§ 2.38 p.m
§ LORD BROCKWAY
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the voting in the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1971, on the resolution urging that sanctions should be applied to South Africa and Portugal for trading with Rhodesia, and how the British delegation voted.]
My Lords, 91 countries voted in favour of General Assembly Resolution 2796, 9 against and 12 abstained. There were 20 absentees. Britain voted against the resolution
§ LORD BROCKWAY
My Lords, may I ask the Minister whether this does not indicate an overwhelming majority within the General Assembly to make the sanctions against Rhodesia effective—because they are now being sabotaged through South Africa and through the Portugese colonies? If sanctions are to be 265 imposed at all, can one refrain from taking action against South Africa and Portugal?
My Lords, we have debated this matter at considerable length in the country, and indeed in your Lordships' House, and all I would wish to do at this stage is to remind the noble Lord that it is in fact our established and longstanding policy to resist the widening of sanctions. It is our policy, on very simple grounds; namely, because we believe that the implementation of existing measures by the international community, particularly those countries professing to enforce controls but failing to do so conscientiously, would have far greater effect than the introduction of new measures. Indeed, I should like to remind your Lordships that it has been the considered policy not only of the present Government but of their two immediate predecessors to avoid an economic confrontation with Portugal and South Africa.