HC Deb 09 February 1983 vol 36 c981
1. Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Her Majesty's ambassador to Angola last met President Dos Santos of Angola; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Cranley Onslow)

Her Majesty's ambassador's last private meeting with the President of Angola was on 27 July 1982. I understand that he hopes to meet the President again today. Meanwhile, as my hon. Friend will know, the Angolan Minister of External Relations, Senor Paulo Jorge, is due to arrive in the United Kingdom tomorrow and I have arranged for a number of hon. Members, including my hon. Friend, to meet him during the course of his visit.

Mr. Proctor

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. He will know of my continuing concern for my constituent, Mr. Malcolm Wright, who has been in prison in Angola for seven years. Will my hon. Friend confirm that it would be appropriate tomorrow to make an appeal to the Minister of External Relations of the People's Republic of Angola for clemency for my constituents and other British prisoners held in Angola?

Mr. Onslow

I am sure that the Angolan Minister of External Relations is aware of the concern in this matter. Equally, I am sure that he will understand if my hon. Friend raises the case of his constituent.

Mr. Clinton Davis

May I advert to the subject of linkage? Is it not a fact that the concept is rejected not only by Her Majesty's Government but by all the other members of the Contact Group, with the exception of the United States? Therefore, is it not intolerable that the United States should aid and abet the racist Government of South Africa by using this concept to prevent democracy coming to Namibia as rapidly as possible, as required by the United Nations?

Mr. Onslow

The hon. Gentleman would not expect me to share the construction that he puts on the position of the United States in these matters. He will know, because I have told him before, that we take the view that if this opportunity provides a means of securing a wider ranging settlement in southern Africa, it is not one that we should reject.