HC Deb 26 June 1974 vol 875 cc1539-40
11. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement following his recent official meeting with a delegation of South American politicians and Ministers who visited London to attend the unveiling ceremony of a statue of Simon Bolivar.

Miss Lestor

My right hon. Friend and I were delighted to have the opportunity of meeting the many distinguished visitors from the six Bolivarian countries. Their gift of the statue and its unveiling on such a prominent site illustrated the historic ties between our countries and provided a unique occasion to strengthen the good will that exists between us.

Mr. Pardoe

Is the hon. Lady aware that South America has had more experience of hyper-inflation than any other area in the world in recent years and therefore affords a suitable study if we are trying to combat the catastrophe that will come to the United Kingdom in the coming months? What arrangements is she making to ensure that members of the Government and the Civil Service visit South America to find out either how to combat hyper-inflation or how to govern a banana republic?

Miss Lestor

If the hon. Gentleman thinks that he can learn about these matters from those countries, perhaps members of the Liberal Party would take that up, study it and make recommendations in the light of what they discover.

Mr. Amery

Did the hon. Lady and her right hon. Friend take the opportunity to consult the distinguished visitors about the situation in Chile and, if so, what advice did they give?

Miss Lestor

For myself—I think that this applies to all of us—apart from general discussions which occasionally touched on Chile but were not directly connected with it, the answer is that no advice was given.