HC Deb 26 January 1971 vol 810 cc320-1
Sir F. Bennett

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any loss or damage to British lives or property have been involved in the disturbances in Uganda.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)

There has been no report of any injury to United Kingdom citizens or of damage to British property. The High Commissioner continues to be in touch with the British community.

Sir F. Bennett

While we are naturally delighted to hear the news that we have not been directly damaged, may I ask my right hon. Friend to tell us whether, recalling the events of a few years ago, there has been any request from Mr. Obote for his British friends to restore law and order and his own position in the country? Can my right hon. Friend say whether Mr. Obote has applied for political asylum here and if he does what will be my right hon. Friend's reply?

Sir A. Douglas-Home

The latter part of my hon. Friend's question is hypothetical and I cannot answer it. The answer to the first two parts of his question is "No".

Sir G. de Freitas

Will the right hon. Gentleman remember in his dealings with the military regime in Uganda that a similar military coup in Ghana a few years ago resulted in the restoration of civil government with the rule of law and the ballot box?

Sir A. Douglas-Home

I hope that whatever has happened in Uganda will result in the rule of law being applied.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Can my right hon. Friend say something about the report of the death of two Canadian priests in the course of these disturbances? Is Canada separately represented in Uganda or does the term "British subject" cover Canadians as Commonwealth citizens?

Sir A. Douglas-Home

I will have to look into this question about the two Canadian citizens. It would be for the Canadians to make representations.

Mr. David Steel

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any advice has been given by the Government to British airlines who use Entebbe Airport quite regularly as a staging post to Kenya, Zambia and other points south?

Sir A. Douglas-Home

No advice has been given to British airlines as yet. The High Commissioner is reporting on the circumstances and we will keep closely in touch with the position.

Mr. Maclennan

Have the Government considered yet whether they will recognise the new regime?

Sir A. Douglas-Home

No, Sir; it is too early to say.