HC Deb 10 March 1976 vol 907 cc404-6
9. Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to pay an official visit to Zambia and Zaire.

Mr. Ennals

My right hon. Friend has no plans at present to do so.

Mr. Farr

If the right hon. Gentleman wished to do something really useful and, moreover, had a bit of taxpayers' money to splash around, would it not be far better for him to visit these two countries to see how he can help them in their great economic distress rather than pour taxpayers' money down the drain in assisting the terrorists in Mozambique?

Mr. Ennals

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have had the opportunity very recently of discussions with the Zambian Foreign Minister and the Foreign Minister from Zaire, who also met the Prime Minister on his visit. We are very conscious of the economic problems that face both of those countries. We have decided to give additional aid both to Zambia and Zaire, and we are ready to provide assistance also for reconstruction in Angola, which has suffered very much. We are now in discussion with our Community partners on this question.

Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler

In the Minister's discussions with leaders of those countries, did he make it clear that the future of the white minority in Rhodesia is essential to a negotiated settlement? Will he also consider tying future financial aid and technical assistance to the maintenance of the constitutional rights of the white minority in any future Government of an independent State of Zimbabwe?

Mr. Ennals

I think that it would be accepted not only by the leaders of the two countries concerned but certainly by the leaders of the ANC in Rhodesia that a proper future for Rhodesia would include a vital place for the white members of the community as well as for the Africans. Mr. Nkomo has made this clear, as have other representatives of the ANC. Certainly if an agreement can be reached for an orderly transfer to majority rule in a brief period, I am certain that Her Majesty's Government will be prepared to look seriously at ways in which we can help to see that it becomes a multiracial community.

Mr. Spearing

In view of the reports concerning the relationship of the guerrilla leaders with Mr. Sithole and Bishop Muzorewa, if the Minister goes to Zambia will he take steps to establish relations between British representatives in Zambia and those guerrilla leaders?

Mr. Ennals

That is not a very easy task to perform at present. We have maintained an effective relationship with the different strands of the ANC representing the interests of the people of Rhodesia. We are obviously not in touch with the guerrillas.