HC Deb 12 March 1980 vol 980 cc1315-6
5. Mr. Whitney

asked the Lord Privy Seal when next he plans to meet President Nyerere of Tanzania.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Richard Luce)

My right hon. Friend has no current plans to meet President Nyerere.

Mr. Whitney

When my right hon. Friend meets the President of Tanzania, will he take the opportunity to point out that the President's misgivings about the intention of the British Government to conduct a fair election in Zimbabwe were misplaced and, on the assumption that President Nyerere may be as ready to welcome advice as he is to offer it, will my right hon. Friend suggest to him that economic progress, the promotion of human rights and the promotion of democracy in Tanzania are objectives on which the President might now concentrate his attention?

Mr. Luce

The President is entitled to his opinions, which he expressed to us during the elections, and we are entitled to ours. I am glad to note that a few days ago the President said that he was wrong in his judgment and that he agreed that the Rhodesian elections were free and fair. No doubt the President, along with many others, will note the stark contrast between the determination of Britain to hold free and fair elections in Rhodesia and the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Since the President was sufficiently gracious to say that he was wrong in his judgment about free and fair elections, will the Government be gracious enough to admit that they were wrong about President Nyerere and his development programme and allow him the funds to make Tanzania a stable, progressive State, which it is rapidly becoming even without British funds, though it would be helped by them?

Mr. Luce

It is up to President Nyerere to determine how he pursues his economic policies. As the hon. Gentleman knows, we already give about £20 million a year in economic assistance to Tanzania. That is a subject which is constantly under review, and it is right that it should be.

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