§ 4.3 p.m.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (LORD CHALFONT)
My Lords, I beg leave to repeat a Statement which has been made in another place by my right honourable friend the Commonwealth Secretary in answer to a Private Notice Question on the United Nations resolution on Rhodesia. The Statement is as follows:
"As the House knows a meeting of the Security Council on Rhodesia was called to deal with the situation created by the illegal hangings. A draft resolution was tabled on April 18 by the African and Asia members of the Security Council. It envisaged the use of force and measures against South Africa and Portugal. On April 23 we presented our own draft resolution to the Council. It was explained to 1252 the House by my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary on the following day and the text included in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
"Since then discussions have been continuing in New York and these discussions have now led to a unanimous resolution. We did not sponsor it—nor did the Afro-Asians—but the whole Security Council without exception have given it their vote. I think it is a considerable achievement that it has been possible for the Council to adopt unanimously a complex and detailed resolution touching on many of the national interests of United Nations members. This is impressive testimony to the refusal of the international community to accept the illegal régime and its objectives for Rhodesia.
"I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the text of the resolution that has now been passed. We have throughout made it clear that we cannot contemplate the use of force to solve the Rhodesian problem and that we are not prepared to engage in an economic confrontation with South Africa. There is nothing in the resolution that conflicts with our position on these essential points. Most of the detailed provisions of the resolution are based on the earlier United Kingdom draft. As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary explained to the House on April 24, the main effect of these provisions will be to make sanctions more comprehensive, to block methods of evading sanctions and to require other countries to place the same prohibitions on trade with Rhodesia as we have applied to our own trade.
"One new paragraph requests States'to take all possible further action under Article 41 of the Charter to deal with the situation in Southern Rhodesia',while another'emphasises the need for the withdrawal of all consular and trade representation in Southern Rhodesia'.In his explanation of vote on these paragraphs our Permanent Representative at the United Nations, my right honourable and noble friend Lord Caradon, made our position clear in the following terms:'We have to bear in mind the special responsibility of the United Kingdom as 1253 administering authority. That responsibility has been recognised and emphasised in the resolution itself. It has been accepted in our consultations that we will retain our Mission and communications with Rhodesia'."The resolution contains some additional paragraphs of a political character. These paragraphs are consistent with the policy of Her Majesty's Government which is based on the six principles to which both sides of the House are committed. Nothing in these paragraphs places any restriction on Britain, beyond what is contained in the six principles themselves, to discharge her responsibilities towards Rhodesia as she thinks best. Nothing in these paragraphs condones the use of violence. Her Majesty's Government maintain their opposition to violence as a means of solving the Rhodesian problem. Our whole policy, indeed, has been to give the people of Southern Rhodesia all the moral and material assistance we can to enable them to shape their future in a peaceful way.
"The House will of course have a full opportunity to debate the legislation which will be necessary to give effect to a number of provisions of the resolution."
That, my Lords, is the end of the Statement.
§ Following is the text of the United Nations resolution:
§ "The Security Council
§ "Recalling and reaffirming its Resolutions 216 (1965) of 12 November, 1965, 217 (1965) of 20 November, 1965, 221 (1966) of 9 April, 1966, and 232 (1966) of 16 December, 1966.
§ "Taking note of Resolution 2262 (XXII) adopted by the General Assembly on 3 November, 1967,
§ "Noting with great concern that the Measures taken so far have failed to bring the rebellion in Southern Rhodesia to an end,
§ "Reaffirming that, to the extent not superseded in this Resolution, the Measures provided for in Resolutions 217 (1965) of 20 November, 1965, and 232 (1966) of 16 December, 1966, as well as those initiated by member States in implementation of those Resolutions, shall continue in effect,
§ "Gravely concerned that the measures taken by the Security Council have not been complied with by all States and that some States, contrary to Resolution 232 (1966) of the Security Council and to their obligations under Article 25 of the Charter, have failed to pre- 1254 vent trade with the illegal régime in Southern Rhodesia,
§ "Condemning the recent inhuman executions carried out by the illegal régime in Southern Rhodesia which have flagrantly affrented the concience of mankind and have been universally condemned,
§ "Affirming the primary responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom to enable the people of Southern Rhodesia to achieve self-determination and independence, and in particular their responsibility for dealing with the prevailing situation,
§ "Recognising the legitimacy of the struggle of the people of Southern Rhodesia to secure the enjoyment of their rights as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in conformity with the objectives of General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV),
§ "Reaffirming its determination that the present situation in Southern Rhodesia constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
§ "Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter,
§ "1. Condemns all measures of political repression, including arrests, detentions, trials and executions which violate fundamental freedoms and rights of the people of Southern Rhodesia, and calls upon the Government of the United Kingdom to take all possible measures to put an end to such actions:
§ "2. Calls upon the United Kingdom as the administering Power, in the discharge of its responsibility to take urgently all effective measures to bring to an end the rebellion in Southern Rhodesia, and enable the people to secure their enjoyment of their rights as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in conformity with the objectives of General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV):
§ "3. Decides that, in furtherance of the objective of ending the rebellion, all States Members of the United Nations shall prevent:
- "(a) The import into their territories of all commodities and products originating in Southern Rhodesia and exported therefrom after the date of this Resolution (whether or not the commodities or products are for consumption or processing in their territories, whether or not they are imported in bond and whether or not any special legal status with respect to the import of goods is enjoyed by the port or other place where they are imported or stored):
- "(b) Any activities by their nationals or in their territories which would promote or are calculated to promote the export of any commodities or products from Southern Rhodesia: and any dealings by their nationals or in their territories in any commodities or products originating in Southern Rhodesia and exported therefrom after the date of this Resclution, including in particular any transfer of funds to Southern Rhodesia for the purposes of such activities or dealings:
- "(c) The shipment in vessels or aircraft of their registration or under Charter to their nationals, or the carriage (whether or not in bond) by land transport facilities across their territories of any commodities or products
1255 originating in Southern Rhodesia and exported therefrom after the date of this Resolution;
- "(d) The sale or supply by their nationals or from their territories of any commodities or products (whether or not originating in their territories, but not including supplies intended strictly for medical purposes, educational equipment and material for use in schools and other educational institutions, publications, news material and, in special humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs), to any person or body in Southern Rhodesia or to any other person or body for the purposes of any business carried on in or operated from Southern Rhodesia, and any activities by their nationals or in their territories which promote or are calculated to promote such sale or supply;
- "(e) The shipment in vessels or aircraft of their registration or under charter to their nationals, or the carriage (whether or not in bond) by land transport facilities across their territories of any such commodities or products which are consigned to any person or body in Southern Rhodesia, or to any other person or body for the purposes of any business carried on in or operated from Southern Rhodesia.
§ "4. Decides that States Members of the United Nations shall not make available to the illegal régime in Southern Rhodesia or to any commercial industrial or public utility undertaking, including tourist enterprises, in Southern Rhodesia any funds for investment or any other financial or economic resources and shall prevent their nationals and any persons within their territories from making available to the régime or to any such undertaking any such funds or resources and from remitting any other funds to persons or bodies within Southern Rhodesia except payments exclusively for pensions or for strictly medical, humanitarian or educational purposes or for the provision of news material and in special humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs.
§ "5. Decides that all States Members of the United Nations shall:
- "(a) Prevent the entry into their territories, save on exceptional humanitarian grounds, of any person travelling on a Southern Rhodesian passport, regardless of its date of issue, or on a purported passport issued by or on behalf of the illegal régime in Southern Rhodesia; and
- "(b) Take all possible measures to prevent the entry into their territories of persons whom they have reason to believe to he ordinarily resident in Southern Rhodesia and whom they have reason to believe to have furthered or encouraged, or to be likely to further or encourage, the unlawful actions of the illegal régime in Southern Rhodesia or any activities which are calculated to evade any Measure decided upon in this Resolution or Resolution 232 (1966) of December 16, 1966.
§ "6. Decides that States Members of the United Nations shall prevent airline companies constituted in their territories and aircraft of their registration or under charter to their nationals from operating to or from Southern Rhodesia and from linking up with any airline company constituted or aircraft registered in Southern Rhodesia.1256
§ "7. Decides that all States Members of the United Nations shall give effect to the decisions set out in operative paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this Resolution notwithstanding any contract entered into or licence granted before the date of this Resolution.
§ "8. Calls upon all States Members of the United Nations and of the Specialised Agencies to take all possible measures to prevent activities by their nationals and persons in their territories promoting, assisting or encouraging emigration to Southern Rhodesia, with a view to stopping such emigration.
§ "9. Requests all States Members of the United Nations or of the Specialised Agencies to take all possible further action under Article 41 of the Charter to deal with the situation in Southern Rhodesia, not excluding any of the measures provided in that Article.
§ "10. Emphasises the need for the withdrawal of all consular and trade representation in Southern Rhodesia, in addition to the provisions of operative Paragraph 6 of Resolution 217 (1966)."
§ "11. Calls upon all the States Members of the United Nations to carry out these decisions of the Security Council in accordance with Article 25 of the United Nations Charter and reminds them that failure or refusal by any one of them to do so would constitute a violation of that Article.
§ "12. Deplores the attitude of Governments that have not complied with their obligations under Article 25 of the Charter, and censures in particular those States which have persisted in trading with the illegal régime in defiance of the Resolutions of the Security Council, and which have given active assistance to the régime.
§ "13. Urges all States Members of the United Nations to render moral and material assistance to the people of Southern Rhodesia in their struggle to achieve their freedom and independence.
§ "14. Urges, having regard to the principles stated in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, the States not member nations of the United Nations to act in accordance with the provisions of the present Resolution.
§ "15. Requests States Members of the United Nations, the United Nations Organisation, the specialised agencies, and other international organisations in the United Nations system to extend assistance to Zambia as a matter of priority with a view to helping her solve such special economic problems as she may be confronted with arising from the carrying out of these decisions of the Security Council.
§ "16. Calls upon Member States and in particular those with primary responsibility under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, to assist effectively in the implementation of the measures called for by the present Resolution.
§ "17. Considers that the United Kingdom as the administering Power should ensure that no settlement is reached without taking into account the views of the people of Southern Rhodesia, and in particular the political Parties favouring majority rule, and that it is acceptable 1257 to the people of Southern Rhodesia as a whole.
§ "18. Calls upon all States Members of the United Nations or of the Specialised Agencies to report to the Secretary General by August 1, 1968 on measures taken to implement the present Resolution.
§ "19. Requests the Secretary General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the implementation of this Resolution the first report to be made not later than September 1, 1968.
§ "20. Decides to establish, in accordance with Rule 28 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, a committee of the Security Council to undertake the following tasks and to report to it with its observations:
- "(a) To examine such reports on the implementation of the present Resolutions as are submitted by the Secretary General.
- "(b) To seek from any States Members of the United Nations or of the specialised agencies such further information regarding the trade of that State (including information regarding the commodities and products exempted from the prohibition contained in operative paragraph 3(d) above) or regarding any activities by any nationals of that State or in its territories that may constitute any evasion of the measures decided upon in this Resolution as it may consider necessary for the proper discharge of its duty to report to the Security Council.
§ "21. Requests the United Kingdom, as the administering Power, to give maximum assistance to the committee, and to provide the committee with any information which it may receive in order that the measures envisaged in this Resolution and Resolution 232 (1966) may be rendered fully effective.
§ "22. Calls upon all States Members of the United Nations, and of the Specialised Agencies, as well as the Specialised Agencies themselves, to supply such further information as may be sought by the committee in pursuance of this Resolution.
§ "23. Decides to maintain this item of its agenda for further action as appropriate in the light of developments."
§ 4.6 p.m.
§ LORD CARRINGTON
My Lords, the House will be grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, for having repeated that Statement. As I made clear, and as I think other noble Lords who sit on this side of the House made clear on the previous occasion when this policy was announced, we believe that it is wholly wrong and will be entirely counterproductive. In particular, I find it almost ludicrous that the Security Councilreaffirms its determination that the present situation in Southern Rhodesia constitutes a threat to international peace and security".The wording is rather odd. It might almost seem that they are determined that they are going to see that it constitutes 1258 a threat to international peace and security.
I should not have thought, my Lords, that stopping people travelling from Rhodesia was going to help anybody in any particular. All it does is to isolate all Rhodesians from outside induence. That, surely, cannot be a good thing, and in some cases I should have thought, too, that it would be very inhuman and extremely unfair. Incidentally, are we allowed to travel to Rhodesia? If we travel to Rhodesia shall we be considered to have given help and encouragement to the Rhodesian régime? And will our passports he taken away from us if we go to Rhodesia? Does the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, really think that otherwise this resolution will have any effect, particularly since we all know that South Africa and Portugal will not pay the smallest attention to it?
May I also ask the noble Lord, referring to page 5, paragraph 13, of the copy of the resolution which I have (I think it is the same copy as the noble Lord has) whether he will tell your Lordships what it means when the resolutionurges all States members of the United Nations to render moral and material assistance to the people of Southern Rhodesia in their struggle to achieve their independenee and freedom".Does it mean that Member States of the United Nations are being encouraged to send arms to terrorists to fight against Mr. Smith's régime?
Finally, may I ask the noble Lord (I apologise for all these questions) what legislation is contemplated, and when it will be discussed by this House?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, perhaps I may deal with these questions first. I should like, first of all, to deal with what I think is the most important question the noble Lord put to me. It refers to the operative paragraph 13 of the United Nations resolution, which deals, as he rightly said, with moral and material assistance to the people of Southern Rhodesia. I think the suggestion that this implies that States members of the United Nations are empowered or encouraged by this paragraph to send terrorists and arms into this area is a suggestion most unworthy of the noble Lord. Of course, it does nothing of the kind. Our policy has always been to 1259 render moral and material assistance to the people of Southern Rhodesia—the noble Lord knows that well—and, so far as we are concerned, we see nothing in that operative paragraph which could possibly condone the use of violence. And may I make it clear, before the noble Lord intervenes, that had we thought that it condoned violence we should not have voted for the resolution.
§ LORD CARRINGTON
Then, my Lords, may I ask what it does mean? Since there is a complete embargo on all trade with Southern Rhodesia, how can you provide material assistance?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, the question of moral and material assistance to the people of Southern Rhodesia is a simple continuation of the policies we have been implementing since this crisis began. There is no change implied in this. I beg the noble Lord not to try to read into this some kind of blank cheque on the part of the Security Council for the use of methods of violence to solve the Rhodesian problem. We are against the use of force; we are against the use of violence. I repeat that had we thought that this paragraph condoned it, or implied it, we should not have voted for the resolution.
I will now deal with the other points raised, though not necessarily in the order in which they were asked. So far as the effect of this resolution is concerned, about which the noble Lord is pessimistic, I must confess that I do not share his pessimism. We do not, of course, expect any immediate results from this resolution; it will take time to have effect. But we have no doubt whatsoever that the result of the resolution will be to increase very considerably the economic pressure on the illegal régime. I think that they are fully conscious of this themselves. I hope and believe that the resolution will create a situation in which a more useful dialogue, a more useful discussion, can take place.
So far as the reference to the United Nations is concerned, I suppose one should not be surprised at this kind of reference to international action. I can only say that sanctions of the kind we believe to be right in his case need international action to be effective. In our 1260 judgment, and the judgment of the Security Council, the continuation of the present situation in Rhodesia, whatever the noble Lord may say, constitutes a threat to the peace, and in such a situation international action is envisaged in the Charter of the United Nations.
So far as travel is concerned, I will not try to answer the noble Lord's specific question about who will be allowed to travel to Rhodesia, and what will happen to them if they do. I can only say that we shall implement fully the terms of the United Nations' resolution. The noble Lord raised the important question of legislation. Legislation will be in the form of an Order in Council, which will be laid as soon after the Whitsun holiday as possible. It will, of course, be a matter for Affirmative Resolution in both Houses.
§ LORD WADE
My Lords, on behalf of my Liberal colleagues, may I thank the noble Lord for repeating this Statement. I welcome the fact that unanimity was achieved at the Security Council. In order to make our position quite clear in the simplest terms, may I ask the noble Lord whether he would agree that this matter is now the responsibility of the Security Council; that Britain is clearly under an obligation to carry out the terms of the resolution, and that it would only make a difficult situation worse if Britain were in any way to give the impression of dithering between carrying out the terms of the resolution and not doing so?
§ BARONESS GAITSKELL
My Lords, would not the Minister agree that in this, for us, painful problem of Rhodesia, if we were to dissociate ourselves from the 15-nation Security Council resolution this would only mean that we should have most of world opinion against us, and this would in no way help us in future in the possibility of negotiating a just and honourable future for Rhodesia?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for that intervention, with which I unequivocally agree.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, I do not propose to continue what is begining to have the appearance 1261 of a debate. I understand that we are to have an opportunity for that at a very early date, and I hope that this House, both by its speeches and by its actions, will show what we feel about this resolution. But I should like to ask Her Majesty's Government just this one question. Do they realise that their action in putting before the Security Council, or assisting towards the putting before the Security Council, these very far-reaching measures, without any prior consultation with either House of Parliament in this country, will be very much regarded here in all circles as further evidence of the complete contempt which the Prime Minister has always shown for both the British Parliament and the British people?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Marquess for one part of his intervention, which was to say that he would not continue the debate. So far as the second part is concerned, of course I reject utterly the suggestion that this shows any contempt whatsoever for Parliament. I can assure the noble Marquess that had this resolution not been put forward—and I think he should allow us to pay a considerable tribute to our Representative in the United Nations for its form—a resolution might easily have been put forward, and accepted, which would have pleased the noble Marquess and the Government much less.
§ LORD ROWLEY
My Lords, I agree with the Statement my noble friend has made. In view of the debate that is contemplated, would it be possible for the Government to consider publishing a White Paper containing all the economic facts in relation to the imposition of sanctions since sanctions were first imposed, and also including the record of some of the members of the United Nations who apparently do not altogether follow the dictate of the Security Council to carry out sanctions?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I take note of what the noble Lord has said, and I will pass this suggestion on to the appropriate quarter.
§ LORD STRATHCLYDE
My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Lord would help me, and perhaps other noble Lords, by telling us what material assistance we have hitherto given to the people of Southern Rhodesia, and what material assistance we have in view for the future. I do not understand it.
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I think this is the sort of question that would be better dealt with when the House debates the matter, as it will have an opportunity to do shortly after the Recess.
§ LORD BROCKWAY
My Lords, leaving aside the broader issues for debate, may I ask my noble friend this question? He used the words "unanimity in this decision", which is very interesting. Does that mean that the French Government, which previously has taken the view that the United Nations had no responsibility in this matter, has now changed its view?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I do not want to go too deeply into motives. I can only say that the Security Council decision was unanimous, and France is a Member of the Security Council.
§ LORD GRIMSTON OF WESTBURY
My Lords, when we come to the debate next week, would the Government be good enough to explain, as they are always claiming to be motivated by the highest moral considerations in the whole of this matter, how it comes about that they will in no circumstances be drawn into a confrontation with South Africa, which country will certainly break these sanctions; and how they can square that with this claim to be motivated by the highest moral principles?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I see no conflict. I repeat that in the whole of the Rhodesian policy, and certainly in connection with this resolution, we are motivated by the principles which have always motivated our policy towards the Rhodesian crisis. I should like to issue one word of warning. There seems to be a rather positive move towards a debate next week. I am not quite sure whether the usual channels will be able to arrange that.
THE LORD BISHOP OF SOUTHWARK
My Lords, would not the noble Lord agree that, when this House has this debate, it would be helpful, if we are talking about the people of Rhodesia, to know exactly to whom we are referring? Are we referring to that small minority to whom the noble Marquess refers, the white minority, or are we referring to the coloured majority, many of whom are in prison without trial or without charge?
§ LORD CHALFONT
My Lords, I think we are in danger of widening this question into a debate. But, of course, when we talk of the people of Rhodesia we mean all the people of Rhodesia, not any one part of the people of Rhodesia.