§ Q3. Mr. Temple-Morris
asked the Prime Minister if he will dismiss the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
§ Mr. Temple-Morris
On the subject of Rhodesia, is the Lord President aware that the Foreign Secretary is in danger of alienating not only Mr. Smith but also the Patriotic Front, which yesterday described the Foreign Secretary, somewhat alarmingly, as both Machiavellian and bloodthirsty? Does he agree that the most encouraging signs in this dreadful crisis are the efforts being made within Rhodesia to effect an internal settlement?
§ Mr. Foot
I do not accept any of the strictures that the hon. Gentleman, if he is purveying—or purporting to purvey—the views of others, is seeking to cast on my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. I believe that the proposals that he has put forward are still being considered by all the parties concerned. Certainly we are not withdrawing those proposals, and I think that while they are there it would be very unwise for hon. Members to comment upon them in the manner in which the hon. Gentleman has done.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Can the Lord President shed any light on a suggestion made by the Foreign Secretary in a speech to Scotland, in Edinburgh, on Friday, 25th November, that somehow or other a Scottish Assembly would be consulted in an institutional way on British policy towards the European Common Market?
§ Mr. Foot
I know that my hon. Friend studies these matters and follows them with the greatest care. We have had discussions in the House already on that aspect of the Scotland Bill. There are still to be discussed clauses in the Bill which will refer to this matter, and I am sure that my hon. Friend will raise the matter then.
§ Mr. Tapsell
While the future of the Foreign Secretary is under discussion, has the Leader of the House drawn the attention of the Prime Minister to this country's treaty obligation to its EEC partners to modify our exchange control regulations by the end of this year to ensure that our firms are free to undertake direct investment in Community countries, and are these obligations going to be honoured?
§ Mr. Grocott
Is it not becoming increasingly and tragically obvious that the people of Zimbabwe will achieve their freedom only by fighting for it? Is it not important, therefore, that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary should have consultations to see how we might best financially and materially assist the liberation movements which are fighting for their freedom?
§ Mr. John Davies
I welcome the reproof of the Leader of the House to the hon. Member for Lichfield and Tam-worth (Mr. Grocott) for his really dangerous assertion that this matter can be settled only by warfare, but may I return to the answer which the right hon. Gentleman gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Mr. Temple-Morris)? Can he assure the House that if the Foreign Secretary sees Mr. Nkomo he will press upon him the need 1123 to take an active part in the discussions, in which Muzorewa, Sithole and Chirau have all now joined, with the Rhodesian Front Government, with a view to a peaceful settlement in Rhodesia?
§ Mr. Foot
Since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs took the initiative with all the different parties in seeking to open up the discussions that could lead to that settlement, I do not think that it is necessary for me to give him that incitement. Of course, in his discussions with all parties, he is seeking to guide them towards a peaceful solution.