HC Deb 23 October 1972 vol 843 cc763-5
11. Mr. Robert Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Smith régime about the withdrawal of passports from Bishop Muzorewa and the Reverend Canaan Banana.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

None, Sir. As I have made clear on many occasions, we have no control over developments inside Rhodesia, and cannot bring about the return of the Rhodesian passports in this case.

Mr. Hughes

Does not the Foreign Secretary agree that there is a great difference between the way in which Africans are treated in Rhodesia and the way in which Rhodesians are treated in this country? Is it not time he took vigorous action to protect the rights of Africans in Rhodesia? Will he make clear that the sporting emissaries of the Smith regime, such as the present touring hockey team, are not welcome here, and will he act vigorously to stop such people coming to Britain?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The hon. Gentleman's appeal to me would be more convincing if his Government had been able to do anything in similar circumstances. We cannot bring about the return of Rhodesian passports and that is what the Question is about.

Mr. Callaghan

I appreciate that there is a limit on what the Foreign Secretary can do, but he can speak. Is it not the case that there will be no adequate settlement in Rhodesia unless people like those mentioned in the Question are able to express their views and put the views of the millions they represent? Cannot the right hon. Gentleman express to the Rhodesian Government the British Government's concern that leaders of this sort, who have proved their worth, should be denied passports?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Mr. Smith is well aware that our feeling is that leaders of African opinion must be able to put their views to others and that there ought to be a settlement which has the assent of those leaders of African opinion. But passports are an internal matter for Rhodesia on which I cannot influence Mr. Smith.

Mr. Robert Taylor

Is my right hon Friend aware that the actions of Mr. Smith's Government in Rhodesia contrast very favourably with the actions of President Amin in Uganda?

Mr. Hughes


Mr. Peter Archer

If there are ever again negotiations for a settlement with the Rhodesian régime, will the Foreign Secretary ensure that it is an essential condition that human rights there, such as the freeing of political prisoners and freedom of movement, will be restored?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

If the hon. and learned Gentleman had read the proposed settlement I made with Mr. Smith in November, he would have seen that part of it was a declaration of human rights. I am afraid that will be absent so long as there is no settlement.

18. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why Her Majesty's Government decided to abstain in the Security Council vote upon the resolution reaffirming its decision to use mandatory sanctions against Southern Rhodesia submitted by Guinea, Somalia and Sudan; why a further resolution was rejected with the United Kingdom casting the only negative vote and thus exercising the veto; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The United Kingdom representative abstained on Security Council Resolution 320 since it did not contain any proposals likely to help the United Nations in supervising the implementation of existing sanctions. The further draft resolution and two of its paragraphs which were put to the vote separately were vetoed because they called for no independence before majority African rule and contained unacceptable conditions about how Her Majesty's Government should handle the Fifth Principle.

Mr. Pavitt

Is it not shameful that in the forum of the world with the world's eyes upon Her Majesty's Government we seem to be placating and appeasing the rebel Mr. Smith? Will the right hon. Gentleman take much firmer action, especially when the honour of Britain is at stake, over such issues at the United Nations and take steps to step up sanctions and to bring the maximum amount of pressure to get this rebellion stopped?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

When I was at the United Nations I did not find in relation to our Rhodesian policy any question of the United Nations members questioning the honour of the British policy. On the contrary, I think that most of them expected us not to accept the Pearce Report. When we did, they were surprised and, I think, thought that our course of action was honourable. I have to point out in the United Nations from time to time that the only thing we are trying to do is to get Rhodesia back into the comity of nations in an honourable way and to give it independence so that it can take part in international affairs again in an honourable way. That is not always understood in that assembly.

Sir Gilbert Longden

When discussing mandatory sanctions, has the United Nations ever deliberated which is the more worthy of having mandatory sanctions imposed against it—a country like Uganda which expels citizens who wish to stay there or a country like Russia which retains those who wish to get out?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I doubt whether the United Nations would make those rather nice distinctions.

Mr. Leslie Huckfield

Are not large-scale violations of sanctions being perpetrated by British firms through South Africa? Has the Foreign Secretary given no consideration to the tightening of sanctions? Has he no further action in mind to discriminate against firms, particularly British firms, which are still in Rhodesia?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

If the hon. Gentleman has any evidence of breaches which he can place before me, I will consider it. If anybody has any evidence that a firm, British or any other nationality, is breaking sanctions, it is reported to the United Nations and from that moment on it is for the United Nations to take action.