HC Deb 06 November 1974 vol 880 cc1055-6
15. Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will conduct a review of relations with all independent countries which in his opinion fail to observe the standards of democracy and the rule of law which he applied in deciding to hold a review of relations with South Africa.

Mr. Hattersley

No, Sir. Our relations with all countries are conducted, and reconsidered when necessary, in the light of British interests.

Mr. Lloyd

As the Foreign Secretary and others have made it clear today that the privilege of economic and social, let alone military, association with the United Kingdom is to depend upon very strict conformity with or observance of the United Nations Charter of Human Rights, will the hon. Gentleman make it clear on what grounds he discriminates between the alleged moral deficiencies of apartheid—[HON. MEMBERS: "Alleged?"] Yes, alleged—and the moral deficiencies of the other 70 so-called régimes in the United Nations, all of whom accept, perhaps in some cases only, patterns of political, legal and moral performance which are inferior to those of South Africa? We are entitled to know.

Mr. Hattersley

Her Majesty's Government are opposed to the violation of human rights wherever they occur. The Prime Minister made that clear in the House on 13th June and the Foreign Secretary made it equally clear in the House on 27th March. Our policy on this matter and our attitude to it is not in question. Equally, we believe that all those régimes about which the hon. Gentleman speaks should be in the United Nations: we apply the policy of universality to them. However, on the hon. Gentleman's comments on apartheid in South Africa, if he does not understand the depth of detestation on this side of the House for all forms of racialism, and particularly the form practised in South Africa, he understands neither the Government nor the Labour Party.

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