§ 3.30 p.m.
Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles Winchester)
I beg to move,That this House regrets the failure of Her Majesty's Government to recognise the threat to world peace posed by Soviet adventurism in Africa.I am glad to have the opportunity to debate this question, because it probably has more bearing on the eventual survival of Britain and the West than many of the internal domestic issues that we discuss in this House day after day and night after night. If I had chosen "The Pencourt File" for debate today, these green Benches would have been packed to capacity.
I should like to start by outlining the facts about Soviet adventurism and how it threatens the interests of Britain and of her allies. I shall next discuss what could constructively be done to offset some of these Soviet activities and why I believe that the present Government's policies are at best feeble and misguided and at worst disastrously wrong. But I hope that it will be a constructive debate and not a slanging match. I agree with the saying that one should attack the measures and not the men.
I have here some maps which I shall ask to be placed on the Table. I never like navigating without a chart. When we look at the map, the most surprising fact that we see is the vast extent of the total effort that the Soviet Union is deploying. There is hardly any part of Africa in which the Soviet has not got its fingers in the pie, stirring up trouble wherever it can. As Marxist-Leninists, the Russians will take advantage of any revolutionary opportunity that comes along, even if they did not create it.
Starting in, for instance, the Horn of Africa, which is the latest trouble spot, we see a huge airlift of weapons sent to Ethiopia for use against Somalia and the deployment of both Cuban troops and Russian technicians. There must be a lesson to be learnt here, by Somalia at least, about the reliability of the Soviets as allies. Only this morning we read a headline saying that "Russian generals lead Ethiopians against Somalis".
If the Soviets regain possession of Berbera—and they are already consoli 1020 dated in Aden—they will in effect be able to sell tickets for the Suez Canal, as well as being able to reach out and have very effective control of the entrance to the Persian Gulf.
In Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, Soviet arms are being supplied in massive quantities for training and the equipment of terrorists to operate in Rhodesia.
In Angola, the Marxist MPLA has gained a complete stranglehold with the help of vast Soviet armaments. Angola was conquered by a 12,000-man Cuban force sent in to do the Russians' dirty work for them. It was a fully equipped expeditionary force including paratroops, artillery with truck-mounted rocket launchers, tank battalions and anti-aircraft units. It also included political police units. The Cubans must now be recognised as the Soviet Union's foreign legion. Not a finger was lifted in the West to stop this invasion.
In addition to the Soviet naval expansion, the Soviet merchant fleet has been growing at a rapid rate. In the past five years it has added 5 million tons to its fleet.
Direct Aeroflot air routes have been established from Moscow to Conakry, Accra, Luanda and Maputo. By these means, weapons, equipment, instructors and political agents are being poured into Africa in an endless stream. Similarly, guerrillas and agents are being taken to Russia and other Soviet bloc countries for intensive courses in terrorism, sabotage, bomb-making and the rest of the sinister paraphernalia of the politics of violence. Terrorists in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, know that they can look to Moscow for the weapons and the know-how of violence.
Apart from these military adventures, undertaken either directly or by proxy, tactics of subversion and the support of so-called liberation movements are being actively pursued throughout the African continent. One in three of the official representatives in 35 African countries is a member of the KGB or the GRU, the military intelligence corps.
Moscow envisages a Marxist revolutionary regime ultimately emerging in Rhodesia. Robert Mugabe, the leader of the "Zimbabwe People's Army"—I speak in inverted commas—talks ofconsolidating our gains by the gun.1021 Indeed, Soviet doctrine and propaganda make no secret of Moscow's ambition to set up a constellation, right across the continent, of pro-Soviet Marxists States in black Africa, thus opening the way for the final armed struggle, as they say, and the elimination of the present rulers and all Western influence in the Republic of South Africa.
A number of major threats to Britain and to the West arise from this Soviet strategy. The first is the risk of denial of raw materials. The Soviet casts greedy eyes on the immense mineral wealth of Southern Africa, which includes chrome, gold and industrial diamonds. It is important to make a specific point about these minerals, that they are essential for our Western advanced technology in peacetime just as much as in war. I am not talking only about war.
Already, Soviet influence in Mozambique and Angola could deny mineral exports to Western countries. The Soviets are already in a position to dictate to landlocked Malawi, Zambia and Zaire by throttling their exports.
The second major threat is the stategic threat to Western shipping on the Cape route, and in particular the oil from the Persian Gulf to Britain, Western Europe and America. About 24,000 ocean ships pass to and fro round the Cape each year. That is one every 20 minutes day and night, round the clock.
The specific threat is of the denial to the West of a large part of its supplies of uranium—
§ Mr. Frank Allaun (Salford, East)
Is not the hon. and gallant Gentleman rather like his illustrious predecessor, Nelson, in that he can see the Soviet naval threat but has a blind eye for the American Navy? I do not like either, but is it not a fact that there are 18 American aircraft carriers as against only one such Soviet vessel?
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
I am very flattered to be compared with Admiral Lord Nelson. The hon. Gentleman is like so many radicals. He has both his feet planted firmly in mid-air.
I was saying that the very specific threat is the denial to the West of a large part of its supplies of uranium. In today's world energy is the all-important economic factor. It clearly makes sense from 1022 the Soviet point of view to impede the development of nuclear generating stations in the West, particularly as it is already in a position to throttle the alternative oil supply routes. Incidentally, while on the subject of uranium, this explains another manifestation of Soviet tactics close to home—the way Soviet sympathisers and their dupes in the West lose no opportunity to protest against nuclear power developments, topically even Wind-scale.
What all these threats in sum amount to is that a loss of Western control over the Cape sea route and the Indian Ocean would cut the world vertically in half and would give Russia complete hegemony over the three main continents—I exclude China—Europe, Asia and Africa. That is the scale of the possibilities we are discussing.
I come to the nitty gritty. Faced with these threats, what should British policy be? I want to be as constructive as possible and not just to criticise for criticism's sake, although, my God, there will be plenty to criticise. I suggest that there are three specific lines of policy which could be followed and which must be followed if we in the West are to avoid finding ourselves completely at the mercy of the Soviet rulers within the space of a few years without, necessarily, any war being fought.
The first thing we must do is to recognise the threats to peace and the extent of them and explain them to the public. It is a remarkable thing but I do not think that there has been a foreign affairs debate in this House for many months. We are always looking inwards. We are like a giant Welfare State Buddha sitting gazing at our own navel. Surely a valid, genuine and understandable threat is the only justification for any democratic country incurring expenditure on foreign policy. I see that the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Allaun) has left the Chamber. I should have liked to make that point to him.
All too easily the relative ease and comfort of life in the West anaesthetises public opinion and prevents it from noticing the wounds being inflicted upon it. There have been one or two very good BBC programmes recently on this subject. But either the Government do not know the facts, because their intelligence 1023 services have been run down, or else they know the facts and are concealing them from the public. One of those propositions must be true. I wonder which it is. Perhaps the Minister can deal with the point when he replies.
In either case it is disgracefully wrong to try to kick all of this under the carpet and go on with a series of massive defence cuts. Similarly, it is grotesque for the Government even to contemplate a reduction in our representation overseas. If the shop is in a shaky way financially, one does not withdraw goods from the window or leave only the dusty ones on display.
Secondly, I believe that we must recognise that the threat from Soviet adventurism is not confined to the central front of Europe. If you or I, Mr. Speaker, were sitting in the Kremlin—and it is not scenario I can visualise very easily—and if we decided to have a go at the West, surely the last thing we would do would be to send great armies marching—left! right!—headlong into the plains of Europe, with snow all over their boots. This could result only in a nuclear Armageddon. Instead, being cunning people, we should try feints and probing attacks in places where the West is weakest.
It is arguable that the massive build-up of Soviet armies, tanks and aircraft against NATO in Europe may be no more than a gigantic deception plan, designed to keep NATO's flimsy forces concentrated where they will be least effective. It is on the flanks that NATO is weakest, and in this context the true southern flank of NATO is the continent of Africa and the sea routes around it.
§ Mr. Stanley Newens (Harlow)
I am following carefully the remarks of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. Will he confirm that it would be wrong for the West, in these circumstances, to reinforce in Europe? Does that mean that the argument that we should spend additional resources on reinforcing Europe—which I hear advanced from the Tory Benches—is not one to which he subscribes?
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
That is an interesting point. I am about to deal with it. The hon. Gentleman may be rather surprised if he will bear with me and listen to what I have to say. I am making the point that the fundamental 1024 error of British policy over the last decade has been the withdrawal from east of Suez and the Cape route. For this I believe one man is primarily responsible, and that is the current Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is an irony of fate that the right hon. Gentleman has now moved to a position where he has his hands on the financial strings which he has been pulling around the throat of the Armed Forces like an assassin's cord. The present Ministers in the Ministry of Defence are only little fish flapping around in the shallow waters after the tide has gone out.
§ Mr. Roderick MacFarquhar (Belper)
It is important that we should get the record straight here. It is a fact that my right hon. Friend the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, formerly the Secretary of State for Defence, was against the withdrawal from east of Suez and gave way only to the Cabinet majority.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
If the right hon. Gentleman was against it, he showed his resistance in a very odd way, for instance, by making a speech in Canberra in February 1967 saying that we did intend to remain a world Power, in the military sense, for the benefit of the audience there and then coming straight home and scrapping the entire aircraft carrier programme. The Government no longer even pretend to be able to do anything to protect the British merchant shipping fleet anywhere outside the limits of the NATO area. If that is wrong I would be terribly grateful to hear the Minister tell me so.
Thirdly, we must admit that to retrieve anything from the complete impotence into which we have descended will be a major task. It will involve, first of all, recognition of the fact that military and political threats to the Alliance are not confined to the NATO area. Had NATO been able to make even a modest commitment of arms and expertise to countering the revolutionary forces in Southern Africa in the 'sixties and 'seventies, Mozambique and Angola would still be under Western control. The flabby response of the Western Powers to this Soviet challenge in Africa is even more perturbing than the Marxist challenge itself. Have we heard any word about this from the Government? Not a word. All we have had has been instant and 1025 craven recognition of the regime in Angola, trailing along behind events.
Fourthly, we must drastically reassess our position in NATO. We should progressively withdraw from our national strategy of keeping a large standing army in Germany. Instead we should substitute as our contribution to NATO a much larger maritime capability. I would call this the "blue water" school of thought. I hope that the House will acquit me of speaking with a one-Service voice in this matter. Historically, a Continental army has not always proved to be the best strategy for Britain, whereas looking to the future it is clear that Soviet ambitions have been built up year after year on the basis of a vastly increasing presence at sea, in terms of naval forces, merchant shipping, oceanic fishing fleets and hydro-graphic exploration vessels.
Having said this, I accept that the change to the policy which I am personally advocating is one which could be undertaken only step by step in agreement with our allies, particularly Germany. At present the Royal Navy, like the other forces, has been cut to the bone—or, as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has said, below the bone. We can do nothing about this in our present posture.
Fifthly, I agree that the problem we are discussing today is primarily not military but political. The trouble with debates of this sort is that in due course one always tends to escalate it into a situation where a shooting war has broken out. I do not believe that that will happen. But it is very difficult to separate the military and the political aspects, for when we are dealing with an adversary who believes that all power flows out of the barrel of a gun, it is not sufficient just to equip ourselves with kid gloves. The object of all defence policy nowadays must be the prevention of war, but this cannot be achieved empty-handed.
I now turn to some political aspects, many of which are very topical today. Fundamentally, I do not accept the premise that a race war is inevitable in Africa. I take the view that there is nothing for the races to fight about in the first place, and that a multi-racial society is perfectly possible. Unfortunately, the present Government, if they are to be judged by the policies of the Foreign Secretary, seem to take the other view. 1026 In the very few months that he has been Foreign Secretary—a very high position—the right hon. Gentleman has gained the reputation right round the world of believing that in Africa only black is beautiful. Certainly his book "The Politics of Defence" does nothing to dispel the fears of those who are worried about his objectivity in this matter.
I put it to the House that it would be much more constructive, and much more in accordance with British influence, to recognise that the astonishing progress made in Africa during the last 100 years has been essentially a joint effort between black and white, and that the best future lies along that same path. On this basis, I deplore the Labour Government's handling of the whole Rhodesia issue, and also their policy towards the Republic of South Africa.
We who live in Europe all too often lack any basic understanding of the realities of life on the African continent. Africa, Mr. Speaker, is not Hampstead. By all means progressively bring Africans into the political life of their country, but of 49 independent nations in Africa, 29 have one-party civilian Governments and 15 are ruled by the military. That is out of only 49. Therefore it is understandable if South Africa, for example, should ask which African country it is being asked to emulate.
Next, there is the danger that the Foreign Secretary's words, spoken on his way to Moscow, that there is no difference between British and Soviet aims in Rhodesia, may, under the present Government, be all too true. That worries me a great deal, for the Anglo-American plan, if implemented as it now stands, would surely produce only chaos, upon which Soviet policy thrives. If the guerrilla forces—which the right hon. Gentleman promotes to the status of liberation armies—were to be made responsible for interim law and order, rivalries would develop and intimidation would be such that no meaningful elections or referendum could be held. Further, if Lord Carver were to be installed as commissioner, he would need an efficient bodyguard or palace guard, which I think would have to consist of British troops. Soon the risk of his being threatened—or even just debagged—would involve the need for more troops. Thus I think that the Anglo-American 1027 plan would lead to an escalating commitment for British troops, and I wonder whether this is something which the present British Government would like to see.
Unfortunately, to the extent that Russia's aim is to eliminate the white man, the Foreign Secretary's commitment to coexistence between the races in Africa is not sufficiently explicit. If examples are needed, we have last week's hobnobbing with Messrs. Nkomo and Mugabe in Malta. We have also the suspicions, very widely held, that it was a telephone call from the Foreign Office to Bishop Muzorewa which went close to sabotaging the talks in Salisbury. We have the right hon. Member the Minister of State for Overseas Development handing millions of pounds to Marxist Mozambique. We have double standards in the United Nations, which did not mind about elections in Angola but insists on having them in Namibia. We have the British representative at the United Nations supporting the arms embargo against South Africa.
This arms embargo must be a world record for absurdity and cynicism. Whatever one thinks of South Africa's internal policy, how can it possibly be said that frigates, submarines or maritime reconnaissance aircraft can have any bearing on internal policies? There are not even any navigable rivers in which these vessels could operate. Yet these ships, aircraft and submarines are the very items which are essential for keeping track of Soviet movements at sea, and in the last resort they are what is needed for protecting our own British trade routes. Surely Western nations are under no obligation to commit suicide by denying themselves access to what is essential for their own security.
Next, in what possible way can British interests have been served by the abrogation of the Simonstown Agreement? In fact, the agreement as it stood was enormously to the benefit of Britain and the free world as a whole. It laid down a command structure for war, and provided port facilities for our navies. It provided a very useful outlet for our exports of naval ships and equipment—and the shipbuilding industry is on its knees. It was a source of vital intelligence material con 1028 cerning Soviet activities at sea. Why is it that the Government subsidise the building of ships for Poland—and now even for Vietnam—but apparently cannot even deliver ships for the Royal Navy? What sort of myopia is that?
Having been in naval intelligence myself, I will not seek this afternoon to embarrass the Government by asking whether their intelligence source from the Cape is still in use and whether a secure on-line cypher system is in operation between London and Simonstown. I will content myself by saying that if it is not, it ought to be in use. I am suspicious about this, because the Labour Government were willing to play ducks and drakes with all the advantages of the Simonstown Agreement in order to satisfy their own ideological obsessions or, more accurately, the ideological obsessions of the Tribune Group, by whose grace they stay in power.
One thing is certain, and that is that in dealing with tough and determined people such as the South African Government—we can even call them stubborn people—ostracism will never be a successful policy.
Britain should surely seek to point out to all the newly independent African States that Soviet influence will lead inevitably to the loss of their own newfound and valued freedom, as surely as sparks fly upwards.
To sum up, one sees today intense Soviet activity deployed against the interests of the West in almost every part of the vast African continent. Britain cannot be expected to offset this single-handed, of course. But my argument is that the Labour Government's policy shows no realisation whatsoever of the threat, no effective action to offset this Soviet influence, and that, in so far as they have a coherent policy at all, it seems to be one which can only tempt the Soviet to go in for further adventures. Such an attitude is part of a doomsday scenario for Western civilisation.
§ 3.58 p.m.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)
The whole House holds the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) in such esteem, and listens to him with such affection that, although we may not accept what he tells us, nevertheless we enjoy 1029 listening to him. I mean that quite sincerely. I do not wish, therefore, to attempt a tour d'horizon or to follow him on the world venture on which he has taken us this afternoon.
I know the hon. and gallant Gentleman's fears, but I want to suggest this to him. Every year, at the conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, whether it is held in Colombo, New Delhi or elsewhere, in my recollection the first item on the agenda is "Indian Ocean-zone of peace." I am as happy as the hon. and gallant Gentleman—I think that he is happy today—at any time to attack the Soviet Union for its bad behaviour using naval bases in Aden or in Berbera. He will be pleased to know that the Somalis asked the Russians to leave Berbera. I do not know how long it is since the hon. and gallant Gentleman was there.
Also, like my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Allaun), I think that we can pick on the Americans, too, where they are in former bases of ours in the Persian Gulf such as Bahrain, with "Kittiwake" or any other naval vessels. However, today we are looking at the exploits—if that is the term—and the behaviour of the USSR in the continent of Africa.
I begin at once by saying that I shall be attacking the Soviet Union and its behaviour there in one part, without wandering all over the place—the Horn of Africa. I shall not comment any longer on what the hon. and gallant Gentleman has said about the future of Britain. It was a lot of poppycock that he talked about the future survival of my society and his society in the face of the behaviour of the Soviet Union.
I ask what the Soviet Union is doing in Africa, and particularly in the Horn of Africa. Why should the Russians be there at all? I would have no objection to them being there if, like another world super-State with Communist ideology, China, they were there for a particular purpose. If I go about Africa, I find the Chinese building dams, highways, the Tan-Zam line and dealing with aquatic farming and whatever one cares to mention; to add some cubits of stature to the status of the local black indigenous people. But the Soviet Union does not do that.
1030 In Mogadishu I found that flying from Aden to Addis Ababa with supplies are over 200 aeroplanes. I think that figure is about correct. The Christian Science Monitor talks about 225 aeroplanes. The Mig's and tanks are uncrated within the Peoples Democratic Soviet Republic of Yemen and they are flown from there into Addis, Duridawah and elsewhere.
I do not want to go into wider spheres of oil, detente and so on, least of all the Nile waters. Whoever holds Addis and the old Abyssinia controls the Nile waters in Egypt and the Sudan to the north.
Let me look in some detail at Soviet behaviour in the Somali-Ethiopian war, in which I have been slightly involved. I hope to be fair, and certainly I shall be factual, as I always hope to be. What is the Soviet Union doing on the battlefield? I do not mind the Soviet Union or the Chinese being in Africa if they are there to build dams, highways and so on. But I do not want Cubans or Russians in an African war—any more than I want my people in one. If the white imperialists or settlers have got themselves out—and they are being got out by the thousands, and I hope quicker than sometimes is the case in Rhodesia and elsewhere—the Soviets should stay out like any other white European imperialist power they are getting themselves in, and aiding a fellow Marxist State. Mengistu's misdeeds there are bad as, if not worse than, those of Amin in Kampala. I say that with care and reflection.
Are the Soviets testing their long-distance capability for a war at a distance, or merely putting on an act to convince black African States that they had better keep in line and not do too much in the Organisation of African Unity in talking about this? I am shocked by the behaviour of the Good Services Commission, or any other committee of the OAU, by saying nothing or very little about what is happening in the Horn. Why are they so quiet? The OAU—I know many people in it—has plenty to say about ourselves in Southern Africa or elsewhere, but it has nothing to say about the Horn of Africa.
The Soviet navy has been shelling Massowa. It is a fact of life that there are between a minimum of 3,000 and a maximum of 6,000 Cubans or Russians 1031 in Ethiopia. No one has denied that. It is also a fact of life that over 200 aircraft have been flying out of Aden.
I have long contacts with Somalia. I openly declare my association. I am in sympathy with the Somali people because they have had such a bad deal from ourselves in the past, and they do not want an equally bad or a worse deal from Eastern Europe. I was in Jijiga soon after the 3rd Division of the Ethiopians fled.
The Soviets claim that they have a legalistic basis for being in Ethiopia in that they are going to the aid of a State that has been attacked—in this case, by Somalia. On the surface, it has a very plausible ring indeed, particularly since the OAU is scared to death of these disputes coming before its committees.
What has been the actual course of events in the Horn of Africa? The Somali gained their independence in 1961. The North and the South joined together—Hargeisa and Mogadishu—after long decades of neglect by ourselves in the North and by the Italians in the South. They were immediately wooed by the Soviet Union. The Soviets began pumping in arms. Why? They hoped to fashion for themselves—and they did so in the event—a major naval base on the Red Sea and, of course, a political outpost in Africa at that time. No doubt the Kremlin has always looked south. In this case the Soviets were looking for a stepping stone into Ethiopia, but of course, the Americans were there. I make no more comment about the Americans than to say that they have literally spent over the years almost as much as the Marshall Plan by pumping money into Ethiopia.
The Marxist clique then took over Addis. Mengistu and others are now in power. Moscow, cold bloodedly and calculatedly, then looked at the map and said that Addis was a better centre than Mogadishu for fanning out and moving into other States—Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, Uganda and Kenya; whichever neighbouring State one cares to mention.
Anyone who disagrees about that had better look at a map. Whatever map one looks at—a phrase used by the hon. and gallant Gentleman—the atlas will tell one that Mogadishu was then left alone.
1032 Now I come to the Ogaden. It is overwhelmingly Somali—99 per cent. The Ethiopians took nothing into it and left nothing behind them. The Somali there are a 100 per cent. ethnic type. They have a nomadic way of life which no one else has. They have their own language and faith. I say that the Somali are the only nation State in Africa. This was the homeland of the Somali, of their poets and past leaders, including the so-called Mad Mullah. He was not mad at all. He was almost as important as General Von Lettow who led us a dance in the Tanganyika bush in the First World War. His statue, in marble, is on the top of a hill—near Parliament in Mogadishu. To our Scots colleagues from north of the Tweed, he was a Somali Bonny Prince Charlie, but he was more successful.
§ Mr. Newens
While not for one moment attempting to justify the complete disregard of human rights by the Mengistu Government, I am anxious that my hon. Friend should make clear whether he is justifying the invasion of the Ogaden by the Somalis. Does he not agree that if he once justifies this, Kenya and many other areas Djibouti as well, could equally be claimed by Somalia, and this principle itself could be used to justify complete anarchy in Africa as a whole? Will not he agree that at Harar there are other people within the Ogaden who are not Somali in their origin?
§ Mr. Johnson
That is a very fair and honest question which is typical of my old colleague. I accept what he is saying. Despite the fact that for a century or more there has been the Western Somali Liberation Force, there is not a puppet government in Jijiga at the moment. Legalistically there is no doubt that the Somalis went over the line on the map. However, without being too long-winded I want to say that the OAU and the United Nations should have dealt with this dispute. I ask my own Government whether they will take this matter to the United Nations and see whether a settlement can be reached at international level.
Emperor Menelik in the 1890s carved up the whole area with white imperialists—with ourselves, the Italians and the French. Coming on to more modern times, in 1954 many hon. Members of this House were stating that the carve 1033 up of the Haud in Western Somalia was a most unfair settlement. Somalia has always had a bad deal at the hands of both white and black imperialists. Some time, sooner or later, the OAU must accept that the lines left on a map by the white man cannot remain for 100, 200 or more years. At some time, sooner rather than later, we must sit down and look at this problem.
This is not a boundary dispute in the sense that other boundary disputes in Africa are. Ogaden is unique, There is no other place like it in Africa. On that basis alone I believe that the OAU has funked its task by not coming to a decision about it. I hope that my own Government will take the matter to the United Nations so that sooner or later a decision will be made. I do not know why the OAU is so pusillanimous about this. It is an area which it should consider bearing in mind all the factors involved.
I know what my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Mr. Newens) is saying. I know that the whole of Africa would be on the slide if we were to accept all the claims based on fiction, fantasy or disputed fact. Of course, there are dozens of cases where the white man went to Africa and simply laid down lines on a map. We have left that behind us. But if we are to start repairing the damage let us start with a good case. I defy any hon. Member to tell me of other cases in Africa where there is such a precedent.
§ Mr. Jim Spicer (Dorset, West)
I have listened with great attention to the hon. Gentleman. I have never heard anyone in this House speak with such authority. My only knowledge lies in the fact that I happened to be at Mogadishu during the riots of 1948 when the Somali people were moving towards independence. Will the hon. Gentleman move forward in time and talk about the problems of Eritrea? He has talked about the bloodiness of the regime in Addis Ababa.
If we now stand back and allow Addis Ababa to re-establish control in Eritrea, are we not handing over the Arab people to a Soviet-Marxist regime which will destroy those people totally? Do not those people fall into the same category as the people of Ogaden? I believe that the people of Eritrea were dealt with by us in exactly the same way as the people 1034 of Ogaden. They were pawns on a map who were allowed to go to Addis Ababa because it suited us at the time. Irrespective of which Government is now in power, is it not now the time for us to stop this happening?
§ Mr. Johnson
With respect, I do not know what the hon. Gentleman's question was. I never talk about a place or about a people that I have never been to or met, otherwise no one would believe what I was saying. I have never known a territory or a people where there has been such affection, intimacy and loyalty between us as the Somalis. That is why I speak as I do. That is why I want to put my small hammer on a nail somewhere. I hope that the Minister will answer some of my comments at the end of the debate.
I want to come on to the future and ask what will happen. Arms are pouring in from Aden. They are going to one side. I was in Mogadishu in October and had talks with the Head of State, President Seyed Barre, Brigadier Suleiman, an old Sandhurst man who was Number Two, Mr. Samatar the Minister of Defence, and others. I listened to them all. The one thing that emerged—I give this message to the House—is that Somalia will go down unless it gets help. There are no bones about that. Somalia is getting some help with the oil money of Saudi and Kuwait and elsewhere.
I do not want this dispute to escalate, because the more escalation there is, the more people are killed. At this moment I completely ignore—which I should not—Eritrea. I do not know that area. I have not been there and, therefore, I cannot talk about it. I am talking about the Somalis.
I know that they cannot stand up and fight week after week and month after month. If the Soviet-Ethiopian offensive does turn the scales, as I believe it will, will Ethiopia stop at the border? It is a big temptation for a country to go on against its heriditary enemies. This is not only a war about a border, it is also a Jihad—because it is between eastern orthodox Christians and Muslims, whom the Christians fear.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that the Russians, who are helping Ethiopia, probably have the objective of getting back 1035 into Berbera and that it is most unlikely that they will stop on the frontier?
§ Mr. Johnson
It is my belief that the Somalis will not allow the Russians into Berbera or anywhere else. They will fight to the end. If the Soviet-Ethiopian-Cuban forces cut through at Tug Wajale and go east along a corridor to the coast and the Indian Ocean, they will take a lot of shifting. These people when on the move can advance 50 miles a day. Hargeisa—the Northern capital—is only 50 miles from the border. That is my fear. In those circumstances will anyone help them?
This issue must be taken to the United Nations. I can see no other place where a debate and discussion can take place between the parties concerned. We might be asked, too. I want this matter to be brought out into the open at the United Nations. Let us see what happens. If not, I believe that the Somalis will go down and that they will be the first skittle. That is the view that was put to me by the Head of State. They are the people who live there. I do not live there. But I am lucky enough to be able to visit the area. That is what they believe. They believe that General Nimeri at Khartoum is the next item on the agenda. I have colleagues here who know Sudan far better than I do and the internecine warfare which has been going on there in the last few years, although I was out there during the civil war.
The whole situation is on the slide. It has escalated. We talk of Vietnam in Asia, which was a bloody business, but we may have an equally bloody blow-up here in the Horn of Africa unless at international level we find some means of halting it.
§ 4.20 p.m.
§ Mr. John Davies (Knutsford)
We are very grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) for giving us the opportunity to debate this important matter today. Equally, I am sure that the whole House is exceedingly grateful to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) for his extraordinary knowledgeable and sensible contribution at this early stage of the debate, which will be of great help to the House.
1036 It is a valuable debate because it brings together a great variety of rather fragmented discussions which we have had in the House over more than a year and which have picked out individual issues in Africa and looked at them in relation to Soviet involvement. This debate gives us an opportunity to look at the position as a whole and to see what lessons there are to learn from our experience in recent times.
I have to highlight the fact that the Opposition have a sense of some unease at the Government's attitude of mind to the whole problem. In his motion my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester refers to a threat to world peace. We have to realise that what has been going on both in Southern Africa and now in the Horn of Africa constitutes a growing threat which seems to be inadequately mirrored by the observations of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary on the issues which have arisen.
I have in mind the right hon. Gentleman's pamphlet, "The Politics of Defence", which seems to have a particularly ambivalent attitude to the question of Soviet involvement in Africa. I think back to his comments in last year's foreign affairs debate, when he indicated that there was no objection to the Soviet Union involving itself in Southern Africa to the extent that it was involving itself. I remember the reported remarks of the right hon. Gentleman in Moscow last October which, although the right hon. Gentleman qualified them recently, still remain on the record as seeming to indicate that he considered that the Soviet Union's objectives in Southern Africa, especially in Rhodesia, were not dissimilar from our own.
It was a source of some relief to me the other day when, in answer to questions arising out of the Private Notice Question asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery), the Foreign Secretary made it clear that what was going on in the Horn of Africa could in no way be seen as any identity of interests with those of the United Kingdom.
The recent remarks that we have had from the right hon. Gentleman and from Ambassador Young following their Malta talks are not reassuring. They seem to indicate that no solution in Rhodesia would be acceptable unless it met with 1037 the acceptance of the Soviet Union. That, again, is au unacceptable proposition to have put forward.
The facts of Soviet involvement in Africa are well known and I do not think to any degree disputed. So I do not believe that on either side of the House there is any argument about what has been happening. We have seen this as a progressive matter for quite a long period. It goes back to the late 1950s when the first involvement took place, largely at that time in West Africa, especially in Guinea. Then it expanded and progressed steadily from there, with relations with Libya and Egypt in North Africa—subsequently in Egypt sharply reversed—and then moving on to the dramatic events of Angola and the involvement of the Cubans as Russian emissaries in Angola.
We have become so accustomed to the presence of Cubans throughout the continent of Africa that we regard them almost as part of the indigenous scene. It is extraordinary to feel that these people, who have been imported literally in their thousands from across the Atlantic, are there increasing the degree of tension and subversion in the countries concerned. Then there were the affairs of Mozambique and the emergence of Frelimo, followed by the involvement of the Soviet Union with the Patriotic Front and the training and equipping of guerrilla forces.
Now, most recently, we have the escalation in a violent way of affairs in the Horn of Africa, to which the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West referred, culminating in the threat, of which so much is said at the moment, of a massive invasion by Ethiopia, and who knows where that may stop?
It is important to see all these various actions and interventions in the story of Africa in the context of the Soviet Union's overall strategy. It is not enough to imagine that they are incidental, individual involvements, each of which happens for separate reasons. That is not my belief. On the contrary, I believe that they are part of a grand strategy, and it is a grand strategy with which we on these Opposition Benches are deeply concerned.
It must be remembered that this involvement is not created by any natural 1038 evolution which we can recognise. The Soviet Union makes every boast of the fact that from its point of view there is no residual inheritance from a colonial era. There is virtually no investment of any substantial kind. Certainly there is no real aid. Therefore, there is none of the normal characteristics of a rational relationship between a developed industrial State and a developing area. Yet there is this growing and progressively more and more important and disturbing activity.
Why is this so? I do not think that it is enough to put it down simply to a permanent wish to embarrass the West. At the same time, the extent of it is too great and the effort is too determined for it to be simply regarded as a feinting or probing tactic.
It is important to examine the causes as well as to assess the fact of this involvement, and it is to those causes that I address myself briefly today.
What are the possible explanations? First, it is argued that it is part of what is called the ideological struggle, and part of the embracing activity that the Soviet Union spells out constantly to try to bring the philosophy in which it ostensibly believes to the world at large and to try to inculcate that philosophy and to challenge the alternative philosophies which we hold dear, namely, the freedom and supremacy of the individual above the State. It is, therefore, perhaps part of the ideological struggle, and that serves in a useful way because it represents a counter-attack against the present charges of the infringement of human rights, and the Soviet Union explains that counterattack as the endeavour to liberate peoples who are ground down under the colonial yoke and all that we have become accustomed to hearing said. It is this propagation of an alternative philosophy which is characteristic of the ideological struggle on which the Soviet Union undoubtedly lays great importance.
That is the first possible explanation. Is it, secondly, part of the Soviet Union's sense of resistance to and resentment of encirclement? Do the Russians really believe that they are at risk from encirclement by countries which are hostile to them? Their history lends some reason to that concern. One must take the situation seriously, but is there any genuine belief that they are running a 1039 risk of attack and aggression from the countries of the West? It seems to me almost impossible to believe that is part of their genuine concern in their involvement in African affairs.
It is a convenient argument if it is used to try to overwhelm or over-awe the West and to justify the immense amount of military expenditure required to do it. One has only to think in terms of the changes in military balance which have taken place even in the course of my parliamentary career to see that that factor has been sensational. We see today's strategic situation in a totally different relationship from the situation that existed seven or eight years ago. The conventional position in relation to central Europe has changed out of all knowledge and the maritime deployment of military expenditure—not just the military naval characteristic but the commercial naval characteristic—has changed fundamentally. Is the sense of encirclement being used as an argument to justify the immense military expenditure which undoubtedly is taking place?
Furthermore, one is led to wonder whether it is part of an aggressive intent, and whether the Soviet Union means to carry on live war against the Western world. It has not been my belief that that is the case, but it is possible to see the build-up of an aggressive position as a factor in seeking to preserve a certain stability of frontiers. We have seen that in the approach of the Soviet Union to the discussions in Helsinki and subsequently in Belgrade. We see it also, curiously, in Africa as a factor in the African appreciation of the immutability of frontiers and the dangers that are involved once the frontier pattern is thrown into change.
I believe that that aggressive intent is more indirect than direct. It is part of the undoubted continuing attitude of the Soviet Union—namely, to maintain an outward pressure on the countries with which it is faced. It allows them no reason at any time to believe that they are not in some way a threat.
It is possible—I personally attach great importance to this factor—that the whole of that tactic is part of the overall Soviet strategy seeks to buttress its own hierarchy. In autocratic hierarchies there is a kind 1040 of self-perpetuating function in the need to maintain a given momentum of military activity and otherwise to create a feeling of the necessity to preserve a form of actual control.
When we examine the situation in the Soviet Union it is interesting to note that, despite certain changes that have taken place at the summit of the organisation, the persistence of the Soviet hierarchy demands conscious and permanent activity to maintain in the mind of the public the need for that hierarchy to exist and the dangers with which it is surrounded.
§ Mr. Bruce Grocott (Lichfield and Tamworth)
I am in broad agreement with the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks. However, I am puzzled why he should restrict his analysis to hierarchies and bureaucracies in the Eastern Communist bloc. Is not that same kind of symptom true of organisations such as the Pentagon?
§ Mr. Davies
Yes, except for the fact that the Pentagon is the arm of a constitutionally elected organisation. Therefore, it is a fundamentally different situation. The point I am making is that this is not so in the Soviet Union. It is a body that is permanently required to maintain its position not at the risk of the normal workings of suffrage but because the guarantees which it offers to the country which it dominates are seen to be essential. That is the factor I seek to bring out.
It may be that the reasoning behind the deployment of this immense effort in Africa is partly to reinforce the Soviet negotiating stance. I believe that the Soviet Union was immensely perturbed and disturbed by the events in Cuba. When the Russians saw the threat to their lines of communication, and when they realised that their posture could be reversed by the strength of response, they took the view that the situation must not be allowed to recur. By and large, they have sought to build their system in such a way as to avoid their strategic lines of communication being upset when confronted with a degree of counter-threat which they cannot withstand.
There is perhaps a further factor in these developments in Africa involving the overall Soviet strategic position being defended by a great chain of supporting areas on the coasts of Africa. Soviet 1041 efforts to avoid being at the end of a long line of communication constitute a permanent threat to the communications of the West.
One of the other factors involves the natural and mineral resources in Africa. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester referred to the fact that the West could be deprived of those resources. We must ask whether there is any need from the Soviet side to retain access to these resources. Hitherto we have always worked on the proposition that the Soviet Union has had the good fortune to be assured of total internal lines of communication.
Recently there have been a number of interesting reports emanating from the CIA on the oil resources of the Soviet Union. There is some reason to suspect that at least there will be a major gap in the access of petrol resources to the Soviet Union in the course of the late 1980s. Is there perhaps some concern to ensure that those resources will be able to be complemented from the Middle East without challenge from the West? One of the great guarantees in the post-war era or non-war era in the Middle East is the fact that the Soviet Union has been self-sufficient in raw materials, particularly petroleum. Were that not the case, the situation could become otherwise.
I believe that some part of all the ingredients I have mentioned are to be seen in the extraordinary development of Soviet interest in Africa. I consider that in each one of these facets—and I have enumerated six of them—there is a strand which justifies the Soviet Union in taking some action in Africa.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
Is the right hon. Gentleman advancing the thesis that Soviet aims and expansion in Africa are on the same basis as our own—namely, economic necessity and access to strategic raw materials?
§ Mr. Davies
Possibly it is one of the elements, but there are many others. I believe that some are quite different from considerations on our side, and it is evident that some are totally different because we have a strong historical link with Africa, whereas the Soviet Union has not.
I believe that the result is that Russian involvement is determined. I am sure 1042 that a substantial part of that effort is not one with which we are identified. I refer to the continual need to buttress the autocratic domination of their own country and to demonstrate that they will insist on maintaining that autocracy.
The result of all that is that we have a permanent and pervasive challenge throughout the Western world. That arises from the causes I have outlined. It demonstrates itself in a variety of different ways not only in Africa but in terms of subversion in our area, the phenomenon of Euro-Communism and confrontation of every sort. It is something with which we have to be permanently concerned.
There are immense dangers of miscalculation in these affairs, which could easily give rise to an outburst of a sort that would become virtually irreversible. They are matters that we can at no time afford to take in any way easily, nor regard as being units of singular importance to us but of no general relevance to the whole of the basic strategy.
The proposition that I fear has been pursued by the Government—namely, one of relative indifference leaning towards appeasement—has no prospect of handling the problems involved. It is that to which my hon. and gallant Friend has addressed himself today, and I must say that I entirely adhere to his remarks. It may be that the Under-Secretary of State will give us cause for reassessing our view of the Government's stance, and if he does I shall be the first to be relieved, but to date our impression has remained the same—that the Government regard these matters as being best left alone or, if not left alone, met with appeasement rather than in any way firmly to be refuted.
I am deeply concerned that that is an indication of the Government's approach in a wider context and as part of a much wider picture. It has brought out a characteristic of the Government that we think is extremely dangerous for us all in the West. Therefore, my right hon. and hon. Friends and I will have to listen with extreme care to the Minister's reply. The Minister has to upset a mass of relatively damning evidence to the contrary. Until he does so, we shall continue to feel that my hon. and gallant Friend's motion has much more than a simple justification.
§ 4.43 p.m.
§ Mr. Christopher Price (Lewisham, West)
Until the normal peroration of the right hon. Member for Knutsford (Mr. Davies), which is something that we all expect from the Opposition, the right hon. Gentleman made a balanced speech that included little with which I want to quarrel. I quarrel with a certain amount of the phrases used by the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles). If we took the stance and attitude that the hon. and gallant Gentleman recommended, it would be the surest way for the United Kingdom and for the West generally quickly to lose all influence in Africa.
I shall concentrate my remarks on Mozambique. In common with my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson), I do not like speaking in foreign affairs debates about places to which I have not been and which I do not know. I was in Mozambique shortly before Christmas. I was there immediately after the meeting of the Lomé Convention Assembly, which I attended as a delegate from this House to the European Parliament. I took a message to Mozambique from the President of the Lomé Convention, who is no sort of Communist. In fact, he is an Italian Christian Democrat. The President wished to make it clear to the Mozambique Government that the Convention remained open to them at any time that they would like to join it.
We hear so much from the Opposition Benches about Mozambique. I understand that on Wednesday there is to be a Ten-Minute Bill on the subject. When I arrived at Maputo I was told by the British Ambassador that I was the first British Member of Parliament to visit Mozambique since independence apart from the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State for Overseas Development. If people wish to talk about Mozambique and other countries, surely there is some obligation to try to understand exactly what is happening in them and not to rely on the propaganda that is issued by bodies that in the past have been shown to be financed by the CIA and other organisations in the United States of America, organisations that have no interest in putting out the truth and are merely fighting an East-West propaganda war.
1044 It is true that there is a great deal of Russian influence in Mozambique. I do not think that anyone could possibly deny that. However, in talking to people there I found that the trappings of Russian influence were much more real than the actuality of Russian influence. The Russians have an incredible ability to lose friends and irritate people in Africa. There are two outstanding ways in which they have done that in Mozambique. First, there is the Aeroflot ticket fiddle. That has operated by selling cost-price cheap tickets in Mozambique soft currency, not using them and then selling them for hard currency outside Mozambique afterwards, thereby milking the Mozambique economy of precious hard currency.
The other way in which the Russians have deeply irritated the Mozambique Government is by signing a fishing agreement under which the Mozambique Government were meant to benefit from part of the catch but sending in trawlers that spent their time vacuum fishing and manufacturing fishmeal, providing little fish, if any, for the people of Mozambique. We have to remember that Russian influence in Africa is constantly being coloured by incidents of that sort that provide a balance to the overall picture.
The right hon. Member for Knutsford mentioned Euro-Communism. Some of us who have a great deal of contact, of necessity, with Euro-Communism in the European Assembly do not take the right hon. Gentleman's terrified view of this new phenomenon. It was the Italian Communists who consistently voted with the Christian Democrats to put in a Right-wing President of the European Assembly. They chose to tip the balance in that way. That is something to do with the historic compromise. The right hon. Gentleman must forgive me if I have a slightly different perspective of Euro-Communism.
§ Mr. John Davies
I reacted slightly against the adjective that the hon. Gentleman used. I have no greater terror of Euro-Communism than of Communism generally. I have much the same terror of both.
§ Mr. Price
President Machell and Marcelino dos Santos, his deputy in 1045 Mozambique, take great pains to describe their brand of Communism as Afro Communism. It is possible to laugh at that and to say that it is no different from Soviet Communism. However, the contact of the West with the Mozambique Government has been immensely stronger with the Euro-Communists in Italy than with the Soviet Communists, and in term of informal contact there is a positive effort on the part of the Mozambique Government to identify what they call Afro-Communism and what is an independent idea of how they want to build up Mozambique, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Soviet idea of Communism. They may succeed or they may fail, but from the efforts that I saw being made it was apparent that they were trying hard to build up an independent stance within Africa and to gain adherence from other countries of Africa, not for Soviet Communism but with those who agree with them, that they are taking the right course in building up a society in Africa free of the grip of Western capitalism, which they see as equally dangerous to their true independence, as an independent country, as Soviet Communism.
It might be from the stories that we hear from the Opposition that Russian influence in Mozambique is the only influence, but nothing could be further from the truth. The aid which Britain pays into Mozambique is paltry compared with that paid in by Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Indeed, European countries within and without the EEC are tripping over each other to outbid each other in the aid which they give to Mozambique. It goes beyond that. Another substantial source of aid to Mozambique is the Republic of South Africa, which is investing a great deal of money in the Mozambique railway system because it knows which rail links it wants.
The most obvious fact about the Mozambique economy is that it is so tied in to South Africa that it is virtually untieable. Mozambique continues the system of accepting gold in payment for workers in the South African gold mines. It is a lucrative system which it has been decided to carry on and which has been inherited from colonial predecessors. Mozambique sends to South Africa almost the whole electricity output from the Cabora Bassa dam—not because it does 1046 not need the electricity, but because it needs the hard currency. Mozambique accepts rights from South African Airways—something which only three other countries in Southern Africa—Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho—do. The Belgian multinational Societé General operates there, too.
If one wishes to have a true picture of the economy in Mozambique, one must look at the great Western multinational conglornerates that have transferred money into it. There is a great deal of competition between the Western aid organisations—the United Nations aid organisations, and European aid organisations—and South African aid organisations, large European multinationals and the Soviet Union over who is to have the most influence in a country which is crucial to the economic and political future of Southern Africa.
I hope that in future debates we shall not hear such distortion of the picture that we have heard from the Opposition. In many ways the influence of the West over Mozambique is weak. When I participated in discussions about the role of the Left in Mozambique I had a hard time. There was little that I tried to defend, but if I did try to defend something I had a hard time. It is right that our influence should be so weak. For years the country was governed by a rotten dictatorship which did nothing to prepare it for independence. It is a wonder that the economy has survived so well, since the economy of Zaire did not survive when the Belgians walked out of the Congo with the speed with which the Portuguese left Mozambique.
I turn to the question of the Patriotic Front and Robert Mugabe. In foreign affairs the Opposition are best known for their realism. The realism about Rhodesia is that Mozambique is crucial to any future settlement. All Rhodesia's routes to the sea go through Mozambique. The only other way is by a long train journey to Tanzania or South Africa Robert Mugabe calls himself a Communist and he has close links with the Government in Mozambique. He rightly feels that as leader of one of the groups which has a political base outside Rhodesia and which has decided to fight from outside rather than from inside he should have a place within the settlement. It is clear that if there is a settlement in Rhodesia, it will 1047 not be permanent without the Patriotic Front.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
I have been listening with great interest to what the hon. Member has been saying, but I am beginning to lose him. Why does he say that no settlement can come in Rhodesia without the sanction of one armed man, a man armed with Soviet weapons, from within another country?
§ Mr. Price
I was speaking of realism. If there were a settlement in Rhodesia and Robert Mugabe, for justifiable reasons in his mind, wished to upset that settlement, the communications from the sea into Rhodesia through Mozambique are tailor-made for the disruption of any such settlement. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is right to do all that he can to ensure that a Rhodesian settlement is backed by all the parties involved and not just by some of them.
§ Mr. Malcolm Rifkind (Edinburgh, Pentlands)
Does the hon. Member apply the same criterion to when his Government decided to recognise the Angolan Government, despite the presence of a large, armed fighting minority within Angola?
§ Mr. Price
I said earlier that I did not want to comment unduly upon matters about which I know little, and particularly about places to which I have never been. I was hoping to go from Maputo to Luanda but the Sabena aircraft which Mozambique rents from the Belgians was two days late in leaving.
The main point is that the job of combating Russian influence in Africa is not so much military exercise as partly a political and partly an economic exercise. This has been my experience, particularly since I have been a member of the Development Committee of the European Assembly. I am not a great European and having spent a year in that toytown Assembly I am finishing with it. It has been an interesting year. One of the useful things that the EEC has done has been to create the Lomé Convention which, for the first time, has brought a sense of genuine partnership in development between Europe and the independent African States. It is within that context that Western influence in Africa is more likely 1048 to be maintained than by the speeches that we hear from the Opposition.
The visitor to Mozambique who received the warmest welcome in terms of the numbers greeting him was Claude Cheysson, the Commissioner for Development in the EEC. The Lomé Convention is not only a treaty between Europe and Africa but a democratic assembly, half from European States and half from African States where people from Somalia and Ethiopia can sit side by side. I hope that Mozambique will join.
The Lomé Assembly recently held one of its twice yearly meetings. The place picked was Maseru, in Lesotho, where the joint assembly of all the European States and other representatives from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific was able to make a forthright statement about majority rule in Southern Africa. The Assembly did that, mainly on the initiative of the European Socialist group. One of the outstanding things about that Assembly was that its resolutions were passed on an all-party basis, and in all the countries except Britain there was broad unanimity on these issues.
What stuck out like a sore thumb was the complete head-in-the-sand reactionary speeches from the two representatives of the Conservative Party. Those two speeches did more damage to Western influence and the attempt to combat Soviet influence in Africa than anything else at the whole meeting. I plead with Conservative Members to follow what I should describe as the more moderate line of the right hon. Member for Knutsford than that of some of the screaming warriors behind him.
This is a serious business. A battle is being fought in Africa not so much with guns as with words. Indeed, it is a battle of hearts and minds. It is a battle for influence. The extreme statements that constantly come from the Opposition are not paralleled in any other party across the political spectrum in the EEC. They come solely from this country and do not in any way help to achieve what we are trying to do.
§ 5.1 p.m.
§ Mr. Julian Amery (Brighton, Pavilion)
I think that the whole House will have listened with great interest to the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) 1049 as it always does to an hon. Member who speaks with first-hand experience of one of the areas under discussion this afternoon.
I do not dissent from the hon. Gentleman when he says that the leadership in Mozambique may find Euro-Communists more congenial to talk to than the Soviets. I do not dissent when he talks about the heavy handed attitude of Soviet representatives in Africa and in many other countries.
We all know, too, that, for reasons of expediency, there is a good deal of co-operation between Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa. But the hon. Gentleman was on slightly less certain ground when he said that the battle in Africa was one not of guns but of words and of hearts and minds. The outstanding facts in Mozambique are the presence of large-scale Soviet naval and air facilities at Nacalha and elsewhere and guerrilla camps dependent for their arms on Soviet sources.
The Foreign Secretary is always telling us that we must pay attention to Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo because they have the guns, not the words. The majority support for words seems to lie with other African leaders in Rhodesia.
What conclusion are we to draw from this balance? There is the argument, put forward by Ambassador Andrew Young among others, that the Soviet tide may come over these countries for a time but that it will recede, as it did in Egypt.
Let us consider what happened in Egypt. Egypt was one of the most prosperious countries in the Middle East. It was the centre for banking, shipping, aviation and insurance. It provided teachers, journalists, and artists for the entire Middle East. That was the position until Colonel Nasser decided to spend all the country's money on arms instead of modern progressive equipment. In the years that followed, Egypt turned into a slum. Cairo is very nearly down to the standard of Calcutta today.
After 15 years, Egypt broke away from Soviet influence, but the world has been left with a ruin in what might have been the most prosperous country in the Middle East. Therefore, if anyone suggests that we should let the tide sweep over Rhodesia or South West Africa and see what comes out at the end. I must say 1050 that I am not sure that it would suit our interests or those of the people involved.
I congratulate my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) on bringing forward the motion. However, I must add that it is nothing less than a scandal that the Government have not given us a full day to debate this matter in Government time. Since the Summer Recess we have had the Anglo-American proposals on Rhodesia, the United Nations condemnation of South Africa, the events in the Horn of Africa and the Malta Conference. Surely that is sufficient to justify a full-scale one-day, if not two-day, debate in this House against the background of the threat that faces peace and, indeed, the jobs of many people in this country. I regret that the Secretary of State is not present to answer the debate. I can only hope that his absence means we shall have a wider African debate in Government time before very long.
The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) put his finger on the crux of the situation when he underlined that we were up against external intervention in Africa. When the European Powers withdrew from their colonial commitments, they abandoned their right to decide what kind of regime African countries should have within their own boundaries. We did that consciously and deliberately with the hope that perhaps matters would turn out better than they have done. We are not concerned, therefore, with tribalism, racialism, Fascism or even Communism as ideologies. But when we pulled out, we did not expect, and cannot today allow, the old imperialism to be replaced by a new imperialism. Yet that is happening.
We are faced not with Communist aggression, but with Soviet imperialism in a naked colonial form, even cruder in many ways than what was seen in the scramble for Africa at the end of the last century. We are witnessing imperialism taking the form of a super-Power putting its resources behind a particular movement within a State and backing it with arms, instructors, mercenaries, gunboats and now aircraft. The facts are not in dispute as my right hon. Friend the Member for Knutsford (Mr. Davies) said from the Opposition Front Bench.
Angola was the first adventure. Angola has come under Soviet control—I will not 1051 say "influence"—thanks to the intervention of the Soviets with Cuban mercenaries and massive supplies of arms and equipment. Without them the Angolan Government could not possibly maintain itself to the extent that it does today.
Mozambique is perhaps more a Soviet protectorate than a colony. But from both of these countries the aggressive adventure goes on. There have been thrusts into Zaire from Angola—stopped only by the intervention of France and Morocco—and into South West Africa using SWAPO, equipped, trained and indoctrined by Soviet instructors and Cubans. There has been similar aggression from Mozambique into Rhodesia using the Mugabe forces of the Patriotic Front.
President Kaunda, who not so long ago denounced Soviet aggression in Angola, has, seeing the weakness of the West, accepted the advice of Ambassador Solodovnikov in Lusaka, given facilities to his old friend Nkomo to operate into Rhodesia from Zambia. There is no secret that, if pro-Soviet forces were to take over Rhodesia and South West Africa, South Africa would be the next on the list. That would threaten our vital raw materials and the jobs of tens of thousands of people here; and the southern approaches to the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic.
The situation in the Horn of Africa is much the same, though rather starker because it is not obscured by overtones of racial, class and colonial issues. There the clash is between three essentially Marxist groups in Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The Soviets have established control of Ethiopia with the help of a Marxist regime buttressed by Soviet instructors, a massive inflow of Soviet weapons and Cuban mercenaries. It can scarcely be doubted that unless something is done to counteract the operations of this combination, the Eritrean movement will be smashed and Ethiopian Democratic Union will be smashed. I do not know whether they will invade Somalia on the lines suggested by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West, which he feared they might do. But even if they do not, if this Soviet influence is allowed to become the dominant power in the Horn and to establish itself on the Eritrean coast, the Somalians will have little choice but to 1052 go back under Soviet influence. A pax Sovietica will then be established over the whole of the Horn of Africa. This coupled with the Soviet presence in Aden, will mean that the northern approaches to the Indian Ocean will be brought under Soviet control.
A great Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, when told by Mr. Molotov that the Soviets wanted a protectorate over Tripolitania, answered "You want to put your arm across my throat." This is not an arm across our throat. It is a couple of half nelsons being established in Southern Africa and the Horn of Africa on the lifeblood of the West. If not checked our trade routes and our raw materials will be brought under the control of a power which nearly all of us recognise as the chief adversary of the West, a power against which we make the enormous effort that we do under the North Atlantic Treaty.
What are we doing about it? In Angola the Government recognised the Agostino Neto Government under conditions under which I have never seen the Foreign Office recognise any Government before. They were not in control of the country. They could not claim the obedience of most of the citizenship. But it was done. Since then they have made only one declaration, and that was the other day. This was aimed at discouraging the enlistment of mercenaries to fight in Angola. I have no objection to warning people of the danger of being mercenaries; but it would be a little more evenhanded if the Foreign Secretary, who has expressed if not sympathy at least understanding for the guerrillas of the Patriotic Front, were to show the same understanding, the same gentle moral encouragement, to those who still fight for freedom in Angola with the guerrillas of the FNLA and the Unita.
It may well be that the Foreign Office believes that by appeasing the Luanda Government they will help to protect British interests in that country. I wonder whether they will succeed. We have given lavish aid to Mozambique, and lavished praise on President Machel. But only the other day his Government announced the sequestration without compensation of British interests in the country.
What are we doing in South-West Africa and Rhodesia? Broadly, it is a 1053 policy of collusion with Soviet imperialism. We are doing what we can in South-West Africa, I will not say to give a monopoly to the SWAPO movement but to try to create conditions in which they will be the leaders of the new South-West African situation after independence.
The same is true in Rhodesia. The original Anglo-American proposals, with their provision for handing over the security forces to guerrillas, would have given the Patriotic Front total control. I am told that these proposals have been somewhat modified, but still the whole object of the exercise is to create a situation in which the Patriotic Front will have a decent chance of coming out on top. The elections might not be rigged, but will certainly be influenced and prejudiced in their favour.
The Foreign Secretary, when he talks about the Rhodesian situation, has shifted from talking about majority rule and the Six Principles. He talks more and more about the importance of peace. We would all like to see a ceasefire. We would all like to see peace. But we do not want to see peace at any price. We do not want to see peace without justice. We do not want to see a peace which imposes black minority rule instead of white minority rule. But this is exactly where the Foreign Secretary seems to be heading. Anyone can obtain peace if he gives in to the enemy.
§ Mr. Grocott
Will the right hon. Gentleman, for the record, give his view on the simple question "Why does he now think that Mr. Smith is seeking an internal settlement?"
§ Mr. Amery
There are a number of reasons, not least that Britain and America have been working with the Soviet Union to encourage the Patriotic Front in its operations against Rhodesia. Not only Mr. Smith is concerned. He is perhaps the least important figure of the leaders in this equation. The significant thing is that Mr. Sithole and Bishop Muzorewa have also realised that, unless they come to terms with Mr. Smith, their throats will be cut, and cut long before his.
We miss no opportunity to condemn and denigrate South Africa even though we find ourselves compelled by economic 1054 interests to prevent any economic embargo being passed by the Security Council, and even though we need its help for the pursuit of whatever diplomacy we are trying to pursue in South Africa.
What are we doing in the Horn of Africa? The Western Powers are sitting like some poor widow watching her children being marched off to a concentration camp, wringing her hands and moaning about it, but, as far as we can see doing nothing. The Persians are doing something, the Saudis are doing something: but, as far as we can see, we are declining to go to the United Nations because we know that we shall be defeated there. To pass the buck to the OAU is about as effective as going to the Arab League. There is no semblance of unity in the OAU. We are sitting back and letting things slide out of our grip by default.
Why are we pursuing what appears on the surface to be a suicidal policy? There are some questions that we ought to ask the Ministers and the scribes and Pharisees who support them in the Press and elsewhere. Why do they pay so much attention to the trivial issues and ignore the basic issues? A lot of time is spent discussing the sanctity of boundaries and the importance of not allowing the Somalis to get away with the aggression which they are alleged to have committed in Ogaden. But this is not the real issue. The real issue is whether Soviet imperialism is to control the Horn of Africa. Why do we spend so much time on the trivial?
Why do we magnify the dangers? Why do we exaggerate the power of the Patriotic Front guerrillas? Anybody who has been to Rhodesia, as many hon. Members have, in the last few months knows that the country is in no danger of a military collapse. Scarcely a military objective has been attacked by the guerrillas. Their victims have been tribal headmen, old women and children. There have been hardly any proper military encounters.
What is the wishful thinking that leads us to say that Mr. Nkomo, in spite of what he says in public, is probably on our side? Why is it put about that President Machel is not really committed to the Soviets in spite of all the things that he has said? Why do we never give the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Smith when he says that he wants to see Rhodesia 1055 aligned with the West? Why do we miss no opportunity to denigrate Bishop Muzorewa and Mr. Sithole and depict them as Uncle Toms, just because they happen to be siding with the West against Moscow?
Why did all this happen? If the right hon. Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) were consulted about it he would say that there were enemy agents in the Government camp. He would say that there was a plot. I do not think that that is so. Then what is it? Is it stupidity? There is an element of that, I dare say, about it.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, by his gratuitous regrets over what happened recently in Saudi Arabia, and by the grovelling apology that followed, has not shown more than a very amateurish style in handling foreign affairs. Nor was conceding the Gautemalan claim against Belize in principle by offering to cede a slice of Belize territory showing anything but a terrifying naivety in the conduct of foreign affairs. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Certainly the Secretary of State has succeeded in rivalling President Carter in his gaffes. But I do not believe that stupidity is the crux of the matter. I have worked with the Foreign Office. I know it. I do not believe that it is stupid.
§ Mr. Tom Litterick (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Speaking of naivety, I have been seriously wondering, as the right hon. Gentleman has been speaking, whether he can tell us whether there is any African independence movement, from anywhere in Africa or Egypt to the most southerly point of Africa, which has not been characterised by him and his colleagues on the Conservative Benches as a tool of Moscow, as Communist or Communist type, including, within the last three years, both organisations now fighting in Angola which he mentioned in a favourable context only a few minutes ago. Is there an African liberation movement that he has not characterised in those terms? Is that not just a little naive and, in the event, slightly stupid?
§ Mr. Amery
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman did me the courtesy of listening carefully to what I said earlier. I said that we are concerned not with 1056 Communism or tribalism or racialism, but with Soviet imperialism. The FNLA and UNITA movements in Angola—and there are comparable guerrilla movements in Mozambique—are no longer in any way supported, inspired, instructed or even indoctrinated by the Soviet Union. That is why, whatever their ideologies, they seem to be objectively on our side, just as the Chinese People's Republic, though miles away in its ideological views from mine, is ideologically on our side in resisting the spread of Soviet imperialism in Asia and elsewhere. I think it is the hon. Gentleman who is showing naïvity in his criticism.
I do not think that stupidity is the cause of the Government's policy. Is it Machiavellianism? Is it some brilliant approach to the matter? Is it some concealed way in which we shall detach the catspaws of Soviet imperialism and make them good allies of the West? I doubt it. I think that we know the answer. The answer is that it is fear; and Ambassador Young gave the game away when he said in Malta that any settlement must satisfy the East. He gave the game away when he said that in his judgment racialism was a more serious threat than Communism.
It is not fear of the Soviets only or mainly. It would be irrational to be too frightened of the Soviets at the present time. They are still a paper tiger in Southern Africa and in the Horn. The lines of communication that link the Horn of Africa with the Soviet Union and Southern Africa with the Soviet Union are long and tenuous, and if the West chose to confront it in either area the Soviet Union would have no choice but to give way.
The fear is a fear of their own party opinion. It is the fear of the Administration in Washington of what will happen to Democratic Party opinion if they stand up to a threat overseas. It is the fear of the Foreign Secretary and the Government here of how their party would react if they were to have the courage to stand up and defend the interests of the West.
What we are heading for is another Yalta Agreement in which everything is done in an attempt to reach a compromise with the Soviets and include them in. There was some excuse for the Yalta Agreement. The Soviets were in physical 1057 occupation of much of Eastern Europe. But here we are trying to bring the Soviets into Rhodesia and South-West Africa and to tolerate their presence in the Horn of Africa. I would not be surprised, at the end of the day, to see the Government try to include them in a South African solution as well.
We have been through this before, as some of the older amongst us remember. Britain and France went down this road before. We did not want to frighten our public opinion by denouncing the Nazi danger too loudly. We did not want to hurry rearmament. So we waited and let things slide until Hitler could no longer believe that we would stand and defend our interests at any point. I think it is fair to say that, though not morally speaking objectively speaking, the appeasers were as guilty of launching the Second World War as were the aggressors. Let us not make that mistake again.
Let me appeal to the Foreign Secretary. He is in a position to say a great deal to the Americans, to our allies in Europe and to British public opinion—to alert them to the danger. He is also in a position to do what no young man or no other statesman in the country can do. There are a number of things that he could do. There is no reason why he should not sell arms to the Somalis. There is no reason why he should not give moral encouragement to those who are resisting Soviet imperialism. There is no reason why he should not throw his weight behind the internal settlement in Rhodesia and if it comes off, try further to mediate between the interim Government in Rhodesia and the Patriotic Front.
The Foreign Secretary's tenure of office may well be short, and it is tempting for him to try to bid for support from the broadest spectrum of his party that he can get. His credit is not what it was when he first took office, but the opportunity is there to warn our allies in America and Europe and to warn the people of Britain. If he will not, we must and will.
§ 5.25 p.m.
§ Mr. Bruce Grocott (Lichfield and Tamworth)
I had hoped that at least my first proposition would be broadly agreed to in the House, but having listened to what was said by the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) and 1058 the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) I am doubtful about that, mild though by proposition seemed to me to be.
My first propsition is that we can look at Africa not as though it is a kind of chessboard on which we can play games, and perhaps even fight wars as long as it is other people's blood and bones, but as a place where people live, where they have legitimate national aspirations, and where in many respects, they seek the things that we seek here.
I listened very carefully to the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester and to the right hon. Member for Pavilion, and as far as I can recall they made no reference to that subject. The whole force of their remarks was that if one pawn is moved, how can we find another pawn to move somewhere else to counter it?
What seems to be a far more crucial and fundamental question, and in the long run far more in our own interests to ask, is what do the people in this area think and want, and how can we, if we intervene at all, help them fulfil their legitimate national aspirations? If we concentrate on that, not only shall we be morally right, but in the long run we shall be militarily right, too, if that is the right phrase.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is trying to be fair. Did he not hear me say specifically that one of the actions that the Government should take is to warn the newly independent people of Africa of the threat to their freedom represented by Soviet activity in Africa? I made that point. Possibly the hon. Gentleman did not hear me make it.
§ Mr. Grocott
I am all for the maximum dissemination of information, as long as it is that and not propaganda, but that seems to be a relatively minor point in the context of the aspirations of groups of people and nations who, generally speaking, are concerned with their own self-determination and their own nationalism, in much the same way as we have been over the centuries. That is the first point that I had hoped would be uncontentious—that we should treat the area not as a chessboard but as a place where people have legitimate interests and aspirations and put them first.
1059 My second proposition—and it always amazes me that Tory Members do not accept this—is that of all the "isms" that have infected Africa—whether Communism, Socialism, neutralism, a vogue word of a few years ago, or Maoism—the most persistent and powerful has been, as in Europe, nationalism.
I do not deny that to try to define exactly what we mean by nationalism is inordinately difficult. I do not deny, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) said, that the boundaries on the African continent are the kind of boundaries that my three-year-old son might have drawn a little better if he had had a pencil and map. They were lines on a map drawn by historical accident, but so were many of the boundaries of nations in Europe.
For all that, they have been consistent boundaries. The surprising thing since the Second World War has been the persistence of these colonial boundaries since the British, French and Portuguese empires have been dissolved. They have remained fairly static, and I am sure that I should not have forecast that had I been looking at things 30 years ago.
Nationalism is the crucial powerful force within Africa. It amazes me that Conservatives, for whom on their own admission the force of nationalism within themselves is such a motivating factor, seem powerless to recognise that same force in others. That has been the problem of nationalists throughout the ages. The strongest are the least willing to recognise the force in others.
One of the few Western leaders—perhaps the only one—who recognised the strength of nationalism most successfully in the post-war world, particularly in relation to the Third World, was General de Gaulle. In all his dealings with the Third world he recognised the strength of nationalism, and therefore was persona grata in the Third world. He recognised this in Algeria, even though he would never have come to power had it not been for Algeria.
I quote from a book entitled "South Africa, White and Black—or Brown" written by Colonel P. A. Silburn, a Member of the first two South African Parliaments. His book was published in 1927, and one paragraph of it reads: 1060The rumblings in India—reports of unrest among this or that frontier tribe; the insecurity of European lives in Egypt and the seditious speeches of political leaders in that country; attacks upon life and property of Europeans in China; insubordination of native chiefs in Bechuanaland; and fanatical outbursts among certain small tribes in Sudan and Somaliland, though widely separate geographically can be traced to the same cause—propaganda from Moscow.That could have done as a text for today's debate. The views of Conservative Members have not changed, indeed they have fossilised. Every national movement is mistaken as a Communist movement. We still make the same mistake, believing that national movements in Egypt, India, Bechuanaland, Botswana, Somaliland and so on are all Communist inspired. We still seem to believe that the world would be carrying on as it was in the 1920s if it were not for the evil men in Moscow. That is a dangerously ludicrous position to hold. It is dangerous for the West and for the future of the peace of the world and race relations.
Where does Britain stand on these issues? If one takes the view that nations must have their own destiny in their own hands and nationalism is the most powerful force at work, where does this country stand in the most crucial area of Africa? I make no bones about concentrating on Southern Africa. I have visited the area, but I do not regard a visit as the sole criterion for speaking on this issue in a debate. In the nationalist argument in Southern Africa, on which side is Britain seen to be, and on which side has Britain been since the Second World War, and even during the period of this Labour Government?
If I were an adviser in the Kremlin I would tell the Soviet leaders that the best possible thing for the Western Governments to be seen to be doing in Southern Africa would be the thing most calculated to further Soviet interests in that area—identifying the West with White racist regimes. In South Africa and Rhodesia this is an incontestable proposition. In Rhodesia we still fail to state in unequivocal terms exactly where our sympathies lie. Although I am delighted by recent advances, I must say that as long as Mr. Smith continues with his intransigence, and his refusal to give elementary democratic rights to most of his people, and as long as he continues 1061 to murder people in his country, we should make such an unequivocal statement.
I quote just one statistic—and anyone can throw statistics around. Since April 1975, when the Rhodesian Government, for reasons that were no doubt very wise, ceased to give the figures of the number of Africans who were hanged in their gaols, 113 Africans have been executed in Rhodesian gaols. What a legacy of bitterness must come from that! Many of these people have been hanged for offences such as recruiting guerrillas, encouraging the liberation movement and for doing the kind of things that I hope hon. Members of this House would do today if this country were run and controlled by a small minority denying us our legitimate rights.
§ Mr. Victor Goodhew (St. Albans)
The hon. Member for Lichfield and Tamworth (Mr. Grocott) began by talking about self-determination. Is it not true that at this moment Mr. Smith, together with black African leaders, is trying to agree on a settlement based on universal franchise and a multi-racial State which would be self-determination? At the same time our Foreign Secretary is combining with others outside to impose a settlement on Rhodesia. Does the hon. Member believe in self-determination? If so, he must not talk of liberation armies. They do not seek out the Rhodesian security forces to fight. These terrorists go into country areas murdering innocent civilians, mostly black and some white. The numbers who have been killed in this manner recently have been very great.
§ Mr. Grocott
I listened to the hon. Member's speech with interest. He suggested that Mr. Smith is now negotiating. I wish he would apply his mind to the question of why Smith is negotiating. Is it because suddenly he has had a vision of a multi-racial Rhodesia? Does he feel suddenly that freedom of individuals and the democratic right to vote is essential, as are other rights in a democracy? Is it because he has suddenly recognised all these things?
§ Mr. Grocott
I hope that that sedentary interjection is on the record. I have 1062 heard naive statements in my life, but that must rank as the most naive of all.
The second question is: if this is Mr. Smith's conversion, where is his Damascus? Why did he not do it 10 years ago? The hon. Gentleman knows—although his constituency organisation, or some group the nature of which I cannot imagine at the moment, may not recognise it—that the only reason Smith is remotely interested in a settlement is the courage of men such as Mugabe and Nkomo and the courageous men fighting under their control and direction for the liberation of their country, as I hope we should all do in our country. That is the answer to the hon. Gentleman's question. Where is the self-determination in a country where nine-tenths of the population are not allowed to vote?
I have said that, for all the legitimate pre-occupation of the House with Rhodesia, Rhodesia is the minnow. South Africa is the shark. South Africa is the country to which we should direct our attention, those of us who are anxious to be on the right side in this nationalistic battle.
Once again, how does the West come out at present qua world opinion in the debate about what is going on within South Africa? There just is not the time to start giving details of the horrors being perpetrated by Vorster and his gang—I am reluctant to elevate it to the status of a government—in South Africa, particularly over the past two or three years. Has the horror quite sunk in yet in this country of the death and murder of Steve Biko? Can we imagine that in his death throes, almost, this man, after being to all intents and purposes murdered by the security police, was taken 750 miles—almost the distance from Land's End to John o'Groats—naked, manacled, desperately ill, on the floor of a Land Rover?
That terrible thing was done over much worse roads than the roads by which one can traverse the distance from Land's End to John o'Groats. It was done with the full connivance of the doctors. Can one imagine any greater condemnation of certain sections of the medical profession than that? I need hardly say that it was done with the full connivance of the police. We see in the verdict that appeared thereafter that it was done in effect with the full complicity of the 1063 court that conducted what can loosely be described as an investigation into what went on.
It is not just Steve Biko. He is the one that is remembered. He is a further reason why the chances of any peaceful settlement in South Africa diminish with every day that passes. It is what has happened in South Africa, also, over the past couple of years. Since 1976, there have been 25 deaths in detention of young men who, it is claimed, have died either from hanging themselves or through falling from the eighth floor of buildings in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Those are the deaths of people who were held in detention with no charge having been brought against them and about whom, generally speaking, their families did not hear until afterwards. The figure for 1976 alone of deaths of Africans in police custody, no matter for what reason they were in police custody, was 130.
That is an appalling indictment of any country, but I can only say as someone who calls himself a Christian that I find it doubly despicable when this is a country that still has the audacity to claim that it is defending Christian civilisation. That is perhaps the most distasteful criticism of all.
If we are to have any influence at all in Africa it can be only on the basis of our having some moral authority on the continent. Even the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester does not think that we could settle it militarily on our own. We need some moral authority. That moral authority cannot possibly come as long as in a crucial part of Africa we are all too often seen to be on the wrong side.
There will be no finesse when these judgments are made. We are seen now to be on the wrong side. What is happening in the Horn of Africa is a minor frontier incident compared to what is likely to happen in South Africa over the next decade or so. If we are to have any moral authority we must get on the right side of that debate clearly and unequivocally. We have begun to do this in the past two years, under my right hon. Friend. I can only hope that we continue along those lines.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
The hon. Member for Lichfield and Tamworth (Mr. Grocott) advanced the proposition that the Africans would rather run their own show their own way, or—to put it in more stilted language—that they have legitimate national aspirations. I agree entirely with the hon. Gentleman—perhaps he would stay to listen to what I have to say—but so did the Latvians, the Estonians, the Poles, the Czechs and the Hungarians but it did not do them much good.
The hon. Gentleman went on to talk about nationalism. The extraordinary thing about Labour Members is that they believe that all forms of nationalism are good except British nationalism. Their view is that British nationalism and British interests do not matter. I recall going into the office of an African Minister of a country that was about to become independent and he said to me "Mr. Wall, we can never trust you British because you never back your own tribe." There was a lot of sense in that statement.
One's views of all these international matters are coloured by one's assessment of the objective of a potential enemy or adversary. We must try to make up our minds as to the intention of the rulers of the Kremlin. This was laid down clearly in Pravda in August 1973. I will quote an extract to the House:Peaceful co-existence does not spell an end to the struggle between the two world social systems. The struggle will continue between the proleteriat and the bourgeoisie, between world socialism and imperialism, up to the complete and final victory of communism on a world scale.I believe that that is what the rulers of the Kremlin are after—the complete and final victory of communism on a world scale.They have three choices as to how they may obtain this objective. The first is the nuclear strike, but that would leave a radioactive Europe to take over. So that is highly unlikely. The second is the blitzkreig. They could probably reach the Rhine more quickly than Hitler did but here again there is grave danger of nuclear escalation. So I do not think that they will make that choice.
The third choice is cutting the sea communications of the West. If the West were deprived of energy and of raw 1065 materials, it would mean the end of European industry and the inevitable surrender of European Governments. I believe that this is the key to Russian policy because they could thus attain their objective without moving one soldier or firing one shot. In other words, the key battle that we must face is the battle for resources. This is why I congratulate my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) on raising this vital subject today.
What are the requirements to win the battle of resources? I remind the House that this is the battle that nearly brought Britain to its knees in World War I and in World War II. I suggest that the requirements are, first, the continued erosion of the will of the West to resist. That is continuing both inside and outside this House. The second requirement is maritime superiority. The Soviet Union already has maritime superiority as regards its nuclear submarine force.
The third requirement is the cutting off of our oil supplies. By "our" I mean our oil supplies and those of Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, those of the United States. The last requirement is the closing of access to vital raw materials. Here the key lies in Southern Africa.
I believe that that is why the Soviet Union appointed its top expert on Africa, Vasilily Solodovnikov, as ambassador in Lusaka. I believe that he has been sent there to preside over the withdrawal of Western influence from the whole of Southern Africa and replace it with that of the Soviet Union. The first act in the game is to take over Rhodesia, then Namibia or South West Africa, and finally South Africa itself.
The key is control of energy supplies to the West. I do not want to labour this matter, because it has been well explained by my hon. and gallant Friend. All I will add is that 1 million tons of oil a day destined for the West pass Cape-town, and that 200 tankers belonging to Western nations are afloat in the Indian Ocean on any one day. If those supply routes were interrupted for any long period, Western industry and, above all, Western military industries would cease to function.
There is one even more important factor. If the Soviet Union maintained 1066 the control that it exercises today in Angola and Mozambique and extended it to South Africa, it would control a vast amount of the world's key minerals. Unfortunately, these minerals are found in great degree only in the USSR and South Africa. I will give the figures to put them on record.
If the USSR managed by some means or other to control the mineral supplies of South Africa, it would altogether then control 94 per cent. of the world's production of platinum and 99 per cent. of its reserves; 67 per cent. of the production of chrome and 84 per cent. of reserves; 62 per cent. of manganese production and 93 per cent. of reserves: 72 per cent. of gold production and 68 per cent. of reserves; 70 per cent. of vanadium production and 97 per cent. of reserves; 26 per cent. fluorspar production and 50 per cent. reserves 47 per cent. of asbestos production and 35 per cent. reserves; 43 per cent. of uranium production and an unknown amount of its reserves, a great deal of which are likely to be found in South-West Africa or Namibia.
§ Mr. Wall
These are official figures. If the hon. Gentleman would like to check them, he is at liberty to do so. No doubt the Minister will contradict me if he believes that the figures are not approximately correct. They are the latest figures published in authoritative books by the minerals industry. I do not include industrial diamonds, titanium and so on.
How can the Russians interrupt supplies of those minerals to the Western world? There are three possible means. One is to create the form of chaos that continues today in Angola and Mozambique. Angola exports iron ore and diamonds from the port of Moscamides. Nothing has been exported in recent years because of the chaos in that country. Another means is to attain political influence over the country and deliberately restrict supplies. The third means is to do what I am told Mr. Brezhnev suggested to the Arabs and increase the cost by 400 per cent. If any of those three things happened, European industry would face disaster and Europe would face surrender or the initiation of a nuclear war.
§ Mr. Litterick
Tedious as it is, I must intervene. There is a whole range of countries along the northern littoral of Africa all of which have been violently liberated—if I may use that phrase—by nationalist movements during the past 20 years. People such as the hon. Gentleman have said of each of those countries that it was Communist controlled. With the one exception of Egypt, each country has discovered vast and important raw materials in its own territory. Will the hon. Gentleman examine what has happened in those North African countries and the way in which their raw material resources have subsequently been exploited and exported? I can assure him in advance that Western Europe has been the principal beneficiary.
§ Mr. Wall
An organisation that first saw the danger of losing the battle for resources was the North Atlantic Assembly. In 1972 it passed a resolution recommending the North Atlantic Council to give the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic authority to plan for the protection of NATO-Europe's vital shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the Southern Atlantic, including surveillance and communications. The Assembly has followed that resolution up year after year. It is becoming increasingly worried about the lack of protection for NATO shipping in the Indian Ocean and North Atlantic. At its last meeting in Paris at the end of last year it recommended that the North Atlantic Council: 1068urge member governments to give top priority to increasing the strength of NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare vessels and aircraft;reinforce the authority given to SACLANT with regard to planning the protection of vital shipping lanes, particularly in the Southern Atlantic and Indian Ocean;ensure adequate facilities for the surveillance of Warsaw Pact shipping in these areas and also that adequate NATO communications are available in time of tension.That is regarded by the Assembly as extremely important. The resolution was supported by hon. Members on both sides of this House in the relevant committee and in the plenary session.
We must balance Soviet sea power in that area. I do not want to go into that matter in detail, because my hon. and gallant Friend has already covered the ground. This must be our responsibility together with the United States and the French.
I want to end by suggesting what we should be doing on land in Southern Africa. We must transfer power to the majority race, but to non-Marxists. That is exactly the aim of the discussions in Salisbury today. Bishop Muzorewa, the Reverend Sithole and Chief Chirau know very well that if they do not reach a settlement with Mr. Smith they will be the first people to have their throats cut if the Patriotic Front gains power.
I hope that we shall hear from the Conservative Front Bench that my party will back an internal settlement in Rhodesia, provided the conditions are regarded as fair, and provided it is supported by a referendum. Mr. Smith has committed himself to a referendum among the whites in Rhodesia. I believe that he should also have a referendum among the blacks, which might not be quite so easy, because many of them are not on the voters' roll. But there are methods—such as those used by the Pearce Commission and other ways through the administration—of ascertaining the views of the majority of Rhodesians, thus complying with the Fifth Principle.
It would be easy to have a referendum in which people had to say either "I agree with the broad outlines of the new constitution as agreed by the four leaders" or "I disagree". That would give an immediate indication of the views of the majority of all races in Rhodesia. It should be done quickly, because clearly, if there is to be a general election based 1069 on a new constitution it will take a long time—perhaps a year—for the details to be worked out and the constituencies drawn up.
I do not believe that the Rhodesians have a year in which to obtain approval for whatever arrangements will be announced in the next few weeks. Yet what do we see? As I understand it, the Foreign Secretary is deliberately trying to favour the Patriotic Front, a Marxist-backed organisation. Although he calls himself a Christian Marxist, and is a practising Christian, Mr. Mugabe is backed by Soviet power and by Mozambique, whose leader wants to take over a good chunk of Eastern Rhodesia in exchange for that support. The advent of a Patriotic Front Government would be utterly disastrous for all races in Rhodesia.
If there is an internal settlement, as I believe there will be, the door must be open for the followers of Mr. Nkomo or Mr. Mugabe to play their full part in the coming election, provided they renounce violence. In South-West Africa or Namibia, the Foreign Secretary appears to be backing SWAPO, another Marxist organisation, instead of giving his support to the Turnhalle Alliance, an alliance of all 11 ethnic groups in that country.
The Western ambassador seems to be insisting upon withdrawal of South African troops prior to the independence election which is timed to take place at the end of this year. We know that the moment the South African troops are withdrawn the MPLA, the Cubans and SWAPO will march in and take over the country. Unfortunately, the indigenous forces were created only about 18 months ago. I saw the first Ovambo battalion under training. It will take some time before the Namibians can control their defence and police forces. We must allow them the protection they want because it is the Turnhalle Alliance who say that they will sign a military agreement with South Africa for a limited period. It would be ridiculous to stand in the way of such action.
I come now to the question of South Africa itself. Change is under way. The change is far too slow, but pass laws have virtually been abolished, jobs reservation is in the process of being abolished and multi-racial sport is being encour 1070 aged. I commend to the House an article in The Daily Telegraph on 2nd February which pointed out that Mr. Connie Mulder has now taken over responsibility for these matters. He is a man who is regarded as the most likely successor to the present Prime Minister of South Africa. That underlines the importance of the changes about to take place in South Africa. Mr. Vorster, having won overwhelming approval from the electorate, among the minority races, is in a position to do what many of us have been encouraging him to do for many years, namely to adopt a far more liberal policy than he has been able to adopt in the past.
To sum up—Conservatives support evolution in Africa and above all in Southern Africa. The USSR supports revolution. Where do the Government stand? I believe that the Foreign Secretary has played ducks and drakes with British policy in Southern Africa. The reason for this weak approach was pointed out clearly by my right hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery). Where does the Foreign Secretary stand? Will he stop playing Moscow's game in Africa?
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Roderick MacFarquhar (Belper)
I should like briefly to take up a point made by the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall), although I will not follow him in general. The hon. Member said that Conservatives believed in evolution and asked where the Foreign Secretary stood. I remind him that in the past this Chamber has resounded with support for freedom fighters, from Prime Ministers no less. The hon. Member will recall that the Earl of Chatham supported the American freedom fighters in their war against the British. The answer to the question whether we are on the side of evolution or revolution is always that we would prefer evolution. I do not want to anticipate the reply of the Under-Secretary of State, but the question we should be asking is, "What is the side of justice?".
There are men of good will in Africa, as there have been elsewhere in the American colonies in the old days, who finally decided that the cause of justice, independence and nationalism demanded that they took up arms. My right hon. 1071 Friend the Foreign Secretary has decided, if I read him aright, that we cannot always seem to be against freedom fighters simply because we prefer evolution if we are convinced that their side is the side of justice.
I do not wish to emulate the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) and carry out a tour d'horizon. I wish to confine my remarks to one pressing current topic, and that is the Horn of Africa. My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson), with the benefit of his recent, on-the-spot knowledge, has described events there. I shall try to pinpoint one or two of the political factors involved. There can be no doubt, whether we like it or not and whatever side we wish to see ourselves on, that the Somalis invaded across the frontiers of Ethiopia. My hon. Friend may say that this is a special case, but there are always special cases. The special case in this instance is that the Ogaden area is apparently 99 per cent. Somali in tribal composition. That may be the case, but we cannot always call on that type of argument and then neglect it on other occasions.
We should be in a far better position to support the Somalis today if we had questioned the original invasion and if the Somalis had set about what would admittedly have been a long-winded and possibly unsuccessful process of attempting to negotiate a settlement for that area in their own interests. There is a further problem in this case, and it is that the Organisation of African Unity is powerless because its members are divided on the issue. It is powerless because it has always taken a strong stand, in the case of Nigeria and Zaire, against any kind of dismemberment of one of its member States. It knows that such a process could sweep across the continent, resulting in a brush fire of separatist movements and slaughter in various countries. The OAU is in a very weak position to intervene on this issue.
Nevertheless, we must face the fact that the Soviet Union, having had a successful adventure in Angola, is indulging in what my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister described in answer to a Question from me as adventurism in the Horn of Africa. It would seem that there is a need for the 1072 West to have regard to this situation because there can be no question in my mind but that adventurism feeds upon itself and that a success in this area, like the earlier success in Angola, could give further encouragement to the less cautious hawks in the Kremlin and encourage them to indulge in further activities elsewhere in Africa.
My fundamental belief—I will not go into it in detail, because I have enunciated it in earlier debates—is that the long-run situation can be summed up in the Chinese saying that the Russians are raising up a massive rock only to drop it on their own feet. By that I mean that there is no question but that the Russians, whatever their temporary successes—and to us they may seem rather long-term—will ultimately be driven from one country after another in Africa. I have drawn up a list, while listening to the debate, of countries where this has happened. It is no doubt incomplete but it is a formidable list, including Egypt, the Sudan, Mali, Somalia, the Congo and Guinea. There are probably other countries which could be included.
My hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield and Tamworth (Mr. Grocott) spoke of nationalism and emphasised that this is probably the mainspring of the African movements, whether they call themselves Marxist or not. I agree. There is no question in my mind but that the nationalism of African liberation fighters or new African States will be such as to mean that in the long run the Soviet Union has no hope of remaining in these countries. The problem with the proposition put forward by the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery)—that we must consider what is best for the people in these countries and not let them go under for these three, five or 10 years of Soviet domination or influence—is that we are no longer in a position to decide.
Let us face this matter frankly. Psychologically, whether we like it or not, history has put us on the defensive. In real terms most of the peoples of Africa have had experience of empire—of European empire, or West European empire. They know what that was like and they do not want it to return. The Russians have yet to prove, in many parts of Africa, that they can be worse masters and more stupid than ourselves in the way in which they attempt to run what in 1073 some senses would be a latter-day empire. However, the list of countries I have given that have thrown off Soviet influence shows that people learn relatively fast.
What can we do, even if we cannot decide, on behalf of the various peoples whom the Russians are attempting to influence, to discourage Soviet adventurism which could lead, if it went too far, to a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States? I should have thought that any idea of a Vietnam-style involvement in the Horn of Africa, on which I am concentrating this evening, or anywhere else in Africa, must be ruled out. It is quite clear that the United States Congress would not again condone that kind of operation, and for us to stand around wringing our hands about this matter, as some Conservative Members like to do, does not get us any further. It merely delays the decision.
The idea, put forward by one Conservative Member, that we should supply arms seems to me to be a total nonsense. In the Horn of Africa today, to attempt to counter the admittedly massive Soviet investment of arms, and possibly Cuban mercenaries, would require a corresponding effort on our side, because a half-way measure which resulted in the defeat of the Somalis would make the position far worse than it is even today.
It seems to me that there are only two lines of approach. A debate in the United Nations, as suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West, has all the ring of the right international approach, but it would quite clearly be a total embarrassment for our friends in Africa, the African leaders themselves. Although the African leaders have to take responsibility for what happens in their continent, there is no reason why we should confront them with the proposition of a debate in the United Nations. I would not regard it as being ruled out, but it is not in my opinion necessarily the best way to proceed.
I believe that Her Majesty's Government ought to attempt to influence our many friends in the African continent with the idea that they have to take up positions. Nations such as Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Zaire and others have to take up positions on these matters, because otherwise there may be a danger of a piecemeal Soviet movement into Africa, encouraged by one victory after another. 1074 It is necessary—I recall what Morocco did in the case of Zaire—that if help is to come to States which African neighbours regard as being unduly affected by the influence of the Soviet Union or the Cubans, that help must come from African States themselves in the first instance.
My second proposition is that it must be brought home to the Soviet Union that this kind of activity in Africa is endangering the whole relationship between East and West, the whole question of detente. It is surely not possible for the United States seriously to continue to sit down at the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, or other talks—all of which we wish to succeed—if at the same time the Soviet Union is unrestrained in its activities, in what the Prime Minister has called its adventurism in Africa.
I ask Her Majesty's Government to impress upon the United States Government, who have the main task of negotiating with the Soviet Union on SALT, that this is an absolutely essential proposition to be advanced to the Soviet Union in the weeks and the months ahead, as the position in the Horn of Africa develops for the worst.
§ 6.13 p.m.
§ Mr. William Shelton (Streatham)
I am delighted to follow in debate the hon. Member for Belper (Mr. MacFarquhar), who spoke—as, indeed, did his hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield and Tamworth (Mr. Grocott)—about genuine freedom fighters and movements of national liberation. I do not think that I or any of my hon. Friends would argue with the hon. Member for Belper on that.
Occasionally one has to define what one means by a genuine liberation movement. I hope that no Labour or Conservative Members would include the Irish Republican Army. I do not think that they would. Usually the question one asks is whether a liberation movement represents a majority being oppressed by a minority. If it does, as a rule of thumb, one might say that it is a genuine liberation movement of some sort or another.
I was especially interested in the speech of the hon. Member for Lichfield and Tamworth. I may find, upon reading Hansard, that I am wrong, but I do not 1075 remember his having said a single word about Cubans, Communism, or about Russian infiltration, involvement or adventurism in any part of Africa. He devoted his speech entirely, as far as I remember, to the liberation fighters without any mention of the subject under discussion, and he referred to their extreme ill-treatment and to the horrors to which they have been subject in various parts of Africa. He did not at the same time mention the horrors in which other people have been involved in other parts of the world.
The hon. Member for Belper reassured the House by saying that the Russians would drop this stone on their feet and be thrown out. He gave us a list of the countries from which Russia has been thrown out. I wish that he could have added East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland. If he suggests that Europe is different in some way, perhaps I can mention Cuba to him, for what is happening with the Cubans in Africa is quite extraordinary.
I lived in South America for 10 years, and during that period the Cubans were trying to infiltrate the South American countries. They failed when Ché Guevara was killed. He was the standard bearer of the Cuban Communist and Marxist infiltration in South America. It is only since that effort failed that the Cubans have been introduced into Africa by their friends the Russians. I suspect that the Cubans have been financed by the Russians in their adventurism in Africa.
We have seen the extraordinary march of the Cubans in Africa. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) described them as the foreign legion of the Russians. I prefer to call them the mercenaries of the Russians, because they are Communists with black faces and are being used deliberately by Russia to advance Russia's ends in Africa.
I do not propose to digress at this point about whether we need to be afraid of Russian adventurism in Africa. My hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) believes that we should be afraid; the hon. Member for Belper believes that we should not. I believe that we should be afraid. If history proves us to be right, a very heavy burden 1076 of responsibility will fall on those who have dismissed that fear in such a cavalier way.
I believe that it is unlikely, but not impossible, that in 20 years' time we may look back on this decade as we now look back on the decade of the 1930s. If that is so, we shall have much for which to reproach ourselves, but less on the Conservative side than on the Labour side.
§ Mr. Shelton
That may well be so. Provided it does not happen, I really do not mind, but if it happens there will be many reproaches to be cast, because I am afraid of Russian intervention in Africa, spearheaded by the Cubans.
What is happening, when one looks into it in more detail, is quite extraordinary. Several Labour Members have said that we all know the facts, but I want to tell the House that it is reported that there are at the moment in Angola about 23,000 Cubans, of whom 9,000 are military. The security in Angola is run by East Germans, and apparently it is run extremely well. That is what we are told. In the last six months, about 4,000 to 6.000 additional Cubans have gone into Angola. No one seems to know how many Cubans there are in Ethiopia. It could be from about 1,000 to about 6,000. It is probably about 3,000, but we do not know.
In Mozambique the number is probably under 1,000. According to the rather dubious source from which I quote, there are supposed to be about 500 Romanians in Mozambique, trained in fighting with tanks. In Tanzania there are supposed to be 500 Cubans, in Guinea 300 to 500, in Equatorial Guinea, 300 to 400, in the Congo 450, in Guinea-Bissau 100 to 200. and in Libya 100. Some of them are doctors but most are military personnel. The figure for Sierra Leone is said to be 100 to 125, for Algeria 35, for Malagasy 30, for Benin 10 to 15, and for Cape Verde also 10 to 15.
The Sunday Telegraph—which I view with less suspicion than do Labour Members, although I do not automatically claim that what it says is true—published some interesting information yesterday. If the report is true, there is a completely new situation developing in South Yemen 1077 —or at least one of which I was completely unaware. According to the Sunday Telegraph, in South Yemen it is again the East Germans who are in control of security. I dare say that the East Germans, after their experience in their own country, are very good at security control. The report states that in South Yemen there are about 4,000 Cubans and about 2,000 East Germans.
In all these countries there are presumably Russian advisers. They seem to have it very well organised. They have the Cubans to do the fighting. The Russians themselves administer, and the East Germans man the security. This is really an extraordinary situation.
If my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Winchester had not put down this motion today, I wonder whether the House would have been debating this matter, whether the Government would have brought our attention to it and whether there would have been a debate in Government time to discuss this bizarre business that is going on in Africa, which has been virtually invaded by a small Caribbean island of some 5 million people—it is a most unusual situation—backed up, apparently by East German security forces. Perhaps the Minister can give a rebuttal to some of these figures.
Why have the Government not said or done anything about this? My right hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) said that he thought that the Foreign Secretary was afraid of his party. After hearing the views of the hon. Member for Lichfield and Tamworth, I believe that my right hon. Friend may very well be right, because if those views are endemic throughout the hon. Member's party, I should be very careful about making the sort of speech from the Labour Benches that I and some of my hon. Friends have made from the Opposition Benches.
What can the British Government do about it? In two specific areas perhaps they have some power to influence events. The first area perhaps, I suppose, is what is happening in Somalia and Ethiopia. President Bane has asked the British Government for aid. I understand that he is receiving at least economic aid from West Germany and that he is receiving aid from Iran. I hold Iran in very great respect. If some Labour Members 1078 do not have the same view about Iran as I have, let me suggest to them that there is nothing improper in at least following the example of West Germany, which is a fine member of the European Community. Therefore, I see nothing wrong in giving aid to President Barre of Somalia.
Indeed, the Foreign Secretary seems to see nothing wrong in it either. On 18th January he made a statement in which he said that he had been requested by Somalia for aid, and he said that no decision had been taken on that request. The words were "no decision". That does not mean that it is impossible, but he had not made up his mind on 18th January while Russian tanks were possibly about to cross the border into Somalia. The Foreign Secretary was thinking about it. He has been thinking about it for two or three weeks. But, at the same time, he said that he had not made up his mind, and presumably he still has not made up his mind, otherwise we should have heard about that.
The Foreign Secretary went on to say thatthe conflict should be settled within an African context and without outside interference.He was not quite brave enough to mention Russia or Cuba. He said:We have supported OAU mediation efforts. The British Government would be prepared to support an approach to the Security Council if this seemed likely to help work out a basis for a settlement."—[Official Report, 18th January 1978; Vol. 942, c. 451.]I can hardly imagine a weaker and more ineffectual statement to make to a man who comes to one and says "My country is probably about to be overrun by tanks. Please will you help me?" The Foreign Secretary has not yet made a decision.
Perhaps this evening the Minister will tell us that the Forengn Secretary has made a decision about it and will give aid, or will go to the United Nations or the OAU, or will at least make a speech about it. May we not ask the Minister to ask his right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to stand up somewhere and make a speech about Cuban and Russian intervention and go just a bit further than say "We deplore outside intervention"? May we not expect that from the Foreign Secretary of this country when we have been approached by another Government for aid?
1079 The second area in which the British Government certainly have a power to exercise is in the problem in Rhodesia, which has been with us for so many years. I understand—indeed, we all understand because we have heard it repeatedly from the Foreign Secretary—that the Foreign Secretary does not believe that the internal discussions can lead to a successful solution without the involvement of the Patriotic Front, because he does not believe that, without its involvement, the guerrilla warfare in Rhodesia will cease. Therefore, he says "Without that ceasing, we shall not have the sort of settlement that we want. Therefore, the Patriotic Front must be involved."
Had we had the privilege of the Foreign Secretary being present this evening, I would have said two things to him about that, because this is very important for Rhodesia. I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman is not present. I would have said this to him first—and the House should mark it well. I understand that a distinguished Indian general called on a Minister in the Foreign Office, who sent a telex or a cable, or a message by whatever system of transmission is used, to the Foreign Secretary in Malta. The burden of it was that the guerrilla war carried on by Mr. Nkomo and Mr. Mugabe has been and is almost completely ineffectual. This was said by an Indian general based in New York, with extensive contacts from the United Nations. At one time he was military adviser to the United Nations. He apparently told the Foreign Office—I am sure that he did—that the guerrilla war is completely ineffectual and that there is little or no military problem within Rhodesia.
If that is so—and I am sure that the Foreign Office's information must be at least as good as that of this Indian general—surely the approach by the Foreign Secretary should have been to say to Mr. Nkomo and Mr. Mugabe "Look, gentlemen, you must get involved in the Salisbury talks whatever happens. Please get involved in the Salisbury talks and play your part in them." By not doing that and by saying to them "We shall not give independence to Rhodesia unless you are satisfied", he has given them a leverage the only result of which must be to prolong that guerrilla war. Surely that must be so.
1080 I have no direct evidence about the success or otherwise of that war, and I do not suppose that any hon. Member has any direct evidence as to that. I merely draw attention to a statement by Mr. Mugabe, who claims to have had 20,000 guerrillas in operation and gives a list of what they have achieved over six years. The list starts with 120 surprise attacks, 48 ambushes, 85 sabotage operations, eight camps attacked, 500 vehicles destroyed—in six years by 20,000 guerrillas. All I can say is that if that is the list that Mr. Mugabe gives, probably the Indian general's view was right and the guerrilla forces are basically ineffectual.
Several hon. Members have asked why Mr. Smith, then, is sitting down at the conference table. It is partly, of course, because of the guerrilla attacks. If there had been no guerrilla war over the past few years, he probably would not have done so. I should have deplored that very much. I do not say "Good for the guerrillas", but I should have deplored it. Other reasons are the efforts of Dr. Kissinger and the intense economic and international pressure. All these things have played their part in leading Mr. Smith to say "I must get on with this", and he is doing it. I accept, of course, that one of the reasons is the guerrilla war.
§ Mr. John Mendelson
I have listened to the hon. Gentleman with amazement. I am only glad that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary does not have to suffer him as one of his advisers, because if the Foreign Secretary were to act on what the hon. Gentleman has been saying during the last few minutes, the consequence would have been that he would have persuaded Mr. Mugabe that he must have a large guerrilla force and must step up raids into Rhodesia. As I understand the Foreign Secretary's view, he does not want the guerrilla war increased but wants to persuade people that they will all have a share if they agree to a peaceful solution.
§ Mr. Shelton
I do not think the Foreign Secretary would have done that. I think we shall soon see a peaceful settlement in Rhodesia as a result of the internal discussions. The Foreign Secretary has talked time and again about an international viewpoint. He has not talked 1081 in the House, in my hearing, in recent times, about the people of Rhodesia.
§ Mr. Shelton
I have a quotation from Hansard that I would read to the hon. Member if there were time. The Foreign Secretary has also talked about two sides to the fight. My understanding is that Mr. Nkomo, who is a representative of the minority Matabele tribe, and Mr. Mugabe, who is a member of a sub-group of the Shona tribe, together do not, probably, have more than 15 per cent. of the support of the Rhodesian people. The present black leaders negotiating with Ian Smith represent the other 85 per cent. of the tribes in Rhodesia. That is something which the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) can find out. It is not a fifty-fifty situation. It is an 85–15 per cent. situation. I have heard this many times and it was again confirmed by the distinguished Indian general with whom we discussed the matter the other week.
It is not an even balance. I very much hope that the people of Rhodesia will have a referendum. I understand that they would support those people who are at present negotiating with Mr. Smith. If there is an internal settlement, and a referendum, and if Mr. Nkomo and Mr. Mugabe join in, as I hope they will, I believe that they will have anything between 15 per cent. and 20 per cent. of support in that country. If the Minister has any information to the contrary, I shall be interested to hear what he has to say.
On 25th January the Foreign Secretary was asked by one of my hon. Friends whether the six principles still applied. He said:We still stand by the basic principles, but they are much more detailed in the Anglo-American proposals."—[Official Report, 25th January 1978; Vol. 942, c. 1367.]If they have not already done so, I suggest that Labour Members compare the six principles, Dr. Kissinger's proposals and the Anglo-American peace initiative. They will find that there is very little in the six principles that is contained in the Anglo-American peace 1082 initiative, and vice versa. They are two very different documents. I find it quite extraordinary that the Foreign Secretary, in answer to a question, can say that the six principles still apply and are interpreted in the Anglo-American initiative when the two documents have such basic areas of difference. If the Minister can refer to a Rhodesian settlement and say whether the British Government still stand by the six principles or whether they insist on the Anglo-American initiative, I for one would welcome that clarification.
If Labour Members are right in believing that we have nothing to fear from Soviet intervention in Africa, no one will be more pleased than I. If we are right, then in 10, 20 or 30 years we shall have a great deal to accuse ourselves of.
§ 6.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
It seems that, consistently in these debates on Africa, Conservative Members pose the wrong question and always give the wrong answer. It is sometimes amusing that they do not look back over history to see how and when people have reacted. I recollect vividly how there was great glee in this country when President Amin overthrew Milton Mobote. It was done on the basis that Mobote was leaning far too much towards Eastern Powers and, therefore, Amin was seen as a great moderating influence on the continent of Africa.
§ Mr. Hughes
Conservative Members who take that view should look back over the speeches of that period and, perhaps, have a little shame.
If we come a little closer to the present time, only a few months ago the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) was clasping Mr. Sithole to his bosom as a great moderate, whereas I believe that he was the only person actually imprisoned in Rhodesia for trying to overthrow the State. We also have Bishop Muzorewa clasped to the bosom of the Tory Party as being a great moderate. Yet when he went to Blackpool last October to address a fringe meeting at the Tory Party conference—I give him credit for that—he was howled down as being a murderer and a terrorist, whereas he claims—as he claimed in a 1083 Committee Room upstairs—that the guerrillas are not Mr. Nkomo's or Mr. Mugabe's but are Muzorewa's guerrillas.
People take different viewpoints depending on how things are going. The right hon. Member for Pavilion said that the Russians had no tradition of involvement in Africa. We certainly have, and it has never been for the benefit of the indigenous population of Africa.—[HON. MEMBERS "Rubbish."]—If any hon. Member is trying to suggest that Rhodes's great dream of an empire stretching from the Cape to Cairo was for the benefit of the indigenous population he is living in Cloud-cuckoo land. We went into Africa for Britain's imperial and economic interest. If we do not recognise that we understand nothing at all about the continent of Africa.
There are only two reasons why Conservative Members wish to see us still involved in Africa. One is the anti-Soviet influence, which is the subject of this motion, and the second is Britain's economic and imperial interests.
The hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) made the point that we are involved in a battle for resources. He is not concerned about the people of Africa. He is concerned about the resources, which are to be under someone's control. The strange thing is that, time after time, other Conservative Members make precisely the same mistake.
When the guerrilla movements started in Angola and Mozambique and called on the West to assist them, not by supplying arms, but by stopping Portugal from using weapons supplied by NATO during the colonial wars of domination, we refused to help them. We said "It has nothing to do with us." They turned for help elsewhere. To whom else could they turn but to the Eastern bloc Powers which were willing to match their words with actions and give them weapons? As with a self-fulfilling prophecy some hon. Members turned round and said "We told you they were Communists". But they were getting assistance from the East only because we would not assist them.
Now, if we listen to the views of Conservative Members, we find they intend to make precisely the same mistake again. They say that there is far too much Soviet influence, but they are not asking my 1084 right hon. Friends and the Government to go to the assistance of Mozambique and Angola. They are saying "Do not help them at all. Stand back. Leave a vacuum". After that vacuum is filled, as others on many occasions, by the Russians, they will turn round and say "We told you all along. They are under the influence of the Russians".
Frankly, when we have the possibility of assisting these countries, either through money, economic experts or trade and technical assistance, we stand back and say "We shall not help them because they are too tainted with this thing called Communism". Millions of people in the world must be asking themselves "What is this thing called Communism?" Many millions of people have no idea what Communism is, but they constantly see these great protestations in the House of Commons by experienced world-wide travellers up to the status of rear-admiral and ask "Why are they against Communism?" When they hear Smith and his cohorts attacking Communists they ask "What is this thing called Communism?"
Instead of attacking Communism in Africa we should be attacking the conditions which make Communism attractive to those people who are looking for a philosophy. That is what we ought to be looking at.
When looking at this whole argument, therefore, we should be thinking primarily of the people of Africa and what their future is to be. We should be thinking of how we can help them in a positive way. There is no point in complaining about the negative side of what is happening and wanting to withdraw. We should be thinking of the positive aid that we can give. We should also reflect that, consistently in the past, we have backed the wrong horse and that that has led to great difficulties.
If we fail to recognise, especially in Rhodesia and South Africa, the role that we can play to see a peaceful change brought about, and to see that people who have had no voice in their country at last have a voice in the creation of democratic parts of Africa, we shall have failed those people, in which event the shame will not be on the Government Benches: it will be on the Opposition Benches.
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. John Tomlinson)
We have had an extremely useful debate. Before dealing with some of the specific matters raised in it, I might say to the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) that, although he began his speech today by referring to the failures in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s, for 14 of those years it was his own party which was responsible—even if his assumptions were correct.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
I reject as emphatically as I can the suggestion in the hon. and gallant Gentleman's motion that there has been any failure on the part of Her Majesty's Government to recognise the dangers inherent in the present circumstances in Africa.
I listened with interest to the expressions of concern about Soviet involvement in Africa, especially in the Horn of Africa. The Government are concerned by any evidence of Soviet activity which destabilises the area or which hinders a peaceful settlement. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State told the House on 18th January, we have made very clear our views on the dangers of supplying quantities of sophisticated arms in these circumstances. I note that the arms which fuel the present conflict in the Ogaden, to which I shall return later, came to both sides from the Soviet Union.
Before taking up individual arguments put forward in the debate, I should like to make a few general observations about the situation in Africa.
What the African countries need quite clearly is stability in which they can develop their economies without outside interference. How that stability is to be achieved no doubt varies from area to area. But it is for the Africans themselves to work out how to achieve it without outside interference. It is for them to resolve African problems, whether by bilateral agreements or through the OAU or the United Nations. I am convinced that that is the way that the Africans themselves wish to handle their affairs.
In co-operation with our partners, we are doing what we can to help where help 1086 is required, or where it has been sought, or where a problem is already in an international forum—for example, in our attempts to create an internationally acceptable solution in Rhodesia, a multiracial society in South Africa, or to bring Namibia to independence in accordance with Security Council Resolution No. 385.
§ Mr. John Davies
In that catalogue, the hon. Gentleman did not refer to the continued presence of a very large number of extraneous troops and others from Cuba. Is not a destabilising effect caused by that as well, and is not that also a matter in which the Government should be involving themselves?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
If the right hon. Gentleman will contain himself, I shall refer to this problem later in my remarks. I said that I should be dealing with specific questions but that first I wanted to make a few general observations.
The behaviour of outside Powers such as the Soviet Union in the African context is relevant to the general state of East-West detente. In this connection, I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. MacFarquhar), who dealt with the matter in his remarks.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State stressed on 18th January that it was in no one's interests that this dispute, especially in the Horn of Africa, should become an issue between East and West. I hope that the Soviet authorities paid close attention to his remarks. The British Government are committed to the detente process, as are the Soviet Government. There is no alternative if potential crisis and conflict in a nuclear age are to be avoided.
But the British Government have always made it clear to the Russians that detente does not exclusively apply to East-West relations in Europe and to the strategic balance. It applies world-wide It has a universal dimension. If the Soviet Union does not act with restraint in crises in Africa, inevitably that will affect public confidence in the East-West detente with consequences which could be damaging to both sides.
The Government have emphasied constantly that detente requires all countries, East and West, to behave with responsibilility in conflicts and to work for peaceful negotiated settlements. That is our 1087 approach to the conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Rhodesia, and I hope that it will condition the approach of the Soviet Union and other powers.
§ Mr. Richard Luce (Shoreham)
The whole House wants to know, especially in answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery), precisely what diplomatic initiatives the British Government and other Western countries are taking to reach greater stability in the Horn of Africa. Will the hon. Gentleman explain especially why the British Government are giving more than £2 million a year in bilateral aid to the Marxist regime in Ethiopia?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
The House is more likely to gain an understanding of these matters if I am allowed to make my own speech in my own time. I shall endeavour to reply to as many points as possible. However, it is right that before coming to them I should get some general observations on the record.
The best approach to Africa can be summed up in three words—"aid, not arms". One of the biggest problems which Africa and other developing countries face is the need for assistance in developing their economies. The United Kingdom and other Western countries do their part through bilateral and multilateral aid programmes and by investment and trade. It is no secret that Western efforts in this respect are far superior to the assistance tendered by the Soviet Union and other East European countries. It is in the interests of the African countries that aid provided by outside Powers, including the Soviet Union, should be concentrated less on military assistance and much more on economic and technical assistance.
A final general observation that I make is that it is important, when considering Soviet involvement in this area, to be precise about the issues which are of concern. Every country has the right to work for the improvement of its relations with other countries and to strengthen its influence in foreign capitals. This applies as much to the Russians as to anyone else. What is at issue is not the right of the Soviet Union to develop relations with Africa but the extent and nature of Soviet involvement. It is a matter of 1088 concern when an outside Power uses its influence in a way which does not help towards, or which in some cases positively hinders, the peaceful settlement of a crisis.
I make it quite clear that there is no foundation to recent Ethiopian allegations that, at the Washington meeting of representatives from five Western Governments on 21st January, a secret agreement to arm Somalia was reached. On the contrary, the communiqué issued after that meeting reaffirmed the belief of the five Governments concerned that no lasting solution to the problems of the region could be found through force of arms and that negotiation offered the only means to end the fighting and to find a durable settlement. This remains the objective of the British Government.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said on 18th January, we have not been supplying arms to either side in this conflict. False allegations that arms in use by Somalia have a NATO origin seem calculated to try to aggravate the problem and to convert it into an East-West issue. We stand firmly by the OAU principles of territorial integrity and the peaceful settlement of disputes. My right hon. Friend has made our position quite clear to the Ethiopian Government.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
It means exactly what it says, nothing more and nothing less.
I turn to the specific points raised in the debate. I shall be dealing with the Horn of Africa specifically—
§ Mr. Tomlinson
If my hon. Friend will contain himself, I shall be returning to the subject of the Horn of Africa specifically a little later.
The hon. and gallant Member for Winchester and the right hon. Members for Knutsford (Mr. Davies) and Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) mentioned Ogaden and Soviet presence in a number of countries. Let us try to get clear the factual position. In regard to Angola, Her Majesty's Government deplore any military presence in Southern Africa which 1089 heightens the tension in the area. However, I must point out that Angola is a sovereign independent country which is entitled to decide on the countries from which it chooses assistance.
The Angolan Government have said that Cubans and Soviets are in Angola at their invitation to assist in the reconstruction of the country in the aftermath of civil war—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] This is the statement made by a sovereign Government. If the right hon. Member for Pavilion asks why we have relations with that country, the answer is clear, namely, that in common with most other Western States we recognise the MPLA Government as being the legitimate Government of Angola. The establishment of diplomatic relations followed logically from that recognition and Government recognition was given in unison with other Western States.
A number of hon. Members referred to the situation in Mozambique. Both the Russians and Cubans have signed friendship treaties with Mozambique and are providing technical and military advisers. In addition, the Russians are providing military equipment to armed forces in the country. Our goal is to ensure that Mozambique maintains its professed position of non-alignment. It is important, for example, that the West does not neglect or snub Mozambique. If Tory Members have nothing better to do than to laugh, they should appreciate that their attitude, particularly on our aid to Mozambique, is likely to have no other effect than to drive that country more firmly into the arms of the Soviet bloc. I hope that Conservative Members who are so hostile to British aid to Mozambique realise the end result of their advocacy if it were in any way successful.
Let me again spell out the basis of our aid in Mozambique. In our policy of aid, we hope that we have heard the last of the nonsense continually uttered by the Conservative Members to the effect that we are supporting a Marxist regime. We, in concert with nearly the whole of the Western world, in conformity with United Nations requirements and regulations, are giving aid to Mozambique, and in all cases we have received assurances, which the Government find totally satisfactory from the Mozambique Government, that British assistance will be used for peaceful purposes only.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
I cannot give way if I am to answer the hon. Gentleman's earlier question. Therefore, I must plough on.
I wish to turn to the subject of Rhodesia. I do not want to say a great deal about Rhodesia, because the Foreign Secretary has recently clearly restated the position. A number of hon. Members asked about Cuban-Soviet involvement in Rhodesia. I cannot give any estimates of the numbers involved, but I am concerned about any outside involvement in the Rhodesian conflict, which I believe should be solved through negotiation rather than by bloodshed. Such involvement would give us serious concern.
When my right hon. Friend went to Moscow in October last, he explained the Anglo-American approach fully to Mr. Gromyko and made it clear how important is restraint on the part of all outside Powers if the proposals are to succeed. It is no secret that the Russians are hostile to United Nations involvement, and it is also no secret that there are close ties and material support for ZAPU from the Soviet Union. Her Majesty's Government believe that the only way to achieve an internationally acceptable solution is to persevere with Anglo-American proposals, and I urge all parties to recognise this.
One contributor referred to the subject of shipping, and particularly to the Soviet naval presence in the Indian Ocean. If the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester and the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) are implying that recent developments in Africa have increased the capability of the Soviet Union to threaten the sea lanes from facilities in Africa, I question that. One consequence of the recent developments in the Horn was the loss to the Soviet Union of very valuable naval facilities at Berbera, in Somalia. The Russians have not made up for that loss, although no doubt they would like to do so, and are actively looking for alternatives.
My hon. Friend for Lichfield and Tamworth (Mr. Grocott) was right to bring the human perspective into this debate. Because of the circumstances he described, I have emphasised the African need as being for aid, not arms. He was right to draw to the attention of the House the horrors of apartheid. Against that 1091 background, I must tell the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester, who raised the subject of the South African arms embargo and the Simonstown Agreement, that we on the Labour Benches, and I am sure many Opposition Members, regard apartheid as a totally abhorrent principle. It is the very fact of apartheid which provides the fertile soil in which influences hostile to the West flourish. This point was also made by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes).
The abrogation of the Simonstown Agreement and the arms embargo are measures which we have taken and are taking as actions which are right in themselves and a clear demonstration of our opposition to and abhorrence of apartheid policies in Southern Africa.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
I did not mention apartheid. Therefore, I do not know why the Minister is answering about it. Will he answer the point put to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreham (Mr. Luce)? That is what I want to know in connection with my debate.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
I am answering on the South African arms embargo and the Simonstown Agreement. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman cannot see that those matters and apartheid policy in Southern Africa are connected, it is his myopia and not mine that prevents him from seeing it.
I wish now to deal with the main theme running through the debate, namely, the serious concern about the situation in the Horn of Africa. The crucial question has been referred to by many hon. Members. Her Majesty's Government are quite clear about the situation. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear, we regret this continued conflict and favour an early negotiated settlement, although we in no way underestimate the difficulties involved. Direct outside involvement in the conflict clearly is unhelpful and we are opposed to it.
As my right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secreatary has also made clear, we regret
§ that the Ogaden conflict has become an issue in East-West relations. We have urged the Soviet Union and other countries to leave the dispute to the OAU to settle. It should remain a regional question to be settled in an African context. We are not supplying arms to either side in the dispute. We uphold the OAU principles of territorial integrity and peaceful settlement of disputes.
§ My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. Johnson) asked about the United Nations role in this matter. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said on 18th January, we should be prepared to support an approach to the Security Council if this seemed likely to help work out a basis for settlement.
§ I should like to see a measure of genuine international support for Security Council involvement. But we shall continue to keep this aspect under review. The United Nations might be able to afford some direct support of value to African mediation.
§ More generally, I wish to affirm our view that the conflict in the Horn of Africa is complex and damaging in its effects. The Nigerian Government, who chair the OAU Good Offices Committee between Ethiopia and Somalia, are pursuing their efforts to bring the two sides together. I sincerely hope that they will be successful. We are prepared to give any support we can to this end.
§ Mr. John Davies
The Under-Secretary of State has failed absolutely to allay the anxieties that have been expressed from the Opposition Benches. He has indicated concern at every moment of his speech but never one ounce of action.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
The right hon. Gentleman knows that the action that can be taken in circumstances where we are—
§ Question put, That the Question be now put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 142, Noes, 180.1093
|Division No. 97]||AYES||[7.00 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Banks, Robert||Brooke, Peter|
|Alison, Michael||Biggs-Davison, John||Buck, Antony|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Boscawen, Hon Robert||Budgen, Nick|
|Baker, Kenneth||Braine, Sir Bernard||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Channon, Paul||Hunt, David (Wirral)||Rathbone, Tim|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hurd, Douglas||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)|
|Clark, William (Croydon S)||Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd)||Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)||Jopling, Michael||Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)|
|Cope, John||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Rhodes, James R.|
|Cormack, Patrick||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Costain, A. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|Craig, Rt Hon W. (Belfast E)||King, Evelyn (South Dorset)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Crouch, David||Knight, Mrs Jill||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Knox, David||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Dean, Paul (N Somerset)||Lamont, Norman||Scott, Nicholas|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Durant, Tony||Lawrence, Ivan||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Luce, Richard||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||McCrindle, Robert||Sims, Roger|
|Elliott, Sir William||Macfarlane, Neil||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Emery, Peter||MacKay, Andrew (Stechford)||Smith, Dudley (Warwick)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham)||Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)|
|Fairbairn, Nicholas||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Mates, Michael||Sproat, Iain|
|Fell, Anthony||Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald||Stainton, Keith|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||Mayhew, Patrick||Stanley, John|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)|
|Forman, Nigel||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)||Mills, Peter||Tapsell, Peter|
|Fox, Marcus||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)|
|Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||Moate, Roger||Tebbit, Norman|
|Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Molyneaux, James||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham)||Monro, Hector||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Moore, John (Croydon C)||Townsend, Cyril D.|
|Goodhart, Philip||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Vaughan, Dr Gerald|
|Gorst, John||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral||Wakeham, John|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow C)||Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek|
|Gray, Hamish||Neave, Airey||Wall, Patrick|
|Grylls, Michael||Nelson, Anthony||Wells, John|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Neubert, Michael||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Hannam, John||Newton, Tony||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael||Onslow, Cranley||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Hicks, Robert||Osborn, John||Younger, Hon George|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)|
|Hordern, Peter||Page, Richard (Workington)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Pattie, Geoffrey||Mr. Victor Goodhew and|
|Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)||Peyton, Rt Hon John||M. Malcom Rifkind.|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Raison, Timothy|
|Allaun, Frank||Doig, Peter||Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)|
|Anderson, Donald||Dormand, J. D.||Janner, Greville|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Duffy, A. E. P.||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Atkinson, Norman||Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth||Jeger, Mrs Lena|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Eadie, Alex||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Keywood)||Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE)||John, Brynmor|
|Bates, Alf||Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Bean, R. E.||Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)|
|Beith, A. J.||English, Michael||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Jones, Barry (East Flint)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Kerr, Russell|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Ford, Ben||Kinnock, Neil|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||George, Bruce||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Buchan, Norman||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Lipton, Marcus|
|Buchanan, Richard||Ginsburg, David||Litterick, Tom|
|Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)||Golding, John||Luard, Evan|
|Canavan, Dennis||Grant, John (Islington C)||Lyon, Alexander (York)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Grocott, Bruce||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)|
|Cartwright, John||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson|
|Castle, Rt Hon Barbara||Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)||McCartney, Hugh|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Hardy, Peter||McDonald, Dr Oonagh|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Harper, Joseph||McElhone, Frank|
|Coleman, Donald||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||MacFarquhar, Roderick|
|Cowans, Harry||Hart, Rt Hon Judith||McGuire, Michael (Ince)|
|Cryer, Bob||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Maclennan, Robert|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington S)||Heffer, Eric S.||Madden, Max|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Hooley, Frank||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Horam, John||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||Huckfield, Les||Maynard, Miss Joan|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)||Meacher, Michael|
|Deakins, Eric||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Mendelson, John|
|de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Hunter, Adam||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce|
|Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)||Rodgers, Rt Hon William (Stockton)||Tinn, James|
|Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)||Roper, John||Tomlinson, John|
|Molloy, William||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Sandelson, Neville||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Sedgemore, Brian||Ward, Michael|
|Moyle, Roland||Sever, John||Watkinson, John|
|Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)||Weitzman, David|
|Noble, Mike||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert||Wellbeloved, James|
|Oakes, Gordon||Shore, Rt Hon Peter||Whitehead, Phillip|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)||Whitlock, William|
|Orbach, Maurice||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)||Willey, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Ovenden, John||Skinner, Dennis||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Padley, Walter||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)|
|Palmer, Arthur||Snape, Peter||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Park, George||Spearing, Nigel||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Parker, John||Spriggs, Leslie||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Steel, Rt Hon David||Woodall, Alec|
|Perry, Ernest||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Prescott, John||Stoddart, David||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Price, C. (Lewisham W)||Stott, Roger|
|Price, William (Rugby)||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Richardson, Miss Jo||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)||Mr, Thomas Cox and|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Thompson, George||Mr. Ted Graham.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ It being after Seven o'clock, the Proceedings on the Motion lapsed, pursuant to Standing Order No. 6 (Precedence of Government Business).