Senator McCarthy, all is forgiven" because the smears which he hurled at my hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) would have done credit to that gentleman. The second thing which emerged was, since the hon. Member referred to Rhodesia as being an unnecessary quarrel, that, by implication, he must have been criticising his right hon. Friends, because the genesis of the quarrel was during the regime of the Conservative Government, and the quarrel was inherited by the Labour Government.
The most serious point about all this is that I detect on the Government benches a complete reversal of the Conservative Party's original role. When the Labour Government were handing over power to majority regimes in India and elsewhere 566 the cries from the benches opposite were, "We must hold power. We are giving away Empire." Yet now, when the Secretary of State is going to hand over power to a minority white regime, Members opposite are in two minds. Some of them are gleeful about it. Others, of whom the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary is one, are utterly sad and defeatist about it.
We on these benches, certainly, are trying to speak today on behalf of a segment of society, the vast majority of the people of Rhodesia, whom we fear will never have the opportunity of expressing their own point of view before their country is handed over to a minority regime. Let no one, therefore, think that the task being discharged by the House of Commons tonight is a light one. It is really how we write the final chapter of British imperialism, and whether we write it with grace and dignity, or whether we write in terms of a shabby compromise and sell out.
Three things are quite clear from the debate and from the White Paper. The first is this that the Pearce Commission as at present constituted is an unrepresentative body headed by a man who, whatever his political views, is certainly in legal and judicial terms a conservative, and who is accompanied by two other gentleman neither of whom has firsthand knowledge of Africa or is representative of African opinion; they are people who are unable to perform what at any rate must be a very difficult task.
I agreed with my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) when he said that we are not paternalist. If we were to believe that the majority of the African people in Rhodesia wanted this sort of settlement we would, whatever our own views, say that it is our duty to hand them over, but the fact is that we know that this contest will be a quite unequal one, between, on the one hand, a white minority well and heavily equipped with propaganda weapons, and with the money and the ability to conduct a political campaign, and, on the other hand, an African population whose leaders are scattered, who have not access to the media, and who are quite unable by finance or propaganda to put their point of view across. So the Pearce Commission will be given a task highly difficult at the best of times but a task which is 567 made impossible by the terms of this White Paper, and a task for which it is singularly ill-equipped.
The second point which is absolutely clear beyond peradventure is that as soon as convenient Mr. Smith will go back on the terms of this agreement and will instead have a full-blown apartheid regime. He has made it abundantly clear already that he wants separate development and that he favours white supremacy in Rhodesia. Therefore, to claim, as the Foreign Secretary claimed this afternoon, that we are at last getting rid of apartheid with this agreement is to be like a person suffering from incurable cancer who, happening to have a temporary remission, believes himself completely cured; but that remission is temporary, and the halt in the march towards apartheid is temporary in Rhodesia, and if independence is conceded upon these terms, apartheid will be resumed and redoubled.
I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson) that the mathematical calculations of 30, 40 or 50 years are irrelevant. What is relevant about the figures is that for any young African who is conscious of the dignity of his nation, as most young Africans now are, and conscious of his wish to play a part in the affairs of his country, to be told that he will not merit being treated as a civilised human being for 30, 40 or 50 years will give him no hope, no confidence in the régime and no confidence in the integrity of this country. We are handing over in the worst of all possible worlds.
I think the Foreign Secretary will be able to persuade himself of the rightness of these terms, for two reasons. First, hon. Members opposite are profoundly tired of harassing a white minority régime with whose basic principles they do not quarrel too greatly. Secondly—and this was apparent from what the right hon. Gentleman said—very little of what constitutes majority African opinion is at variance with what we believe it to be and with the facts of the modern world. We regard the emergent urbanised African as embodying the view of the African. He is working in a town and 568 wants to get ahead. But hon. Gentlemen opposite yearn for the continuance of the tribal society, where everyone is in his place and there is a nice comfortable feeling of security. As with the Government, the Pearce Commission will only too easily be persuaded by nostalgia for comfort, order and security to take the word of the chiefs and the people in the tribal reserve and dismiss the urbanised Africans as extremists, as we have heard this afternoon. If we do that, we shall profoundly misunderstand the nature of the modern world and we shall do our own reputation a profound disservice.
We are giving international respectability to a white minority, racialist and segregationist régime. This, stripped of verbiage, is the reality behind the White Paper. In the long term the damage which will be done to this country in international affairs will be catastrophic.
I agree with the hon. Member for Horncastle (Mr. Tapsell) that it does not take a great deal of bravery to shed blood by proxy. We none of us take lightly the job of saying to the African people that they must fight for their rights as dignified human beings. It is because we in the Labour and trade union movement have had to fight for recognition and for the degnity of the working classes that we understand more fully than hon. Gentlemen on the Government side of the House the aspirations of the African majority. Inch by inch, hurdle by hurdle, progression towards an ever-vanishing majority rule will redound to our discredit throughout the next half-century.
This is not mere selfishness. It is the duty of us all as human beings in a world which has unfortunately been dominated by race, with the imperfections of race relations in Britain, to put ourselves as far as possible on the side of humanity and progress. The prejudice which is written into the constitution and expressed on all hands will make it impossible for us as a nation to hold out the claim to be civilised and dignified human beings.
Tonight I shall oppose this proposal, and I shall continue to oppose thereafter the recognition and the making respectable of the Smith minority régime and do my best to persuade others to bring about its overthrow.
§ 9.20 p.m.
§ Mr. Bernard Braine (Essex, South-East)
I would not impugn the sincerity of any right hon. or hon. Member who has spoken from the Opposition benches but an independent observer might well have been confused by the speeches of some right hon. Gentlemen. The right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) was generally critical of the proposed settlement, as he has been all along since my right hon. Friend brought back the terms from Salisbury. He asked a great many searching questions, which is rightly his task as an Opposition Front Bench spokesman, but he ended his speech by saying that if the Commission conducted its inquiries fairly and established that there was a broad acceptance of the proposed settlement by all the communities, particularly by the Africans in Rhodesia, this would weigh heavily with the House. In other words, he was not closing the door—and I would not expect him to do so, since he was a distinguished member of a Government which sought, albeit unsuccessfully, to get an honourable settlement with Rhodesia.
On the other hand, the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Bottomley) for whom I have great respect, and a number of other hon. Gentlemen, including the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson), with who I have been associated for many years in Commonwealth affairs, took a totally different view. They held that no settlement is possible. Indeed, the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West went further and said it was not even a starter.
Let us get it quite clear that this is only a provisional agreement. It has yet to be accepted by the Rhodesian and the British Parliaments. And it will not be accepted by this Parliament unless it is clearly demonstrated that the assent of all the people, both white and black Rhodesians, has been established by the Commission. But what my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has managed to secure—something which completely eluded the Leader of the Opposition—is the breaking of the log jam and the creation of an opportunity for all Rhodesians to start again. Whatever view we may have of the possibility of success, my right hon. Friend surely 570 deserves our gratitude for that and not our censure.
I appeal, therefore, to all those who have spoken against these proposals and who may yet do so to reflect carefully where their present attitude may lead. When the charge of a sell-out was hurled across the Chamber last week—and it has been suggested again today—my mind went back to similar charges being made when I was responsible under my right hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) for steering the 1961 Southern Rhodesia Constitution through this House. Yet had that Constitution, which was condemned alike by the Labour Party and the white extremists in Rhodesia at the time, being given a chance to work I suggest that we would have a much happier story to tell today.
§ Mr. Healey
The hon. Gentleman is to some extent misrepresenting my position and that of my hon. Friends who have spoken as we have. We made it clear that we regret the proposals with which the Foreign Secretary has returned as a sell-out which violates the five principles on which he undertook to make agreement. When we attacked the 1961 Constitution we did so on the ground that it left it open to the white minority in Rhodesia to frustrate its objects and thus to prevent progress to majority rule within the time permitted. This is the burden of my complaint against the present Government's proposal: that if the opportunities allowed in those proposals are used by the white minority, the objectives the Government claim to have set themselves in making these proposals can be frustrated without even violating the terms of the agreement.
§ Mr. Braine
That may be so. But objections must be seen against the circumstances of the time. The objections made in 1961 have to be seen against the background of proposals which, for the first time, gave Africans 15 seats out of 65 in the legislature, a voting system which made it necessary for candidates of either race to pay regard to the views and interests of the other, safeguarding provisions for constitutional rights enforceable in the courts, as proposed by the Monckton Commission, and a declaration of rights which provided that no person should be subjected to a 571 condition, restriction or disability on account of race or accorded a privilege or advantage denied to others because of race.
I remember telling the House at the time that that declaration provided a new and essential element in the task of ridding Rhodesia of the fear that one racial group might act unfairly towards another and in building mutual confidence between the races. I said that I believed it would play a major role in creating a climate of opinion unfavourable to racial discrimination.
One did not expect then, any more than now, universal approval for such proposals. I remember saying that there were some who did not think they went far enough while others felt they went too far. Although I am against hon. Members quoting their own speeches, perhaps I might repeat one passage in my speech at that time. I said that.in Southern Rhodesia there are extremists of both races who, if I may borrow Burke's famous dictum, view moderation as a sort of treason. We cannot satisfy everyone. We have to find the point of balance in the situation and then choose a course which will command the support of the majority in the country, the moderates, which will preserve stability, encourage responsibility and provide a secure basis for further advance."—[OH-ICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1961; Vol. 642, c. 1712.]We know what happened. The Labour Party voted against those proposals. That action discouraged African nationalists at the time from accepting and working the 1961 Constitution. African voters were discouraged if not intimidated from registering as voters, and they were discouraged from voting. In the general election of 1962, Sir Edgar Whitehead's Government, who had accepted that Constitution, were defeated and Rhodesia started on her long, sad journey down the road to rebellion, U.D.I., sanctions and racial discrimination.
The reason why I am mentioning these matters is that now we have my right hon. Friend's proposed settlement we see history beginning to repeat itself, albeit in different circumstances. The situation, of course, is worse. The power of Britain to influence events has weakened. We have had six years of lost opportunity. It does not lie, therefore, in the mouths of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to criticise us. The 572 situation with which we are confronted has worsened; our position has weakened. Yet it is clear from the speeches that we have heard today from the benches opposite that the Opposition have learned nothing from the past. They have failed to solve the problem themselves. They tell us that a settlement on the lines proposed by my right hon. Friend would be dishonourable and impolitic and that it will antagonise friendly Commonwealth countries, encourage our enemies and make our lives more difficult at the United Nations.
§ Mr. Braine
It may do. However, in a moment I shall ask right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to face the logical consequence of throwing away this opportunity. If they care so much for African well-being, African security and African prosperity, let them consider the consequences of rejecting this opportunity.
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon
Earlier in his speech, the hon. Gentleman referred to the 1961 constitution as being one under which one group could not dominate another. Does not he realise that the 1969 constitution was supposed to enshrine those principles and has apartheid written into the very ethos (-Z it? Quite apart from this business of parity, every group in the community is supposed to be pitched against the other: European against African, Masuri against Matabele, urban African against rural African. The whole thing is an apartheid constitution, and it will remain such even after these proposals.
§ Mr. Braine
That is precisely what I have been saying. The situation has deteriorated. This is now 1971. The opportunity was lost after U.D.I. when on two occasions the Leader of the Opposition, then Prime Minister, tried to get a settlement.
§ Mr. Braine
It will not necessarily remain so. Too little attention has been paid by the hon. Gentleman and some of his hon. Friends to the specific proposals brought back by my right hon. Friend. There is to be a Commission to look into 573 the question of racial discrimination. The White Paper says:There shall be included in the functions of the Commission a special duty to scrutinise the provisions of the Land Tenure Act and to consider the possible creation of an independent and permanent Land Board to preside over the long-term resolutions of the problems involved.
§ Mr. Braine
There is no need for me to read on. The hon. Gentleman should have read and digested the proposals before this debate.
§ Mr. Braine
I have given way sufficiently already. I do not wish to detain the House over-long.
Although my right hon. Friend's proposed settlement envisages a method of ascertaining African opinion, the party opposite is in fact saying to Africans in advance that it is a sell-out and a waste of time.
That begs the main question, which is whether my right hon. Friend's proposed settlement helps the majority of Rhodesians who are black or not. That is the question. Our purpose all along, under both Governments, has been to help the black African in what is manifestly a difficult situation. That was our purpose in 1961. It was the Labour Government's purpose after It was the purpose of sanctions, as the Leader of the Opposition made clear on 11th November, 1965. He said:Our purpose is not punitive. We do not approach this tragic situation in a mood of recrimination. Our purpose is to restore a situation in Rhodesia in which there can be untrammeled loyalty and allegiance to the Crown and in which there can be, within whatever rules this House lays down, a free Government of Rhodesia acting in the interests of the people of Rhodesia as a whole."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th November, 1965; Vol. 720, c. 359.]That was a view which was accepted by both sides of the House. It was an honourable view. I do not quarrel with it.
So much for our purpose. But our achievement, until my right hon. Friend broke the log jam and brought back this provisional agreement, has been very different. So far, the policy of sanctions has hurt the black Africans more than the white. I do not think that anyone would quarrel with that view. It has 574 undeniably injured the economy of neighbouring Zambia.
If there is genuine concern for the interests of the Rhodesian Africans, we should consider—and no one has really bothered to turn his mind to it in the debate—what rejection of the proposals would mean. It would not mean an end to the Smith régime, so heartily detested by hon. Members opposite. It would mean a resumption of the march down the path to apartheid and eventual absorption into the Republic of South Africa. For the Rhodesian Africans, there would then be only one way out—the way of revolution and bloodshed. Is that what the Opposition want? Is that what they are seeking to achieve? But perhaps some of them say that they will face the full implications.
I understand the views of those who say that the proposed settlement is too little consistent with the five principles, but I do not agree. They take the view that unimpeded progress to majority rule is not met because of the long period and the general uncertainty as to when it will be reached. That has not always been their view. The Leader of the Opposition said:The time required cannot be measured by time or calendar but only by achievement.To be fair to the right hon. Gentleman—because in an earlier intervention I may have seemed to be unfair—he was at that time talking about the possibility of majority rule being reached within a period of somewhere between seven and 15 years. But he did not, it seemed to me, attach very great importance to the time scale.
§ Mr. S. C. Silkin (Dulwich)
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us what he would regard as being the maximum period which complies with the expression "unimpeded progress to majority rule"?
§ Mr. Braine
I am not going to tell the hon. and learned Gentleman, for the simple reason that those of us who know the African continent and love it—and I share the concern of many people here for the future of Africa and its people—are not obsessed by the idea of one man, one vote. Can he tell me where else in Africa it does apply? It is a hard sober fact that except for Ethiopia—a land peculiar in Africa for its proud tradition of continuity—no African State 575 has kept the constitution it received at independence. If Parliaments exist, in many places half the Opposition are in prison or an Opposition is non-existent. I am not commenting adversely on this. I am asking the House to face reality.
I believe that what is happening in Africa is in a sense very exciting. Here is one part of the world where the traditional economic, social and political framework of order is being torn down and replaced simultaneously. Everywhere else these processes have taken place over a long period. But it is all happening within a generation in Africa. What surprises me about Africa is not that there is so much disturbance but that there is so little. I believe that what is happening there largely gives one renewed hope in human nature. I am not disturbed by what is happening.
At the same time, it seems to me unreasonable to expect in one part of Africa certain rules and applications to obtain when they are utterly non-existent elsewhere in the continent. It seems to me that what matters where the Africans are concerned in Rhodesia is the ending of unfair racial discrimination, the acceleration of education and the chance to gain a better life and a larger share in government. Does the settlement suggested by my right hon. Friend help in that direction or not? That is the question. The answer is a matter of judgment—of judgment not merely to be exercised in this House today, but to be exercised in Rhodesia itself.
I believe that we should suspend our judgment until the opportunity has been given for the Commission to ascertain the views of the various communities. I warmly welcome the Commission which is to look at the question of racial discrimination and existing legislation. But the crux of the matter lies in the way in which the Pearce Commission tests the opinions of all races. Unlike some hon. Members, I am impressed by the names of the three members. They are men of weight who have a reputation for fair and frank speaking.
It is imperative that the utmost care should be taken to ascertain the opinion of all groups in a way which is seen to be fair by the outside world as well as by Rhodesia. That can be done only by publishing the proposals in a way 576 which all groups understand and giving freedom for political discussion and activity. By "freedom"—I recall the circumstances of 1961–62—I mean without the intimidation which accompanied the discussion at that time. The Commission will have to satisfy the British Parliament and people that the proposals are genuinely accepted. If it fails in that, there will be no settlement.
§ Mr. Braine
The White Paper states that there will be freedom of political activity. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Yes indeed. On page 7 it states:Before and during this test of acceptability normal political activities will be permitted to the satisfaction of the Commission provided they are conducted in a peaceful and democratic manner.Then there are the provisions for the release of detainees. I do not know what the circumstances will be in the next few weeks, but I understand that detainees will be allowed to make their views known to the Commission.
If the hon. Gentleman means that there is to be freedom for a resumption of what happened in 1962 when Africans who would otherwise have registered as voters and voted were intimidated by having their homes burned, that is not the kind of political activity which is likely to make for a peaceful and decent settlement or free expression of opinion. Surely this is a matter which should be left to the Commission. If at the end of the day that body has not done its job properly, this House will recognise the fact and there will be no settlement.
I agree with the right hon. Member for Leeds, East that the Commission must be as meticulous, as patient and as concerned as the Monckton and Cobbold Commissions were at earlier times. We should remember that the Commission's work and the discussions which it will promote will not be conducted in a vacuum. Those who watch these matters know perfectly well that already programmes in English and African languages are being beamed to Rhodesia from Moscow and Dar-es-Salaam. There 577 is a continuous stream of tendentious, misleading and in some cases lying propaganda. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen should wake up. This discussion is not being conducted in a vacuum. It is all part and parcel of the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people of Africa. We should recognise the forces which are at work.
After my right hon. Friend brought this proposed settlement back from Salisbury there was a broadcast from Dar-es-Salaam alleging that it meant that there would be no schooling for African children for ever. Yet we know that one of the fundamental proposals being advanced here is an acceleration of African education, and the British taxpayer is to provide some of the means for achieving it. We can expect that propaganda to be intensified.
I should make it quite clear, because I do not wish to be misunderstood, that I would prefer that there were no settlement at all rather than that this country should be open to the charge that the implications of what is proposed were not fully understood by the people it was supposed to serve. Therefore, the test for me will be the way that the Commission conducts its job and listens patiently to every point of view in every part of Rhodesia.
In that spirit, and that spirit alone, I support my right hon. Friend's proposals and wish them success.
§ 9.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Gavin Strang (Edinburgh, East)
The hon. Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) has described the 1961 constitution, and I do not think that any one would doubt the hopes that he had for that constitution. It is well worth remembering that the five principles originally enunciated by the Foreign Secretary were based on the 1961 constitution, and that when we speak about improving the status of Africans we are referring to that constitution.
This settlement is not only a betrayal of the five principles but, from the point of view of the Africans, is a setback from the position under the 1961 constitution because, under its provisions 15 of the members of the Legislative Assembly were directly elected Africans and, with regard to the other 50 seats, as they were on the roll, and because of the complicated cross-voting procedure, 578 they had at least 25 per cent. influence on the election of those members. Under the proposals before us there will be only eight directly elected Africans. The 50 Members of Parliament will be elected by a purely European roll. Furthermore, the non-elected Africans, the Africans elected by the electoral colleges of the chiefs and head men, will be given more say in what happens than will the directly elected Africans.
Not only is this settlement a betrayal of the five principles and a setback from the 1961 constitution, but it contains no meaningful concession whatsoever by the illegal Smith régime. If one considers the higher African roll, one sees that Africans have to register to the extent of 6 per cent. of Europeans before they get even two directly elected members in the Legislature. Who has ever heard of a roll being created which started without anyone being elected by it?
It has been estimated that in a certain period of time the Africans will get two directly elected members, and when they climb to 12 per cent. of the European roll they will get another two non-elected African members, but then they will have to go up to 18 per cent. before they get another two directly elected members. One can make all sorts of calculations about how long it will take to advance the status of the Africans, but this higher roll will be under the control of the Europeans, whom we cannot trust.
Why cannot the Foreign Secretary give us some estimate of when the Africans will achieve parity? He did not refer to European immigration. As has been said, this is a crucial factor in the Rhodesian economy. The economic plan drawn up for Rhodesia by Professor Sadie of South Africa suggests that the Rhodesians should go in for an annual net immigration of 10,000 white Europeans. Furthermore, we know the difficulties which African graduates have in obtaining jobs in Rhodesia. Between 1,000 and 2,000 African graduates have left the country because they cannot get jobs there.
Because of the Rhodesian proposals for the advancement of their economy, there is no hope that a sufficient number of Africans will get the four years secondary education and the income necessary for them to obtain parity this century.
579 The Commission on Racial Discrimination is a nonsense. We have had a commission before. It said that the Land Apportionment Act was the very essence of racialism, but what happened? The Rhodesian Government brought in an even more reactionary Act, the Land Tenure Act.
Paragraph 3 of the White Paper says that the Rhodesian Government will accept the Commission's findingssubject only to considerations that any Government would be obliged to regard as of an overriding character".What does the Foreign Secretary have in mind? Or was it put in simply because Mr. Smith insisted on it? Are there genuine reasons why the Rhodesian Government might not accept the findings of the Commission? I hope that the Attorney-General will give us at least one example of the kind of situation which would justify the Rhodesian Government's turning down the recommendations of the Commission.
The Declaration of Human Rights is not worth the paper on which it is written, because it does not apply to existing Rhodesian legislation. The courts will have to interpret the law as it stands in Rhodesia. For example, under the Unlawful Organisations Act an organisation such as Cold Comfort Farm could be banned if the Rhodesian Government decided that it is likely to threaten the security of the State. Thus even under the Declaration of Human Rights the Africans will have virtually no protection whatsoever.
As for this great aid which the Government are going to give to the Rhodesians, what is it to be used for? It is going to be used for projects agred between the Rhodesian and British Governments. It is going to be used to propel the Rhodesian economy along lines already suggested by Profesor Sadie. It is going to be used for technical education. It would appear that the way in which the money is used is to be decided largely by the Rhodesian Government, a Government pursuing an economic plan in which Professor Sadie said that the European population must in the long term continue to providethe material and administrative ability, the professional and technical men and those skills and experience which are prerequisite to the 580 employment of workers in the lower echelons of the skilled hierarchy, and which cannot simply be imparted to an economically underdeveloped people by way of a crash programme of education and instruction".He goes on to refer to the need to have a net inflow of 10,000 Europeans.
I now want to deal with the question of the test of acceptability. In 1964 the Foreign Secretary spoke in terms of a constitutional conference and of a referendum. It seems to me that there can be only one meaningful test of opinion, and this must involve a referendum in which the Africans vote. It is nonsense to think that we can have a reactionary Tory Government doing a deal with a small group of white settlers affecting live million Africans and that the test of acceptability should be a Commission appointed by the reactionary Tory Government, serviced by the Civil Service of this white Rhodesian illegal régime. What an absurdity?
Hon. Members opposite may ask what is the alternative. The fact is that whatever our alternative is, we certainly cannot stomach what amounts to a complete sell-out. Our alternative—and it is not a particularly exciting one—can only be to maintain our responsibilities to the Africans, to the international community, and to maintain sanctions so that at least the Africans in Rhodesia know that we are on their side, so that they will not lose complete hope and so that they will have faith in Europeans as people who are prepared to work towards their advancement.
Let us face it. This is a cynical betrayal of five million Africans. The White Paper is not aimed at achieving majority rule. The proposed constitution is designed to prevent majority rule. It is a totally fraudulent document. The white régime know it and they are saying so. The Africans know it and Joshua Nkomo said it. We know it and, what is more, hon. Members opposite including the Foreign Secretary know it also.
§ 9.54 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Col. Colin Mitchell (Aberdeenshire, West)
After six hours and 20 speakers, I am delighted to be the 21st, even if only for six minutes. I have sat here for the last six hours trying to retain some sense of perspective about events in an African country, 6,000 miles away, and it has not been very easy even 581 for Members like myself, steeped in the realities of tribal life, both at home and in Africa.
I support—and I need not be interrupted in the short time available—the initiative of Her Majesty's Government in these proposals for a settlement, because I believe they are eminently sensible, and I will not get involved in emotive yardsticks like "fair and honourable" as some people have done so disastrously tonight. It is a sensible solution because it is based on the inescapable facts of the situation. It offers a programme which will lead to a multi-racial Rhodesian society independent of the Union of South Africa and apartheid; and that is what we all want.
The danger in this debate, which has been obvious to us all, is that many hon. Members have been confusing ends and means. Cooperation in this matter can be pursued only for the sake of limited and specific objectives and the goal remains a responsible peaceful multi-racial Rhodesia. Hon. Members opposite who have been dismissing some of our good arguments to that end and implying that this solution is capable of being abused should, before they impugn the Smith Government's motives, try to appreciate some of the difficulties in Central and Southern Africa today. Indeed, history will show that it was a failure to understand some of the strategic and geographical factors there which accounted for the failure of our own sanctions.
Any objective consideration must lead to the conclusion that for the foreseeable future the South African Government will remain the most powerful in the area and that South Africa will remain the economic power house of Central and Southern Africa. Politically, we have noticed that South Africa is extending its contacts into what we call black Africa, but there is no doubt, militarily, that the South African Government will subdue any racial-nationalist conflict on their own borders as ruthlessly as they bring them to an end internally.
It is that factor which to my mind, as a military analyst, makes me look at the requirements in Central and Southern Africa for a peaceful solution, and compare the proposals set out by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary in the 582 White Paper with what I regard as the three essentials for a peaceful solution. Those three essentials are these. First, moderate but sure progress in economic expansion and social development. The White Paper offers that. Second, reconciliation or compromise towards the divisive factor of race. The White Paper offers that. Third, political order which avoids recourse to extremes of violence. The White Paper offers that, too. For these reasons, I give it warm support.
We have known in our own experience of emergent African States and the problems of political independence the salutary lesson of the need for military régimes after periods of civil and inter-tribal warfare which have brought diminished personal freedom. My personal experience of African military leaders, including one who is now President of Uganda, is that they become estranged from the politicians whom they serve, and the results of that are obvious to us. The black Askari of the Rhodesian African Rifles and the Rhodesian police will form a nucleus of leaders in the future in Rhodesia.
I believe that independence as such—I am in no sense mocking independence—is no panacea for unemployment, low capital investment or ethnic conflict, which are the major factors in African life.
We have seen evidence in today's debate of the dangers of applying irrelevant tests. The issue is not approval or disapproval of the Smith régime. The issue before us now is approval or disapproval of an acceptance of that régime so as to advance the conditions of the African majority. The character of the régime itself is only one factor in calculating the wisdom and morality of such an acceptance, that is, an acceptance of advancement in the conditions of the African majority.
There is, therefore, no sacrifice of principle involved for anyone in the House tonight. The r.égime is not the issue—only an alliance with it in order to ensure genuine democratic advance in Rhodesia. For that reason, I welcome the settlement. It is the outcome of a brilliant negotiation by the Foreign Secretary which fully deserves the support of his fellow countrymen and all right hon. and hon. Members tonight.
§ It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.
That the Motion relating to Rhodesia may be proceeded with at this day's Sitting, though opposed, until Eleven o'clock.—[Mr. Pym.]
§ Question again proposed.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Sir Elwyn Jones (West Ham, South)
The House tonight will be making a decision of major importance affecting the fate of, first, 250,000 Europeans and, secondly, 5,250,000 Africans, Her Majesty's subjects, whose well being we hold in trust, a trust imposed on us by our history and expressly imposed on us by virtue of Article 73 of the Charter of the United Nations, under whose provisions we have accepted as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost the well being of Rhodesia's inhabitants, including their political advancement. Our decision will affect our international reputation and standing. Rhodesia is a British responsibility, but it is a world concern.
By withdrawing the Rhodesian problem from the international community and entering into an agreement between the Government of this country and the rebel Ministers, we place ourselves as a country in the position of undertaking not only moral, but continuing international legal, obligations in respect of the people of Rhodesia for which we shall remain answerable. It is we who will be called to account for what results from and flows from this settlement. We should undertake that burden only if we are certain that the terms are just and equitable.
The lamentable fact is that we already face the situation that even if the House tonight approves the proposals which the Government make, those proposals are unlikely to be acceptable to world opinion, to the United Nations and the vast majority of African States, which, after all, are the most important States in this context. Reactions already reported indicate that the proposed settlement is likely to do immense harm politically and economically to this country's relations with Africa as a whole.
As the hon. Member for Horncastle (Mr. Tapsell) said in a somewhat tormented speech, this is a melancholy occasion. In reference to him, what has 584 happened to the liberal Tories? We used to hear clarion calls of principle from them. They have retired to a miserable shell in the course of the debate tonight.
The test of our fulfilment of our duty to the Africans of Rhodesia has been generally accepted in the House as compliance with the five principles, which we have debated at length today. The first principle, of unimpeded progress to majority rule, must be progress from the basis of the lawful, 1961, pre-U.D.I. constitution. Unfortunately, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds. East (Mr. Healey) pointed out, the Government's proposals are based not on the lawful constitution, but on the backward-looking Rhodesian Front constitution of 1969 which was deliberately designed by the Rhodesian Front to ensure that there should never be African majority rule in Rhodesia. That constitution expressly precludes Africans from ever attaining more than parity of representation with Europeans in the House of Assembly. It is an arrogant, racialist provision. It did not exist in the 1961 constitution and progress from that is no progress.
On paper, the settlement terms provided for parity. After parity there is to be a highly complex operation in the course of which it is theoretically possible for the Africans to emerge with a small majority, but nevertheless not a majority corresponding with their numerical strength. I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he will give an estimate as to when parity will be reached, when majority rule will he reached. There has been a great shyness on the part of the Government Front Bench about the interval of time. What interval of time do the Government think reasonable to impose on Africans before they have majority rule? My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition in the debate in October, 1968, on the "Fearless" proposals gave two estimates for majority rule under those proposals—seven to 10 years or 12 to 15 years
We were assured in Salisbury by Chief Justice Beadle that our proposals would result in majority rule in seven years. Will the Attorney-General now give a specific answer to this question which has been so carefully avoided? It would seem that the delay in achieving parity and majority rule will be indefinite and 585 prolonged, likely to extend well into the next century.
The reason for that is the nature of the franchise set out on pages 18 and 19 of the White Paper. When one compares the franchise proposals with the average wages at present applying in Rhodesia it can be seen how remote achievement of parity and majority rule will be. The higher roll is the only relevant one in terms of political advance, as the lower roll will remain unaltered in number regardless of the number of enrolments. The key figures in the franchise are an annual income of 1,800 Rhodesian dollars or an annual income of 1,200 Rhodesian dollars plus four years' secondary education of the prescribed standard. In 1970 the average income of employed Africans in Rhodesia was 312 dollars a year. Incidentally, the average non-African income in 1970 was 3,104 dollars, which is a vivid picture of the unequal world which exists in Rhodesia for black and white.
Those are the figures and that is the enormous leap that the African will have to take in terms of income to qualify for the higher roll. The stages in increase of African representation are to take place not when the African community succeeds in producing certain absolute numbers of qualified electors but when it achieves a certain percentage of the number of European electors. It has been pointed out that the Smith régime has announced its intention of a deliberate policy of European immigration which will have the direct effect of postponing the emergence of additional African seats. As to the educational test of four years of secondary education, whereas four years of secondary education is provided compulsorily for every white child in Rhodesia it is provided for perhaps only 2 per cent. of black children—another illustration of the two worlds there. The number of black children reaching that level in future remains under the control of the Rhodesian Government, with their overwhelming majority of white electors, who are very unlikely to hurry things along towards their own political defeat.
The Government have pointed—and no doubt the Attorney-General will seek to do the same—to the proposals in the 586 White Paper for further expenditure on education. How much of the £50 million will be spent on education? That has been asked by the hon. Member for Norwich and by other hon. Members. We see from page 16 of the White Paper that part of the money is to go for irrigation schemes and industrial development of different kinds—no doubt all to good purposes. But how much will be spent on education?
When we were discussing these matters in Rhodesia we expressly required money to be set aside for education, and I well remember Mr. Smith and Mr. Lardner Burke telling us more than once, "We think it would be wrong to accelerate the educational advance of the Africans simply in order to improve their political status in the community".
§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for giving way. For the record, I should like to make it clear that I have the honour to represent King's Lynn, not Norwich.
§ Sir Elwyn Jones
I might have been disturbed on a more significant matter than that. At least the intervention had the merit of courtesy.
The £50 million is apparently to be spread over various purposes. The House is entitled to a precise answer from the Attorney-General as to how much will be spent on education.
§ Sir Elwyn Jones
Not for the moment.
Shall we have any control or influence over the use of the funds? Does the phrase in the White Paper to the effect that £50 million is to be "matched appropriately" by the Rhodesians mean that they will make a pound for pound contribution? Looking at the first principle and the proposals in the White Paper, the best commentary on whether the terms establish unimpeded progress to majority rule was provided by the Financial Gazette in Rhodesia of 26th November this year. This is the leading Rhodesian right-wing journal, and it said:Majority rule is so far in the future that it cannot be considered a serious possibility at this stage".587 It is no wonder that the champagne corks were popping in Salisbury when the terms of the settlement were announced.
On the second principle—guarantees against retrogression—the parliamentary safeguards provided are inadequate. There are no external safeguards in the scheme. There are no safeguards by way of referendum of the type which were in the 1961 constitution, and pressure brought to bear on only one elected African will be sufficient to enable retrogressive changes to be made.
As to the third principle, I gather that what is mainly called in aid is the increase in the number of Africans on the African lower roll. But that is of no political significance because it cannot increase the number of African seats. As to the higher roll which Africans will be able to enter, that has been hailed as a great advance. But under the 1961 constitution there were 15 directly elected African representatives and the B roll voters were able to exert an influence of up to 25 per cent. in any constituency through the cross-voting mechanism.
The settlement proposals allow for only eight directly elected African representatives, and there are no cross-voting provisions. It is a backward trend. There are no directly elected Africans in the Senate at all. As to African advancement politically, there is no hint that an African will be appointed as a Minister or given office. There is no indication in the White Paper of the opening of the middle and upper levels of Government service in Rhodesia to black Rhodesians, though by now there are plenty of black Rhodesian graduates competent to undertake high office in the public administration. At present the University of Salisbury, for instance, is producing 300 a year, but they are limited to low-level Government jobs by what Professor Miller in The Times today callsthe unwritten rule that no black man must control or instruct a white man. That no black Rhodesian holds … any position of seniority in the Civil Service.I see nothing in the White Paper to indicate any change in that lamentable situation.
As to the fourth principle, progress towards ending racial discrimination, the most blatant and obvious racial dis- 588 crimination is the proposed constitution itself. It is riddled through and through with discriminatory provisions. It is all very well to acclaim the Declaration of Rights, but the most important right for the African is some degree of political power to enable him to decide his own fate. That he will not get from this constitution. Not only is the proposed constitution riddled with discrimination, but the proposed commission will have no power, presumably, to deal with that. That will be outside the ambit of the much-heralded commission. So are many of the laws of Rhodesia.
With regard to the review commission, there is the remarkable condition that the Rhodesian Government are free to reject its recommendations forconsiderations that any Government would regard as overriding.What, in the field of discrimination, will such considerations be? It is hard to conceive of what they might amount to, and, therefore, one gets no reassurance from provisions which contain that potential get-out for the Rhodesia Administration. What the Rhodesian Front Government would be likely to regard as considerations of an overriding character are hardly likely to be the same as those which the African population, or even, if I may say so, the Government here, would so regard, and in this field, and in particular on the important land issue, I fear that we are faced with a risk of a sell-out, with consequences which will be grave for the social life of Rhodesia
It is significant that one of the terms of reference of the Commission—in paragraph 3(b)—accepts the principle of protecting European land by asking the Commission to consider the rights of an African professional man to practise in a European area, and that is a pointer to what is in store and what is contemplated. As has been said by many speakers in the course of the debate, there is not even an undertaking not to evict African tenants from Epworth or Chishawasha, and one would have thought that there would have come a clarion message from the Government to the Rhodesian Front to lay off that splendid initiative by fine Christians, instead of letting it become a highly qualified additional problem in the terms of the proposed settlement.
589 It is said that there will be a new and strengthened Declaration of Rights which will be enforceable in the courts. In most respects the Declaration is not new but goes back to the 1961 and 1969 constitutions. It reflects no substantial advance in the protection of human rights, and in important respects its provisions are not enforceable in the courts. The Declaration of Human Rights in the 1961 and 1969 constitutions and the present proposals start from a lower level than would be acceptable in a European democracy. A comparison between them at the outset involves acceptance of lower norms than would be acceptable in Western democracies. I see no substantial advance in the settlement declaration over the proposals in the 1961 constitution; indeed, there is some deterioration.
The settlement declaration makes one advance on the 1969 Declaration in that it goes back to the 1961 principle of providing an appeal to the courts. The 1961 constitution also provided for further appeal to the Privy Council. That does not apply to laws in force before what is called the fixed date, that is to say, the date of the commencement of the Constitution Amendment Act of 1972, nor to laws made thereafter which survive for ten years, however much those laws may offend against the protected rights. It is no more than a partial return to what the Africans enjoyed before.
The settlement declaration, on the face of it, makes a potentially useful provision that certain limitations placed on human rights in legislation must be shown to bereasonably justifiable in a democratic society".Fine. Unfortunately, that requirement is not applied to all limitations that are placed by legislation on the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. For instance, it does not apply to the limitations placed on the protection of the right to personal liberty, which is subject to exceptions for preventive detention and confinement in the specified areas. It accepts preventive detention and racial segregation in circumstances where there is no public emergency and without any right of recourse to the courts. It provides for hearings in secret on a Minister's certificate alone, which is unappealable. There are many other fields where the 590 doctrine of reasonable justification in a democratic society does not apply. Why is that? Why should it not apply as a test right across the board? I hope that we shall have an answer to that question from the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
As to the value of recourse to the Rhodesian Appellate Division, it gives me no pleasure to say that this will give little comfort to the Africans of Rhodesia. The Africans have no faith in judges who protested loyalty to the Queen and enforced the laws of the rebel against the real Sovereign. How does the appellate court look to a man like Madzimabuto who has been in detention for many years without trial? He brought an application under the Declaration of Rights in the 1961 constitution. The Rhodesian judges denied him the remedy. He appealed to the Privy Council, which said he was entitled to his remedy. Following this, an Order in Council was made by Her Majesty which the judges of Rhodesia were bound to obey under the law which they had taken an oath to enforce.
What did those judges do? They rejected the advice of the Privy Council and the Order of Her Majesty, and Madzimabuto has been rotting in gaol and in detention ever since. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] One of the judges who was responsible for that matter is still Chief Justice and the other will be the person who will preside over the Appellate Division. These also are the judges who failed to give effect to the grant of a reprieve in the Queen's name and, despite the reprieve, three men were hanged. Some judges in Rhodesia were loyal to their oath and preferred to leave the country.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
Before my right hon. and learned Friend leaves that point, would he care to comment on the functions of Lord Pearce in that connection?
§ Sir Elwyn Jones
I have nothing but respect and admiration for Lord Pearce and his opinion in the case, although I do not agree with it, was one to which he could legitimately come. [Interruption.] He may not be a good politician, but that was not the question I was asked.
I come to the fifth principle, which in many ways is the most crucial of the lot. If the views of the people of 591 Rhodesia as a whole are to be ascertained, what are the essentials? If it is to be done by a Commission, it must be a Commission which will inspire confidence in the people of Rhodesia as a whole. Despite what I have said about the chairman, I do not think that what is proposed comes up to that test.
I trust that we shall hear from the Attorney-General his response to some of the suggestions which have been made for additional members of the Commission. It is surely imperative that there should be a black face on that Commission, somebody of the quality of Sir Hugh Wooding, former Chief Justice of Trinidad or somebody of that quality. But the awful thing is that I do not think the Rhodesian Front would allow it. This is the heart of the matter and this is the situation faced by the Government: they dare not suggest it. I put to them the challenge. Let them say tonight whether there is to be either an African face or a face which is not allegedly white on the Commission.
The next necessity is that the proper facilities should be available to enable African opinion to be formed and expressed. I submit that the Commission cannot arrive at a verdict worthy of weight and belief unless normal political life is permitted to flourish freely during the testing of acceptability. The proposals concede that there shall be normal political activity. What does that mean? I understand, for instance, that no Africans have been allowed to hold party political meetings in the tribal trust lands for years and years. Even the present African Members of Parliament have to have permission to visit their constituencies, let alone to speak at meetings—and some have difficulty in doing that.
It must not be forgotten that we are talking about a police State. This test of acceptability will be carried out in the conditions of a police State. There is not a word in the White Paper about lifting censorship. Radio and television time is to be permitted only to political parties represented in the House of Assembly, and the major African nationalist parties will be denied the opportunity to consult and to influence opinion. Therefore, there is nothing by way of reassurance in the proposals that the conditions under which this test is 592 to be carried out will be satisfactory or acceptable.
There was a great deal of force in the suggestion of the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) that the Commission should make a preliminary report and establish first whether conditions exist in which it can operate fairly and effectively, before starting its work. I hope that that will be done.
While sympathising readily with the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary and the Attorney-General indeed, with anyone who has had to negotiate with the gentlemen of the Rhodesian Front—I have examined the package that they have brought back and, in my view, it fails to meet the test of compliance with the five principles.
In those circumstances, in my opinion, it is not a settlement which this country can honourably enter into or honourably recommend African and world opinion to accept. My right hon. and hon. Friends and I will unhesitatingly register our objections to it in the Division Lobby.
§ 10.31 p.m.
§ The Attorney-General (Sir Peter Rawlinson)
Before I deal with the various points which have been raised and the numerous questions which have been posed to me in the course of this long debate, perhaps I might make one or two general comments.
For three days, on and off, I sat with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in a room in Salisbury listening to the views of well over a hundred representatives, men and women, most of them Africans, on the future of their country and of themselves. No one could fail to be impressed and moved by what they said. Of course, they expressed their views on the situation far more vividly than anyone in this House could, but they expressed them with a degree of reality and commonsense which made those views all the more impressive.
The continuous theme running through the comments of all the various different groups was the need for some new initiative, some reasonable alternative to what they accepted to be their present hopeless situation. But they saw clearly the reality of the power identified with their present Government.
593 They sought an opportunity for moderate opinion to be released from the present political and social atmosphere, in which all criticism and opposition could be and usually was branded as unpatriotic and in which a political crisis prevented the course upon which their country was set being changed.
All, save a few extremists, hoped that our visit might lead to a break-through which would give them hope of change or at least some proposals upon which they themselves could pronounce for themselves. There were three subjects to which, in practical but in realistic terms, they came back time and time again.
First, of course, they sought a change from the 1969 constitution, which they abhorred. But they accepted that that change would have to be gradual. They wanted the change to be definite and one which would not be reversed unilaterally. Secondly, common to every single group, there was a call for a definitive and legislative statement of basic rights, justiciable before the courts, so that a remedy existed for infringement. Whatever the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) says about his confidence in the courts, all these different groups called for a return to the 1961 position of having a justiciable Declaration of Rights and some remedy before the courts. The third subject to which they returned time and again was that of a fresh approach to the now two-generation-old policy and attitude towards the law on land—the Land Tenure Act, 1969—which affects so much of what they want to change in Rhodesia.
I listened to them for three days. They were speaking from their own first-hand experience over the past six years. They were speaking with the knowledge of the reality of Rhodesian conditions. No one could have failed to place great weight on their opinions. It is, therefore, difficult to accept what the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) said—that there is an alternative, namely, "slogging on". They wanted to see a breakaway from slogging on and an opportunity for those they represented, the moderate, sensible, realistic people of Rhodesia who want a fair deal in the new circumstances which lie ahead.
They posed the question which we have to answer. It is whether the changes 594 proposed afford a sufficient measure of hope on which Rhodesians will be able to say whether they are acceptable or whether we should, as many hon. Members opposite have suggested, leave all Rhodesians to go on as they are, on the road to a final solution of repression and oppression, to the apartheid which would follow and to which the only alternative would be revolution.
§ Mr. Healey
Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman confirm the impression that many of us will have gained from his last remarks—that the Government no longer regard the fulfilment of the five principles as the test of the acceptability of the agreement but believe that there is no chance whatever of an improvement in the situation?
§ The Attorney-General
I have already had some exchanges with the right hon. Gentleman today and I will answer that question. But I am not much inclined, as he will understand, to give way to him after our earlier exchanges. I said when I began that I would give my personal impressions of those I saw and to whom I spoke in my right hon. Friend's presence and to whom I listened when they spoke to him, when they gave, from their first-hand experience, their views about what should be a final solution of the problem.
The constitutional changes about which they spoke, and which I will spell out for the right hon. Gentleman—he seemed in some doubt and asked me questions about them—are changes in the 1969 constitution. They include the repeal of the income tax regulator, which all of us, I would have thought would regard as a deplorable form of regulator; the repeal of the express bar on advancement beyond parity; the repeal of the ability of the Europeans to amend the special entrenched provisions of the constitution at will; and a ban on future legislation increasing racial discrimination.
The proposals before the House provide for an advance to parity and beyond, and this provision would be entrenched because to change it would need a two-thirds majority in the House of Assembly but a majority, above all, of the African Members of Parliament, and it would have to be enacted before this House was called upon to do any enacting itself.
The immediate progress is illustrated by the fact that it is estimated that there 595 are sufficient Africans eligible, if they now register, to provide four more seats under the 6 per cent. regulator. There will be two at once if 5,000 Africans register, and it is estimated that there will be two more if a further 5,000 register. At present, about 12,000 Africans are eligible for registration in accordance with the franchise provisions which are set out in the proposals. Right hon. and hon. Gentleman have said that the franchise provisions are so high that they will not permit Africans to get on to the higher African roll. However, it is estimated that there are about 12,000 Africans eligible for registration, so there will be an immediate increase of 25 per cent. in the representation of the Africans.
The blocking mechanism is provided by the majority each of the European and Asian groups of Members of Parliament. It is clear from page 14 of the White Paper that there must be a majority of the total African membership, not simply of those present.
The right hon. Member for Leeds, East and other hon. Members spoke about the indirectly elected Members of Parliament. I should make it quite clear that they are not nominees of the chiefs who are paid by the Government. They are elected by an electoral college, of whom the majority in that college are themselves elected councillors. They are not, therefore, nominees of the chiefs; they are not Government pensioners, as was suggested; they are not salaried by the Government. Indeed, they were one of the groups who saw the Secretary of State and expressed very decided views about the future of the country, and, as has been noticed, they have already criticised some aspects of the proposals. But, above all, as my right hon. Friend pointed out in opening the debate, their voting record in the Assembly shows that they have always been united with the directly elected African Members of Parliament on all dissentious matters.
Under the constitution, the procedure is towards parity and, at parity, providing for a referendum among Africans. They will all be directly elected if that is the wish of the African vote. After the referendum the blocking mechanism comes into force with the two-thirds majority of Members of Parliament. That means that 17 directly-elected Africans, 596 if that is the wish of the Africans under the referendum, must vote affirmatively for any change.
I was asked about the Commission. The Commission provides for an equal number of Africans and Europeans, but its duty is to decide whether there is any alternative which is preferable to the 10 common roll seats system, which is what will happen unless it makes a recommendation which is accepted by the House of Assembly. If it does not recommend an alternative, the 10 common roll seats system comes into operation. That is only if the Commission, half of which is composed of Africans, makes such a recommendation and at least 17 African Members of Parliament approve. The Rhodesian Government must carry all these provisions into law before this House is called upon to make a decision by enacting any legislation.
§ Mr. S. C. Silkin
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman able to answer the question which I put to his right hon. Friend earlier: what do the Government regard as being the acceptable maximum period for unimpeded progress towards majority rule?
§ The Attorney-General
The hon. and learned Gentleman knows that any estimate depends upon variables, such as the number of persons involved, economic matters, boom, and so on—in fact, all the variables which prevented the Leader of the Opposition from making estimates at the time of "Fearless" or at the time of "Tiger".
Much reference has been made to the Declaration of Rights. Those who came to see the Secretary of State attached the greatest importance to it. If it is said that it is not of any importance, why was it that the present Rhodesian Government omitted from the 1969 Constitution the fact that it was justiciable? They changed that because they knew that the fact that it was justiciable was a considerable brake upon their policies.
The present proposals re-establish the full effect of the discrimination paragraphs, replace the justiciable remedy and give the forms of rights which have been guaranteed, with the exceptions permitted in the common form code and based upon the European Convention, and which have been evolved in all declarations of rights over the last 10 years.
597 It is also effective because it shackles the power to extend discrimination under existing law by Statutory Instrument. That is of considerable importance because it means that the concept which the present Rhodesian Government have in the Land Tenure Act of being able to give powers which, thereafter, by subordinate legislation, could increase discrimination by such methods as creating African townships cannot be used. If the subsidiary legislation increases discrimination, it will fall within paragraph 11 of the Declaration of Rights. The exceptions are those which have been included in other independence constitutions. They are the exceptions which the House has accepted in the constitutions of other countries which have been granted independence.
The Declaration of Rights lays down criteria, but legislation will be ultra vires if it falls within the term "discrimination", unless it is justifiable in the interests of Rhodesia as a whole—which is what was provided in 1961—or protects equitably different people. That was in the 1961 Constitution, which was approved by this Parliament and upon which the Leader of the Opposition bargained on "Tiger" and "Fearless". It must pass the test that discrimination is not increased. There was then no proposal to improve the 1961 Declaration of Rights, and it is that Declaration of Rights which has been imported into the present proposals.
The problem is not to eliminate all discrimination, because in the whole concept of Rhodesia, with the difficulties of the Land Tenure Act and the Land Apportionment Act—to which reference has been made today there has always been discrimination so that the African could avoid European and Asian exploitation by being provided with certain areas into which the European and Asian traders and businesses could not penetrate. That was a principle of the Land Apportionment which for 50 years has been accepted by this House.—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—It was accepted in 1961. It was the basis of the negotiations of the previous Labour Administration. It is hoped that the Review Commission will review, as it is directed to review, the Land Tenure Act. But it does not bring into the Declaration of Rights a sweeping and broad barring of some- 598 thing which can be for the protection of the African community—
§ Mr. Thorpe
I am grateful to the Attorney-General for giving way. He has devoted some attention to the fact that no further repressive legislation could be introduced by reason of this agreement. Would he confirm that the Land Tenure Act, unless the Rhodesia men think otherwise, will remain on the Statute book, and that the 1960 Law and Order Maintenance Act and the Preventive Detention Act will remain on the Statute Book? That seems to me to be a rather good start.
§ The Attorney-General
The right hon. Gentleman has obviously read the White Paper. I am dealing with the Declaration of Rights which has been imported into these proposals and itself prevents the extension or increase—
§ The Attorney-General
Paragraph 11 of the Declaration of Rights provides that the Rhodesia Front Government would be unable to introduce subordinate legislation on the pattern of the Land Tenure Act, and therefore that is a very considerable brake on the present extension—
§ Sir Elwyn Jones
It is the case that the Declaration of Rights provides for preventive detention without a state of emergency in conditions which are not justicable.
§ The Attorney-General
The right hon. and learned Gentleman was a Law Officer at the time and he will recall that constitutions given by this House and commended by Ministers in a Government of which the right hon. and learned Gentleman was a member provided, in the cases of Guyana and Mauritius, for preventive detention. The right hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Frederick Lee) defended it by saying that, abhorrent as it was to all, nevertheless it was necessary.
In fact, in the case of Rhodesia, the provision relating to 42 days and being brought before a tribunal gives a better safeguard than was provided in the 599 Guyana constitution to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman must have been indirectly a party.
Turning to the matter of land and the Review Commission, I want to remind the House of its purpose. It is a Commission which will include one African. The United Kingdom Government must agree all of its members. That was not the position with "Fearless". It must examine all aspects of racial discrimination. It must examine all existing laws. It must pay a special regard to the Land Tenure Act, and it must consider the creation of a multi-racial independent land board.
This is the instrument which will lead to a tackling of the problems in the broad field of discrimination. No other means was devised by right hon. and hon. Members opposite in the negotiations which they carried out, and the Commission which they suggested certainly did not have either the terms of reference or the context in which to do its work which the present proposed review Commission will have.
I come now to the test of acceptability, to which many right hon. and hon. Members have referred. I remind the House of the terms of reference. The Commission should satisfy itself that the proposals for a settlement have been fully and properly explained to the population of Rhodesia. So the first task of the men who compose the Commission is to satisfy themselves that the terms have been properly and fully explained to the population of Rhodesia.
Second, they have to ascertain by direct contact with all sections of the population whether the people of Rhodesia as a whole regard these proposals as acceptable as a basis for independence; and they are to report to the Secretary of State accordingly.
That is the task which is given to them. If they are not satisfied that the proposals have been fully and properly explained to the population of Rhodesia, they will so express their view, and if they are satisfied that the proposals have not been properly and fully explained, they cannot be satisfied that the people of Rhodesia regard these proposals as
§ acceptable. Such is the task which is given to them, to honourable and shrewd—I hope—men, to go out and find out the real opinion of people who live there. They have to satisfy themselves, and, if they are not satisfied, they will have to report accordingly. They will take what period of time they need to do their job to their satisfaction.
§ As my right hon. Friend said in opening the debate, the Commission will consist of a chairman and three or four deputy chairmen, who will all sign the report. They will be assisted by a number of assessors who have had experience of Africa, who have spent part of their lives working there. The interpreters will be supervised by experts who themselves speak the language, who are not employees of the Rhodesian Government, people such as the language experts of the multi-racial university in Rhodesia. It is not a question merely of consulting the Chiefs. The Commissioners will travel widely to village meetings and rural councils. They must satisfy themselves, and to satisfy themselves is the task which they have been given.
§ Among certain other points raised in the debate was one raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party. He spoke of some 50,000 Africans at Stapleford. I am informed that the number involved is something like 200, in a forest and national park area.
§ On each occasion since 1965, when attempts have been made to make a settlement, the position has been more difficult. All who really honestly and sincerely want to assist the people of Africa—and there are many who wish to do that—want to give at least a chance to the people of Rhodesia to make up their own minds. If they reject the proposals, so be it. But it would be criminal irresponsibility not to give the people of Rhodesia, all the people of Rhodesia, the opportunity to express their view.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 269, Noes 297.605
|Division No. 24.]||AYES||[11 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Allen, Scholefield||Ashley, Jack|
|Albu, Austen||Archer, Peter (Rowely Regis)||Ashton, Joe|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E)||Armstrong, Ernest||Atkinson, Norman|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Barnes, Michael||Golding, John||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Gourlay, Harry||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Moyle, Roland|
|Baxter, William||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Beaney, Alan||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Murray, Ronald King|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Ogden, Eric|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Hamling, William||Oram, Bert|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Orbach, Maurice|
|Hardy, Peter||Orme, Stanley|
|Booth, Albert||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Boltomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Hattersley, Roy||Palmer, Arthur|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Heffer, Eric S.||Pardoe, John|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Hooson, Emlyn||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Buchan, Norman||Horam, John||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp-burn)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Pentland, Norman|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Cant, R. B.||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Carmichael Neil||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Prescott, John|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Hunter, Adam||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Janner, Greville||Probert, Arthur|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Rankin, John|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Concannon, J. D.||John, Brynmor||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Conlan, Bernard||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Richard, Ivor|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandswotrh, C.)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Cronin, John||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n & R'dnor)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Roper, John|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Kaufman, Gerald||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Kelley, Richard||Sandelson, Neville|
|Davidson, Arthur||Kerr, Russell||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Lambie, David||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Lamond, James||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Latham, Arthur||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Lawson, George||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Leadbitter, Ted||Sillars, James|
|Deakins, Eric||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Silverman, Julius|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hon. Sir Geoffrey||Leonard, Dick||Skinner, Dennis|
|Delargy, Hugh||Lestor, Miss Joan||Small, William|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Dempsey, James||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Devlin, Miss Bernadette||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Doig, Peter||Lipton, Marcus||Stallard, A. W.|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lomas, Kenneth||Steel, David|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Loughlin, Charles||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Strang, Gavin|
|Dunn, James A.||McBride, Neil||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Dunnett, Jack||McCann, John||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Eadie, Alex||McCartney, Hugh||Swain, Thomas|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McElhone, Frank||Taverne, Dick|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McGuire, Michael||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Ellis, Tom||Mackenzie, Gregor||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|English, Michael||Mackie, John||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Evans, Fred||Mackintosh, John P.||Tinn, James|
|Ewing, Harry||McManus, Frank||Torney, Tom|
|Faulds, Andrew||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Urwin, T. W.|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Marks, Kenneth||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marsden, F.||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Foley, Maurice||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Wallace, George|
|Foot, Michael||Meacher, Michael||Watkins, David|
|Ford, Ben||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Weitzman, David|
|Forrester, John||Mendelson, John||Wellbeloved, James|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Mikardo, Ian||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Freeson, Reginald||Miller, Dr. M. S.||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Williams, W. T. (Warrington)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)||Woof, Robert||Mr. Tom Pendry.|
|Adley, Robert||Fidler, Michael||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'dfield)|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Fookes, Miss Janet||Longden, Gilbert|
|Astor, John||Fortescue, Tim||Loveridge, John|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Foster, Sir John||Luce, R. N.|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fowler, Norman||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Fox, Marcus||MacArthur, Ian|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Fry, Peter||McLaren, Martin|
|Batsford, Brian||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Gardner, Edward||McMaster, Stanley|
|Bell, Ronald||Gibson-Watt, David||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)|
|Benyon, W.||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Maddan, Martin|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Goodhart, Philip||Madel, David|
|Biffen, John||Gorst, John||Maginnis, John E.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gower, Raymond||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Blaker, Peter||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Marten, Neil|
|Boardman, Tom (Lecester, S. W.)||Gray, Hamish||Mather, Carol|
|Body, Richard||Green, Alan||Maude, Angus|
|Boscawen, Robert||Grieve, Percy||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mawby, Ray|
|Bowden, Andrew||Grylls, Michael||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Gummer, Selwyn||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Braine, Bernard||Gurden, Harold||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Bray, Ronald||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Brewis, John||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W.)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Moate, Roger|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Molyneaux, James|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Money, Ernie|
|Bryan, Paul||Haselhurst, Alan||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N. & M.)||Hastings, Stephen||Monro, Hector|
|Buck, Antony||Havers, Michael||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Burden, F. A.||Hawkins, Paul||More, Jasper|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hay, John||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn)||Hayhoe, Barney||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Carlisle, Mark||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Heseltine, Michael||Mudd, David|
|Channon, Paul||Hicks, Robert||Murton, Oscar|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hiley, Joseph||Nicholls, Sir Harmer|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Holland, Philip||Normanton, Tom|
|Churchill, W. S.||Holt, Miss Mary||Nott, John|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Hordern, Peter||Onslow, Cranley|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hornby, Richard||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Clegg, Walter||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Osborn, John|
|Cockeram, Eric||Howell, David (Guildford)||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Cooke, Robert||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Coombs, Derek||Hunt, John||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Percival, Ian|
|Cordle, John||Iremonger, T. L.||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Cormack, Patrick||James, David||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Costain, A. P.||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Pounder, Rafton|
|Crouch, David||Jessel, Toby||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch.|
|Crowder, F. P.||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsdmid, Sir Henry||Jopling, Michael||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Dean, Paul||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Raison, Timothy|
|Dixon, Piers||Kershaw, Anthony||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kilfedder, James||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kimball, Marcus||Redmond, Robert|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Dykes, Hugh||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Eden, Sir John||Kinsey, J. R.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Kirk, Peter||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Kitson, Timothy||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Farr, John||Knox, David||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Fell, Anthony||Lambton, Antony||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Lane, David||Roberts, Michael (Carliff, N.)|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Rost, Peter||Sutcliffe, John||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Royle, Anthony||Tapsell, Peter||Wall, Patrick|
|Russell, Sir Ronald||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Scott, Nicholas||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Sharples, Richard||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Tebbit, Norman||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Simeons, Charles||Temple, John M.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Wilkinson, John|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Soref, Harold||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Speed, Keith||Tilney, John||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Spence, John||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Worsley, Marcus|
|Sproat, Iain||Trew, Peter||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Stainton, Keith||Tugendhat, Christopher||Younger, Hn. George|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||van Straubenzee, W. R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||Mr. Reginald Eyre and|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.||Waddington, David||Mr. Bernard Weatherill.|
|Stokes, John||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
§ Main Question put:—606
§ The House divided: Ayes 297; Noes 269.609
|Division No. 25.]||AYES||[11.12 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cormack, Patrick||Hannam, John (Exeter)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Costain, A. P.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Crouch, David||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Crowder, F. P.||Hastings, Stephen|
|Astor, John||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Havers, Michael|
|Atkins, Humphrey||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hawkins, Paul|
|Awdry, Daniel||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Hay, John|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Dean, Paul||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Balniel, Lord||Dixon, Piers||Heseltine, Michael|
|Batsford, Brian||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Hicks, Robert|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Drayson, G. B.||Higgins, Terence L.|
|Bell, Ronald||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hiley, Joseph|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Dykes, Hugh||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Eden, Sir John||Holland, Philip|
|Benyon, W.||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Hordern, Peter|
|Biffen, John||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Hornby, Richard|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Farr, John||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia|
|Blaker, Peter||Fell, Anthony||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Body, Richard||Fidler, Michael||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Boscawen, Robert||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Hunt, John|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Bowden, Andrew||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Fookes, Miss Janet||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Braine, Bernard||Fortescue, Tim||James, David|
|Bray, Ronald||Foster, Sir John||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Brewis, John||Fowler, Norman||Jessel, Toby|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Fox, Marcus||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Jones, Arthur (Northants, E.)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Fry, Peter||Jopling, Michael|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
|Bryan, Paul||Gardner, Edward||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N. & M.)||Gibson-Watt, David||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine|
|Buck, Antony||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Burden, F. A.||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Kilfedder, James|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Kimball, Marcus|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn)||Glyn, Dr. Alan||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Goodhart, Philip||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Goodhew, Victor||Kinsey, J. R.|
|Channon, Paul||Gorst, John||Kirk, Peter|
|Chapman, Sydney||Gower, Raymond||Kitson, Timothy|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Gray, Hamish||Knox, David|
|Churchill, W. S.||Green, Alan||Lambton, Antony|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Grieve, Percy||Lane, David|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Clegg, Walter||Grylls, Michael||Leggs-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Cockeram, Eric||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Cooke, Robert||Gurden, Harold||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'dfield)|
|Coombs, Derek||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Longden, Gilbert|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Loveridge, John|
|Cordle, John||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Luce, R. N.|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|MacArthur, Ian||Parkinson, Cecil||Stokes, John|
|McCrindle, R. A.||Percival, Ian||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Sutcliffe, John|
|Maclennan, Robert||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Tapsell, Peter|
|McMaster, Stanley||Pink, R. Bonner||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Pounder, Rafton||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|McNair-Wilson, Michael||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)|
|Maddan, Martin||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Madel, David||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Temple, John M.|
|Maginnis, John E.||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Marten, Neil||Raison, Timothy||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Mather, Carol||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Maude, Angus||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Tilney, John|
|Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Redmond, Robert||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Mawby, Ray||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||Trew, Peter|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Rees, Peter (Dover)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeanshire, W.)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Ridsdale, Julian||Waddington, David|
|Moate, Roger||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Molyneaux, James||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Money, Ernie||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Monks, Mrs. Connie||Rost, Peter||Wall, Patrick|
|Monro, Hector||Royle, Anthony||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Russell, Sir Ronald||Warren, Kenneth|
|More, Jasper||Scott, Nicholas||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Sharples, Richard||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Morrison, Charles||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Mudd, David||Simeons, Charles||Wilkinson, John|
|Murton, Oscar||Sinclair, Sir George||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Skeet, T. H. H.||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Soref, Harold||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Normanton, Tom||Speed, Keith||Worsley, Marcus|
|Nott, John||Spence, John||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Onslow, Cranley||Sproat, Iain||Younger, Hn. George|
|Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Stainton, Keith|
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Stanbrook, Ivor||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Osborn, John||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||Mr. Reginald Eyre and|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Mr. Bernard Weatherill.|
|Abse, Leo||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Eadie, Alex|
|Albu, Austen||Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Edwards, William (Merioneth)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Cohen, Stanley||Ellis, Tom|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Concannon, J. D.||English, Michael|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Conlan, Bernard||Evans, Fred|
|Ashley, Jack||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Ewing, Harry|
|Ashton, Joe||Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Faulds, Andrew|
|Atkinson, Norman||Crawshaw, Richard||Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Cronin, John||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)|
|Barnes, Michael||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywodod and Royton)||Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Baxter, William||Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Foley, Maurice|
|Beaney, Alan||Dalyell, Tam||Foot, Michael|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Davidson, Arthur||Ford, Ben|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Forrester, John|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Fraser, John (Norwood)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Freeson, Reginald|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Galpern, Sir Myer|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Garrett, W. E.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Deakins, Eric||Gilbert, Dr. John|
|Droughton, Sir Alfred||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Delargy, Hugh||Golding, John|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Gourlay, Harry|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Dempsey, James||Grant, George (Morpeth)|
|Buchan, Norman||Devlin, Miss Bernadette||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Doig, Peter||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Dormand, J. D.||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)|
|Cant, R. B.||Driberg, Tom||Hamling, William|
|Carmichael, Neil||Duffy, A. E. P.||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Dunn, James A.||Hardy, Peter|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Dunnett, Jack||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)|
|Hart, Rt. Hon. Judith||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Hattersley, Roy||McNamara, J. Kevin||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Sandelson, Neville|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Marks, Kenneth||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Horam, John||Marsden, F.||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Meacher, Michael||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Sillars, James|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Mendelson, John||Silverman, Julius|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Mikardo, Ian||Skinner, Dennis|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Small, William|
|Hunter, Adam||Milne, Edward||Smith, John (Lanarkshire N.)|
|Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Janner, Greville||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Stallard, A. W.|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Steel, David|
|Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|John, Brynmor||Moyle, Ronald||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Murray, Ronald King||Strang, Gavin|
|Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Oakes, Gordon||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Ogden, Eric||Summerskili, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||O'Halloran, Michael||Swain, Thomas|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||O'Malley, Brian||Taverne, Dick|
|Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Oram, Bert||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Orbach, Maurice||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Kaufman, Gerald||Orme, Stanley||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Kelley, Richard||Oswald, Thomas||Tinn, James|
|Kerr, Russell||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Torney, Tom|
|Lambie, David||Palmer, Arthur||Tuck, Raphael|
|Lamond, James||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Urwin, T. W.|
|Latham, Arthur||Pardoe, John||Varley, Eric G.|
|Lawson, George||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Lee, Rt. Kn. Frederick||Pavitt, Laurie||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Leonard, Dick||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Wallace, George|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Pendry, Tom||Watkins, David|
|Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Pentland, Norman||Weitzman, David|
|Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Perry, Ernest G.||Wellbeloved, James|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Lipton, Marcus||Prescott, John||White, James (Glasgow, Pollock)|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Loughlin, Charles||Price, William (Rugby)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Probert, Arthur||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Rankin, John||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|McBride, Neil||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|McCann, John||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|McCartney, Hugh||Richard, Ivor||Wilson, William (Coventry. S.)|
|McElhone, Frank||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Woof, Robert|
|McGuire, Michael||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Mackenzie, Gregor||Robertson, John (Paisley)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Mackie, John||Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Mackintosh, John P.||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Mr. James Hamilton.|
|McManus, Frank||Roper, John|
That this House approves Her Majesty's Government's proposals for the settlement of the Rhodesian dispute; and endorses Her
Majesty's Government's decision that they should be put to the people of Rhodesia for their judgment.