HC Deb 22 November 1979 vol 974 cc556-8
Q3. Mr. Foulkes

asked the Prime Minister if she will consider appointing a member of the House of Commons as Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Foulkes

Will the Prime Minister accept that this is a criticism not of individuals—[An HON. MEMBER: "It should be."] That is for another occasion—but of an arrangement whereby one of her principal Cabinet Ministers is not answerable to the elected House of Commons? Will she bear that in mind when making her Cabinet reshuffle, which, in view of the collapse of her economic and industrial policy, is clearly imminent?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman overlooks the fact that we have in this House an excellent Cabinet Minister answerable for foreign affairs.

Mr. Latham

Is not Lord Carrington deserving of the thanks of the whole country for his superb handling of the Rhodesian negotiations?

The Prime Minister

I warmly endorse my hon. Friend's congratulations. I hope that both sides at the Lancaster House conference will soon come to an agreement on a ceasefire, because that is the only way that we can go ahead and obviate some of the difficulties that now obtain in Zambia and in infiltration across the border into Rhodesia.

Mr. Shore

Referring precisely to those difficulties, and in view of the serious attacks that were made on Zambia yesterday and earlier this week, will the Prime Minister tell the House whether she has had any further exchanges with the President of Zambia and whether any direct representations have been made to the Southern Rhodesia authorities that they cease these wrecking attacks at this crucial stage?

The Prime Minister

Yes. I spoke to President Kaunda on the telephone a short time ago and said that at 4 o'clock this afternoon, when we have a plenary session at Lancaster House, we would be putting forward proposals for the ceasefire and asking both sides to constrain themselves—the one not to make attacks into Zambia, and the other to cease infiltration across the Zambian border into Rhodesia. If we can get those undertakings from both sides we shall have a chance of getting through to a ceasefire agreement.