HL Deb 23 July 1973 vol 344 cc1610-1

6.38 p.m.

House in Committee:

Bill reported, without Amendment.

House resumed.

Then, Standing Order No. 44 having been suspended (pursuant to Resolution of July 12):


My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3ª. —(Baroness Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie.)

6.40 p.m.


My Lords, I do not think that this Bill, which is quite historic, should go through without some comment. My comment would be this—and I hope the noble Baroness Lady Tweedsmuir will be able to confirm what I say—that we hope that Bangladesh, becoming independent, becoming a member of the Commonwealth, will have a future in which her vast economic difficulties as a result of that terrible war and and her relations with India and Pakistan may be solved in a way that will enable her to realise all the hopes that we have for her people, for her future and for our co-operation with her in the Commonwealth.


My Lords, I should just like to reply to the noble Lord, Lord Brockway, and in so doing to thank all those who have taken part in the proceedings on this Bill and on the previous one. I sensed that your Lordships wished, following the long scrutiny which has been given to these Bills in another place, that this House should satisfy itself that all is well but that we should not prolong the proceedings. Therefore in reference to Bangladesh I should like just to say that of course we have had a very long-standing relationship with East Bengal and it was right that when Sheikh Mujib, as the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh, left Pakistan at the end of 1972 he should have come to London on his way to Bangladesh.

May I, on behalf of us all, say that we hope our relationship will continue to be as good in the future as it has been hitherto. We gave £12 million of relief aid, a great deal of which was for the reconstruction of transport and communications, which are of course quite vital to this country. We look forward very much to sharing economic development together—development which we hope will enable in the end this country to have self-sufficiency and to improve the standard of living of all her people. Therefore may I once again, as I did on Second Reading, wish her people well.


My Lords, my noble friend Lord Brockway and I have been so frequently in a small minority in our Party that I should not like it to be thought on this occasion that my noble friend was speaking for only a small minority of noble Lords on this side of the House. The House will recall that on Second Reading we all extended felicitations to Bangladesh on achieving independence, and expressed our wishes for a prosperous and peaceful future. On behalf of the Opposition, I entirely endorse what has been said by my noble friend and the noble Baroness.

On Question, Bill read 3ª, and passed.