HC Deb 03 July 1972 vol 840 c22
17. Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about recent developments in the Seychelles.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Anthony Kershaw)

I visited Seychelles at the end of May to familiarise myself with the situation there. I had wide-ranging discussions with the Governor and members of the Council of Ministers, including Mr. Mancham, the Chief Minister. I also had meetings with Mr. Rene, Leader of the Opposition.

I was much impressed by the improvement in the general standard of living brought about by the Seychelles Government under the able leadership of the Governor and by the development of tourism.

Mr. Godman Irvine

Is my hon. Friend aware that the feelings of friendship between the two countries have certainly been increased by the successful visit which he made? What has he been able to do to help them to find ways of closer links, because the Seychelles have their eyes on certain arrangements made by the French in the Indian Ocean? Will he consider with our right hon. Friend the possibility of increasing agricultural production in that country?

Mr. Kershaw

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend for his kind words in the first part of his supplementary question. There is a further Question on the Order Paper about the constitutional developments in Seychelles. I fully agree with my hon. Friend that it is extremely important to get a further increase in agriculture there.

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