HC Deb 28 February 1973 vol 851 c1472
2. Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will be represented at the Conference sponsored by the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity on Colonialism and Apartheid in Oslo during the month of April.

Lord Balniel

No final decision has yet been taken on whether to nominate experts to attend this conference.

Miss Lestor

May I strongly urge the hon. Gentleman to consider sending somebody to this conference? Is he not aware that if the British Government boycott this conference, which is supported by the OAU and the United Nations—and let us remember that we shall be boycotting it at a time when Britain is celebrating the Anglo-Portuguese alliance—this will confirm the suspicions of many people that Britain is likely to be on the wrong side of the struggle against apartheid in southern Africa?

Lord Balniel

I am not sure that that would be the conclusion reached by other countries, but we have not yet reached a final decision. We abstained on the resolution to set up the conference because we were doubtful whether it would make a useful contribution to the solution of South Africa's problems. But, as I have said, no final decision has yet been taken.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will the largest example of colonialism that still exists in the world, namely, that of the Soviet Union, be discussed at this conference? That might determine our attitude.

Lord Balniel

I do not think that the agenda for the conference has yet been settled.