HC Deb 18 February 1976 vol 905 c1270
8. Mr. Les Huckfield

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice is given by consular officials to British journalists in South Africa about South African law on Press freedom.

Mr. Ennals

Consular officials are not qualified, nor are they permitted, to interpret local law. None of our consular officials—or other members of the Diplomatic Service—in South Africa has been asked for or has offered advice about local legislation affecting Press freedom

Mr. Huckfield

Might not some of our consular officials explain to British journalists in South Africa that the Republic has such a managed news service that many South Africans will never know what is taking place in Angola? Could they not point to the example of Mr. Donald Wood, the editor of the East London Daily Dispatch, who found himself in prison for six months for writing a story about the South African Special Branch?

Mr. Ennals

The short answer is that journalists visiting South Africa should find out the facts for themselves. I am sure they do.

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