HC Deb 05 February 1986 vol 91 cc281-2
14. Mr. Pike asked

the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he received from the South African authorities on the representations he made regarding the blockade of Lesotho.

Mrs. Chalker

The hon. Member will know that the South African authorities have now lifted the blockade on Lesotho. We understand that traffic is flowing normally between the two countries.

Mr. Pike

Will the Minister explain why the Government did not respond to the request from the former Prime Minister for assistance when it was received? The request remained on the Prime Minister's desk for seven days. Why did the Government allow the blockade to continue by not supplying the airlift that was requested?

Mrs. Chalker

I think that the hon. Gentleman has one or two matters slightly confused. I do not blame him for that, because I can do the same thing myself. We made our concern about the blockade of Lesotho clear to the South Africans from day one. We are pleased that the restrictions have now been lifted. We have been active in Lesotho in trying to assist it and we hope that peace will now return. We shall make whatever representations may be necessary in future.

Mr. Sayeed

Has my hon. Friend any reason to believe that the South African regime assisted in engineering the downfall of the Government of Chief Jonathan?

Mrs. Chalker

No, Sir.

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