HC Deb 26 June 1974 vol 875 cc1542-3
13. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Comonwealth Affairs if he will undertake an official tour of the Middle Eastern capitals.

14. Lord Balniel

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement about progress being made towards resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute.

Mr. Ennals

My right hon. Friend has no plans at present for visiting Middle Eastern capitals.

Mr. Tebbit

Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that the House will be disappointed to hear that? Will he consider asking for a change of policy on this matter, so that the Foreign Secretary can tour these Middle East capitals and make a list of those which he thinks are suitably democratic and those which are undemocratic and then tell British companies so that they may know with whom they may trade and with whom they may not? Then, perhaps, we could scrub some of the possibilities of trade and put some more men out of work, like the constituents mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford (Mr. Churchill).

Mr. Ennals

There is no need for my right hon. Friend to visit the Middle East, although I hope that the opportunity will come; I said that he had no immediate plans. I assure the hon. Gentleman that trade relations with countries in the Middle East are encouraging. In several countries there is a great desire—which we are encouraging—for trade relations and for the use of British technology. The Government, and British firms, are signing valuable contracts which will be to the advantage of the employment situation here as a result of actions taken in the last few months.