§ 3.34 p.m.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE)
My Lords, I beg to move that the Draft Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1973 which was laid before the House on October 17 be approved. As the noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, is to speak after me, may I join with the remarks made by the Chief Whip and say that I welcome her very much not only for her ability but for herself.
My Lords, the purpose of this Order is to continue in force Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965. This section gives Her Majesty in Council power to take whatever measures are necessary to deal with the situation in Rhodesia brought about by the illegal declaration of independence. Among the Orders in Council made under this section are, of course, those containing the various sanctions measures. I know that this is a subject on which many noble Lords feel strongly, and that this is the eighth year in which this House has been asked to consider the renewal of sanctions. No doubt your Lordships feel a sense of frustration and of disappointment that, after so many years, we have still to find a satisfactory resolution of this immensely difficult problem of Rhodesia.
We must all, at times, feel discouraged by this long story. But I suggest that we must not allow this to influence our decision on a matter of such immense importance to Parliament and to Africa. We must surely cleave to the purpose that we all hope to achieve. We want to create conditions in which an independence settlement can be achieved which is broadly acceptable to Rhodesians of all races. Only by a settlement of that nature can we ensure that Rhodesia is able to take her place in the world, recognised in her own legal right, and that sanctions can come to 482 an end. Only a settlement of that nature will bring a solution to Rhodesia's own internal problems and secure for her a future that is prosperous and peaceful and stable.
When the Report of the Pearce Commission was publised last year, the Government thought it right to provide time for the people of Rhodesia to reflect on their own future. We continue to do all we can to encourage Rhodesians of every race to find a solution to their own problems. We as a Government are ready to help when needed; but at this stage we do not think we should launch some new initiative. If a satisfactory solution is to be found it must involve a reconciliation between all those, Africans and Europeans, who are going to have to live together in Rhodesia. Otherwise, no settlement will last.
Although I do not for a moment underestimate the difficulty of the task which faces the people of Rhodesia, I am glad to say that there have been some encouraging developments. During the past year contacts have gradually developed between the Rhodesian authorities and the African National Council. In July there was a meeting between Mr. Smith and the leader of the African National Council, Bishop Muzorewa. Mr. Smith has said that it is his policy, to use his own words, to "take the Africans along with us". On October 12, following the speech by my right honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary at Blackpool, Mr. Smith specifically confirmed in public that he was continuing his talks with African groups aimed at finding a solution to Rhodesia's settlement issue. At about the same time, the A.N.C. passed a resolution at a meeting of their National Executive Council unanimously approving Bishop Muzorewa's policy of continuing his dialogue with the Rhodesian authorities. Mr. Edson Sithole, the A.N.C. publicity secretary, then made it clear that the talks between the A.N.C. and the authorities would be continued in accordance with the vote of the A.N.C. National Executive Council. There have been other developments, too. For example, the A.N.C. and the Rhodesia Party, the European Opposition Party, have recently published an agreed list of twelve principles for a multiracial society. They are, I understand, to have further discussions.
483 My Lords, I think sometimes that those of us in this country, who live in quite different conditions, can underestimate the importance of the change which has taken place in the Rhodesian political scene during the past year. The tentative contacts begun last year have been developed into meetings between Europeans and Africans on their future. In this country we would consider such discussions normal, but in Rhodesia it means much that they have happened at all. It is against this background that we have to consider the Order before us to-day. While there is discussion in Rhodesia, and while there is any hope at all of reconciliation, surely the most useful action we in Britain can take is to hold the ring, so that there is the least possible disturbance from outside.
There are many things which can be said about sanctions, about their limitations and their shortcomings, and whether they should have been introduced in the first place. It is true that sanctions will not be the deciding factor in achieving a political settlement. South Africa and Portugal have never applied them, and some other countries have failed to enforce them. But sanctions do provide an important incentive to Rhodesians to reach a settlement, because their real impact is on Rhodesia's foreign exchange. If she is to attract investment, there must be confidence—and that means a return to normal conditions. Surely none of us likes sanctions. But under the United Nations Charter, member nations of the United Nations are required to obey mandatory decisions of the Security Council. As a Permanent Member we do not wish to be in breach of our international obligations. How could we be and still urge other nations to respect international law?—not least in another case much in your Lordships' minds: that of Iceland.
My right honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, has always said that if he really felt that sanctions had finally failed in their purpose he would go to Parliament and to the United Nations and explain the need for a change of policy. That day could come. But I suggest that to do so now would certainly mean a strong emotional reaction, both in Rhodesia and outside that country. Above all, the hopeful discussions to 484 which I have referred would come to an abrupt end, because we should be sending the clearest sign to those Rhodesians who are trying hardest for reconciliation that we, for our part, had given up hope. That could only give heart to extremists. Let there be no doubt, my Lords, that there are in Rhodesia Europeans who argue that there must be no compromise, at whatever price, and there are Africans who argue that their only hope lies in violence. I believe that there is only one alternative in Rhodesia to the reconciliation which we are all trying to encourage. That alternative is ever-increasing violence; it has already happened this year.
We have a responsibility towards Rhodesia which I suggest we must do our utmost to discharge. If the time were ever to come when we had to conclude that we could do no more—that we had to give up our special responsibility and leave the problem to others—that would be, I suggest, an unhappy day both for Britain and for Rhodesia. Certainly that time has not come yet, and I hope that it never will. But it is important to be clear that giving up would not resolve any of Rhodesia's difficulties. Indeed, it would simply create even greater difficulties and dangers for the people of Rhodesia as a whole. For all these reasons I suggest that we must back those in Rhodesia who are trying with skill and patience to achieve a settlement. And we in this country must persevere. I therefore beg to move that the Order be approved.
§ 3.46 p.m.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, we on this side of the House support the Motion moved by the noble Baroness with her usual clarity and skill and with even more than her usual brevity. May I, before I start, thank her very warmly for what she said about me? I think I enjoy debating with her as much as anything I have ever done, so I am especially grateful for what she said.
My Lords, although we support the Government on this occasion I am always a little uneasy when I find myself in agreement with Her Majesty's Government. 485 But we must accept that often they are reasonable, occasionally they are right, and on this occasion they have over the years learnt, with some assistance from my Party on this side, the true nature of Mr. Smith and his régime. The old days of the ox-carts and the gallant pioneers, the days of Sir Edgar Whitehead, Sir Robert Treadgrove, even Sir Roy Welensky, are totally gone. They cannot come back again and it is no use living in the kind of world which thinks that they can.
As the noble Baroness said, this is the eighth year that this Order has had to be brought in. It is, in fact, my personal view that it might well be better to make sanctions permanent—of course, always to be lifted when an honourable settlement is arrived at—rather than having to debate this Order year by year. Many of your Lordships have said to me during last week, "What else can we say? We have used all the arguments on both sides of the House." This is only partly true. It is true that the passionately argued case against sanctions is as strong as it ever was and just as essential; but this year there are some new factors which strengthen the old arguments. Perhaps I may say, first of all, that the old point made on the other side, that sanctions are not really effective, is quite clearly not true. They are a major and increasing disadvantage to Mr. Smith, and especially I think because of the increasing disillusionment of the South Africans about Southern Rhodesia's viability—economically, militarily and indeed socially—without support from South Africa, which she can ill afford to give.
There is no doubt about South Africa's involvement. The South African Gazette referred the other day to Rhodesia asThe strategic front line where our men are already fighting"—For the first time in July this year six South African helicopters flew over Salisbury. But Dr. Vorster has never responded to Mr. Smith's desperate appeal for a sub-Sahara community where all resources would be pooled for the benefit of all; and as the noble Baroness said, it is the material resources and the financial commitments which are the greatest problem for Mr. Smith. So that, I think, is a new factor, especially since 486 the extraordinary closing by Mr. Smith of the Zambian frontier, which has left South Africa with nearly 2½ per cent. less trade with the rest of Africa than she had before. This has caused disillusionment, and indeed anger in South Africa.
Perhaps one of the most disquieting of all the new factors for the Smith régime has been the immigration figures. We on this side of the House said in the last debate that sanctions would make the figures of immigration, which in Rhodesia of course is white immigration, fall sharply. Last month there was a loss for the first time of 100 overall in white immigration, and since 1972 there has been a 64 per cent. drop in white immigration. This is particularly serious for the Smith régime because their whole social strategy is based on trying to do something about the proportion of a quarter of a million whites to 5 million Africans. So that this is extremely serious and it is serious in various detailed ways which your Lordships' House may perhaps not realise. For instance, the grave anxieties about the security situation, and the belief, I think, on the part of many of the security officers that the situation is almost irretrievable, has led to some of the most senior police and army security officers actually leaving the country. That, of course, is desperate for the Rhodesian Government, or régime as I should call it. The local businessmen are losing confidence and want to get their money out. There is a significant increase in currency offences, which is what that is all about. I should like to tell your Lordships what Mr. Allwyn Calder said in his presidential speech to the Association of Chambers of Commerce in Rhodesia:Likewise, commerce and industry is facing a position where many of our best young men are either leaving the country or talking of leaving… because the whole business climate is too restricted. We all know that a country's greatest asset is its manpower, and unfortunately we are losing some of our best young men.That again is a serious position for the régime.
The Rhodesians are also faced with a major hydro-electric power shortage. Their senior professional engineers have left, or are leaving. The water levels are very low. The situation is also partly due to the Wankie coal disaster, and 487 very largely because their antiquated railway stock is incapable of moving sufficient coal supplies from the pithead to the thermal stations. Then may I refer again to the extraordinary closing of the Zambian border? This is now losing Mr. Smith 1 million Rand a month in railway revenue. This is a double loss, my Lords, because he was paid in foreign currency which is what he desperately needs. So there are a number of changes within Rhodesia which I think will help to make the régime more reasonable and, with the noble Baroness I hope that this will be so. Let nobody think that we welcome the breakdown of the economy. Rhodesia is a beautiful country, and it is an absolute tragedy that we have been brought to this situation; this we all feel.
My Lords, as the noble Baroness said, the situation is also changing in the outside world. I can understand the impatience of noble Lords opposite who feel that we are the only country in the world who are really imposing sanctions and that everyone else is getting away with it. But that is a complete misconception. The major sanctions-breakers are, of course, South Africa, Portugal and France. And there are other European countries among them, West Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Greece, and of course Japan, who have also broken them. But West Germany is now going to tighten up her enforcement of sanctions. There are strong indications that there is a change of approach in Japan. All the Scandinavian countries apply them, as do all the Commonwealth of Africa, most of the Commonwealth of Asia and the Caribbean t and as we all know, Canada does and now, as we saw at the Commonwealth Conference, which I think was the most helpful and constructive Conference we have had for years, Australia and New Zealand are applying them with severity.
Perhaps most important, my Lords, there is a tremendous groundswell in the United States against the Byrd amendment which allowed them to import chrome from Rhodesia. The Financial Times reported on October 18 that the House of Representatives Sub-Committee, with Administration approval, had approved legislation to re-impose the embargo on Rhodesia chrome imports. 488 So it is not just Britain who is doing this. Out of 121 nations in the United Nations only nine are still breaking sanctions, anyway officially. I said "officially" because of course there are cases of sanctions-breaking. We have all seen the recent case of the three Boeing aeroplanes which were flown in. I do not know whether the noble Baroness has any news about that matter for us. I should like also to ask her about the aeroplane "Tango Romeo"—such a delicious name—which is run by a firm called Affritain, which provides a regular air freight link between Rhodesia and Western Europe through Gabon. I believe that with the three new Boeings and the Affritain link about £5 million a year will be gained by the Rhodesian Government through the sale of meat and so on, and they will import a lot of valuable machinery. One would like to know whether the noble Baroness can bring any pressure on the French and Dutch Governments, and even Gabon. We wonder whether the Government have any plans about that?
Then, my Lords, there was the really extraordinary incident of the serving British Army officer in the Army in West Germany, a brigadier, who actually flew to Salisbury in order to apply for, and in the end to be given, a top administrative job in Rhodesia. We have not yet had time to discuss that in the House, but I should very much welcome a comment from the noble Baroness on that quite extraordinary incident. Then we should like to ask the noble Baroness about her reaction to the extremely helpful suggestion of a special United Nations Commissioner for sanctions, a commissioner who would have strong powers of investigation, of co-ordination of information and powers to institute proceedings against those most difficult of all sanctions-breakers, the multi-national companies. We should very much like to know whether the Government favour an idea of that kind, although the noble Baroness said she did not want to have any innovations. I was rather regretful about that.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
Well, my Lords, the noble 489 Baroness did say in the first part of her speech that she did not want to innovate new ideas.
§ BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE
My Lords, I find myself saying to the noble Baroness that I was talking about the new initiative in reaching a settlement with Rhodesia.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, and I am delighted to hear that perhaps she is open to consider innovations. The noble Lord, Lord Nugent of Guildford, in one of his invariably helpful interventions at Question Time, asked the noble Baroness a couple of months ago to bear in mind that on sanctions,the end is to restore proper relations between ourselves and Rhodesia and to bring them back to the path of rectitude".He went on to ask her tobear in mind that most of us are really much keener on that than on seeing the complete observance of sanctions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20/6/73, col. 1355.]I am very sorry that the noble Lord is not in his place to hear me quote him. Although we know that Her Majesty's Government have loyally continued to impose sanctions, one sometimes gets the feeling that they are willing to wound but afraid to strike. I hope that the noble Baroness will say that her attitude is not that of the noble Lord, Lord Nugent of Guildford, and that the Government really want to increase the severity of sanctions in order to help get over this impossible situation as soon as possible.
My Lords, one wonders why the Government have abstained at the Security Council on Resolution 333 about extending sanctions. It has the most innocuous provisions in it, such as proposing legislation to prevent the insurance companies from covering air freight and passengers, and the same thing for marine insurance contracts. It is very disappointing that at the Security Council twelve nations should vote against it and only us, the United States—with chrome around her neck—and France should abstain.
Further, my Lords, the Government have told us how very much they want to have a co-ordinated foreign policy at the E.E.C. Some of us have been dismayed by the only sign of unity we have 490 seen, but I cannot understand why Her Majesty's Government have not taken up the question of sanctions breaking and the question of enforcing sanctions with the Governments at the E.E.C. I know that my right honourable and honourable friends in the other place have raised this question, and they have never had an answer. We should like an answer from the noble Baroness.
Of course, sanctions are not merely being effective in Rhodesia—though not fully effective—but they also, contrary to the belief of noble Lords opposite, are not a disadvantage to us economically. The good will we have throughout Africa, because of our honesty in observing sanctions, and because of the Pearce Commission, has made it easier for British companies to get on with their investment adventures there. There is no question about that.
The economic future of the Continent lies in Black Africa, with all the likelihood of new mineral deposits, and so on. If we were to throw away that good will and become political outcasts by lifting sanctions we should not have that whole future economic development in which we could take part. We have only to think for one moment about Nigerian oil, which is 10 per cent. of all the oil we use, to see that we must keep our faith—if only out of self-interest, let alone honour. When we consider that the value of our trade with the rest of Africa surpasses that with Southern Africa, we can see which side our bread is buttered.
I believe that the régime has its back to the wall. Again, I say it with sadness in a sense. But there is no question but that those of us who have friends and contacts in Rhodesia still, know that the Africans are showing a new confidence, a strengthening of their courage, especially in the rural areas. Freedom fighters have the support of the Africans, especially again in the rural areas. Police informers are far fewer, with very serious effects for the security forces. There are new parties growing up among the whites who are getting tired of the inferior and stumbling kind of government which the régime gives them.
I am very glad that the noble Baroness referred to the talks with Bishop Muzorewa, because I believe him to be a 491 good man, a great man, a man who continues to keep the confidence of the African people. This shows that Africans are willing to consider a phased approach towards democracy if—and it is a big "if"—the whites will agree to give them concrete guarantees that that will happen. Bishop Muzorewa and his colleagues, in and out of jail, are our best hope for a moderate solution in Rhodesia. However, the régime is getting tougher. The detainees are being worse treated. There are new ones being put in jail every day, even the peaceful lieutenants of Bishop Muzorewa like Arthur Chadzingwa. What is happening to Mr. and Mrs. Chinamanu, Garfield Todd, the Reverend Ndabadinghi Sithole, Joshua Nkomo, Robert Mugobe and David Modgimbomuto? They have been there for years and years. If there is anything the Government can do to bring pressure to bear to persuade the Smith régime to do something about that, it will go a very long way. We know that they are inflicting more and more harsh communal punishment—for instance, the removal of all medical supplies from disturbed areas. Doctors and nurses are entirely forbidden to practise in vast areas. Populations of Africans are moved forcibly in large numbers. There are new restrictions on African students, making a mockery of the multi-racial university.
I have spoken rather too long, and I have painted a black picture because I believe we have to understand the reality of the situation there in order to convince those noble Lords who still feel that we ought to lift sanctions. I should like to repeat to them the words of the right honourable gentleman, the Foreign Secretary, at a meeting during the Conservative Conference. He said:…The British Government of the day signed a resolution of the Security Council, which is binding on its Members, and we are permanent Members. We are in the habit of keeping Britain's word. We don't pick and choose which laws we obey, and which we don't, nationally or internationally.I agree with the Government's intention to stick to their word and to keep on sanctions. But I beg them to go further. I beg the Government to withdraw their present proposals, not to leave them lying on the table, and to make sanctions more effective through international co-operation.
§ 4.7 p.m.
§ LORD FOOT
My Lords, when the noble Baroness who has just sat down opened her remarks, she said that she felt some unease in finding herself in support of what was proposed by Her Majesty's Government on this occasion. If I may say so, with respect, she gave no signs of that unease during the course of her speech. But perhaps she will realise that it is particularly unnerving for me to find myself not only in agreement with Her Majesty's Government but also in agreement with the noble Baroness. I start with that disadvantage. It would be tedious to your Lordships if I were simply to try to underline what has been so admirably said, both by the noble Baroness from the Government Benches and by the noble Baroness from the Opposition Benches. I have no such intention. Speaking at this stage in the debate, before we have seen the artillery which is going to be directed at the Government—as I guess it will be, looking at the speakers we have ahead—speaking in this way in support of the Government. I am at some disadvantage, and It would be only right to confine myself to one point only, a point which I hope I shall be able to put in as uncontroversial a way as I can manage it.
Since I came into this House some six years ago, we have discussed the problem of Rhodesia over and over again. Some of those debates were of great and, indeed I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say, momentous consequence. I think in particular of two debates which took place in this House. One was the debate upon the provisional settlement which had been negotiated by Lord Goodman and had received the imprimatur of the Foreign Secretary and Mr. Smith, and which was presented to this and the other place for approval. On that occasion, what was presented to us and what was argued before us was this—it was a matter of great moment. It was argued that a provisional settlement had been negotiated which satisfied the first four Principles upon which successive Governments have acted. There remained only the fifth Principle to be fulfilled—the Principle of acceptability—and then this problem might have been solved. I and others did not agree that that provisional settlement complied with the four 493 Principles, but for my present purposes that is neither here nor there. That was what was argued and it was a serious argument. It was a momentous occasion when it was decided that we should have the acceptability of that settlement and the Pearce Commission was set up. Then, on the occasion when we had the Report of the Pearce Commission, with its conclusive reply that this was not what the majority of the people of Rhodesia approved, again we had a debate of momentous importance. What were we to make of it? Where were we to go from here?
If I may say so, the debate to-day is of quite a different order. I hope I do not denigrate the debate by saying that, in my view, it is a non debate. I do not say this because the outcome of this debate, if there is going to be a vote, is a foregone conclusion. Of course it is a foregone conclusion. We all know that if this Motion is taken to a vote there will be an overwhelming vote in favour of the Motion. But, as I say, I do not consider it a non debate on that account. It would ill become a member of my Party to denigrate minorities and say that they have not the right to be heard. But it is a non-debate, I suggest, in this sense: that on this occasion, on this Motion, we are not being asked to decide whether the policies that have been followed in the past by successive British Governments have been right or wrong. We are not being asked to decide to-day whether sanctions should ever have been imposed; or whether, having been imposed, they have been effective or not; or whether they can be strengthened. We are not being called upon to decide to-day whether there ought to be a new initiative and from whom it should come. We are not even being asked to decide to-day whether the adoption of the Five Principles upon which we have worked over all these years was an act of wisdom or not. We are being asked to-day to do something which is precise and simple. We are being asked to say whether we are going to approve of Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesian Act 1965 being continued for another year.
The noble Baroness from the Government Front Bench put in précis form what Section 2 of that Act says. With your Lordships' leave, I will read the precise terms, because I think it is 494 important that those who are unsympathetic to my point of view and that of the Government should understand precisely what they are being asked to do if they are asked to vote against this Motion. Section 2 of the Act says:Her Majesty may by Order make such provision in relation to Southern Rhodesia, or persons or things in any way belonging to or connected with Southern Rhodesia, as appears to her to be necessary or expedient in consequence of any unconstitutional action taken therein.The next subsection goes on, without prejudice to the generality of that, to detail the fields in which orders can be made. I see that the noble Baroness is kind enough to nod to me that I have it right.
If that is what Section 2 says, and it is what we are asked to approve and to continue for another year what would be the effect if, by some extraordinary chance, this Motion were to be defeated today? It would mean that as from next Friday, November 16, in my calculations, this country would at a stroke divest itself of all responsibility for and all interest in the affairs of Southern Rhodesia. It would not mean a settlement. It would not be a settlement at all: it would be an abdication. And, what is more, it would be a unilateral declaration of abdication. It could not be the prelude to a settlement, because if this Government withdrew altogether from Southern Rhodesia and ceased to interest themselves or to accept any responsibility for Southern Rhodesia, there would not be any settlement to be made. It would preclude a settlement. It could not lead to further negotiation, because it would be giving notice to Mr. Smith that from that time forward he was relieved of the obligation of negotiating with anybody.
My Lords, I am not going to attempt to enlarge upon the wider and almost cataclysmic consequences which would follow from a negative vote of that kind in this House. I draw attention to only one consequence—and this is a matter to which I referred a year or two ago when we were discussing this subject. What I am concerned to inquire—and I make this inquiry in the hope of enlisting the interest of those who do not agree with us on this matter—is: what would be the effect of that negative vote and the abrogation of the 1965 Act upon the white 495 minority in Rhodesia? It has been said many times before, and was said by the noble Baroness from this side of the House today, that in the end both the white minority in Rhodesia and the people as a whole have a choice between evolution towards full democratic government, on the one hand or, on the other hand, a decline into bloodshed and untold chaos. That was the alternative that on the last occasion when we were discussing this matter in this House a year ago was presented to us by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. I agree that that is the choice. And of course, the likelihood of chaos and bloodshed supervening is related to the speed with which we proceed upon the course of evolution to democratic government. They are both interconnected.
How in the world, my Lords, will the forces of moderation and the impetus towards evolutionary advance among the white Rhodesian minority be sustained and assisted by a negative vote in this House this afternoon? The hawks will rejoice, and all the doves will be filled with woe. I regret to have to say this, in conclusion, but I am afraid that if any noble Lords in any part of the House seek to carry this matter to a Division tonight, then the vote will have no significance except this: that it will draw up a catalogue of those who, although their intention is entirely contrary and they are entirely sincere in their beliefs, are in fact the worst enemies of the white minority in Rhodesia.
§ 4.19 p.m.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, I address your Lordships with some doubt on this occasion as this is a contentious subject, but I do so in the hope that I may make some contribution to the debate. For this reason, perhaps I may be allowed not to follow the arguments put forward by previous speakers Before going any further, I think I should disclose that I have personal interests in Rhodesia.
May I begin by drawing your Lordships' attention to the origin of sanctions. I believe I am right in saying that they were imposed by the United Nations on the grounds that Rhodesia was a potential threat to peace under Chapter VI of the Charter—though at the time doubts were expressed as to the validity of this action 496 on the grounds that the correct procedure had not been followed and also because it was not certain whether or not Rhodesia was an independent State. If it were not, it did not come within the scope of the activities of the United Nations. Nevertheless, sanctions were introduced and for some seven or eight years they have gone on. There is still no sign of Rhodesian aggression. If that were the only ground for sanctions being imposed, I should have hoped that this country (which requested them) would have gone back to the United Nations and asked for them to be removed.
Much has already been said this afternoon of the other reasons why sanctions were imposed; but during all those years little has happened. There has been a stalemate during that time and sanctions, as has already been admitted, have not been particularly effective. I doubt that the cause of the black Africans has been helped; it is even possible that their advancement has been retarded. Last year it looked as though a breakthrough had been achieved, because all that was left after agreement had been reached between two Governments was the testing of African opinion, in accordance with the Fifth Principle laid down by the Government. Unfortunately, this came to nothing.
How accurately the Pearce Inquiry reflected African opinion, I think we shall never know. What we do know is that Lord Pearce's Commission took endless trouble and was scrupulously fair. It had to contend with a number of problems. There was considerable apathy and there was some pressurisation and even intimidation; but possibly the most difficult problem of all was the lack of understanding among many of the Africans. Perhaps I may quote one example which I know of. On a farming estate in which I have an interest, the manager (who, incidentally, is deeply anti-Rhodesian Front) was told that the Commissioners would be visiting to sound out African opinion there, and that his duty was to explain to them what it was all about so that the Commissioners would not have to spend too much time there. As a result, the Africans, when he explained matters to them, said to him, "Will you advise us?" He said, "No, I cannot. I am not allowed to" They said, "But you always do, and we value your opinion." But he replied, 497 "No, I cannot: you have to make up your own minds." Of the 80 concerned, some 75 decided that they were favour of the agreement and some four, who were schoolmasters, decided that they were against it. On the arrival of the Commissioners, when the "fors" and "againsts" were split up, they decided, upon being consulted, in exactly the reverse way—75 said they were against and the four schoolmasters decided that the arguments put forward by the Commissioners had swayed them in favour of the agreement. It is not unexpected, but it shows the problems that the Commission had to face. Perhaps such problems are inevitable when you are dealing with an inflammable and volatile race who, after all, have had little experience of the workings of democracy.
At this stage, as I understand it, Her Majesty's Government have said that they can do no more, that it is up to the Rhodesian Government to start talks with the African Nationalist Council, and then they will consider the results which are obtained. I wonder how many people are represented by this Council. I believe the number fluctuates a great deal, but I do not think it is fully representative of African opinion in Rhodesia at the present time. However, it is good news that the talks have started and that apparently conversations are still going on between the two Governments. It is difficult, in spite of what the noble Baroness said about these negotiations, for us to know this afternoon whether they are taking a fresh look at the previous agreement, or whether the Rhodesian Government are being asked to make further changes in the plan which would be more acceptable to the Africans.
At this stage we are asked to renew sanctions because, in the first place, the requirements of the Fifth Principle have not been achieved. I can understand the problem, but I wonder whether there is not a temptation, in these conditions, for the Africans to feel that as Her Majesty's Government have opted out at this stage, all they have to do is to go on saying "No", and that the longer they go on saying "No" the more concessions they will be able to wring from the Rhodesian Government. Of course, this could mean that the agreement receded into the distance, because there must come a point—a point which I would suggest would be 498 fairly close—regarding the agreement recently reached, with which neither the present Rhodesian Government nor any other in the foreseeable future would find it possible to come to terms.
We are also told that we must do nothing to upset the present talks and that if sanctions are not agreed to to-night we should be weakening the hand of Her Majesty's Government. I do not feel that this is true, in spite of the eloquence of the noble Baroness, because progress has been made over the years in the direction of helping Africans along. Indeed, it is remarkable how far the Africans have been brought along in the eighty years or so of the existence of the country. What made things difficult was the Declaration of Independence. I think that the Rhodesians then found themselves in a position similar to that in which we were in 1939, when Party affiliations were dropped and everyone rallied behind the Government in support of the national cause.
May I now say a word about the effectiveness of sanctions. The only serious sanction so far as I can see is the shortage of foreign exchange, and though this is obviously serious (as has been mentioned earlier) it does not appear to be crippling, because anyone who has been to Rhodesia recently will have seen that they are managing very well. When I was there earlier this year the only obvious shortage concerned Scotch whisky, but they have managed to make up for its loss by a new brew of their own. The people who suffer most are the Africans, because there is an ever-increasing number of them growing up, and if they are to find employment it is essential that Rhodesian industry should expand so as to be able to absorb the increasing numbers. At the same time, as less wealth is being generated, this will surely have the effect of slowing up the increase in education, housing and medical facilities, which in any case still have some way to go. On the political side, I think we should probably all agree there have been eight years of stagnation—eight years lost, with little or no progress.
I am sure your Lordships have a clear idea of what you hope to see in the future development of Rhodesia. Perhaps I may be allowed to give my view of what should happen. What I should like to see is steady progress to a multiracial State, the pace to be governed by 499 the capacity of the peoples to absorb the change. I also believe that this is the view of the majority of the Rhodesians of European stock. But, for reasons I have suggested, that view has been deferred. I equally think that as soon as an agreement can be reached we shall see a resurgence of those ideas.
May I now turn to two points raised by Sir Alec Douglas-Home at Blackpool in a debate concerning Rhodesia at the Conservative Conference. He said that if he could go to the United Nations and say that Her Majesty's Government were satisfied with a settlement with Rhodesia, namely (and I quote):to bring Rhodesia into a legal relationship with Britain"—and later he said—and regain international recognition",then he would have achieved what he set out to do. This surely is what all of us would desire and is also what is essential for the future of Rhodesia. The trouble is that I can see no grounds for thinking that the argument would appeal to the United Nations Organisation. Those of your Lordships who remember the debate during the discussion on the imposition of sanctions will recall some of the things that were said then, often by the representatives of countries who do not practise what they preached for Rhodesia. Nor do I see it appealing to the countries composing the Communist and Afro-Asian bloc.
The other subject that Sir Alec mentioned is trade with Africa. As I understand it—and this has already been mentioned to-night—he implied that Great Britain could not afford to lose £885 million worth of trade with what he called "Black Africa". I hope that I am wrong in this interpretation, because it seems to me to open up some very unattractive possibilities. Should Black Africa object to a Rhodesian settlement, would this influence the decision of Her Majesty's Government, especially in view of the significant part of our oil supplies which comes from Nigeria, and remembering certain recent events in the Middle East? While I appreciate that Her Majesty's Government face a difficult task in reaching agreement with Rhodesia, I do not feel, for the reasons that I have given, that they have made their case for the continuation of sanctions.
§ 4.33 p.m.
§ THE LORD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER
My Lords, I am happy to be the first to welcome the appearance and speech of the noble Marquess who has just sat down and to congratulate him. I need hardly say to him that he bears a name which is honoured and which has been listened to for countless years in this House as well as outside it. We have been accustomed here to listen to speeches under that name, full of thoughtfulness and wisdom as well as with passion and courage. If the noble Marquess had any personal qualms at entering upon this heritage himself as he came here to-day, I am sure that one and all would wish to set his mind at rest. He has, in his own idiom and in his own way, expressed his views with great courage and clarity of reasoning, and we welcome him. We look forward warmly to many other occasions in which he will make his own particular contribution to us.
From these Benches I almost have to apologise for making another intervention in this well-worn theme. As the Continuation Order comes up every year it is met by a yearly challenge, as if to suggest that this, constantly repeated like drops of water on a stone, will ultimately weaken our resolution. But I should like to endorse the views expressed in the first three speeches which would oppose that kind of suggestion. I do not feel the same embarrassment in agreeing with those three speakers, for Bishops are supposed to agree with everybody, and I should like to endorse their views, but I will endeavour not to repeat them more than is necessary. From whatever angle we approach this matter we all desire a settlement in Rhodesia. A settlement, in spite of the sound of the word, can never be a static thing. It has to deal with situations which will be bound to be on the move and developing. Therefore the settlement itself must be capable of setting the lines of future development in constructive ways. We desire a settlement in Northern Ireland, but it must be one which enables the different, the dissident, sections of that community to grow together. We desire a settlement in the Middle East, but it must be one which can promote new relationships and growing relationships between Jew and Arab. We desire a settlement in Rhodesia, but it must be one which takes into account 501 the future of all Rhodesians. In none of these or other cases do we desire a settlement that might seem to paper over cracks which, in their turn, would open out into chasms later. We all have in mind a desire for a Rhodesia in which white and black Rhodesians can work side by side in a growing development of the resources and the future of that country.
We have made it absolutely clear that we stand for a settlement in terms of the Five Principles which is acceptable to all the peoples of Rhodesia as a whole; and in the sending out of the Pearce Commission and our acceptance of its verdict we have formally endorsed that stand. No one supposes that it is easy to prove or attain full acceptability from so large and diverse a people, and the noble Marquess was right in pointing out the difficulties in that regard. There will be still a vast and fairly inarticulate number of Africans who cannot personally understand all the issues, just as at the other end of the scale there may be a small number of those who are sufficiently satisfied with things as they are not in their turn to promote any action. But in the middle there will be a growing section of the community—always the hope for the future in any community—who will be capable of understanding and responding, or criticising and resisting. Their influence is the one which f believe will count for most either way.
We were reminded in a speech of the Foreign Secretary, which has already been quoted, and has been referred to by the noble Baroness, of what might happen if the terrorists capture the support of this inner group in the middle, or just their acquiesence. Among the many pressures upon these people we have to include the likelihood that in Africa, as in the Arab world, the sense of solidarity between themselves and over and against other peoples is a growing factor. This means that any settlement must be seen to be acceptable and not an attempt to gloss over any unresolved difficulties or disharmonies. Above all, a settlement, if it is to be a settlement, must be worked out by the peoples concerned and not in any sense imposed upon them. I should not wish to repeat the heartening evidence, which the noble Baroness first cited, of signs that the talking has begun, the recognition that the African National 502 Council is both an articulate and, in a large degree, a representative body, and that through its Bishop leader it has begun to talk with Mr. Smith. The rise of small but vigorous other Parties, the fact that many people, individuals, black and white, are beginning to meet and talk together, all this in a sense is a sign, perhaps, that the log-jam is beginning to break up. But it would be obviously unwise to assume that this has got very far yet. I believe it is true that the most recent evidence before the Foreign Secretary gave no support at all to the idea put out in Mr. Smith's claim that African opinion has become more favourable to the earlier terms of the British-Rhodesian proposals. I do not think there is any sign that discriminatory legislation has stopped, or that the white pressures upon Mr. Smith are any less strong than they were.
The real question, almost the only Question, directly before us therefore is: what kind of step should we take to protect this flickering flame of discussion and negotiation which has begun, or how we can, in the words of that speech now quoted, maintain a calm climate in which they can work it out for themselves? Between people of different origins, of different history, of different cultures, the process of even talking together and coming together, as we know in other instances, is immensely slow; and I, for one, do not feel quite the same surprise or even disillusionment that we are on this same question for the eighth year in succession. Growing together is a long process and the patience which has been exercised already must continue.
From these Benches, therefore, I simply wish to speak in support of the Government as they stand firm in their present policy. The removal of sanctions at this moment would undo all the patient work which they and their predecessors have put into the Rhodesian question and would set back, perhaps halt, any prospects of the kind of settlement which we are looking for and for which we have stood. It is not for me, obviously, to attempt to calculte the effect of sanctions or the effect of their removal. It is quite clear, in any case, when we come to figures, that sanctions are difficult to calculate since they involve political as well as economic consequences. We all 503 desire, we must desire, the future prosperity of Rhodesia, but that prosperity must not have within it the seeds of future strife. If it is to be a true prosperity to look forward to, it must be built on sound political foundations.
We all feel also, surely, great sympathy for those citizens of Rhodesia whose lives are in jeopardy at this moment. Guerrilla warfare is a horrible weapon. It strikes more often at the innocent than the guilty. But we know all too well from our own experience in other ways that you cannot curb or remove guerrilla warfare solely by arms or repression; you must remove, so far as possible, the causes, the sense of injustice on which it feeds. None of us, surely, can doubt that the lifting of sanctions and any immediate prosperity that might follow to that country would not bring guerrilla threats to an end; it would stimulate them. Therefore, we are not taking good advice for all those people if we listen to voices which would woo us to a change of policy at this present time. I recognise that in work for a political settlement all things are not possible. Politics themselves are, if you like, the art of the possible, but they are not the art of the expedient. I would hope that in this long haul we shall not be judged in future, either by Rhodesia itself or by the United Nations—or even by ourselves—as those who have followed what is expedient, what relieves us now, what is the quickest way out of our own burden of responsibility, what supports one section even if it does that at the expense of others, in seeking that acceptable settlement which paves the way for a future for which we have, surely, quite unmistakably pledged ourselves in this country.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ LORD FRASER OF LONSDALE
My Lords, I much regret to say that I feel obliged to vote against the Government—something I have very seldom done in 45 years; and I would hesitate particularly to vote against the noble Baroness, and in a sense indirectly against Sir Alec Douglas-Home whom I so greatly admire. But I felt if I was going to vote against the Government it was right that I should spend a few minutes in saying why. Since I have spoken two or three times on this sub 504 ject before, I will try not to go over that ground again. I will repeat just one observation; namely, that it seems to me perfectly right that this House should exercise its function of revision and, if there is to be a Second Chamber in the Constitution, we should be free, and feel free, to express here in this House our dissent with the other Chamber and with the Government. That seems to me quite right.
Before I deploy any arguments, may I say that it is a very real pleasure to me to meet again, and to hear again, an old colleague from the other place who sat with me there for very many years and who is now here as the Marquess of Salisbury. I greatly appreciated his speech here—not to me a maiden speech because I had heard him speak often before, but a maiden speech to your Lordships. Without dealing with the merits of his speech, I would say that he was as clear as ever, and I hope his words will be listened to both now and in the future. I should like to say how deeply I join with the Bishop in appreciating the advent here of a member of a line of persons who have taken such a powerful place in British history.
To refer to Rhodesia, Smith's Government—I do not hesitate to call it "Government", though the noble Baroness opposite must find another word; it is a Government; it is governing Rhodesia, and that is really what she is objecting to. It is there. It should be recognised, and every canon that is required for recognition seems to me to have been satisfied. I actually heard Sir Alec Douglas-Home, in his own voice on the radio, a week or two ago, justifying the recognition by Her Majesty's Government of Chile after five minutes of revolution, or it might have been fifty minutes. His very words in his own voice were to explain that the canons required for recognition were that the Government should seem to be in existence for long enough to make sure that it was the Government. I wonder whether they were there long enough to know whether they were the Government. But certainly Mr. Smith has been there long enough, and it is quite clear that he and his men do govern that country. Secondly, a condition is that it seems to have the support of the people, even if it is reluctant 505 support. I know the country very well although I have no financial interest there. I also know South Africa very well, and in both of those countries the overwhelming mass of the African people are law-abiding and recognise the power of the Government and wish to co-operate with them. Therefore there is consent, even if among the more educated men it may be reluctant consent. We also recognise Greece, although most of us do not like the Colonels. Why this double-faced behaviour? Is it Foreign Office obduracy or obscurantism, or what is it? There can be no real justification for this double-faced dealing with Chile, Greece and Rhodesia.
The noble Baroness, Lady LlewelynDavies of Hastoe, made a charming speech and she tried to say something new. I am going to try to say something new. One of the most powerful reasons for inviting this Government to change their mind now, and if not now, certainly in the next few months, is that they may not be in Office in a year's time. There may well be a General Election within a year. I myself think Mr. Heath is the best Prime Minister we have had for 20 years. In spite of his great difficulties he has done extraordinarily well. I have the utmost confidence that he will win the next General Election, in spite of the antics of the other Parties; but he might not, and it is certain that if he does not then the Labour Party will not remove sanctions for another five years, or maybe 10. So it is possible that this ridiculous situation might go on for even longer than the American colonies were kept in subjection hundreds of years ago. That is a good reason for the Tories to do what I would certainly like them to do, if they could only get themselves "off the hook". Why are they on the hook? Because Sir Alec himself, or his minions in the Foreign Office at that time, wrote the Five Principles on the flag, or on a piece of paper, and as I have argued before (and I will not argue it again) the Five Principles do not really apply.
Why is Rhodesia not to be recognised when Chile and Greece are recognised? Not because we disagree with the way the Rhodesian Government manages things. We disagree profoundly with the way Russia or Chile or Greece manage things. It is not that; it is because we feel we 506 have an obligation to provide the Africans who live in Rhodesia with one man, one vote self government sometime, and the sooner the better. Some people feel that the obligation is on us to do that. It is a useless operation, my Lords. If we gave the Africans a vote to-morrow—and that can be the only meaning of multi-racial government—at the next general election in Rhodesia they would vote black, and the moment there was a black government in Rhodesia it would stay there. The country would not have another election—why should it? The black Government would have the power to stay there, and it would stay there.
The only purpose in voting is to get power. Who enjoys the elections that are going on to-day, this Thursday? Only the Labour Party and the Liberal Party. Why? Because they want power; they think they might get a step further forward if they do well to-day in Brighton and Hove, Edinburgh, Berwick and Glasgow, Govan. The Tories do not want by-elections. Nobody in power wants elections if they can help it; they want to stay in power. In this country we know well enough that it is better to rely for a change of Government on voting rather than shooting, but they do not know this in Africa.
Every single ex-colony in the whole of Africa, whether it was British, French or Belgian, which has been started off with a Government and an Opposition and votes-for-all, has given it up. I do not blame them for this, because we tried to plant on them a system which took us hundreds of years to work out and which we have not yet really succeeded in working out properly. It is not to be supposed that our Westminster system suits them, because it does not; nor would it suit Rhodesia. So the very object that we have in mind, of giving them power to run a democratic system, would not be achieved. It is an illusion.
There is very little else to say, but perhaps I should just add that where these ex-colonies in Africa have given up voting systems and Parliament; they have replaced them with dictators, semi-dictators or one-Party States; nor are those Governments any better than the British Colonial Government was in the past. The British Colonial Government was a dedicated Government 507 which did its job extraordinarily well, and I do not think there is one country in Africa where there is a better Government now that it is black than when it was white. I am not saying that it must be worse, but in fact it is worse. There is now less freedom and less wealth in Africa than there was previously.
Therefore I feel that we should free the people of Rhodesia to go their own way. We should realise that the present Government would continue there, subject to the local pressures from the black Africans (which are not small and which would continue), and that that will in time cause the kind of movement towards the middle of the road and towards the kind of government by consent which we are beginning to see in South Africa at the present time. The South African Government, Old Testament type that it is, is nevertheless moving towards the middle of the road. It is taking three or four steps forward every now and then, and even if it has to go back a step or two at a Party conference it is still a couple of steps ahead; and that is what will happen in Rhodesia.
The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chichester concluded his speech by saying that we would not improve the lot of the Africans; we might make it worse, we might exacerbate the quarrelling and violence. On the contrary, violence arises out of poverty, misery and unemployment; it does not arise out of employment and better conditions, from better housing and a full belly. The black people of Southern Africa will do better on their own than they will if they are managed by people 6,000 miles away who know extremely little about them. It ought to he a lesson which this Parliament should understand, that one cannot govern a country 6,000 miles away if one has not the power or the will to govern it. I affirm that we have not the power to conquer Rhodesia; I affirm that we have not the will to do it. I am quite certain that the 4 million ex-Servicemen who have been my friends for 50 years, who fought with the Rhodesians in two wars, would not want to go and fight them, nor I believe would most of us. Therefore I say, let us vote against the Government. It will not topple Mr. Heath—I would not do that for anything—but it might warn him and the noble 508 Baroness and all the rest of them that they must not do this again.
§ 4.59 p.m.
§ THE MARQUESS OF WINCHESTER
My Lords, I should like to associate myself with the tributes which have been paid this afternoon to the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury. The late Lord Salisbury was once very good to me in this House and I am glad that another Lord Salisbury is sitting with us, particularly to-day.
My Lords, for eight years we have been playing around with Rhodesian sanctions and we have not in fact achieved anything in any way at all. Like most Members of your Lordships' House, when I decided that I would speak in the debate to-day I searched to see whether I could find something to say which had not been said before. We should perhaps ask ourselves the question, "Would the continuation of sanctions have any adverse effect within the United Kingdom, and, indeed, the Common Market countries?". Following this up, I must confess that I am not, and would not claim to be, an international politician, or a politician of any sort; but the thought which does occur to me is one that is much in the minds of your Lordships at present—the population explosion. We have in the world to-day the problem of feeding the population. The time will come when we shall wonder how we are going to feed the rapidly growing population. One might wonder what this has to do with Rhodesia, but in its own way it is relevant to Rhodesia, because the States in Africa are not manufacturing countries; they are producers of food, raw materials and industrial minerals. They are producers rather than manufacturers. That being the case, we must now consider what has happened in Africa up to the present time.
I think we should all accept that in Africa to-day those African countries which are independent have not in fact managed to maintain the industrial and agricultural standards set for them by their so-called imperialistic masters. If we are to feed ourselves we must maintain Africa, which I believe could feed Europe. Africa must remain in the hands of responsible government. In the past we have seen that States to the North of Rhodesia who have been independent 509 have quickly become one-Party States, and in some cases have very rapidly become military régimes. There have been civil wars. Unfortunately, as we have seen, they have had to call on the Western World to help to feed them because they have let their standards drop.
Another point I should like to bring to your Lordships' attention is a question that I am fairly concerned about—the Chinese presence in Africa at the present time. We know that the Chinese have entered Tanzania and are in Zambia, and are creating the Tanzam railway link. We also know that they have invested more in Africa in foreign aid than they have ever invested anywhere else in the world. It is interesting to notice that the Tanzam railway is being built on a completely different gauge from any other rail link in Africa at the present time, and therefore the current African rolling stock cannot be used on this link.
BARONESS LLEVVE LYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, if the noble Marquess will forgive me for interrupting, I wonder whether he is aware that the Tanzanian and Zambian Governments first asked the British Government for a loan of, I think, £80 million to help them build the railway. It is entirely our fault that the Chinese are doing it.
§ THE MARQUESS OF WINCHESTER
My Lords, I am aware of that. I am also aware that not only were the British Government invited to inspect, but also the United States Government, and, I believe, the World Bank also. This was all done independently, and all of them turned it down. If those bodies—and I believe they are respectable bodies—turned it down because it was not a viable proposition, how does it come about that the Chinese can say it is viable and build this rail link? We must think of the future. The art of good government must be to plan for the future. We must consider Europe's food problems. I am quite convinced that the Chinese are in Africa to stay. They will not come out. They say they will, but I find it interesting to note that every trained technician on this railway is also a very well trained soldier. We must think along these lines very seriously.
My Lords, turning to Rhodesia itself, we should consider the African people, which we are all trying to do. We 510 should try to consider exactly what they want. I have lived there and I know the African people; I should like to think that I know them fairly well. I know that what they really want is to be able to go to work in the morning and to come home at night and find their house intact. They want to be able to come home at night and find there their wives and children. They want to have the right to he able to educate their children to the standard required to run the country. They want their bonus every year. There are many things they want, and those things they have a right to have. We must not continue the present policy of sanctions and try to force the situation. I personally believe that the African does not want majority rule at this point in time. He wants the right to live in peace. There are in Africa, as everywhere else in the world, those who have and those who have not. I believe the present Government policy is trying to take away from those who have to give it to those that have not, but there is not enough. Consequently, there would be an even greater minority who will have and a larger majority who will have not. Every time we debate this particular subject the Continuation Order is passed. We are giving victory to a minority of intellectuals. Once they have got what they want they are not going to share it. I am convinced of this.
There is one other point T should like to make, and that is on the lack of communication between the United Kingdom and Rhodesia, and in fact the world. I think I have said it in the House once or twice before, but I have always believed that it would be so much easier, there would be so much less misunderstanding, if we had an Englishman in Rhodesia and a Rhodesian in England. But the world says "No," and we cannot do it. But we go even further—and this is what is so distressing. In the world of sport, in the world of the theatre, in the world of anything you like, people are not allowed to go to Rhodesia. If they do, they go at their own risk, the risk of possibly not being able to take up their careers as sportsmen or as a sports team playing in Rhodesia. When they come back to the United Kingdom, Germany, or anywhere else, they might not be allowed to play 511 again because they have broken sanctions. This is a lack of communication.
Surely what we should be doing is showing Rhodesia by example. Rhodesia sent a team, in all honesty, to the Olympic Games to play games. Why not? It was not hurting anybody. But no; the attitude was: Rhodesia must not take part or the world will pull out. This is unreasonable and ridiculous. In fact the whole situation is now becoming a farce. At the end of to-day I suppose the Order will be renewed once more, although I should not like to see it. The noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, said there is a possibility of a change of Government next year, in which case this situation might continue for another ten years or five years. In fact the sanctions debate will become an institution; it will come up regularly and people will be bored. But it is the people in Rhodesia, whites and blacks, I am concerned about. I am deeply concerned for them; and I am deeply concerned for the future development of this country, which I believe has great potential in the world.
What upsets me most of all is the action of the sanctions "busters", because on the one hand they are breaking sanctions and on the other they are standing up in the United Nations and saying, "Yes, we must put sanctions on Rhodesia". This is fair enough, yet in breaking sanctions, as they are doing, they are in fact blackmailing Rhodesia and the Africans whom they apparently seek to protect. What they are, doing is saying, "Rhodesia has a commodity and we want it, but if we are caught buying it we are liable to very steep fines." Consequently they will buy that product at a very reduced rate, one that is just economic. This is preventing the country from expanding and is hurting the African labourer, the very man they say they are seeking to protect. I should very much like to see an end to this.
I understand that talks are going on in Rhodesia, and I believe that by the lifting of sanctions we would create a better climate, an easier climate, for those talks to continue. I have in a small way taken part in causing them to come into being, Earlier this year I had talks with Bishop Muzorewa and I put to him the situation that there was no sense in his having so-called secret proposals which he was not 512 going to let anybody know. The Bishop replied that if he let out his proposals they would be rejected on the spot, and that would be the end of them. I suggested to him that in those circumstances it might be a good idea, in order to get rid of the political vacuum which has existed among the African people and their various parties, to talk to Mr. Smith, not on the question of a settlement at this point in time but on the question of trying to find a basis on which the two sides could start talking.
The Bishop was a little doubtful of this. However, I was pleased to see that some two days later, he announced to the Press that he would very much like to talk to Mr. Smith. Again I informed the Rhodesian Government that I thought Bishop Muzorewa was quite genuine in this wish, and asked them please to treat it seriously. I have not interfered in any way with the talks which have been subsequently going on. Mr. Smith and Bishop Muzorewa have in fact met two or three times. I cannot say exactly how many, and I have not inquired how these talks are going, because I do not think that at this time anybody is trying to demand anything; they are trying only to find the basis on which they can start talking. I still feel that what we need is a much calmer climate and I believe that this can come about, or be speeded up, only if sanctions are dropped.
§ 5.16 p.m.
§ LORD BARNBY
My Lords, I rejoice in following the noble Marquess who has made the sacrifice and shown the public-spiritedness of a special visit here from Rhodesia to present his views to this House. I personally, from my visits to Rhodesia, know how he, using his independence and contacts, takes trouble to inform himself of conditions there. He therefore brings to this Chamber knowledge much greater than many who, as the noble Lord, Lord Fraser, said, will probably vote tonight in favour of this Motion.
The noble Baroness this afternoon, in introducing this Motion with her customary persuasiveness and unerring impeccable style, introduced a measure which is senseless, fallible and immoral. Why this slavish Conservative adherence to a Socialist folly of these several years ago, disapproved of at that time by the 513 present Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary? This Motion last year was bulldozed through this House with Socialist, with Liberal and with Clerical support, and the total vote gained for this measure was less than 40 per cent. Conservative. I suggest that if many of those who will vote tonight for this measure had been themselves recently for a look-see to Rhodesia they would be in the Not-Contents Lobby.
The noble Baroness yesterday unveiled a glaring Foreign Office blunder in contemporary international affairs denounced by the Socialist and Liberal Parties. There is no need for further comment than the description in that big headline by a leading daily, "Britain joins the anti-American club". Is there no reason why we should remember the umbrella of assistance by the United States during two world wars, Marshall Aid, and the existing presence in Europe? I think—and a great many more people, including American soldiers in the country, take the same view—that the Foreign Office are again wrong with this measure, as they have been wrong for so long. It is hypocrisy, as the noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, said, to suggest that there is no law and order in Rhodesia. What do foreign countries think of Britain's governance of a small Province, with less than 5 per cent. of our population, and with some 900 dead in less than two years? The noble Lord reminded us that Rhodesia is the only country in Africa where the police are conventionally unarmed. There is no mutual presence here of responsible officials. Why do we withhold £10 million a year supplementary, available under the settlement funds for African education? Sanctions must increase industrialisation. The two million black African voters, mostly in rural areas, habituated to a tribal sysem and witchcraft, and liable to be subjected to intimidation are not yet ready, as the noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, said, for government of this industrialised country.
If this House and the Foreign Office had respected the advice of the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, about Biafra, we should not to-day be worrying about the oil. I would remind the House that the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, recommended the acceptance of the settlement. My latest information from Rhodesia suggests that there have already been eight 514 meetings between the Prime Minister and Bishop Muzorewa, that there is good progress with the membership of the pro-African settlement groups, the Forum and the Convention. Why not end this hypocrisy of responsibility without power? I would give recognition to Rhodesia. Again I would condemn sanctions, and if there is a Division I shall certainly record my vote against them.
§ 5.24 p.m.
§ LORD MILVERTON
My Lords, in rising to speak in this debate, I should like to begin by assuring your Lordships that I have every intention of being rather brief, Five years ago, in June of that year, was the last occasion on which I spoke in a debate on this subject. I then deplored the policy of sanctions, and there is little to add to what I then said and the reasons I then gave. I denounced the policy as an uncivilised measure, interfering with the domestic affairs of a potentially great people. I do not want to reopen that argument again to-day, but I want to say a few words on the way I look at this situation, having had considerable experience of administration and of countries like Rhodesia. I want to make a few brief comments, and I am afraid that it entails inflicting on your Lordships a few rather home truths.
To begin with, I think one has to look at it this way—and I speak as an administrator. Democracy cannot be handed out like a gift, or merely by providing a Constitution and the formal symbols of democratic government. It has to have its roots in the people; in the habits, thoughts and customs of the people. Our form of rule has two sides: first, in checking the abuse of power and, secondly, a positive side in building a framework of government on the British concept. Premature insistence on "one man, one vote", and all the rest of the popular claptrap, will be merely using the forms of democracy in order to stultify its aims.
Success cannot be financed with a flow of words, and in sound administrative practice you must distinguish between ultimate ideals and present possibilities. In other words, you cannot "blueprint" an ideal. Rhodesia is an outstanding example of where general principles can be stated as an objective, but their detailed application must be modified by time and experience, with increasing correction and adjustment as time goes on. If only the 515 Rhodesian Government could be left alone to work this out, it is not an exaggeration to soy that the population of all kinds, of all races, would immensely benefit, both materially and spiritually. The only hope for a multi racial country like Rhodesia must lie in economic progress married to educational advancement. The steady elimination of racial differences would come, in the end, with a steady elimination of cultural differences. All this obviously takes time, and a lot of time, but the present policy of Her Majesty's Government seems to me to be an insistence on the suicidal imposition of impossible speed. I am convinced that even at this late hour an honourable settlement is possible.
Is it not time that the British Government stopped preaching about civilised methods and started practising them? To my mind, the calling in of the United Nations, on the plea that the domestic affairs of Rhodesia were a menace to world peace, was a shameful subterfuge of dubious justification under the Charter of the United Nations. When the accused de facto Government of Rhodesia was refused even the right to state its case to the Security Council, the mask of righteousness slipped and the face of prejudice peered out. Why, my Lords? It is reckoned that at least 37 members of the United Nations represent countries under the rule of minority Governments whose people have not the prospect of anything like as happy or as prosperous a future as the people of Rhodesia. This attempt to tighten the noose and strangle the economy of the country—one has only to look at it to see that—can surely bring only misery, unemployment and hardship to the very people whom the authors of this policy profess to be hoping to help.
My Lords, in Rhodesia you are dealing with men, not the Helots of Whitehall. Both in principle and in practice Rhodesia rightly claims the position of a free country; and I believe that but for this fixed denial the so-called Rhodesian problem—and granted, of course, sympathetic consideration with it—could have generated real advance towards a solution satisfactory to all parties. I do not myself believe in boycotts or sanctions as diplomatic instruments. The movement of Rhodesia rightly insists, and its Government insist, upon guiding its affairs so 516 that it can ensure the existence and the continuity of civilised government. Is that an unreasonable proposition to make to your Lordships? Differences of race, colour, culture and language present problems which are best settled by the people who are trying to found a State in which the standards of civilised government can be maintained in amicable agreement. I have always believed in justice and fair play, and in the many virtues which history has associated with British government, and I shall therefore register my vote against what I consider to be the fratricidal folly of sanctions.
§ 5.33 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF ONSLOW
My Lords, I made my maiden speech on the subject of Rhodesia in the debate on the Pearce Commission findings in 1971. That was two years ago. Precious little seems to have changed in those two years. Precious little seems to have changed in the last nine years, since U.D.I. Methods may have changed: Mr. Wilson met Mr. Smith on ships of the Royal Navy; my right honourable friend Sir Alec Douglas-Home achieved the miracle of sending a totally invisible Lord Goodman to Salisbury. Since then, there have been rumours of further contacts; but underlying all this history there has been the common policy of this Administration and of the last Administration. If I may be so bold as to say so to your Lordships, it is the only policy which, in any honour, any British Government could possibly have fulfilled or tried to fulfil, and that is the principle of the Five Principles.
As has been frequently said, the most important of all these Principles is the Principle that any settlement must have the consent of the Rhodesian people as a whole. At the risk of being repetitive, I cannot over-emphasise to your Lordships the importance of this Principle. Unless there is independence with the consent of the Rhodesian people as a whole, that independence is not worth the paper it is written on. We have seen several Constitutions which have turned out to be "scraps of paper", in the Kaiser's words. I regret to say that, as your Lordships are fully aware, the majority of those scraps of paper have been in Africa. These scraps of paper have been torn up either by the bayonets of over-promoted Askari sergeants or by the more subtly dictatorial methods of Boer farmers.
517 My Lords, the aim of Her Majesty's Government, and especially of my right honourable friend, as expressed by the noble Baroness in, as everybody says, her normally eloquent and kindly way, is to produce a working agreement between the peoples of Rhodesia, enabling them to become an independent, free and proud nation. What Rhodesia wants more than anything else is respectability and recognition of her independence. The only method that Her Majesty's Government have of influencing Mr. Smith's régime in this direction is sanctions. All of us think that it is not only in our interests but, above all, in the interests of Rhodesia that this respectable independence should be obtained.
As the noble Baroness has said, Mr. Smith is talking, albeit spasmodically, to Bishop Muzorewa and the African National Congress. The guerrilla campaign seems to be under control at the moment, but if the Rhodesian Government commands only minority consent, how long will that control last? After all, my Lords, the difficulty about racialist tyrannies is that the opportunities to be tyrannical are confined to a minority section of the population. In other sorts of tyranny, anyone can embrace the concepts of that tyranny, be it Fascism or Communism, the Greeks or whatever you might like to call it, and claw their own way to the top of their own particular nasty little heap. With the tyrannies of South Africa, of Burundi and of Rhodesia, this is impossible. After all, you cannot pretend to be a Boer when in fact you are a Zulu.
There is a terrible air of déjà vu about this debate. The list of noble Lords whom I might possibly call the rebel Peers, the Right-Wing of my Party, supporting people in rebellion against the Crown has always struck me as ironical; and I think it was the noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies, who pointed out the great irony of Lord Forester, who is allowed to wear his hat in the presence of the Sovereign, then encouraging rebels against the Sovereign. Then there is Lord Coleraine, a great public servant who takes his name from one of the great loyalist counties of the United Kingdom, again supporting people in treason against the Crown. But that is the privilege we have in being a free country and a democracy. In parenthesis, perhaps it would be not too flippant to 518 point out that any noble Lord who is convicted of treason can claim the right to be hung with a silken cord. Another whose name appears on the list of rebel Peers is a new one—the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury. I must in all sincerity congratulate him on an excellent speech. I regret to say that I do not agree, as he obviously realises, with everything that he said; but his name is not new upon that list. His noble, marvellously able and great father was heard speaking up for the rebel régime four years ago.
My Lords, it must be the duty of Her Majesty's Government, it must be the duty of your Lordships' House, to try to help protect the Rhodesians from themselves. As I have already said, and as the noble Baroness has said, the only weapon we have is sanctions. As your Lordships know, and as was pointed out terribly movingly by the noble Marquess, Lord Winchester, what has been created by the European settlers in Rhodesia is something which is magic and which is a marvel. This has been created by the European settlers. The benefits brought to the Matabele and the Mashonu are enormous, but the benefits of civilisation and the survival of European settlement can only co-exist in Rhodesia with the consent and active co-operation of the African population. This is the purpose of sanctions; this is what sanctions try to get through the slightly provincial attitude of the mind of Mr. Smith and his Government.
When I saw on the Whip that we were to have yet another debate on Rhodesia, then in something like the words of Keats in another context:"My heart ached and a drowsy numbness pained my sense as though of hemlock I had drunk", as one could foresee all the old arguments of the rebels and all the old arguments for continuing sanctions being trotted out. My Lord, the arguments for sanctions have not been weakened and the arguments for successful rebellion have in no way improved. All I hope, admittedly with precious little optimism, is that we shall not have the same old arguments next year and the year after and the year after that. Mr. Smith could save us all this trouble—and his country's future, which is obviously infinitely more important—by making a generous statesmanlike agreement with Bishop Muzorewa. The reason I am not optimistic is that, unfortunately, 519 up till now Mr. Smith has not shown that he possesses the breadth of imagination, tolerance and Christian forbearance required of him to make such an agreement.
Nobody has suggested that sanctions removal would improve the chances of a multi-racial society. Several of your Lordships have said that they might improve those chances. The multi-racial society has been asked for by all of your Lordships. I shall vote to-night for a small chance rather than no chance whatsoever.
§ LORD GRIMSTON OF WESTBURY
My Lords, as one of those who my noble friend Lord Onslow has described as a "rebel Peer" I rise to address you for a few minutes. It seems to me that the very fact that this is the eighth year this Order has come up for approval is a mark of the failure of the policy of sanctions—particularly when one remembers that the reason for sanctions has been varied time after time. As they have failed for one reason, another has been advanced for retaining them. I want to examine some of the different reasons which have been advanced from time to time for the maintenance of sanctions.
At first, we were told that sanctions were being introduced in order to bring to an end a rebellion against the Crown; and that, incidentally, this would be done in "a matter of weeks rather than months". That is what we were told at first. I remember the broadcast made by Mr. Smith when he declared U.D.I. I paraphrase his words, but he said something like, Her Majesty will still be Queen of Rhodesia; we shall still continue to sing 'God. Save the Queen'." I must say that I have often thought that it lies ill in the mouths of those who sing "The Red Flag" at the conclusion of their Party conference to call the Rhodesians rebels. That was the first reason given. Of course, it failed.
Then it was said that sanctions would bring down the Smith government "in a matter of weeks rather than months". What has happened? Sanctions have actually strengthened the Smith government and have brought the country unitedly behind the Smith régime, in much the same way as Hitler united this country against an outside threat—for that is how the Rhodesians regard our 520 attitude to them. They cannot understand this vendetta that is being continuously pursued against their country—an example of which we heard to-day in the speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies (whom we all welcome to her new position on the Opposition Front Bench), when she made the first speech from the other side. So far as I could make out, she wanted sanctions to go on for ever, as part of the scheme of things. Sanctions failed to bring down the Smith régime; they consolidated Rhodesian opinion. Now it is said that they must be kept going as a bargaining weapon. Bargaining for what, my Lords? The longer they continue, the more Anglophobic will the Rhodesians become—and particularly among the younger generation, who have not the old loyalties. The more Anglophobic Rhodesia becomes the more she will be driven into the arms of South Africa. I do not believe that this is the sort of thing that people who support sanctions want to happen; but it is what will happen. I hate the idea of Rhodesia coming to loathe this country for the attitude we adopt to her.
Let us look at the present position in Rhodesia. The Rhodesian government are in charge of the situation; they maintain law and order and, as my noble friend Lord Onslow has said, they have got on top of the guerrilla movement. They could never have done that unless they had received the support of the black population in identifying the guerrillas. They have had the support of the black population in crushing the guerrilla movement. That is another indication of the multiracial support that the present Smith government have against the outside threat of the guerrillas and of ourselves. There is no apartheid policy in Rhodesia. There is the university, open to all, irrespective of colour; sport is open to everybody. Those chosen to represent Rhodesia in sport are chosen on merit and not on colour. There is no threat to peace. To say that there was a threat to the peace of the world was the biggest nonsense of all. It was humbug; and everybody knows it. What is required for the benefit of all races in Rhodesia is encouragement from Britain and the good will of Britain instead of antipathy. That is what I want to see.
I believe that under those conditions the blacks and the whites in Rhodesia 521 will hammer out a solution to their problem. Very likely they will found a State in Africa—something between the dictatorships of the North and the apartheid situation in South Africa to the South—which will be a model for Africa in the development of a multiracial society. That is what I plead for: that Rhodesia shall be given encouragement to go along that path and that there shall be no continuance of this policy of sanctions which is really no more than a continuing vendetta against Rhodesia and is regarded by them as such. For that reason I again oppose the reimposition of sanctions. I shall vote against the Order to-night for I believe in my heart that it represents a bankrupt policy which has been seen to fail over the last eight years, and it is high time we had the courage to change a policy which is seen so manifestly to be a failure in all it sets out to achieve.
§ 5.49 p.m.
§ LORD GRIDLEY
My Lords, I shall not attempt to enter into any form of ribaldry such as that depicted by my noble friend Lord Onslow with regard to any noble Lords being rebels and hanged by a silken cord. To-night I rise with a considerable amount of agony for the simple reason that I do not think that so far the House has been fully aware that what we are discussing are the lives of all the Rhodesians, coloured and white, and the sort of Government which will give them a stable future. I am thinking of the Rhodesians in Rhodesia with the threat of terrorism on their borders and their feeling that unless law and order is created those who went out there years and years ago and created a fine civilisation in which the country prospered, and whose children—I am talking in this case of the Rhodesian white children—will have nowhere else to go, whose friends are there, whose education is there and whose future prosperity and security lie in that country. In that connection I would ask your Lordships this question: if all this was sacrificed to the turmoil which has taken place in certain parts of Africa, where would those settlers be to-day?
I would take up the issue with the noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, who said that we on this side who had feelings of that kind should realise 522 that the past has gone. My Lords, the past has not gone in Rhodesia; it has not gone anywhere in the Commonwealth. The tradition of the past carries on, and it is just because of this tradition to-day that there are these difficulties which arise in trying to secure agreement in Rhodesia. In my experience, if I may humbly say so to your Lordships, in all the years in which Britain has been divesting herself of responsibilities overseas, a cardinal issue of the policy—and I would ask any noble Lord to challenge me on this—has been to hand over territories in a form of stability when the indigenous people were fully capable of managing and carrying out their own affairs.
I have had personal experience of this. Under a Labour Government we had trade union advisers in Malaya when we were facing a threat of Communist domination. It required a considerable amount of courage to carry on in those conditions, but I fully respect the sincerity with which the Labour Government of that day carried through those policies during that time to bring up people in the industries in Malaya, in the rubber estates and in the tin mines, with full responsibility for negotiating their own advancement. The same applies to other parts of the Commonwealth. Gradually, Britain evolved a pattern of government—and it was a heavy responsibility placed on us—a cardinal issue of which was that we would not (and I emphasise "not") give over any territory which in our opinion might succumb to disorder when we vacated it. That was our cardinal policy and it was followed universally throughout.
We are talking now about the continuation of sanctions. I did not follow the noble Lord, Lord Foot, when he said that if we voted against the Order to-night we should be voting against all our further interests in Rhodesia. It seems to me, my Lords, that what we have to consider now is what is going to happen if sanctions go on for another 12 months in Rhodesia. In that connection, I looked at a speech which I made a year ago. I will not repeat the arguments I made at that time, but I said then that I could not favour the continuance of sanctions for the simple reason that I considered that it would result in increased African nationalism and intransigence and make 523 the desirable point of getting to an agreement with Mr. Smith that much more difficult.
My Lords, I saw in a leader in the Daily Telegraph to-day that there is increased terrorism in Rhodesia and terrorism has hardened the outlook of African nationalists. Last year I spoke of the activities of the British Council of Churches, and after I had spoken in that debate somebody came to me from the British Council of Churches and accused me of representing facts in connection with Mr. Smith which they felt I had wrongly put forward to your Lordships. I do not wish to comment at great length on that, but I notice that to-day's Daily Telegraph, again in the same leader, supports the statement I made 12 months ago. In effect it says that the increased terrorism in Rhodesia amounts to evidence that the absence of a leading part being played by Britain, and her policy of leaving Mr. Smith and the Africans to negotiate between themselves, have resulted in the stirring up of trouble by African and other busybodies.
So, my Lords, I ask myself this: If it is true that Rhodesia faces a £60 million debt if sanctions were taken off to-morrow, if it is true that the economy is slowing down and that savings are vanishing in Rhodesia, and if it is true, as has already been stated by other noble Lords in this debate, that more white people are now leaving Rhodesia than are entering the country, then, of course, sanctions are succeeding—if that is what you want to happen to the peoples of Rhodesia. My Lords, I do not want that to happen to the peoples of Rhodesia. I try to understand some of their difficulties and the difficulties of coming to an agreement with the British people and with the British Government.
I know that noble Lords who may favour the continuance of sanctions may say, "Of course we do not want suffering to the people of Rhodesia, but we want Mr. Smith to come to an agreement with Rhodesian Africans". My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, Minister of State, said in her opening speech that Mr. Smith was continuing his talks with Bishop Muzorewa. It seems to me that, quite irrespective of sanctions, Mr. Smith is doing what he considers is right to come to an agree 524 meat in a very difficult situation. I have tried to-night to convey to your Lordships the difficulties that face settlers and the difficulties of trying to come to an accommodation in a unique situation, and I do not think that a continuance of sanctions helps this at all. My Lords, it is for these reasons and from my experience that I find it impossible to support the Government with this Order.
§ 5.58 p.m.
LORD BELHAVEN AND STENTON
My Lords, first of all I should like to congratulate my noble friend Lord Salisbury on his maiden speech. I do not think he can claim that it was not a contentious maiden speech but I must say that, after listening to the three speeches which preceded it. it was like the dawning of day. There seemed to my mind to be sanity and sense in what the noble Marquess said, albeit I sometimes feel that common sense is contentious.
My Lords, I have hesitated for many years before speaking on this subject because I felt I had not sufficient knowledge of it. But I must say that I share what I think a great many people in this country now have, a sense of frustration at this continuing conflict with Rhodesia which seems to me, at any rate from the British side, to have no real support among British people. There are many facets of the Rhodesian problem, quite a few of which we have gone into to-day, but I think it is the moral approach of those who wish to continue sanctions that is the least satisfactory. In the "league table" of wicked régimes I would say that Rhodesia is pretty low down. When one comes to régimes and Governments of which one disapproves, one cannot just bundle them all together. I do not think I need to elaborate on that aspect. The fact is that the really wicked rulers of countries, such as Russia and China, are not hounded and persecuted by the United Nations. I think it true to say that Israel and Rhodesia are hounded and persecuted by the United Nations. How ridiculous that is! How extraordinary an organisation this must be that holds up small countries such as Rhodesia and Israel to contempt, and hounds and persecutes them, while leaving the Soviet Union alone to persecute and imprison thousands and millions of people!
525 I do not think that we in this country have any moral right to criticise Rhodesia. We have our own problems. One problem that occurs to me, and it is one that seems to have existed for quite a long time, is that every time it gets cold, or threatens to get cold, the trade unions turn off all the lighting and heating. For young chaps like me that is perfectly all right, but for the old, the sick and the poor it is not funny at all. I do not think we can say that we are morally superior to the Rhodesians. I agree that the régime there is not ideal, but one must couple that with the fact that the rulers of Rhodesia face what will eventually be—indeed, what I imagine is now to some extent—a terrifying dilemma. The people there must solve it for themselves, and I do not see that anything we in this country have done or are doing has been of the least help in trying to solve the very obvious and difficult problem which the people there will, sooner or later, have to face. In fact, my Lords, step by step, as I see it, we drove the people there into more and more extreme attitudes. They saw their future and the future of their children, and even their lives threatened and put at risk by the meddling of Whitehall. Also they were constantly needled by the media, television and Press, in this country and by the high moral attitudes which have been struck by people who can afford to strike moral attitudes from the safety of Hampstead and Haywards Heath or somewhere like that.
I should like briefly to go into a little of the history of this matter. Just after the war, and just after I left the Services, the Government were encouraging ex-Servicemen to settle in Kenya. That happened; and then, some 15 years later, the same people were "sold down the river" for the sake of political expediency. They lost their land, their farms, and everything they had built up. To-day, in what was British East Africa we see a near-Nazi régime; in Uganda there is a racialist régime. We see a scarcely less racialist régime in what was Tanganyika, Zanzibar and Kenya. The people in those countries are not safe. If they happen to be Asians, they are liable to be deported. I have not heard of the Rhodesian Government deporting anyone because he was an Asian. My Lords, we can hardly wonder that the rulers of Rhodesia, 526 seeing what was happening in that part of Africa and in other parts of Africa, should take a lesson from the deplorable record of Government after Government in Britain, and should have said, "We do not want that here"?
I do not envy them their problems: I am glad that they are not mine. They have to live there. It is their land, their cities, their future which are at stake, and I think it ill becomes us to lecture them on morality from the safety and comfort of your Lordships' House. Who are these Europeans in Rhodesia who are supposed to be so wicked? They are a cross-section of our own people. Two noble Lords who are in the Chamber to-day, Members of your Lordships' House, are Rhodesians. I have no doubt that some of your Lordships have relations in Rhodesia. Are we saying that these people are so blind, so stupid and so wicked that they cannot see the racial and other problems with which they are faced? Cannot we give them credit, as our own people, for some intelligence, for some decency? I do not doubt that in time the black man in Rhodesia will have to achieve equality with the white man. But the method of achieving it is none the less an appalling human problem, and it may not be solved in a way we like. I do not see why it should be solved in a way that we want it to be solved. I do not see why we should expect every country in the world—as we seem to—however foreign, however remote, however different its problems, to adopt our very imperfect democracy. It is their country, they are their problems, and it seems to me a strange morality which expects them to lay their heads on the block in order to sooth tender consciences in Whitehall and Westminster.
On the political side, as was said by my noble friend Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, we have had the sorry spectacle of the Foreign Office impaled on its own spike. I do not think that is the first time that has happened. In its wisdom—or, more likely, lack of it—the Foreign Office saw fit to throw the Rhodesian issue to the wolves of the United Nations. What is the United Nations, my Lords, but the sum total of the Governments of the world most of whose methods at home are hardly nice by ally standards? We have got ourselves into a mess over this—and that, in my opinion, is putting 527 it mildly. If we do what I believe to be right over Rhodesia we shall probably lose more oil because of Nigeria. If we had done what was right over the late war in the Middle East we would now have petrol rationing. But I think that to-day there is in our policies such a total and cynical disregard of what is right that we are not entitled to lecture Mr. Smith or anybody else.
Finally, my Lords, there is the issue of rebellion against the Crown, which I think probably weighs more with noble Lords on this side of the House than the other issues. It is the most unfortunate aspect of this state of affairs, but do not think it can simply be left at that. People who for generations have been second to none in their loyalty to the Crown do not just rebel. There must be weighty reasons for them to do so; they do not do it for fun. Many of the Rhodesians, including Mr. Smith himself, left the security and comfort of their homes and farms to come to this country and fight for us in two world wars, and I do not think that such loyalty can be or should be taken lightly. It is not lightly thrown aside by those who have it. There is usually a good reason when people of this sort rebel against what had previously been sacred to them. I have been thinking about successful rebellions in various parts of the world, whether the result was right or not. There was the rebellion in America, the Russian Revolution, the French Revolution and a number of others. It seems to me that nearly all successful rebellions have been against Governments which have become weak, stupid and tryranical—all three. I am very much afraid that we must have a rather close look at ourselves because I think that, in relation to Rhodesia, this is what the British Government have become. We sought to impose on Rhodesia solution which suited us.
The Five Principles are not very memorable, but I thought I would quote one which is slightly more memorable than the rest. It is called "unimpeded progress towards majority rule". What exactly does that mean? One might say that it means what it says. I do not think that will bear examination. It seems to me that it could mean majority rule in 500 years time or in five months' time. It depends on the rate of progress 528 desired. If progress is not impeded—and this has something to do with friction, which I remember doing in science a long time ago—there could be majority rule to-morrow. I confess that the Principle baffled me; it quite clearly has not been successful as a principle.
To be very serious on this subject, if we had majority rule tomorrow what would happen? Again, my noble friend Lord Fraser of Lansdale brought this out to some extent. If we had majority rule to-morrow, we should probably have one election which would be fairly managed, and people would be able to vote for pictures of elephants, or something, as I think they did in Kenya. Once they had voted for the elephant, the tiger, the lion or the hippopotamus, that would be it: that would be the end of majority rule. As my noble friend Lord Fraser of Lonsdale said, once the chaps were in power they would stay in power. For this great principle we expect these people to put their jobs, their properties and their families at risk. They certainly would be at risk, because I think I should not be wrong if I said that the best that could follow majority rule now in Rhodesia would be mass expulsion, and the worst would be mass murder.
My Lords, was it really right for us to expect people to risk all this so that our democratic consciousness could be soothed? Let us admit that we have been wrong: it is the best thing we can do. We have been wrong before. Other people have been wrong. Let us once and for all leave Rhodesia alone. Let the people who have to live there and work there work out their own futures. God knows! it will be difficult enough for them, and it seems to me to be neither right nor moral that we should add to their difficulties.
§ 6.13 p.m.
My Lords, I am afraid I will have to ask you to listen to me for a few minutes because I have travelled 7,000 miles at a cost of some 600 dollars, and therefore feel I should justify that action. Mr. Smith wished me luck. I saw him the morning I left, but I am sorry to say he did not suggest paying my expenses!
I wish first rather to pull to pieces the very clever speech of the Foreign Secretary when he turned down our resolution 529 at the Conservative Conference. He certainly pulled the wool over the eyes of simple minded Conservatives, most of whom dwell in another place. I trust that we, my Lords, see a little further than our noses. The Foreign Secretary admitted his dislike of sanctions, but said that as the Labour Government had entered into a commitment with the United Nations a Conservative Government could not abrogate such an agreement even if they disagreed with it. Really, my Lords, what is the point of voting Conservative at a General Election to turn out a Labour Government—which I would have done if I had had the vote, but I have not—if the result is that the Government continuo Labour policies! I am quite sure if it were the other way round that a Labour Government would not observe such gentlemanly niceties.
But I really mean to be constructive and not destructive. As we heard from the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, the sole legal justification for the mandatory sanctions was the statement by the Labour Government that Rhodesia was a threat to world peace. I do not think any of us shook in our shoes over that. That is as palpably wrong today as it was then. So why could not our Foreign Secretary go in all honesty to the Security Council, say that Rhodesia is not a threat to world peace, and that Rhodesia is solely a British responsibility? Would that not clear the way for the removal of sanctions whenever he so wishes?
The next point was the Foreign Secretary's claim that the continuation of sanctions would provide the right atmosphere for talks between Mr. Smith and the A.N.C. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the British Government had said three months ago that in the absence of a settlement sanctions would go, the A.N.C. would probably have accepted those very reasonable terms which he and the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, and the A.N.C. really felt quite happy about. As it is, when the Foreign Secretary said some time ago that sanctions would be continued, that made the attainment of the internal settlement in Rhodesia much less likely. This is actually a view which I am copying from Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith is getting through to the Africans, as has been said in many 530 speeches, but it does take time and patience.
§ THE EARL OF ONSLOW
Would the noble Lord very generously give way for three seconds? He says that Mr. Smith is getting through to the Africans. Then how is it that Mr. Smith made such a howling error as to think that the Africans would accept the Pearce Commission and tell everybody that they did so, if he is so on net with the Africans?
The Pearce Commission would have come to a completely different conclusion if their task had been carried out in a sensible way. As I say, it takes time and patience. Any of your Lordships who have dealt with Africans must know that you ask them a question, they first say "No"; then you ask them again and they say "yes", and you feel rather happy; then you ask them again and they say "Don't know". So you are back to square one, and you start all over again. That is going on; it may finally lead somewhere.
The last point I wish to make is on the statement by the Foreign Secretary at Blackpool, that failing a settlement the terrorists would take the future of Rhodesia out of the hands of the Government and of moderate Africans. I take that statement as offensive; but it also saddens me to think that the Foreign Secretary is so completely misinformed. But, of course, that is not surprising when there is no line of communication—as the noble Marquess, Lord Winchester, said—between us and Rhodesia.
I can tell your Lordships a little about the terrorist situation as I live in the North-Eastern part of Rhodesia, which is supposed to be the sensitive area. Whether or not a constitutional settlement is made, there is no prospect whatever of the terrorists gaining control of Rhodesia. The security forces are in complete control, and the terrorists are now confined to a very small area right on the Mozambique frontier. There is a piece of Mozambique downstream from Zomba that goes over the Zambesi, and from that piece of Mozambique it is much easier for the terrorists to slip over as they do not have to cross a waterway. But they have really made no progress, and they have suffered casualties. In the 10 months since the incursions began, the security forces have killed 170 531 terrorists for the loss of 22. During that same period, 40 civilians were murdered, of whom 32 were Africans, many of the latter very brutally clubbed to death, which is an unpleasant way of dying. Small wonder that in those remote areas the chiefs, the kraal heads, the farmers and storekeepers, whose premises are often raided by terrorists, are longing for peace and are 100 per cent. for a settlement: and there are many more of them than there are members of the A.N.C.
My Lords, what is required is a massive injection of capital to develop and open up those remote areas with roads, dams, irrigation schemes and schools: these, and not constitutions, are the weapons to finally defeat the terrorists. The British Government, by denying to the Rhodesian Africans the enormous aid promised in 1971 by that constitution, have certainly not helped, to put it mildly. This is all done in the sacred name of helping the Africans, for whom the British Government claim responsibility.
I should like to tell your Lordships about an incident that happened not very far North of my farm about six weeks ago. The terrorists, I am glad to say, are getting rather short of manpower. So they have taken to abducting schoolchildren. They raided a school, shot the teachers and drove about 30 pupils like a drove of cattle North to the Zambesi. Luckily, the security forces were soon on their trail. They caught up with them, killed one or two, and got 20 of the children back. Another group of security forces rescued another nine children. They got back 29 out of the 30 children. Everybody scoured about for the thirtieth child, and about a fortnight later, one poor little girl, aged about 11, was found lying dead in the bush, having been chewed by hyenas. Who was the murderer? I leave it to your Lordships to think that one out.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, if I may interrupt the noble Lord for one moment, while not accepting in any way the details of the story he has told, I should like to remind him of the treatment meted out to the Tangwena tribe by the Smith régime: the burning down of their huts; the taking away of their cattle; the burning down of their huts again; driving 532 away the old men into the mountains, and taking the children from their families and putting them in camps 200 miles away. There are many horrible stories that come out of Rhodesia, and I should not like your Lordships to think that the one to which we have just listened, as told by the noble Lord, is the only one.
My Lords, I do know that the Tangwena tribe was offered a very much better slab of land than they had before.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, I am sorry, but they have lived on their land for 300 years. As the noble Lord is well aware, it is a spiritual home as well, where their ancestors are buried. The land that they were offered was not their home. It was not better land; they did not want it; and the security forces have never been able to make them go to this very day.
My Lords, I agree that they did not want it, but they were offered a good bit of land.
My Lords, the House has been most patient with me, and I hope I have been able to inject a little realism in the interests of Rhodesians, both black and white, because my fear is that the British Government will continue to be guided by expediency, such as Nigerian oil, and the true interests of the Rhodesian blacks will take second place to what they believe to be their own interests. I therefore implore your Lordships to vote against the continuation of sanctions. I know we cannot win and that those in another place have the last word, but it will be a gesture, and will let Rhodesians, many of whom still have much affection for the old country, know that they have some friends here.
§ LORD GRIDLEY
My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, I should like to ask him one question. Like the noble Lord, I have experienced terrorism. Would he agree that on the question of acceptability by the Pearce Commission, Lord Pearce was operating in an atmosphere of terrorism; and does the noble Lord not think it is difficult to get the right answer in that atmosphere?
My Lords, it was very difficult. But the trouble was that the A.N.C. had time to work things out. They had a couple of hundred stooges 533 who went round town after town; every black man looked very much the same to the Pearce Commission, and they did not know they were the same people.
§ 6.27 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD
My Lords, my speech will be short—I will confine myself to seven minutes—but I am afraid it will not be sweet, at least, not to the Government. We now have the eighth year of this repetitive farce, and I have spoken on this subject often. The noble Baroness opposite raised the point of the removal of a tribe in Rhodesia; but I remember that when in Africa we had the most appalling massacres by African Governments—for instance, the slaughter of the tribes in the South of Sudan, where in one week, according to reports, 70,000 were slaughtered; the appalling slaughter of the Watutsi tribe, and I could mention many slaughters and massacres—the noble Baroness or her Party were not concerned about that.
§ VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD
No, my Lords, I will not give way for three seconds; but the noble Earl can raise what he wants to say at the end.
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, it is quite untrue that we have never protested about all these massacres.
§ VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD
My Lords, if the noble Baroness has expressed regret about it, I apologise, but while I have been in this House I have never heard her Party express regret.
The noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor, when winding up for the Government on the gracious Speech, described the Opposition Amendment as "humbug". The eighth year of this Rhodesia sanctions Order is humbug, and in my opinion it is one of the worst examples I have ever known of double standards. I think it is a tragedy that it should be carried out by the British Parliament. It is extremely doubtful—and I have asked international lawyers and many other lawyers about this— 534 whether the Rhodesian sanctions Order, when it was first imposed, was legal. If it had been argued in an international court of law, I am quite convinced that it would have been proved not to be legal.
As we have heard from the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury—and I should like to congratulate him on his maiden speech; I was a great admirer of his father, as I am sure all your Lordships were—Rhodesia has never threatened anyone, least of all any African nation. I have never met a Rhodesian who does not agree that the Rhodesian Government must work towards a multi-racial society; but you cannot do that overnight. Rhodesia is working towards this. There is no question of blacks or whites being unable to have a vote: it is only a question of whether or not a person is able to use that vote intelligently. The Rhodesian Government is spending more money per head on African education than any African republic. Rhodesian Africans also enjoy a higher standard of living than is to be found in any African republic—and I have been in quite a few of them. In fact I have been in the oldest African republic and have seen that the standard of living there for the Africans is deplorable. That also applies to most of the African republics that I have visited. Rhodesia has never indulged in racial progroms, as have other African republics, and I am quite sure, as other noble Lords have said during this debate that they are, that if Rhodesia were only to be left alone things in that country would be far happier for the Africans as well as for the Europeans. The noble Earl, Lord Onslow, remarked that we cannot remove sanctions from Rhodesia or that we cannot have a settlement with her because the Pearce Commission could not get a "Yes" to the Five Principles from the African population.
§ THE EARL OF ONSLOW
My Lords, may I interrupt the noble Viscount on this point? I did not say that. What I said was, I think, that the Pearce Commission arrived at the conclusion that the Africans did not want the settlement which was offered to them—and that is totally different from what the noble Viscount has been saying. I should like him, if he possibly could, to try to be accurate.
§ VISCOUNT MASSEREENE AND FERRARD
My Lords, the original mistake that was made occurred when these terms were agreed between the two Governments. They should never have been put to the population, because everyone who has dealt with Africans or with the negro races—and here I must say that I have had more experience with the West Indians, though I have some experience of the Africans—knows that they can be very easily intimidated. It is perfectly hopeless to ask an ignorant African who cannot read or write and has no notion of democracy for his opinion on a very complicated subject. After all, we in this country have not even asked our voters their opinions about the Common Market—and, my God! we spend enough on education here. What is it?—£5.000 million or £6,000 million a year—and we have not even asked our voters their opinion. But the average African has to speak through his headman or his chief, and to try to bypass this is perfectly hopeless. I remember trying to explain to my people in Jamaica the meaning of the vote. They roared with laughter and thought I was mad. So all this is really nonsense.
I see I have almost taken up my seven minutes, so I must hurry up. I have already mentioned intimidation. I am convinced that one reason why the Africans said "No" was because they were frightened by their Communist masters. They had this great intimidation put on them, and of course the last thing their Communist masters wanted was that this agreement between the two Governments should become a fact, because had it become a fact there would have been no fertile ground in Central Africa for sowing Communist propaganda. Had it not been for this, everything could have been very happy. I think the agreement was very fair to the Africans, and if only it could have come about happily the whole affair would be in a far better position than it is now.
We have heard something about terrorists, and so on. A friend of mine has recently come back from that part of Africa and she tells me that the quantity of Chinese arms and the extent of Chinese influence which is to be found in both Zambia and Tanzania is quite amazing. The noble Marquess, Lord, Winchester, was quite right in saying that 536 the Chinese, in building the railway, are not building it as a viable operation but have far more sinister objectives in view. I should also like to support what the noble Lord, Lord Forester, said about the most appalling cruelties committed against the African population by the terrorists. If this matter goes to a vote, I could not vote for the Order: my conscience would not allow me to do so. Before ending, I should just like to say that I object to what the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, said, about those noble Lords in this House who do not vote for the Order being treasonable. Really, my Lords, I have never heard such utter rot in all my life. It is monstrous. I really think that the noble Earl ought to apologise to the House. Having said that and having overrun my seven minutes, I shall sit down.
§ 6.36 p.m.
§ LORD STRANGE
My Lords, I must apologise for making only a very short speech indeed on this occasion, because I have been speaking on this subject for eight years—and that is a long time to speak. I am a Royalist and not a rebel. At the very beginning of all this I made up my mind that Rhodesia should not be a Crown Colony, and that it must have been very badly run or it would not have got into the mess that it did get into. My opinion has never altered. It should not be a Crown Colony: it should be made into a Commonwealth country. I believe that the noble Baroness spoke earlier of new initiatives to try to get it into the Commonwealth in some way, because then they would have the Queen as their Head—and she is the finest Head that you could have in the world to-day. All countries throughout the world adore our Queen. They want to have a leader, and a leader who is not always doing what they do in America. In other words, they do not want a Head of State who is a President and whom some people want to put in gaol. They do not want a man such as a certain country in Africa has who smashes people with sledgehammers and things like that. They want a beautiful woman who could rule their country through inspiration.
In the Commonwealth now there have been meetings. The countries are getting together; they are becoming a great force and are becoming more like what the British Empire should have been. The 537 Commonwealth people, in the last year, have come to a greater understanding of each other's problems. They are linked together, or some of them are, by a common language. We are crazy if we go on now with this kind of spite and hatred—against whom; against what? I do not know what it is all about. I have no hatred against anyone else. I know that the Africans are a very fine race and they are charming people. They are great fighters and they are like white men. My authority for that statement, I believe, is Rider Haggard. At any rate, that is what I was brought up to believe, and I am prepared to believe it. I do not see why we should go on bullying them any longer. I trust that things will not go on as miserably as they have been going on, bringing up all these hate stories. But I see that "Himself" is back, and I promised to speak until his Lordship returned.
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ LORD COLERAINE
My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Strange. He was even briefer than his norm. I am sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Foot, is not in his place. I would not try to dispute his legal knowledge. I certainly would not attempt to emulate his eloquence, which is the prerogative of his family. But I would claim to know a little more than he does about the procedures of Parliament. He instructed us that this was not a debate on the merits of Government policy over the past eight years towards Rhodesia, but simply a debate on whether or not we should continue sanctions. If the noble Lord had been here I would have reminded him of the Motion on which the Chamberlain Government fell in 1940. The Motion was, "That this House do now adjourn".
This debate, which theoretically is simply on this narrow issue of renewing the sanctions Order, if it is to make any sense at all is a review of the whole policy of the two Governments towards this so far intractable problem of Rhodesia. My noble friend Lord Onslow—and I am sorry he is not in his place—made a most interesting speech. I was interested, too, by his uniform: he was wearing a pink shirt just as I am wearing a blue one. It may be of some consolation to him to know that there was a time in my life when I too wore a pink shirt and that therefore there is 538 still hope for him. One thing I can say is that neither of us is likely, I hope, to wear a black shirt.
If this debate is, as I have argued it is, a review, and in my judgment an indictment, of the policy of two Governments over eight years, that indictment is mightily reinforced by the speech of the new Labour Chief Whip, because everything she said was really a criticism of the policy that her Government and this Government followed. She said that the Smith Government had become less liberal, not more; that the lot of the African was less good, not better; that the general attitude of the whites towards the blacks was not so good as it had been. To anyone who has followed the Rhodesian debate over these years, these things followed from Government policy as surely as night follows day, and the imposition of this policy of sanctions, of putting Rhodesia into a state of siege, was bound to produce—it could have had no other result—the results which the noble Baroness says have been produced.
My noble friend Lord Onslow said he was repentant but was not convinced as firmly as ever of the value of the Five Principles. I should like to ask him to reflect on this question, and I ask my noble friend Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie if she will reply to it: what is it about the principle of majority rule which is so valuable that we have to sacrifice so much to it? Does my noble friend equate the principle of majority rule with freedom? Does she equate it with democracy? If so, she is surely wrong. Majority rule means freedom, means democracy, only if there is a clear acceptance, the clear implication, that at any time the minority may become the majority. But that has not occurred anywhere in Africa where independence has been given. My noble friend Lord Winchester, who made another most impressive speech to-day, pointed out last year that, of the 32 African States—not only parts of the British Empire but parts of other Empires—that had achieved independence, 28 had reverted to dictatorship, and most of them to military dictatorship. If that is the result of majority rule, why in the name of God do we spend year after year in enforcing that upon the unhappy people of Rhodesia?
539 My noble friend Lord Onslow rode another of his favourite hobbyhorses about the Right-Wing Tory, the rebellion and so on. Of course Burke was not a Right-Wing Tory; he was a Conservative. But he opposed the Government of the day on the rebellion of the American Colonies; and he was right. But it is a fact, and we cannot get away from it, that Rhodesia is in rebellion against the Crown and has been in rebellion against the Crown for eight years. I suggest to my noble friends Lord Onslow and Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie that there are two ways to deal with the rebellion: one way, and the best way, is to crush it if you have the will and the power. The other way, if you lack the will and the power, as my noble friend Lord Fraser of Lonsdale said earlier, is to come to terms with it. But the one thing you cannot do—and I mean by that that you cannot do it effectively and cannot do it profitably—is to lecture it.
My Lords, a great deal of fun has been made of the expression "kith and kin", but in fact the British in Rhodesia are our kith and kin: they are people of the same blood, with the same inherited tradition, with the same sense of fairness, the same sense of justice. I think it is true to say of Britons wherever they live, whether in this country, in Africa or in Australia, or anywhere else, that when they are left alone and allowed to find their own way they are tolerant, generous, up to a point imaginative, and friendly. But when someone tries to bully them and run them around they become something quite different. They become pigheaded, sullen, unreasonable, careless of their own interests; but dogged and determined, and never willing to give in. It is not just a coincidence, in my judgment, that two Governments have tried to bully the British in Rhodesia, with entirely counter-productive results; and the same two Governments have tried to bully the trade unions in this country, with equally counter-productive results. The fact is that the Englishman is not going to put up with that.
It is all very well to say that sanctions are beginning to bite. I have no doubt that they are beginning to bite. I have no doubt that Hitler thought tile bombing of London was beginning to bite. But 540 British people do not give way because they are bitten; they dig their feet in; they dig their toes in; they stand fast; they go into their laager. And the policy that we have followed for the past eight years, and the policy which, as I understand it, the noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies, would like us to follow for the next 80 years, has produced—
§ BARONESS LLEWELYN-DAVIES OF HASTOE
My Lords, may I interrupt the noble Lord? This is the second time this has been said. What I said was that we should keep sanctions on until we have an honourable settlement. I did not say for years and years, or for 80 years; but until we have the prospect of an honourable settlement.
§ LORD COLERAINE
My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Baroness for her interjection not only because, as she knows, I would not willingly misrepresent her, but also because she has reminded me of a part of my argument which had slipped my mind. What is an "honourable settlement"? We know what my noble friend Lady Tweedsmuir means by it; we know what my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary means by it. They mean what they call the great prize: recognition by the British Government, followed by enthusiastic recognition by the rest of the world. I am sorry to say it, my Lords, but I think that both my noble friend and my right honourable friend are living in a fool's paradise.
Earlier in the debate we had a speech from my noble friend Lord Salisbury which impressed the whole House by its courage and its skill. He intervened in a debate which was of its nature controversial. He did it, in my judgment, in a way which could offend no one; which showed a shrewdness, a clear-headedness and fairness of mind that all of us had to applaud. Those were qualities which reminded me, as they must have reminded all of us, of his father whom we so much admired and loved in this House. But my noble friend Lord Salisbury, in referring to Sir Alec's speech at Blackpool, commented on that passage in it in which he said that any friendly contacts that might be going on between the Smith Government and Bishop Muzorcwa and other groups of Africans would be ruined if pressures were relaxed upon Rhodesia. My noble friend pointed out, with absolute justice, that exactly the opposite 541 would be the effect; that so long as these pressures were continued, so long would the Africans put up the price. I do not see by what system of logic my noble friend will be able to controvert that.
However, I want to go back for a moment to this great prize: legality accorded by the British Parliament, recognition enthusiastically accorded by the rest of the world. How can my noble friend believe that? Can she believe that any settlement which by any conceivable stretch of the imagination could be acceptable to the Smith Government would be welcomed by the Afro-Asian bloc in the United Nations? Let her reflect for a moment upon the position of Portugal. Nobody doubted, nobody disputed, the fact that Portugal was the legal ruler of Goa. India invaded Goa and brutally wrenched it away from Portugal. There was not a squeak from the United Nations. Can anyone doubt that Portugal is the legal Government of Mozambique? Did that stop the malice and venom of The Times newspaper last summer when it sought to prevent the visit to this country of the Prime Minister of a member of the NATO Alliance? Of course it did not. And surely we must recognise, if we are honest with ourselves, that this idea that Her Majesty's Government's putting the stamp of legality (in Sir Alec's phrase) upon a settlement will be greeted with enthusiasm by the United Nations is a pure dream. I think my noble friend is living in a dream world. It is a pure dream.
My Lords, I promised to be short and I have already exceeded the time I had intended to take, but there is one thing more that I should like to say. This afternoon my noble friend Lord Winchester referred to the gradual encroachment of Chinese Communism into Africa, not for reasons of trade but simply for reasons of power. My noble friend Lord Onslow—I am sorry to drag him into this so much—said that nothing had changed in the past year; the same old arguments were going round and round. But one thing has changed, and it is this: in the past few days we have been passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and we cannot say with any assurance that we are through it yet and that this miracle worker called Kissinger is in fact going to solve the problem of the Middle East. But if he does solve it I think one thing is cer 542 tain, and that is that the Canal will be reopened and there will be a Russian naval presence in the Indian Ocean. Do Her Majesty's Government want to see Russia in command of the seas in that part of the Southern Hemisphere, and China in command of the land? Because if they do not want to see that, they had better change their policy, and change it pretty quickly.
The United Nations—I am sorry to have to say this because I was one who had a good deal to do with its foundation—deserves the respect of none of us. Its only purpose in this crisis has been as a sort of cloak for the negotiations of the super-Powers, a kind of machinery for providing an international force which will only be fully operative if in fact the super-Powers agree among themselves. I smell in the air today, as I think other noble Lords must do, the smell of the late 1930s when long after it was clear that the League of Nations was powerless and impotent we relied upon the League of Nations. So to-day, long after it is clear that the United Nations is not even what the League of Nations was, which was an honest endeavour to find a solution to the problems of peace and not a conspiracy to destroy peace—even today we are falling into the same trap and putting our faith in the United Nations.
What depressed me most about the speech of my noble friend Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie—and a great deal of it depressed me—was her attitude of supine fatalism. She said, "Oh no! we must not interfere. Oh no! my right honourable friend must not take any part in this". My noble friend Lord De L'Isle, who is not here—and if he were here would not agree with me—compared the attitude of Her Majesty's Government to that of Pilate, and I think if ever there was a case of Pilate washing his hands of his responsibilities that case is now. If the Government really want to get a solution to this problem they must take a hand in negotiation, and I can think of no reason why they do not take a hand, except that they are too craven to do so. They have had their fingers burned once and they do not want it to happen again.
My Lords, this may be a bad time to review our policies towards Rhodesia and to change them, but there will never 543 be a good time; and unless the Government face up to this issue, if not to-night then within the next few months, they will incur a terrible burden of blame and shame. If some of my honourable friends and I go into the Lobby against them to-night it will not be, as the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, would say, to sustain an illegal régime; it will be to show to the Government, to show to my noble friend and to show to my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary that we cannot have this again and that the responsibility is his. He cannot shuffle it off on anonymous Africans in Rhodesia.
§ 7.8 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT HANWORTH
My Lords, I must apologise to your Lordships because I had not intended to speak and I shall speak for only, I hope, less than five minutes. But there is one major point I wish to make. It is terribly unfortunate that there has been here in the past—not so much to-day—a great deal of idealism and emotion on the side of those who want sanctions. I believe it would have been possible to get a settlement previously, and a settlement which is probably the best that we could hope for. I should like to say two things. The first is that I personally am in favour of continuing sanctions as the best we can do at the present time, but I should like to ask all those who are in favour to listen carefully and to think again about some of the very pertinent points that have been made by those who have been termed "the rebels".
Finally, I appeal very strongly to the Government that when—and I hope it will not be too long ahead—they can and do take an initiative in trying to negotiate some new terms, they will not be bound by the letter of the law so far as the Five Principles are concerned. I hope very much that those who have been so strongly in favour of sanctions will take a broader view and, if I may say so, a more knowledgeable view of the problem faced in this sort of situation, and not a purely emotional and idealistic view.
§ 7.10 p.m.
§ LORD GARNER
My Lords, if I may intervene briefly, I have nothing new to say on something which really has become an annual marathon, but I just 544 want to mention that 30 years ago I was Private Secretary to a very distinguished Secretary of State. Four years ago when I made my own maiden speech, that Secretary of State was kind enough to pay me some kind compliments. I should like to return the compliment today and say how deeply impressed I am sure we all were by the maiden speech of the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, on this subject. From time to time one caught the timbre of a voice very familiar to us.
Rhodesia has caused me in my career as much anguish and anxiety as any problem with which I had to deal. I have no easy solution to give this evening, but I do have the impression that the debate so far has been rather one-sided. I recognise the deep sincerity of all those who feel doubts about the present policy and about the Motion before us. I was particularly impressed by the speech we have just heard from the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine. His speech was most impressive and powerful. It is not a speech I would wish to comment on straight away at all, but one which is very much to be thought over; this I should like to do.
My Lords, I simply wish to make three points: first, that from listening to the debate, I think there has been some confusion from time to time between the international recognition of a foreign country and the question of granting independence to a previously dependent territory. There are obvious ground rules in diplomacy for the recognition of a foreign country, but they do not apply here. The context is quite different from the granting of independence to a former dependent territory. In the case of Rhodesia, it is solely a matter for Britain and this Parliament, and that is what all the argument over the last eight years has been about. Secondly, I notice an occasional tendency to equate Rhodesia with the European minority in Rhodesia and to talk as if the minority really meant the whole, just as I think sometimes one hears people talk about Rhodesia, equating it with the black majority. Obviously, any ultimate solution must take account of the needs of both peoples equally. Thirdly, one has heard the argument that the Africans are incapable of expressing an opinion, and of being responsible for administering the country. I do not wish 545 to enter into any detail on that argument, but it is a strange commentary on some of the statesmen who, not long ago, were sitting round the conference table with the British Prime Minister at the Heads of Government meeting in Ottawa. Many of them came from Africa and made a very distinguished contribution.
All I really want to say is that having thought about these problems very deeply, and not feeling any comfort about the situation in Rhodesia itself, I am satisfied in my own mind that the policy of the Foreign Secretary is moderate, patient and fair, and ought to be supported.
§ 7.14 p.m.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, like the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir, I share the general sense of disappointment within your Lordships' House that it is necessary once again to discuss Rhodesia in this particular context. Also like the noble Baroness, I share the sense of frustration, recognising that whatever one may say on either side of the issue we are unlikely to alter opinions. Like the noble Baroness, I am not discouraged with the present situation as it confronts Her Majesty's Government, the British Parliament and the peoples of Rhodesia. I have now spoken on every single debate since Rhodesia achieved U.D.I. and many of the faces and names are all too familiar. If I may say so, so are their speeches. I think it was last year that we noticed for the first time the absence of, as I like still to recall him, "Bobbity" Salisbury, from sitting where the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine is, speaking with very great sincerity and with conciseness, making the case against not only the Government which he supported, but the Labour Government that preceded them. Therefore, it was with very great interest that I observed that a Marquess of Salisbury was on our list of speakers to-day, and I listened with great attention to what he had to say. I should like to congratulate him very sincerely on his maiden speech. To me, the point that came through particularly clearly, bearing in mind the close and intimate connections of the noble Marquess with Rhodesia, was his reference to the Pearce Commission. He said that the Pearce Commission had been scrupulously fair in their judgment. I think that was generally recognised, although on occasions it has been challenged. I thought 546 the Report of the Commission was quite clear; namely, that a substantial number of Africans did not accept the proposals that had been worked out by Mr. Smith and Her Majesty's Government, and therefore, quite clearly, so far as Her Majesty's Government and the British Parliament were concerned, the Fifth Principle, the test of acceptability, had been carried out and it had been found that there was not a substantial majority in support of the terms.
The noble Lord, Lord Gridley, speaking with his long experience in a colonial territory, spoke of the conditions under which previous Governments have given independence, the ability to be able to govern, the ability to maintain stability. But the noble Lord forgot the cardinal point, if I may say so, which is that it was at the wish of the people concerned. This is still the cardinal issue in terms of Rhodesia. What are the wishes of the people of Rhodesia? I believe that one day Rhodesia will wish to become a sovereign independent country. I would rejoice if they were so; but I am certain that no British Parliament, with all its previous requirements. could grant independence to Rhodesia unless it was satisfied with the constitution and that the desire of the people of Rhodesia was that such independence and such constitution should be granted.
§ LORD GRIDLEY
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for giving way over that point. He said it was always a cardinal issue in the granting of independence that we respected the wishes of the people concerned. I absolutely agree. On the other hand, we always insisted from our own point of view on coming to the decision that they were fully able in the circumstances to assume responsibility. It was not only one side. We did not just give it to them when they wanted it. We would judge when it was right to hand over.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I would not disagree with the noble Lord. I can speak from my own experience of seeing Fiji, with its racial problems, into independence. One is delighted to see that as a consequence of that freely entered into independence, the two or three communities there are developing and are being successful. Like the noble Lord, Lord Foot, I think this is not the occasion to go into the whole question of 547 the past of Rhodesia or what terms and conditions we should seek to-day. The point is whether we should proceed with the policy of sanctions. I would only ask the House to recall the circumstances under which sanctions were imposed. Here we had an illegal rebellion, the seizure of power by a minority. We had a choice (did we not?) of either taking military action or taking economic action or condoning that rebellion. Parliament decided, quite rightly, that they could not condone it. I speak now with care; even the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, who has been a passionate opponent of the previous Government's and the present Government's policy on sanctions, has disapproved and never condoned the illegal act of seizure of power. We then have force or economic methods. We have all rejected military force. Therefore, we fall back on what is perhaps a very crude method, economic sanctions. The question now is whether we should raise them because of the failure over eight years to achieve a satisfactory settlement.
I would agree with the noble Baroness that there are very interesting and hopeful signs in Rhodesia; the fact that the two sides are talking, that white and black politicians are talking, is something which did not exist some two or three years ago. That, I think, is a credit to the policy of pressure upon the régime. I would agree with the noble Baroness that there are hopeful signs. But, equally, my noble friend Lady Llewelyn-Davies was right when she said that things are more difficult. Undoubtedly, the African is being hurt by the application of sanctions, but, as the African leaders have said on repeated occasions, this is a price that they are prepared to pay for the achievement of equality within the Rhodesian State. I have asked myself the question: if we were to raise sanctions would there be such a transformation, would there be a gradual evolution to the sort of society we would wish to see in Rhodesia? I must say that I do not believe, in the climate of Rhodesia, that this is likely.
I have always taken the view in terms of Rhodesia, as in South Africa, that it is not entirely racial conflict between white and black, although that exists. The basic fear of the white community is the economic consequences of the black reaching parity, and I must say that one of 548 the worst resentments towards the black coming up is to be found not within the farming community or within the managing director community, but within the artisan community, the new Rhodesians who have gone to Rhodesia to find a society and a standard of living that is unobtainable in nearly every other country of the world. In those circumstances, I think it would be idle to believe that the lifting of sanctions would create a new atmosphere, that all these pressures and resentments would be lifted and that the African would find a genuine place in Rhodesian society.
§ LORD COLERAINE
My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord. I entirely agree with what he said about the artisan community and their fear of the erosion of their standards of life. But does he not think that if sanctions were lifted, while it might not have any effect on them it would have an effect on the rest of the white community and that in general you would get a much more liberal attitude than you have to-day?
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I have considered this, and those of my noble friends who knew me in the time when I was in the Commonwealth Office and the Colonial Office know my attitude. I have anxiously considered whether, if sanctions were lifted, such a response would be seen. I do not believe that this is possible. I would say that if there was a chance I might even take it. But one must also consider what would be the consequences not only in Rhodesia but throughout Africa, throughout the Commonwealth, if at this moment we were to raise sanctions. It would be, as I have said on many occasions, condoning the Smith régime, its illegal seizure of power, and what many Africans, and we on this side, believe to be the oppression of the majority people in Rhodesia. I have looked at this; I have given anxious thought to it, but I believe it would be utterly wrong to-day to raise sanctions.
Sanctions are having an effect economically; the pressures are undoubtedly there. I share the view with the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary that there is this pressure and it is creating a need for talks. I have no doubt at all that the Government are entirely right in asking for these sanctions to be continued 549 for another year. My noble friend Lady Llewelyn-Davies wondered whether we ought not to have permanent legislation. There would be much to be said for it; certainly we might avoid a debate next year and maybe the year after. But I think personally that this would be wrong; I think it would be wrong within the terms of the Rhodesian situation. I believe, despite the opportunity of noble Lords to oppose, that it is right that once a year the voice of at least the three main political Parties should go out—I believe supported by the vast majority of the people of this country—sending a message of encouragement to both sides in Rhodesia, the whites and the blacks, that they should continue their negotiations and continue their efforts to find a settlement satisfactory to both. Because if at the end of the day they do not reach a negotiated settlement there can only be one consequence in Rhodesia, too terrible to imagine, a situation of blood, murder and deprivation. The responsibility lies not with the British Government; it lies with the Government of Rhodesia and the people of Rhodesia peacefully to reach a solution. If Her Majesty's Government can at any time intervene to mediate and help, in response to their request, then I hope that the Government will always be ready to move and provide the services of a very fine Civil Service, greatly experienced, not only knowledgeable but at heart absolutely right.
§ LORD FERRIER
My Lords, I did not want to interrupt the noble Lord earlier. At the beginning and again at the end of his speech he referred with some regret to the fact that this question comes up every year. Am I not right in saying- that when the policy of sanctions was originally introduced, it could not have been got through Parliament except on the basis that it was to be reconsidered annually?
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, I think it was a decision taken by the Government of the day that it would be wrong to have permanent legislation, because if you impose permanent legislation it is perhaps a recognition of failure.
§ 7.29 p.m.
§ BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE
My Lords, despite the fact that this is the eighth year we have debated sanctions—not my eighth year in 550 this House, I think only my third—nevertheless, I have found the speeches quite fascinating. Although much of the argument was inevitably the same, whichever side it happened to come from, I think it is right that we should debate this yearly. I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd—and not, as suggested by the noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies, that we should perhaps have sanctions extending over five years.
The noble Lord, Lord Foot, who is of course a great Parliamentarian, reminded us that we are discussing a rather narrow point about Section 2 of the Rhodesia Act. But the results, as he said, of removing Section 2 from that Act would mean, in effect, that the British people would be abdicating their responsibility to Rhodesia. However much we all want to see an end to this apparently unending problem, I believe that we have to face the fact that we have a responsibility. To abdicate that responsibility is indeed a very great step to take. I agree with my noble friend Lord Coleraine that this is an opportunity to look at where we have got to with our policies, and to see whether it is right to have a change in policy. I should like to join with all those who have congratulated the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, on what, if I may say so, was a quite remarkable maiden speech. We all had great affection for his most distinguished father. He was, in fact, godfather to my daughter. It is very good to hear that voice again, although of course I regret that he is following the same policy as his father.
My noble friend Lord Salisbury raised a question which is of great interest, and it was also raised by my noble friend Lord Coleraine who, however much I profoundly disagree with him, nevertheless is one of the most attractive speakers I have ever heard. This is a very important question. My noble friend Lord Salisbury suggested that if a settlement was achieved in Rhodesia, then the United Nations, and 'particularly what lie called the "Afro-Asian bloc and the Communist bloc", would be unlikely to endorse any settlement. This was echoed by my noble friend Lord Coleraine. I would say to him that I think that both noble Lords are too over pessimistic. We must remember that the Commonwealth Heads of Government, meeting 551 in Ottawa, including the Afro-Asians represented there, showed the most encouraging moderation and realism towards Rhodesia. I believe that if we did get a settlement which was acceptable to African and European alike within Rhodesia then, although I am sure that some would disapprove, if they basically were in agreement I believe that the United Nations would accept that fact.
Naturally, opinions differ as to how we can achieve a settlement. There are many who consider that we should, for a variety of reasons, give up sanctions and formally recognise Rhodesia. My noble friend Lord Fraser of Lonsdale asked how we could recognise the Government of Chile and yet not recognise Rhodesia. As was so clearly put by the noble Lord, Lord Garner, the two questions are quite different. Chile is a sovereign State, and in fact complies with the necessary criteria for recognition, while Rhodesia is not; she is still, by our Constitution, a British colony.
It is suggested that from the Rhodesian point of view sanctions have in fact had the wrong result; that they make Europeans resentful; that they harm Africans more than Europeans, and that they are ineffective because the Rhodesian economy can survive sanctions, whatever the difficulties. I would agree with my noble friend Lord Coleraine that there is a danger that sanctions unite Europeans. I think that is so, but I also suggest that they still have a necessary, if regrettable, effect because all Rhodesians know that they cannot really develop their economy unless sanctions are removed. That is one of the reasons why most Rhodesians realise that a settlement is essential. Of course, it is true that the Africans suffer from sanctions, particularly in loss of jobs. If I may say so, I thought that the speech of my noble friend Lord Winchester, who has just come from Rhodesia to join us in this debate, was very moving in describing to us the difficulties which Africans experience with sanctions. On the other hand, we have to remember that the Africans themselves proved clearly to the Pearce Commission that they were prepared to put up with these disadvantages in the interests of their future position—a point put by the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd.
552 It is perfectly true that there are leaks in sanctions, and everybody knows this. The noble Baroness, Lady Llewelyn-Davies, asked me certain specific questions on sanctions, which I should like to answer. She asked me first about the three Boeings that managed somehow to arrive in Rhodesia. So far, one German company has been prosecuted, and investigations in Switzerland are not yet complete. She also asked me about Tango Romeo and the meat trade. Mr. Eddy, of the Sunday Times, has given a full exposition to the Sanctions Committee on this, and the Sanctions Committee have written to several countries asking for explanations. The noble Baroness asked me about a certain gentleman who has been offered a lucrative job in Rhodesia I understand that the Secretary of State for Defence is considering this particular case. She also asked me whether Her Majesty's Government were in favour of a United Nations Commissioner for Sanctions. An appointment of such a person has now been made. He has wide economic experience, as was asked for by the Sanctions Committee. I should like to refute the suggestion that has been made that no other country, except perhaps ours, has tried to make sanctions work. Sanctions breakers have been prosecuted, and Rhodesian cargo has been seized in other countries. Recently some major trading nations have shown considerable interest in improving their domestic controls, and are determined to do so.
Naturally Her Majesty's Government consider, not only every year but throughout the year, with the greatest care, whether any shift in policy is advisable and could influence this complex and seemingly intractable matter. It is true that, while we have responsibility for Rhodesia, we have but a limited ability to influence the situation. The policies of the previous Government in relation to Rhodesia were circumscribed by these realities in just the same way as are the policies of this Government. I would make it quite clear, in particular to my noble friend Lord Coleraine, that the Government are ready to help in the search for a settlement in Rhodesia, whenever we judge that it would be useful to do so. We do not rule out for the future the possibility of some closer British involvement.
§ LORD COLERAINE
My Lords, like other noble Lords, I am delighted to hear that the Government are willing to intervene when they think that the situation is suitable. What I should like to ask the noble Baroness now is, how in the world are they to know when the situation is suitable when they have no representation there?
§ BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE
My Lords, although obviously it is a disadvantage not to have formal representation in Rhodesia, nevertheless there axe other ways in which we can find out what is happening. The noble Lord will remember that my right honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, gave an enormous amount of time and careful thought to the 1971 proposals. When they were not accepted after the Pearce Commission, we concluded that perhaps no settlement would really last unless all Rhodesians, whether African or European, would try themselves to come together and to have at any rate a foundation of agreement. We shall hear when that foundation has been achieved. It may well be that that might be the time to have some closer British involvement. I would say to my noble friend Lord Grimston that this is just exactly what we have been trying to do. He asked us whether we would encourage Rhodesians of all the races. This is exactly what my right honourable friend has tried to do. My Lords, I said in opening this debate that we should not underestimate the importance of the change which has taken place on the Rhodesian political scene during the past year, and I suggest that at least in part that change derives from the fact that over the past year the British Government have sought to avoid too close a direct involvement and have, instead, encouraged Rhodesians to discuss their future together. Even my noble friend Lord Barnby said that there is good progress towards a settlement, as indeed did my noble friend Lord Gridley.
My noble friend Lord Milverton, whom I always respect as a very great administrator, said that we must distinguish between what he called ultimate ideals and present possibilities. My Lords, that is exactly what we are trying to do, because at this moment, as I understand it, the majority of the Africans within Rhodesia are not asking for "one man, 554 one vote" now. That is not the question at issue. The Europeans themselves have accepted that one day there will in fact be majority rule. We want majority rule not just because it is a form of constitutional advance but because we think there should be unimpeded progress towards majority rule. We are very well aware of certain dangers which were mentioned by both my noble friends Lord Coleraine and Lord Milverton, but we are convinced that there are even greater dangers in permitting the perpetuation of minority rule and the failure to provide an outlet for the legitimate political aspirations of Africans. Above all, what we are seeking to do in getting a settlement is to lay the foundations for unimpeded progress towards a multi-racial State.
My Lords, my noble friend Lord Onslow spoke about the Fifth Principle, as indeed did my noble friend Lord Massereene and Ferrard and the noble Viscount, Lord Hanworth, who I am glad to say supported sanctions although understood that he was not in favour of the Fifth Principle. But, of course, we are committed by the Fifth Principle not to accept a settlement until we are satisfied that it is acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole. We feel that that is right. The Pearce Commission found that it was not acceptable. I admit they said there was some intimidation, but they said it was not decisive and that it did not make them feel that they could change a "No" into a "Yes". We still feel that we must abide by the Fifth Principle. My noble friend Lord Gridley said that if we gave up our responsibility now there would not be disorder because there was already disorder so far as the security situation is concerned in Rhodesia. He maintained that it was completely under control—and I am glad to say that I believe that is so at the moment. But we are not saying that there would be disorder within Rhodesia only: what we are saying is that there would be great chaos and conflict all around Rhodesia, and indeed in Africa as a whole.
My noble friend Lord Forester—and might I also welcome him from Rhodesia, even at that great expense which he described to us—said that he thought it was ridiculous that sanctions were imposed because the situation was described by the Security Council as being a threat to the peace. My Lords, 555 being wise after the event, although we voted against it at the time, I think we felt that the imposition of mandatory sanctions under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter was perhaps unwise. We believed it was a dispute which should have been settled between Rhodesia and the United Kingdom; but the fact remains that, now having the responsibility of office, we are faced with United Nations mandatory sanctions, and, as I sought to explain in my opening remarks, as a Permanent Member of the United Nations we cannot say that we will not carry out mandatory sanctions imposed by the United Nations when at the same time we ask other countries, such as Iceland, to obey international law.
My Lords, I was very glad when the noble Lord, Lord Strange, said that he hoped that Rhodesia would one day become a member of the Commonwealth. We hope so, too, but we want that to happen in a way which would give her the best start as a member of the Commonwealth. We want the races within Rhodesia to come together and to come
to a settlement that is broadly acceptable to them. Then, we in this Parliament should be able to grant an Independence Charter to Rhodesia and then go to the United Nations and say that we have discharged our task and ask for the lifting of mandatory sanctions. But, my Lords, until that comes we must not be discouraged because progress is so incredibly slow. As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chichester rightly said—and I quote his words:
Growing together is a long process".
While none of us can underestimate the difficulties which remain, without doubt some considerable progress has been made. Many Rhodesians of all races are genuinely trying to find a reconciliation together, and I suggest to the House that they deserve all the support that they can get from this country. That is why I ask your Lordships to support this Order.
§ 7.47 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the said Motion shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 73; Not-Contents, 33.557
|Aberdare, L.||Eccles, V.||Merrivale, L.|
|Alexander of Tunis, E.||Elliot of Harwood, B.||Milner of Leeds, L.|
|Amory, V.||Falkland, V.||Northchurch, B.|
|Amulree, L.||Ferrers, E.||Nugent of Guildford, L.|
|Balfour, E.||Foot, L.||Onslow, E.|
|Beaumont of Whitley, L.||Fortescue, E.||Peddie, L.|
|Belstead, L.||Gardiner, L.||Piatt, L.|
|Beswick, L.||Garner, L.||Polwarth, L.|
|Bristol, L.Bp.||Garnsworthy, L.||Redcliffe-Maud, L.|
|Brockway, L.||Gowrie, E.||Reigate, L.|
|Brooke of Cumnor, L.||Greenwood of Rossendale, L.||Rochester, L.Bp.|
|Brooke of Ystradfellte, B.||Grenfell, L.||St. Aldwyn, E, [Teller.]|
|Brougham and Vaux, L.||Hailes, L.||Sandford, L.|
|Cathcart, E.||Hailsham of Saint Marylebor L. (L. Chancellor.)||Shepherd, L.|
|Chichester, L.Bp.||South wark, L.Bp.|
|Colville of Culross, V.||Hanworth, V.||Strathcona and Mount Royal.L.|
|Colwyn, L.||Henley, L.|
|Courtown, E.||Janner, L.||Stuart of Findhorn, V.|
|Cowley, E.||Limerick, E.||Trefgarne, L.|
|Denham, L. [Teller.]||Llewelyn-Davifes of Hastoe, B||Tweedsmuir, L.|
|Derby, L.Bp.||London, L.Bp.||Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, B.|
|Digby, L.||Lyell, L.||Wakefield, L.Bp.|
|Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L||Macleod of Borve, B.||Windlesham, L. (L. Privy Seal.)|
|Drumalbyn. L.||Mansfield, E.||Wolverton, L.|
|Durham, L.Bp.||Maybray-King, L.||Young, B.|
|Barnby, L. [Teller.]||Craigavon, V.||Headfort, M.|
|Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Ferrier, L.||Killearn, L.|
|Bolton, L.||Forester, L.||Kindersley, L.|
|Bourne, L.||Fraser of Lonsdale, L.||Lauderdale, E.|
|Brabazon of Tara, L.||Greenway, L.||Mar, E.|
|Clancarty, E.||Gridley, L.||Massereene and Ferrard, V.|
|Coleraine, L. [Teller,]||Grimston of Westbury, L.||Milverton, L.|
|Napier and Ettrick, L.||Salisbury, M.||Strathclyde, L.|
|Newall, L.||Somers, L.||Thomas, L.|
|Orr-Ewing, L.||Stonehaven, V.||Wakefield of Kendal, L.|
|Poltimore, L.||Strange, L.||Winchester, M.|
Moved accordingly and, on Question, Motion agreed to.
§ Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.
EARL ST. ALDWYN
My Lords, may I inform the House that in view of the brevity with which your Lordships have spoken to-day, dinners will not now be available. Food will be available in the bars for those who want it.
§ I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.