HC Deb 25 November 1971 vol 826 cc1536-52
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to make a statement about my recent visit to Rhodesia.

Following my statement on 9th November, I have been in Salisbury and have held talks with Mr. Smith. I had the opportunity also to meet many Rhodesians of all races and opinions, including a number of detainees and ex-detainees. As the House will be aware, Mr. Smith and I have signed a document setting out certain proposals for a settlement which are fully within the five principles to which the Government have constantly adhered. These proposals will now be put before the people of Rhodesia as a whole in a test of acceptability, according to principle five. For this result I am greatly indebted to the Lord Goodman and to the team of negotiators, who have worked so hard and made my visit possible.

The proposals have the following main features. First, amendments will be introduced into the present constitution of Rhodesia to remove the provisison which precludes any possibility of progress beyond parity of representation in the House of Assembly between Europeans and Africans. This will be replaced by arrangements providing for unimpeded progress to majority rule. The present number of lower African roll voters will be increased by a reduction of the franchise qualifications.

Secondly, in order to proceed to this end, changes in the present franchise conditions will be made and the present income tax regulator abolished. The present number of directly and indirectly elected Africans in Parliament will continue but there will be created a new higher African roll with the same qualifications as the European roll. New African seats will be added as the proportion of voters on the higher African roll increases in relation to the numbers of voters on the European roll. On the present estimates, it seems likely that four new African seats will be due to be created when the procedures for registration are completed and in that case they will be filled by by-elections in advance of a general election. These new seats will be filled, the first two by direct election by the higher African roll, and the next two by indirect election on the same lines as the present indirectly elected members, until parity is achieved.

At parity, 10 new seats will be created and filled through election on a common roll consisting of the European and higher African rolls. At that stage, the numbers on each roll would be approximately equal. Throughout this period up to parity, the blocking mechanism for the specially entrenched clauses of the Constitution will be two-thirds of the Assembly and the Senate voting separately plus majorities of the European and African members of the Lower House, again voting separately.

At the parity stage when there are 50 African members of the House of Assembly, a referendum will be held amongst voters on both African rolls to determine whether all the African members should in future be directly-elected.

Following that referendum and any consequential elections, the 10 common roll seats will be filled, unless the Assembly determines, on the recommendation of a commission to be set up at that stage, that some more acceptable alternative arrangements should be made. Any such decision, however, would be subject to the blocking mechanism I have described. Thereafter the blocking mechanism will revert to a simple two-thirds majority. This would mean that at least 17 African members of the Lower House would have to approve any change to the specially entrenched clauses, and at that stage the Africans would be represented by directly elected members if that had been their choice. So much for the constitutional arrangements.

The proposals also involve other important changes designed to reduce discrimination and to promote racial harmony. There will be a Declaration of Rights that will be justiciable in the courts. This is a major advance on the present constitution. In particular, on discrimination, the Declaration will reenact the safeguard relating to discrimination contained in Section 67(4) of the 1961 Constitution.

Secondly, there will be a three man commission, whose membership, to be agreed with us, will include an African, the task of which will be to review the question of racial discrimination throughout the whole field, but with particular regard to the Land Tenure Act and to certain of its effects. Mr. Smith has put it clearly on record in the proposals that it is his Administration's intention to reduce racial discrimination and that he will commend to his Parliament legislation to give effect to the commission's recommendations, except where there are considerations which any Government would regard as overriding—

Mr. Faulds

This is shameful. It is an absolute betrayal, and the right hon. Gentleman knows it.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I think that the House will wish to hear the whole of my statement.

Thirdly, there will be no further evictions of established communities from Epworth or other areas, until the recommendations of the commission have been considered.

Mr. Kaufman

Until? This is monstrous.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Fourthly, further land is now available for African settlement and, as the need arises, more will be allocated. Fifthly, when sanctions have been lifted, the State of Emergency will be revoked, unless unforeseen circumstances intervene.

Fifty-four detainees out of 116 have been released or will be shortly. For the remainder, there will be a special review, at which a British observer will be present. Rhodesians living abroad will be free to return save only where criminal charges lie against them. The Rhodesian Government have undertaken to encourage African recruitment to the public service. As a further important part of the settlement, the British Government will provide £50 million in aid over 10 years for economic and educational development in African areas, such aid to be matched appropriately by the Rhodesians with money additional to their present planned expenditure.

Finally, the whole complex of these proposals is to be submitted to the Rhodesian people for approval. This test will be conducted by a Commission appointed by Her Majesty's Government, of which Lord Pearce, a former Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, has agreed to be Chairman, and will report to Her Majesty's Government. The Rhodesian authorities have agreed to allow a full and fair test, and to permit normal political activity to the Commission's satisfaction. Thereafter, if the proposals are acceptable to the Rhodesian Parliament it will be asked to enact the necessary legislation to give effect to them; and the Government will ask this House, once they are satisfied on that score, to enact the amended constitution and to give independence to Rhodesia. This will clear the way for the lifting of sanctions.

Hon. Members will wish to study these proposals in detail. I am publishing the text in a White Paper which I hope will be available tomorrow at 2 o'clock. Meanwhile I am arranging to make available in the Vote Office today, in advance of the White Paper, the text of the "Proposals for a Settlement" which Mr. Smith and I signed yesterday. This—with the addition of its most important Appendix III containing the full text of the revised Declaration of Rights—will of course form part of the full White Paper. The House will also want to debate the issue; for their part the Government will be ready to make time available. I will therefore confine myself to saying that I believe these proposals are fair and honourable; and that they provide an opportunity to set a new course in Rhodesia, which can lead to the greater harmony of all races there and to the partnership and prosperity of all Rhodesians.

This is a complicated matter, and I have kept the House already too long. Hon. Members will wish to study the documents and to make up their own minds. I would only ask them to do so fairly, considering past history and the present realities of power. Whatever hon. Members may feel about the proposals now put forward I believe that they will agree that the Rhodesian people should certainly be given the chance to judge these for themselves. And let us be in no doubt that the price that will be paid if we fail in this attempt, will be paid not by us but by others.

Mr. Healey

The Foreign Secretary has just made a statement of immense importance and the House will want to consider it in detail, particularly the parliamentary mathematics, which I would have defied any uninstructed person to follow as the statement was read. I hope that the Foreign Secretary, or the Leader of the House, will confirm that we shall have a debate on this matter next week, and we for our part look forward to it.

Anyone who listened to the Foreign Secretary will recognise that the Smith régime appears to have made some movement in some areas, and we shall want to consider those areas very carefully. The fact that it has done so testifies to the effectiveness of sanctions, as Mr. Smith admitted in his last address to the Rhodesian Front Assembly.

The real test to which this House and the world will submit the agreement is whether the five principles are, in fact, likely to be fulfilled if the agreement is implemented; whether it will, indeed, be acceptable to the Rhodesian people as a whole; and, most important, whether there will be effective protection against violation of the agreement once sanctions have been removed.

So far as one could follow the right hon. Gentleman's statement, there is no safeguard against legislation to annul the agreement, outside the Rhodesian Parliament itself. The agreement imposes no obligation from any external authority—British, Commonwealth or international—on the Rhodesian Government to carry out whatever policies they make. If the Parliament of the United Kingdom were to accept the agreement it would be accepting new moral and political obligations for what happened in Rhodesia for the whole period before majority rule was finally accepted, and the acceptance of these new obligations by the British Government and people could have far-reaching consequences for our influence and our material interests throughout the world.

I hope that the Foreign Secretary will try to answer some of the questions that I put to him about his statement, because he must know, as we all do, that only three days ago 102 members of the United Nations General Assembly voted for no independence before majority African rule, and if they are to acquiesce in this agreement they must be satisfied that majority rule is to be achieved within a reasonable space of time.

Perhaps I may first ask the right hon. Gentleman questions on four of the principles. Is he satisfied that the Rhodesian representatives with whom he spoke understand majority rule in the same sense as we in this House would? The House will know that when he was questioned yesterday about the time when majority rule would be achieved, Mr. Smith answered, "We already have responsible majority rule in this country." If that is the spirit in which he approaches the implementation of the agreement, no Member in this House, and no rational person, could regard the agreement as being meaningful. I therefore ask the right hon. Gentleman what is the best estimate that he can make of the period before parity is achieved. Second, how long will it take from the achievement of parity to genuine majority rule in Rhodesia?

On the question of safeguards, will Her Majesty's Government retain any material sanctions against the violation of the agreement until it has largely been implemented?

On the Rhodesian parliamentary safeguard to which the right hon. Gentleman referred, will the African element in the blocking mechanism consists solely of elected African members, or will it include the chiefs? Those are matters of immense importance if this House and the world are to have any confidence whatever in the Parliamentary elements in the blocking mechanism.

I think that the House will be most disappointed at the Foreign Secretary's frank admission that the Land Tenure Act, and all the other discriminatory legislation in Rhodesia, is to stay until and unless a committee composed exclusively of Rhodesians—subject, I agree, to their composition being approved by the British Government—has recommended changes, and even then, as I understand it from the right hon. Gentleman's statement, the Smith régime reserves the right to reject those recommendations where there are considerations "which any Government would regarding as overriding". I think that the House will want more precision on what sort of considerations the Foreign Secretary had in mind when he agreed to that phrase.

I agree with the Foreign Secretary that the test of acceptability is of special importance in the agreement as a whole and will be regarded as of critical importance by the United Nations and by world opinion. How long a period does the right hon. Gentleman envisage for the test of acceptability to be carried out? Will it be weeks, or months? I sincerely hope the latter. Second, during the period of consultation will there be freedom of political activity in the tribal as well as in the urban areas? There is no freedom of political activity in the tribal areas at present. Third, will the apparatus of the police state be lifted during the period of consultation? Unless it is so lifted, consultation will be a mockery.

Finally, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us something about the size and composition of the Commission which is to carry out the test of acceptability? Will it include respected Commonwealth figures like, for example, Mr. Lester Pearson of Canada? There is one last point which I must put—

Mr. Gorst

On a point of order.

Hon. Members

Sit down!

Mr. Gorst

Is it in order—[Interruption.]—for the right hon. Gentleman to ask so many question that my right hon. Friend will be unable to recall what they were?

Mr. Speaker

That is certainly not a point of order. If there is any matter of order, I will make my own decision upon it. If questions and answers were listened to more quietly by both sides of the House, we might get on more quickly.

Mr. Healey

I just want to ask this final question of the Foreign Secretary. He referred to the removal of sanctions. Is it not the case that this country is imposing sanctions on Rhodesia in pursuance of a mandatory resolution of the United Nations Security Council, which can be changed or removed only by the unanimous agreement of the members of the Security Council? Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to this House that he has not made any private bargain with the Smith régime to violate a mandatory resolution of the Security Council as part of his agreement?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I must not test the patience of the House too far—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for saying that he will at least study these matters objectively. I will try to answer his questions.

So far as the time at which we might reach parity and thereafter go to majority rule is concerned, I must give the answer which his right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition gave at the time of "Fearless", when he said, … the time required cannot be measured by clock or calendar, but only by achievement. There are too many uncertain factors. There is the question of how many Africans will register, there is the question of the economic pace and industrial expansion of Rhodesia, and all these are relevant.

After parity, the right hon. Gentleman asked, how long will it take for the African majority to take charge? It could happen in the first election, I would guess that it would be certain to happen in the second election after parity and thereafter with absolute certainty.

On the question of material sanctions, there can be no effective external guarantee if force is ruled out. On his fourth question, the blocking mechanism will consist of all African members of the Lower House; it will be all Africans and no chiefs.

As for the Land Tenure Act, this, as the right hon. Gentleman will see, will be examined, and the hope is that it will be amended in certain very important respects—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I think that hon. Members must recognise one thing—all the way through the history of Rhodesia, when we were responsible, there was a Land Apportionment Act essentially for this reason. If no land was reserved for the Africans, the Europeans would buy the lot. We must recognise that, and be sensible about it—

Mr. Robert Hughes

That is quite different.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The test of acceptability will be as short as possible, but it must be thorough and it will so be undertaken. Freedom of political activity will be granted. So far as the United Nations is concerned and the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman that I might have made a private deal with Mr. Smith—I dismiss that.

Mr. Sandys

While warmly congratulating my right hon. Friend on securing agreement to constitutional changes which go incomparably further than almost anyone thought possible—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—is not the choice now clear—either to accept the very significant progress which this agreement offers or to destroy all prospect of African political advance except by bloody revolution? Can there be any doubt which of those two courses is in the best interests of the people of Rhodesia of all races?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I thank my right hon. Friend. It might be worth just repeating, in response to him, what goes in relation to the present position. The income tax regulator goes. The express bar to progress beyond parity goes. The ability of the Europeans to amend the Constitution at will goes. Any further discrimination by new legislation or new subordinate legislation is impossible from the time of this agreement. It therefore sets a new direction for the country.

Mr. Thorpe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the whole world would welcome a settlement the terms of which are honourable, the details of which give guarantees of durability, and that it is by this test that we shall examine these matters in detail? May I ask him, first, since only 54 of the 116 detainees are to be released, albeit with a subsequent British observer, whether he gathered from Mr. Smith that it was his intention that the natural leaders of African opinion, like Mr. Joshua Nkomo, who has been detained without trial for more than six years in prison—people of this calibre—would be released? Is he aware that it is vitally essential that this process of consultation should not be seen to be rushed as part of a blitzkrieg by the Rhodesian Government?

Second, turning to the credibility of the settlement, the Foreign Secretary said on page 4 of his statement that Mr. Smith gave an assurance that there would be no further evictions of established communities, from Epworth or other areas, until the recommendations of the Commission had been considered. Did he gather from that that the policy of residential apartheid was one that Mr. Smith still felt was a necessary weapon in the armoury of Government?

Finally, with regard to the Commission itself, while I personally have the very highest regard and respect for Lord Pearce, would the Foreign Secretary agree that it is very important that he should be supplemented by people of political experience who have spent their lives in politics, evaluating, making political judgments, and that they should if possible be drawn from the Commonwealth—from the white Commonwealth and from the black Commonwealth—and that only a commission of that sort could produce a result which would be credible all over the world?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

On the tribunal looking into the detainees, as the right hon. Gentleman said, 54 are to be released and the others examined. I myself saw Mr. Nkomo and had a long conversation with him. Whether he would be in the numbers to be released or the numbers to be considered, I cannot say—

Mr. Faulds

Why not?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

If the hon. Gentleman could control himself for a little, what I can say is that, of course, he will be able to be seen by the Commission.

Mr. Robert Hughes

After the test of acceptability.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

As to the evictions, about which the right hon. Gentleman asked—

Mr. Faulds

Give him an umbrella.

Sir F. Bennett

Give him a banana.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

—eviction from the Epworth area, which seemed to be imminent, is now to be postponed till after the Commission. I would hope that Mr. Smith would accept a recommendation from the Commission on this place. I will not say what my forecast is, but I should hope that there is a good chance that this will not take place at all.

Next the composition of the Commission to carry out the test of acceptability. The answer is yes, we shall have to put on it people of political experience. I remind the right hon. Gentleman that this is a British responsibility laid upon up by the United Nations, so we must carry it out.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

May I add my warmest congratulations to my right hon. Friend on the great achievement which he has made in these negotiations and ask him to make it clear that the proposals in the White Paper must be approved by the Rhodesian Parliament?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The proposals in the White Paper must be approved by the Rhodesian Parliament. Mr. Smith will have to carry the legislation to amend the Constitution through the Rhodesian Parliament. It is not until that process is over, of course, that this Parliament has to do anything at all.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary aware that many Rhodesian Europeans feel that unless there is repeal of the 1969 Constitution there can be no settlement fair to all races? If any Rhodesian Europeans elect to have British rather than Rhodesian passports, will their wishes be met?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

With respect to the right hon. Gentleman, I did not meet anybody in Rhodesia, African or European, who suggested the repeal of the 1969 Constitution. They said that they thought that the 1969 Constitution inevitably had to be the basis for a settlement, but that it should be drastically amended. I should like to look into the question of British passports.

Mr. Braine

Whatever immediate view might be taken of the agreement which my right hon. Friend has brought back, surely we can all agree that he has removed a log jam and has enabled a fresh look to be taken at what was seemingly an intractable situation? Is my right hon. Friend able to give the House any indication how the Commission, in applying the test of acceptability, will ascertain the views of the various communities in Rhodesia?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I should impress on the House that I am asking it to do no more than accept that this arrangement must be put to the Rhodesian people. It is an alternative which they must be given a chance to accept or reject. Concerning the putting of the proposals to the Rhodesian people, the Commission will be given a completely free hand as to how it wishes to conduct this operation.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that I expected many of these proposals to be made in a settlement reached between himself and Mr. Smith and that it fills me with deep shame that this country should be willing to sell out the interests of 5 million Africans in this way? My shame may be mitigated if the test of acceptability is to be a real, not a sham, test. For that purpose there must be a long period of consultation there must be adequate political leadership in the formation of public opinion in Rhodesia, and the members of the Commission who will make the test of acceptability must be able to evaluate the kind of influences which will be brought to bear upon them in an African situation.

Despite my great respect for Lord Pearce, I doubt whether he alone would be capable of doing that. I therefore ask that the other members of the Commission, both white and black, as I hope, should be distinguished and dispassionate figures in world politics. Mr. Lestor Pearson seems an eminently desirable figure and possibly Mr. Robert Gardiner would be the legal representative.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

First, Lord Pearce will not be alone. He will have very distinguished colleagues with him. If the hon. Gentleman anticipated the kind of proposals which I have made and just now put before the House, then he is cleverer than a great many people.

Mr. Longden

Would it not have been more generous if the principal spokesman for the Opposition had let fall one word of congratulation to my right hon. Friend—[Interruption.]—and also to Lord Goodman and his team—for bringing off something which I for one did not believe he would do?

Supposing that for one moment some members of the United Nations and some hon. Members opposite were to take the, to them, bizarre view that the principal object of the exercise is to ensure the future happiness and prosperity of our 5 million African fellow subjects in Rhodesia, would they not be bound to consider that the agreement which my right hon. Friend has brought back is infinitely preferable to the immediate lapse into apartheid which would have been the inevitable result of no agreement?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

My hon. Friend has put his finger on a point of which the House should be very conscious. For eight or nine years now the line has been hardening between the races in Rhodesia in a way which is intensely worrying many moderate Europeans and many moderate Africans. Therefore, I come back to what I said before. This is a chance of setting the Rhodesian Constitution and the protection of the individual Rhodesian on a new course. I think that the African will benefit more from this than anybody else.

Mr. Robert Hughes

Will the Foreign Secretary tell us why he did not insist on seeing the Reverend Sithole, why his meeting with Mr. Nkomo was so short, and why he was not accompanied by advisers? Will he also tell the House why he did not insist on these leaders being released when those detainees who are not released immediately can only be discussed by the Commission after the test of acceptability? Why should not the release of detainees take place before the test of acceptability? There can be no free political discussion whilst these leaders are kept in detention.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The important thing to achieve was that the Commission should see everybody. Mr. Smith has released a good number of detainees. I hope that many more will be released.

My meeting with Mr. Nkomo went on for about an hour and a half, and we had a very full discussion.

The hon. Gentleman asked why I did not see the Reverend Sithole. The Reverend Sithole sent me a memorandum which was published in the Press before I had a chance to read it. I therefore asked to see the Reverend Sithole's right hand man, Mr. Mwabe, who came to see me. I had a talk with him for about an hour and a half in which he told me exactly what the Reverend Sithole felt.

Sir F. Bennett

On the optimistic assumption that the whole House wants to make an objective analysis of these proposals, will my right hon. Friend remind us of the prospects of African advancement in the proposals which he has put before the House compared with those which the former Prime Minister was prepared to put forward at the time of "Fearless" and "Tiger"?

Regarding what this Government might or might not do after independence, will my right hon. Friend remind us of any Constitution of a former Commonwealth country which has achieved independence which enables us, after independence, to take steps to restore a previous capacity to intervene?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

It is difficult to make comparisons. Between "Tiger" and "Fearless" the situation got worse. Between "Fearless" and now the situation got worse. We have to start from a different baseline from the Leader of the Opposition.

A great many independence Constitutions have been altered within a few months or a few years of our laying down the conditions which we thought would be accepted. I simply point out to the House that Mr. Smith has to put these proposals through his Parliament. It is not until then that we in this House have to act.

Mr. James Johnson

In view of the black history of South Africa and all other settler communities in Africa, does the Foreign Secretary really expect white oligarchies to hand over power to the African masses? It has happened nowhere else. None of us who has been to Africa expects this to happen unless it is a genuine Christian community, which is not so. Why does he not demand external safeguards for the future of these black African masses?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I know what an interest the hon. Gentleman takes in all these matters, but, with great respect, he has to make up his mind whether he wants Rhodesia in the next few years to go irrevocably to the apartheid system and to be indistinguishable from South Africa, or to give Rhodesians a chance to take a new course.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. I must try to protect the other business of the House. I cannot allow questions on this matter to go on indefinitely.

Mr. Lane

On the forthcoming test of acceptability in Rhodesia, can my right hon. Friend confirm that the Commission will be free to see anyone it wishes without restriction?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Yes, Sir; that is my understanding.

Mr. Michael Stewart

Further to the test of acceptability, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us a bit more about who will be Lord Pearce's colleagues and, in particular, from what nationalities and categories of people they will be drawn? Does his reply to the Leader of the Liberal Party imply that they will all be British subjects? Secondly, is it understood that if the test of acceptability is not passed this agreement has no validity and that it will still be the duty of this country, with the help of the United Nations, to endeavour by sanctions or other means to restore the rule of law in Rhodesia?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

If the test of acceptability proves that the Rhodesians do not want this arrangement and this constitution, we revert to the position we were in before. I am bound to say that the United Nations has not been a great comfort. I do not want to say any more now about the additional membership, but I shall tell the House as soon as I can who the additional members will be.

Mr. Tapsell

Will my right hon. Friend accept from one who, I think, can claim to have been as deeply concerned as any other hon. Member to safeguard the interests of the Africans in Rhodesia that, at first hearing, the terms which he has been able to negotiate appear to be a most remarkable achievement and seem to have gone a great deal further towards bridging the gap than I for one would have thought possible? May I ask him whether, before he initialled the document, Mr. Smith had an opportunity to discuss it with his senior colleagues and whether he had their support?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Mr. Smith had all his colleagues there yesterday and had discussed these matters throughout with his Cabinet colleagues. I cannot say what the results of those discussions were.

Mr. Michael Foot

As so much may turn on the conditions of free discussion which may prevail in Rhodesia during the period of testing the acceptability of the proposals, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he asked or insisted that Mr. Nkomo should be released to discuss with his friends and colleagues in the country what he felt about this settlement, and will he tell us precisely what the answer was?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The hon. Gentleman has asked a question about Mr. Nkomo. I did not insist that Mr. Nkomo should be—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] Perhaps the Opposition will allow me to answer the question. What I did ask was that all those who wished to see and express their views to the Commission should do so, and Mr. Nkomo can do so.

Mr. Healey

I must press the right hon. Gentleman on this point. In his statement he said that normal political activity would be permitted, and I asked him whether that meant that the apparatus of the police state would be removed. The right hon. Gentleman gave no reply. May I tell him frankly that no one on this side of the House will treat the test of acceptability as in any sense serious or committing unless there is freedom of African political activity for all those other than those interned on criminal charges.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would not be so impetuous. He is becoming more and more gullible every day and makes the most extraordinary statements. If he had listened to what I said, and thereafter reads the White Paper, he would know that normal political facilities, including broadcasting, will be allowed to the political parties in Rhodesia. It is for the Commission to make the conditions it wants to satisfy itself that it will be able to conduct the test of acceptability in the right way.

Mr. Healey

The right hon. Gentleman has forgotten the words he uttered and which are recorded in his statement, that political broadcasting facilities will be permitted only to parties already represented in the Rhodesian Parliament. Mr. Nkomo's party is not represented in the Parliament. This is one of the aspects of the police state. Will the right hon. Gentleman, whose record of gullibility in 1938 is still in our minds, answer the question?

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are now clearly getting into the realms of debate.

Mr. Faulds

On a point of order. On a matter as important as this, and on such a shameful day for the Foreign Secretary and for the British House of Commons, may I respectfully suggest, Mr. Speaker, that we have not had sufficient time for questions, particularly since some of us who were born in Africa, and who know a bloody sight more about the matter than the right hon. Gentleman, have not been called to ask a supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I wish that I did not receive quite so much assistance. I have to decide these matters, and I have some knowledge of what the business statement will be.

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