HC Deb 30 April 1975 vol 891 cc444-5
2. Mr. Lane

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on his efforts to secure the transfer to the United Kingdom of the assets of United Kingdom citizens expelled from Uganda in 1972.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Miss Joan Lestor)

We continue to press the Ugandan Government on this matter, and will seek an early opportunity to renew our discussions.

Mr. Lane

Will the hon. Lady keep in mind that nothing will do more to encourage the Ugandan Asians who are now working and making a useful contribution to life in this country than a real hope of getting some of their assets out at last? Will the Government now pursue this matter with more energy and urgency than hitherto?

Miss Lector

As the hon. Gentleman is aware, officials went to Uganda last year for discussions. Our acting high commissioner saw the President as recently as 18th April. We have no reason to believe that the door is closed. I take the hon. Gentleman's point that people who have come here from Uganda are very anxious, but I can assure him that we are not dragging our feet.

Mr. Kershaw

Will the hon. Lady nevertheless bear in mind the fact that there is an impression abroad that in pressing the claims in Uganda, Tanzania and Zaire this Government are some what less than anxious to protect the rights of our nationals?

Miss Lestor

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not in any way contribute to such an impression if it exists abroad, but would always say, as I am saying how, that in all these countries we are doing everything in our power to put pressure on the Governments to get the matters settled. It is a matter of fact that some Governments have made it clear that they intend to settle but they are not able to settle at this moment.

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