HC Deb 17 January 1979 vol 960 cc1694-5
9. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will seek to pay an official visit to Bucharest.

Mr. Luard

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

Mr. Janner

Does my hon. Friend agree that the recent visit of President Ceaucescu to this country and the recent ministerial visits to Bucharest from this country have helped to contribute to good relations between Britain and Romania? Will he pay tribute to the sturdy independence of Romanian foreign policy?

Mr. Luard

I agree that our relations with Romania are excellent. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the relationship of Romania to her neighbours or the Warsaw Pact countries, but Her Majesty's Government fully welcome and support the right of every nation to hold its own views on matters of international concern and to express them freely and independently.

Mr. James Lamond

If my hon. Friend intends to write to the Romanian Government to congratulate them on their decision not to increase their arms expenditure, would it not be hypocritical if at the same time he enclosed some sales literature on the Harrier aircraft, since the Romanians might be coming into the category of a nation that could buy it?

Mr. Luard

I have no intention of addressing such a letter to the Romanian Government at present. If I do so, I shall bear in mind my hon. Friend's comments.

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