HL Deb 12 November 1974 vol 354 cc707-68

3.39 p.m.

LORD GORONWY-ROBERTS rose to move, That the Draft Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1974, laid before the House on October 29, be approved. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move that the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1974, a draft of which was laid before this House on October 29, 1974, be approved. The purpose of the Order is to continue in force for a further year Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965, which gives Her Majesty in Council power to take whatever measures are necessary to deal with the situation in Southern Rhodesia brought about by the unilateral declaration of independence. The Orders in Council which impose sanctions on Rhodesia are made under that section.

Since your Lordships debated this Order last year, the political situation in Southern Africa has been transformed, and, with it, the prospects of the illegal régime. I see this debate as an oppor tunity, not only to approve this necessary Order but also to appraise the situation, to indicate objectively the dangers and opportunities which that situation represents, and I profoundly hope, whatever the divergence of views expressed here to-day, to send a united message to the peoples of Rhodesia, urging them to make a fresh attempt to achieve a settlement acceptable to all sections.

The background against which we are debating the subject in 1974 is very different from that of previous years. Until recently, those who hoped that reason would prevail and that a just and honourable settlement could be achieved there had little to show in support of their faith. Repeated attempts in 1966, 1968 and 1971 to reach such a settlement through negotiation with representatives of the illegal régime ended in failure, basically because of the ruling white Party's inability to agree to proposals which had even a chance of being acceptable to the African majority. The stalemate inside Rhodesia, relieved only by the talks between Mr. Smith and the African National Council which broke down earlier this year, was matched by political stagnation elsewhere in Southern Africa. Rhodesian whites could count on support of one kind or another from South Africa itself and, above all, from Mozambique, where a futile colonial war was being waged in support of another obsolete status quo. To-day, my Lords, the situation has changed radically.

The wind of change which swept through most of Africa North of the Zambesi between 1957 and the early 1960s has now indeed reached Southern Africa. Rhodesians now, whether they like it or not, are living in a totally different world from that of 1973. It is a world in which they share barely 150 miles of frontier with another white-ruled neighbour and where the ports and railways on which they have hitherto largely depended for their trade with the outside world will soon be controlled by an African Government. The policies of that Government towards the Rhodesian régime have not yet been formalised or declared but, on the most sanguine assessment possible in Rhodesia, they can hardly be expected to be as sympathetic as those of the previous Portuguese Administration in Mozambique. Even South African support must now seem less of a foregone conclusion to the rebel régime than it has been in the past nine years. Prime Minister Vorster has recently manifested a new interest in the cultivation of friendly and co-operative relations with black-ruled countries to the North of the Republic and Dr. Kaunda has responded favourably and constructively to Mr. Vorster's remarks. Indeed, other Southern African statesmen, some from the South African Republic itself, have made helpful statements and that is in the last two or three weeks.

My Lords, against this background of dramatic change and of some evidence of new attitudes in Southern Africa, I should like to be able to tell the House that there has been an equally dramatic outbreak of common sense and political reality in Rhodesia itself. Unfortunately, I cannot. Mr. Smith and his associates still appear to believe that nothing fundamental has altered in their situation and that another few months or years of political repression, of ever-increasing military demands upon the white population, of guerrilla warfare and of herding Africans into so-called "protected" villages will see the régime through. The reality is totally different and it is time that the white Rhodesian people faced this reality.

The issue at the heart of the matter is, as always, mutual trust and partnership between races. Whatever their faults and mistakes, the generation of white politicians in Central Africa who tried—though they failed—to make the Federation work knew this truth and sought in their own way and at their own pace to give expression to it. Their Rhodesian Front supplanters in Southern Rhodesia have sometimes paid lip service to this fact. Well, they have now had nine years of illegal independence in which to do something about it and to live up to their own express commitment to what they call "the maintenance of civilised standards" in their country. What have they made of their opportunities? The 1961 Constitution, on which they based their illegal declaration of independence, actually committed Rhodesia to eventual majority rule, however remotely deferred. Even the 1969 Constitution provided for parity of representation in Parliament between the races, but at a still more distant date than that provided for in the 1961 Constitution.

This is not progress; this is retrogression. And the record of the present régime shows no sign of practical commitment to African political advance. On the contrary, every move towards political, social, economic and educational advance by Africans has been blocked and thwarted by the régime wherever possible. This has been a great mistake on the part of the present ruler of Rhodesia. Their black fellow-citizens will simply not accept a snail's pace advance towards political power at the dikta. of a relatively tiny white minority. Such a policy never had a chance of working. If there was any room for dispute about that in the past, there is little now.

My Lords, the attitude of successive British Governments has been clear: they have sought a settlement in Rhodesia in accordance with the Six Principles. This Government continue to adhere to those principles and it follows that a settlement will be satisfactory only if it enjoys the support of the African majority. I do not think that it is necessary to remind ourselves of the extent of that majority: the population of Southern Rhodesia at the last count was 6,345,000, of whom only 275,000 are white. It stands to reason that, sooner rather than later, the 6 million will participate to the extent of their numerical stake in the country in the government of their own country. We adhere to the Six Principles and, in particular, to the principle that any settlement must be acceptable to all sections of the population. This means in practice that any settlement must be acceptable to this vast African majority. Indeed, the conclusion of the Commission led by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Pearce, was to this effect; and the previous Government accepted that a settlement can only work in Rhodesia if it enjoys African support. The odds against such a settlement used to look depressingly long. I cannot say that it is imminent now, but the odds have shortened in the past year, and certainly have done so in the past few months. I do not think that anyone can now seriously doubt that majority rule is on its way to Rhodesia.

What remains in doubt—and this is what ought to form the gravamen of our discussion this afternoon—is how it will come about. It is the Government's aim to do all that we can to ensure that the transition is peaceful and orderly. The longer a solution of the dispute between Rhodesians is delayed, the greater the risk that it will be neither peaceful nor orderly. This means that it is becoming more urgent for those who hold power in Rhodesia to abandon the stance of intransigence they have adopted since 1965, to face the realities of the situation and to demonstrate in practice a readiness to meet the legitimate political aspirations of the African population.

The situation around Rhodesia's borders is one of change. It is not, in the circumstances, yet clear how things will develop, or indeed how this country can help. My right honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, speaking in another place last week, said that the Government would continue to keep in close touch with Governments of African countries and that he planned to visit a number of countries in Africa in the New Year for talks on Rhodesia, as well as wider-ranging talks on matters of common interest. He explained that he would be seeking an answer to two quesstions: first, what can Britain usefully do; and, secondly, what might others do to help? He explained that he was determined that we should not miss any opening to promote peaceful change in Rhodesia, but that it might well prove that the best course was to wait a while longer for the logic of events to be borne in, in Rhodesia.

Another thing we shall be doing, of course, is continuing the sanctions and the search for ways to make them more effective—not from any desire to inflict hardship on individuals, but because it is vital to use every means available to persuade Rhodesians to wake up to their situation before it is too late. We all know that sanctions, on their own, will not bring down the régime. We know that they are less effective than they could be, primarily because of failures of other Governments (notably the South African Government) to apply them properly. For that reason, the Government's endeavours over the last nine months to make sanctions more effective have concentrated on trying to secure an improvement in their application by the international community as a whole.

Much has been achieved. We have stepped up our sanctions surveillance effort and have greatly increased the number of notes about suspected sanctions breaches which we supply to the United Nations Sanctions Committee. At the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary's initiative, there have been discussions with our EEC partners about how to get sanctions working better. Only last week there were exchanges between Customs experts of the Nine countries on this matter. We have stressed to the United States Government how much we would welcome the repeal of the Byrd Amendment, under which certain Rhodesian minerals can be imported into the United States; and President Ford himself has now publicly advocated repeal by Congress. We have discussed sanctions matters bilaterally with various Governments, and my right honourable friend has found opportunities to speak on the subject to the Foreign Ministers of Portugal and Japan. We shall in fact continue to search for ways to get the sanctions applied more effectively.

Before concluding, there is one other point I should like to mention. There have been a number of suggestions that Her Majesty's Government should call a constitutional conference on Rhodesia. There has even been speculation that we might shortly do so. Such a conference is an objective which the Government regard as altogether desirable. It is, after all, the traditional way in which arrangements have been made for the independence of former British Colonial territories and we shall certainly not lose sight of the possibility. But it would first have to be made clear that everyone concerned would take part, and there is no sign yet that the illegal regime would do so, or indeed would allow detained African leaders to attend. There would also have to be some indication that the views of the various parties in Rhodesia have reached a point at which a conference could produce a result, and I do not think that has yet happened either.

Finally, I come back to the Government's desire to see an orderly and just solution as the only means of avoiding further violence, suffering and bloodshed. The Government deplore the violence which is taking place in Rhodesia, whoever inflicts it, and they deplore the suffering which it causes. Successive British Governments have warned that this would happen if the avenues of a peaceful change in Rhodesia remain closed. Though the hour is late, the Government believe that there is still time to avert disaster if every influence is brought to bear to persuade the peoples of Rhodesia (and in particular the white minority) to look reality in the face. We shall do out utmost to assist this process. My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That the Draft Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1974, laid before the House on October 29, be approved.—(Lord Goronwy-Roberts.)

3.58 p.m.


My Lords, the House will be grateful to the noble Lord opposite for setting out so clearly the purposes of this Order and for explaining the Government's position and reviewing the situation in Southern Africa. For the last nine years the problem of Rhodesia has beset both political Parties and has been the occasion for numerous debates and legislation in both Houses of Parliament. There have been deeply-held views about what should be done, ranging from some of those in the Party opposite, and in the Liberal Party, who were in favour of military intervention, to some of those on this side, who felt that the right thing to do was to accept the fact that there had been a Declaration of Independence, and nothing more could or should be done about it.

However, I think it is true to say that, generally speaking, there has been a feeling among most of us that Britain has a responsibility for Rhodesia which meant the people, both black and white; and that it was a responsibility which could not be thrown over because it was inconvenient to retain it or convenient to get rid of it. Both the Labour and Conservative Governments have, over these past nine years, sought to negotiate a settlement on a basis which was acceptable to all those who live in Rhodesia, and which would be fair and just.

There was one occasion, at any rate, when a settlement seemed to be very near. I for one hold the view that Mr. Smith was short-sighted in not accepting the terms which were offered to him after the "Fearless" or "Tiger" talks—I cannot remember which one. Perhaps it was both of them. They were certainly as good or better than anything else he was likely to obtain; indeed, I have a suspicion that Mr. Wilson might have found it difficult to get that settlement accepted by quite a number of people in his own Party.

The Conservative Government, in their turn, tried for a settlement. For them the noble Lords, Lord Goodman and Lord Greenhill, tried, and both have been intimately concerned with the difficult problems, and yet neither of those two experienced and highly ingenious negotiators could achieve a solution. As the noble Lord opposite said, there has also been the Pearce Commission. No one can say that both Parties have not tried to obtain a settlement and—although there has been some difference of emphasis—there has been a broad measure of agreement between the two Parties about the five or six Principles which should guide us. There was one act of the last Labour Government with which we on this side disagreed, and that was, in effect, the handing over of the problem to the United Nations and the introduction of mandatory sanctions. It was, as some of your Lordships who were here at the time will remember, a cause for dispute between the two Houses. It was a matter on which we on this side felt strongly, because we believed that it would inevitably lead to a lessening of Britain's influence to reach a settlement, and, at the same time, make it more difficult to achieve a settlement because of the atmosphere which exists on this problem in the United Nations. We felt that it was a British responsiblity to solve the Rhodesian problem. We did not think that mandatory sanctions would be effective, nor were they the right course to adopt since if they were not effective they would only exacerbate the situation, and if they were effective they would bear equally hardly on all sections of Rhodesian society.


My Lords, if I may interrupt the noble Lord, can he explain to the House how sanctions which were not mandatory would have been more effective? His Government were in favour of sanctions.


My Lords, personally I do not think that sanctions were any good. I am sorry if I have used the phrase, "Mandatory sanctions". The whole idea was not one which was likely to help to bring about a settlement. What, then, should be our action to-day? I have a good deal of sympathy with those who are saying—and no doubt in this debate will say—that sanctions are comparatively ineiїective and not universally applied, although in the past year or two they have been more universally applied and the charge that only Britain was keeping to the rules can no longer be valid. I do not think it can be said—nor, indeed, did the noble Lord say it—that sanctions are likely to be a decisive factor on whether or not there is a settlement on Rhodesia. Nevertheless, I think it can equally be said that they have had some effect upon the Rhodesian economy. But the central issue to-day is exactly the same as it was nine years ago. How can we reach a settlement which is just, fair and acceptable? How can we ensure that white Rhodesians feel secure in their own country and black Rhodesians have a say in the running of their affairs, which they believe to be their right, and which almost all their neighbours have? As the noble Lord opposite has said, in these past few months there has been a significant change in the circumstances in and surrounding Rhodesia, not least because of the abandonment by Portugal of its colonial territory of Mozambique. That must necessarily have long-term consequences to Rhodesia and, indeed, to South Africa, both economically and in terms of their own security.

There is also the possibility that the South African Government may make some domestic decisions which could—although none of us knows what they are to be—considerably affect her relationship with her neighbours. Although one must not read too much into correspondence between anybody—particularly between two Heads of State—it surely is good that that kind of relationship is beginning to emerge, and. indeed, I suggest it is a vindication of the policy that we on this side have always maintained: that the right way to influence people is not by cutting off relations, by boycotts, by sanctions, by diplomatic withdrawals, but rather by contact and by the opportunity of discussion in an atmosphere of civilised courtesy rather than hostility.

My Lords, I do not know how far these two factors will affect the problem of Rhodesia, but I do not think that it would be wise at this stage for Britain to be seen to be taking a unilateral action to end sanctions, an action which would undoubtedly be misunderstood by black Africa, and which would have no chance of success in the United Nations. It would certainly be regarded by most people in Africa as a tacit sign that the British Government had altered their policy and were now favouring Mr. Smith and his régime. The consequences of that—and after all it is the business of the Foreign Office to have regard to British interests—in terms of trade and investment could be vital to us, a country which relies so heavily on commerce for its survival. So I am driven to the conclusion, without, I must confess, much enthusiasm, that I am not prepared to oppose this Order, and that at any rate for another year we should see how far the changing situation has altered the possibility of a settlement. We have the opportunity to review this matter every year and that in itself is good because it concentrates our mind, at any rate, on one Parliamentary day in the year on this problem. In the meantime, I believe that the Government should once again actively seek the means of settling the Rhodesian problem. Although I know the difficulties—it is absurd not to recognise them—I was a little disappointed that the noble Lord opposite did not have more constructive remarks to make about how the Government intend to solve this problem. Above all, we in this country should seek to end what has been a sorry chapter for Rhodesians and British alike.

4.8 p.m.


My Lords, I cannot pretend I take part in this debate or look forward to it with any relish or pleasure for two reasons: one is that over the past nine years we have gone over the ground that we are traversing to-day so often. Secondly, in the light of what we have already heard from the two Front Benches, it is clear the outcome of this debate, if there is to be a Division, is a foregone conclusion.

I cannot pretend that I have any original contribution to make to this debate. Of course, the matters which are new in the present situation, as compared with the situation which we were discussing at this time last year, are those which the noble Lord has been pointing out—the very dramatic changes which have taken place in Southern Africa and, indeed, in all the areas which surround Rhodesia. These changes are not in any way to be underestimated, but the noble Lord has covered that so completely that I do not think it requires any additional comment from me. If there is an issue in this debate, it is, after all, the issue as to whether we should, in fact, maintain or abandon the sanctions policy to which we have been committed for so long. I should like to follow the footsteps of the noble Lord, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, and the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, in being entirely conciliatory in this debate. I do not know whether I shall be able to be constructive. The noble Lord, Lord Carrington, suggested at the end of his remarks that the noble Lord, the Under-Secretary of State, might have been a little more constructive. I do not have any constructive criticisms to make; indeed, I am always a little suspicious of people who put forward constructive criticisms because sometimes I fee] it is because they do not have any other arrows in their quiver.

However, I will attempt to be conciliatory, and I should like to address myself, if I may, to those noble Lords who, I suspect, from looking at the list of speakers, may still be wanting to put forward the anti-sanction case. I should like to say to them that I do not disagree with them and I do not think that my Party disagrees with them in the attitude that they take because we do not think that there is some substance in their argument. I have a personal weakness, which possibly flows from my legal training; it is that I think it is very rare that there is not something to be said on both sides of an argument. I think it is very rare that one side of an argument is completely devoid of any substance, and I should like to say to the anti-sanctionists, if I may, that I hope that I comprehend the force of the argument which they have addressed to us over the years and which no doubt they will be addressing to us this afternoon.

My Lords, what has been the substance of the case that they have presented? It has been this, surely: that leaving aside the morality, or the correctness, or the propriety of having imposed sanctions in the first place—and the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has indicated that he might have been opposed to that and probably was opposed to it from the beginning—and leaving aside, if I may, the other matter that the noble Lord raised, whether it would have been wise to have invited the United Nations to participate and to introduce mandatory sanctions (if that were done and if it were done wrongly, then the responsibility rests upon another member of my family), the main case which has been presented to us over the years in this House has surely been this.

First of all, sanctions have failed to bring about their object; they have failed to bring the Smith regime to its knees; they have failed, indeed, to bring the Smith régime to its senses, and they have failed to bring the Smith régime to some satisfactory and acceptable settlement. They have said—and said, as I think, rightly—that this is partly due to the sanctions that we have imposed not having bitten sufficiently to bring sufficient pressure to bear; and it has been partly due to the fact that others have breached sanctions and have not observed them as they might have done.

My Lords, the second leg of the argument that has been advanced by the antisanctionists is this: that rather than having helped the situation, the imposition of sanctions has added to the intransigence of the Smith régime over the years. That is an argument which has been developed very often in this House. It has been developed in particular, as I remember, by the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, with great eloquence and force. I remember the last occasion when he spoke about this, and I accept very largely what he says. If you treat this little, beleaguered minority in this way, if you give them the impression that the hand of all the world is against them, then you may only be adding to the laage. mentality. You may only be drawing them closer together and you may only—I speak now not only of the Smith régime but also of the white minority as a whole—be drawing them together in a determination to defend their way of life (the luxurious life, indeed, which they live) and their absolute dominion over the black majority.

My Lords, I should like to say I understand the force of that argument and I believe there is a great deal in it. However, where it seems to me that the argument of the anti-sanctionists begins to go all wrong is when they go on to say: "If you accept the premise that sanctions have been ineffective, then ergo. you should abandon them". That does not follow in any kind of way. The argument, I suggest, is erroneous and defective in two particular respects. I would ask this question first of all, and I hope that I have been sufficiently conciliatory up to now to expect or hope that when, in particular, the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, speaks he will treat my inquiry in the same spirit as I have addressed the House so far. Does anybody in the world, sanctionist or non-sanctionist, believe that if you remove sanctions (whether they be mandatory sanctions or whether they be the sanctions imposed by this country) at this stage, at this day, it would do anything whatever towards producing a fair settlement in Rhodesia, or that it would do anything whatever towards reducing the intransigence of the Smith régime and the white minority? My Lords, I will content myself with this. I do not want to say anything which might be interpreted as offensive, but if anybody says "Yes, I think that those things will result," I simply cannot understand the mental processes which are operating.

My Lords, the second defect in the argument is, I suggest, that it altogether ignores and disregards the argument that you should remove sanctions, that you should abandon sanctions. It disregards altogether the enormous price that you would have to pay if you took that course. I may be putting this in rather stronger language than that used by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, but in the latter part of his remarks he indicated something of the cost and the price that would have to be paid for this policy. First of all, as we know, we should be in direct breach of the mandatory obligation we are under to the United Nations. What- ever would be our situation in the community of nations if we, the proposers of mandatory sanctions, whether it was right or wrong to do it, were to go to the United Nations and say, "We are going to abandon sanctions unilaterally"? We should have no standing whatever in the United Nations. The second price that we should have to pay for this is that it would mean the effective abandonment of all our post-Imperial obligations in Rhodesia. Clearly that is so. Thirdly, I suggest—and this is what the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, himself said in more moderate language—that it would be regarded by the Rhodesian Africans and, indeed, by the whole of black Africa, as a gross betrayal of the interests of the black people. Fourthly—perhaps I do not need to go on with the catalogue—whatever hope would be left to the black majority in Rhodesia? Whatever would be left to them except either despair or the ultimate solution of violent revolution? What astonishes me about the anti-sanctionists is that they are able to disregard this appalling price that we should be called upon to pay, yet at the same time they seem to count themselves as the realists in this situation.

My Lords, may I conclude by saying that I remember very well in the debate which we had on the Report of the Pearce Commission that when the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir, was speaking as Minister from the Government Front Bench her recommendation was that there should be a period for reflection. I thought that was quite right and I ventured to make a suggestion of my own, that certain people might take this opportunity for reflection; and of them all the first people who ought to take advantage of the opportunity were the white minority in Rhodesia—not the Smith régime but the white minority as a whole. Unhappily, as the noble Lord the Minister has indicated, there is little or no sign that they have taken advantage of the opportunity which they have had since then. The plain brutal fact of the matter is that these unhappy people—and indeed they are unhappy people—the white minority in Rhodesia, are living, and have for the last ten years lived, in a world of pure illusion.

The facts are so simple as to be almost incredible. As the noble Lord said, there are just over 250,000 white people in Rhodesia. They are this minority, a population equal to that of my native city of Plymouth, and there they are in the heart of Africa exercising absolute dominion over some six million black Africans. Everybody in the world outside the close confines of Rhodesia knows that this little white community has a future and can exist at all only if it can come to terms with its black citizens. They have no future without that and as a result of the developments which have occurred, particularly during the last four months, the need for them to come to a settlement with their black population is ever more urgent than it was before.

My concluding plea, if I may so put it, to the anti-sanctionists is this. To abandon sanctions now—fortunately, it is a course which is now politically impossible—would be to feed these people's illusions; it would give them a little longer in which to hope that in some way they can exist in the laager. of their own creation. I suggest that the worst possible service that this House and this Parliament could perform, not only for ourselves, not only for Africa, not only for the world, not only for the United Nations and, most of all, for the white minority in Rhodesia, would be to abandon sanctions at this moment.

4.23 p.m.


My Lords, this is not the first time that I have had the pleasure of following the noble Lord, Lord Foot, in our discussions on Rhodesia and I hope that I shall say nothing this afternoon that will in any way convey any impression of acerbity or disapproval of what he has said. I have appreciated very much the spirit in which he has spoken, and so far as he and those for whom he speaks are concerned. I hope to do nothing to disturb or spoil the impression that he has made. He asked me one specific question, and that was: what would I do about sanctions now? Would I urge that we should drop them at this stage? I believe the only honest answer I can make is that I do not think it matters what we do about sanctions. I do not think it matters what this House or this Parliament or this Government does about Rhodesia. My noble friend Lord Carrington said that Rhodesia is still a British responsibility. I disagree with him. I think that events have taken charge; we are no longer in control, if ever we were, and I believe the wisest thing Her Majesty's Government could do at this juncture would be to recognise that the whole tragedy is now outside their control, and to realise that there is nothing that the Foreign Secretary nor anybody else, can do to redeem the situation.

My Lords, is it not a most curious irony that, while we in this House are examining for the tenth year the utter incompetence of successive British Governments to manage the affairs of another country, in another place they are examining the utter incompetence of the same Governments over the same period of time to manage our own affairs? Would it not have been very much better, would we not have cut a much less ludicrous figure in the world, if we had left Rhodesia to manage its own business and paid a little more attention to ours? How much better it would have been for Rhodesia, how much better it would have been for us, and how much better it would have been for the Western World.

I should like to make just one point in illustration of what I am saying. We are faced to-day with a catastrophic rise in commodity prices. For years past we have been shedding crocodile tears over the gap between the "haves" and (the "have-nots"—and what have we been doing in Africa? We have been imposing upon the African continent through our misguided, mistaken and, from the start, hopeless policy of sanctions, such a distortion of the economy, not only on Rhodesia but on the whole Continent; with the building of railways where no railways ought to be built; the flying in of goods that ought to have gone by rail—the whole farrago of nonsensical and irrational economic distortion in which we are engaged. We have not only done harm to Rhodesia by sanctions; we have done harm to the world and to ourselves.

The noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, made a very severe attack upon the Smith Government and I must say that I agree largely with many of the criticisms which he made of it. But as the noble Lord, Lord Foot, pointed out, sanctions have driven the Smith Government into more and more extreme courses. The noble Lord, Lord Foot, said of the white minority in Rhodesia—that minority which might have come to form an alternative government—that they have shown a very poor spirit. But they, too, were caught up in the web of sanctions. We declared war on Rhodesia, and because we declared war the whole white population had to rally round the Government of the day. If we had not done that, I am quite convinced in my own mind that there would have been no Smith Government to-day; there would have been a more rational government and probably there would have been a settlement years ago. The Smith Government is what it is to-day because it has been driven to it by sanctions. My Lords, I was very much interested to hear my noble friend Lord Carrington say, as I understood him, that his position is exactly the same to-day as it was nine years ago, and that we must still strive to get a settlement. As I recollect, nine years ago when we had that long debate which continued until the small hours of the morning there was no question of getting a settlement. I do not think that was the line taken then by my noble friend. It was a question of restoring legality, of bringing Mr. Smith to heel. I am very glad, indeed, to know now that my noble friend has some misgivings about the efficacy of sanctions. I think it is a great pity he did not have the same misgivings nine years ago.

But it is true now, as my noble friend Lord Carrington has said, and as was also said by the noble Lord, Lord GoronwyRoberts, that we have opened a new chapter. For the first time, in my judgment at any rate, sanctions have produced a result. It is no longer simply a question of saying, "Oh, sanctions are beginning to bite", when everyone knew they were not. They have now produced a result that is quantifiable and measurable. As a secondary consequence of sanctions, if not the direct result, we can see not only a change in the Portuguese territories in South Africa; we can see a further consequence. We can see a NATO country—by its geographical position immensely important to us, to Europe and to the whole Western World —threatened with a Communist takeover, and that at a time when all the omens pointed to the withdrawal, in greater or lesser degree, of United States forces from Europe. I remember a line of Browning when he was surveying the decay of an empire older than ours. He said: I feel chilly and grow old". I do not think that there is any one of us who cannot but feel a chill on the heart when he considers what may happen to the NATO alliance as a result of the revolutionary coup. in Portugal, which, in its turn, was the result of our policy in Southern Africa.


My Lords, does the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, consider that events in Portugal and in their possessions, are a result of the imposition of sanctions on Rhodesia, which seemed to me to be the basis of his argument?


Yes, indeed, I am very glad that the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, has grasped my argument, and I congratulate him.


My Lords, the only reason I found it difficult to grasp was that it seemed to me to be total nonsense.


My Lords, if the noble Lord would contain his impatience until he speaks, and even contain it to the extent of allowing me to develop my argument, the noble Lord might change his view. I have not much hope of that, but I think he might.


My Lords, may I interrupt the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, not with the intention of upsetting his argument, but because I think we are touching on an important point here. Am I to understand him to believe that if we withdrew from the Rhodesian relationship altogether, as I understand he wishes us to do, and as a result removed sanctions, that would be more inclined to drive Mozambique into the hands of the Soviet Union? Or does he believe it would be less inclined?


My Lords, I think that the noble Lord, Lord Foot, misunderstood—perhaps because I was not making it sufficiently clear—the tenor of what I was saying earlier. I was not saying that we should withdraw from Rhodesia in order that sanctions might be lifted, and so on. All I was saying was that if we want a settlement in Rhodesia, we are so discredited that it would be better if we withdrew from the picture. I am not saying whether or not sanctions should be removed.

My Lords, if I may return to the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, can he really maintain that Frelimo had no encouragement from the policy which Her Majesty's Government pursued in relation to Rhodesia? Can the noble Lord not see the possibility that it encouraged them, and demoralised the Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola? Surely the noble Lord must admit that sanctions created a chaos of instability in Southern and Central Africa. But, of course, it was not sanctions alone. It was the result, too, of that curious death wish which seems to have overcome Western culture during the past 20 years, and to which I believe our policy in Rhodesia has very largely contributed. I think it is worth while looking back, because looking forward there is nothing we can do, as I said to the noble Lord. Looking back, what has been the view of our policy towards Rhodesia in the last 10 years or even longer?

Successive Governments have assured us that they have been seeking a settlement with Rhodesia. Successive Governments have gone through the motions. I do not say that they do not want a settlement. What I do say is that they did not dare to face the implications of a settlement. For a settlement with Rhodesia we substituted a policy of appeasement towards the black African States. Indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, said as much this afternoon, and encouraged us to go on with a policy of appeasing African States. If he did not say that, surely he said that our relations with the black African States are so vital to us that we cannot risk giving offence.


My Lords, I do not really want to interrupt, but perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, would read the report of what I said to-day. I said a whole lot of other things which I thought seemed to lead up to a quite compelling argument.


My Lords, I think we have been guilty of appeasement. We have betrayed our friends and encouraged our enemies. By doing so we have earned general contempt, and reduced any influence we might have had in this sphere to nothing. The rational. of our policy towards Rhodesia, as I understand it, was to keep Communism out of Africa, but the result of that policy has been to introduce Communism into Africa. I have no doubt that the real reason for the détente between President Kaunda and Mr. Vorster is that President Kaunda is aware of the infiltration of Chinese into the African continent, and is seeking a defence against it.

There is a question which the noble Lord, Lord Foot, raised of our attitude towards this Order this afternoon. Certainly for my own part I should not challenge in a Division, and if one were called I would abstain. It seems to me now that such has been the futility of our policy that it matters not whether we discontinue sanctions or keep them on. The matter has passed out of our hands and we count for very little. I was reading the other day an essay by a pillar of the Liberal establishment, a man whom the oldest among us would remember well and whom I think we all respected, Professor Gilbert Murray. In this essay he argued—it was written after the war—that, in a world ringing with grandiloquent half-truth and apocalyptic policies of worlds free from want and free from fear, we would have done better to teach our coloured empires the supreme duty of order and obedience instead of abandoning them to anarchy. But as he said then … it is too late now for such considerations". If it was too late 20 years ago, it is certainly too late to-day. But it would do none of us any harm if we were to reflect more deeply than I think most of us have done upon the consequences of our scuttle from Africa, of our laying down our responsibilities there, before the people of Africa were themselves ready to accept them.

4.43 p.m.


My Lords, in following my noble friend Lord Coleraine I am sure I share with other Members of the House, particularly those on this side of the House, pleasure at having listened to the independent and original reasoning that he has put forward, which is all part of an opposition which he has expressed to this Order, a feeling which I certainly emphatically share with him. The noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, in putting the Order before us in his usual very clear and not infrequently persuasive manner, gave us a clear picture of what is the thought of the Government in justifying a further appeal to this House for an affirmative Order. Last Friday in another place there was a most interesting discussion on this Order, many truly informative speeches, and it was evident that much thought was being given to this subject from whatever angles can be adduced. But lest I forget it later on, referring to the speech of the right honourable Gentleman the Foreign Secretary, I hope the noble Lord will persuade him to reconsider the suggestion that on his projected forthcoming tour of Africa he will not exclude a visit to the South African Republic. I aim to return to that matter in a moment.

I opposed the sanctions Order the first time it was put before the House, when it was held out to us that it might succeed in its aim within six weeks or so, and I have continued to take that course since. I opposed it on the grounds that economic sanctions are unlikely to succeed in this world in which we live. The Rhodesian Press recently reported a "Get-to-know-you" gathering at which were present the Prime Minister and a number of black Africans. This was generated, according to the paper, by a suggestion that had been put forward by five eminent African businessmen to the Prime Minister, that there should be a gathering of this character. The Prime Minister readily agreed, limiting the invitations to 100. In the event, according to the Rhodesian Press, invitations were extended to many, and telephone calls were received by them asking whether they had received an invitation and saying they would know how to deal with it. In the event, 43 people attended the happy "Get-to-know-you" party. But it included none of the ANC Party and, curiously enough, not one of the five African businessmen who originally asked for that gathering. So much for the allegation that Mr. Smith will not make attempts to get together with the Africans, and so much for intimidation.

We have heard of intimidation in Ulster Indeed, I would submit that if someone in a distant country, say South America, were looking at the picture of the British Isles, he would see that the attempt of Britain to govern a small province of 1,500,000 people across the Irish Channel was not so successful when some 900 people were murdered in a short period of time; and he might think it curious that they should still think they have jurisdiction, like a successful Government, over a country some 6,000, or 8,000, miles away. That would appeal to some as being not good logic. There has been bloodshed in the North of Ireland, but at present civilian rule is effective in Rhodesia. There is no internal disturbance, violence and bloodshed, but certainly there is external pressure from terrorist agencies. The South African civilian personnel, we are assured by the Prime Minister, Mr. Vorster, are not there to protect Rhodesia—incidentally, they are all volunteers—they are there to protect South African interests at a distance, and to ensure safe passage from the North to South Africa.

I suggest that if anyone were to introduce a Motion here to restore capital punishment, it would certainly have a negative result, just as surely as this Order will have an affirmative result. But I submit that an appeal for a national expression of opinion would establish that the decision of Parliament on both was wrong. Here murderers are forgiven after perhaps twelve years; that certainly is premature. But how long are we to continue this hatred against Rhodesia over UDI? I think that the American colonies attracted non-recognition for seven years; is it to be eternity for Rhodesia? We condone Uganda, where there are the most horrifying atrocities: we permit her to remain as a member of the Commonwealth. Indeed, I see that Amin, the head of the State, reports that in the future Britons will be the slaves of Africans. There is not much encouragement there to Rhodesians to have confidence in black rule.

The gracious Speech, in referring to an agreement with Rhodesia, required that it be supported by the people of that country. But how do you secure a dependable expression of African opinion in sufficient numbers? I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, may be able to add some word about this matter. The ANC is in disarray and discredited, and is activated by overseas finance; the African Progressive Party, which had Chad Chiponze at its head, has absorbed the Forum and the Convention movements, and they are growing fast.

The noble Lord stressed the population to be well over 4 million Africans—I do not know how many of them are above the age of 17 and are likely to have a vote—but two-thirds of them live in the tribal trust lands and in the purchase areas. In a country of tribal customs, the idea of an independent vote is totally unknown. The Pearce Report was on a 6 per cent. sample. Would a 6 per cent. sample be acceptable on any solution in Ulster? Anybody who takes the trouble to go up country in Rhodesia and talks to the District Commissioners and asks about the operation of that exercise will be told that it was a farce. There is intimidation in Ulster after 1,500 years of Christianity, and it is a meagre 80 years since Rhodesia was lifted from savagery by British enterprise.

It is customary in many directions to condemn the South African Republic. Is immediate black majority rule what is desired by Members of the other side of the House? Indeed, in many quarters where South Africa is condemned, is it required that there should be complete black rule forthwith? What we really want there is contact, not boycott. There was a speech last month in Hamburg by a very eminent South African, the head of a very big bank. In it he said: The way to progress is the opposite to what the enemies of South Africa are trying to implement. I ask the indulgence of the House so that I may continue to read. I firmly believe that the historical evidence is there for all to see that the more investment that takes place in South Africa, the more capital that flows into South Africa, the more immigrants we get, the more trade we do with other countries, the more tourists that visit South Africa, the more dialogue and' communication there is with South Africa, the faster we will be moving towards the ideals which I have briefly indicated to you to-day. I took the liberty of asking your Lordships' indulgence in order to quote that extract, because that is a clear indication of the need for contact and for the assistance of all peoples to each other.

My right honourable friend the late Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, always stressed the need for contact rather than opposition. Equally, in Rhodesia we do not suddenly want black rule. Withdraw white control and the Mashonas and the Matabele will be at each other's throats at once. That will be the way to bring disorder and bloodshed to the country. Why should we go by this Order? Why should we deny African education to the 10 million plus that has been promised? How can you expect unready Africans to manage an industrial complex such as has been developed in South Africa, and largely exists in the cities of Rhodesia? It would be quite impossible. This Motion can bring disorder.

My noble Leader stressed so clearly the other day the dangers involved to the Cape route. That needs no supplement from anyone else. We know of the presence of Chinese and Russian Communists in Central Africa. Surely we do not approve oppression in Russia. But is Britain's status in the UN, and our influence in the world, so weakened that we, who claim responsibility for Rhodesia, a country which people of British stock guided from slavery and savagery, must bow to the dictation of black Africa to the North in doing what we think right to administer that for which we are responsible? I retain sufficient confidence in British industry so that I believe that with the right price, quality and delivery (and I repeat, delivery) we shall obtain the business. Black Africa needs us. This Order will do harm and retard African development. I have opposed it every time it has been presented before and I repeat my opposition to it.

5.2 p.m.


My Lords, I intervene in our annual debate on the Rhodesian Order without much enthusiasm, but I am bound to say that the two speeches we have just heard from the noble Lords, Lord Coleraine and Lord Barnby, if I thought they were true, would drive me to suicide. I have seldom heard such depressing speeches, such total abandonment of hope. May I first of all say to the noble Lord, Lord Barnby, that we are not debating trade relations with South Africa nor are we debating the question of, I think he said, immediate majority rule in South Africa or in Rhodesia. If I am misinterpreting the noble Lord I shall be glad to give way.

In some of my remarks I hope I shall perhaps cheer the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, a little. I should like to apologise if I intervened rather offensively in his speech. He is always extremely courteous to the House. If I may say so, there was a kind of mad logic about his arguments which may have seemed credible to him but was totally incredible to me and so I should like to deal with his arguments. As the noble Lord, Lord Foot, said, we must face these arguments, but to-day that we should be so depressed when I believe there is a real prospect of solution in Southern Africa leaves me even more surprised. I would say to the noble Lord that I would not exclude the possibility that, if not within a year then within the next two or three years, we shall no longer need to debate this particular Order. I will give my reasons. It is partly because this hope exists that I feel as strongly as I ever did in the past that now is not the time to abandon a policy which has for nine years been upheld by successive Governments. In this respect the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, and others indicated why at this moment the abandonment of sanctions would reduce rather than improve the prospects of settlement in Southern Africa and in particular in regard to Rhodesia.

As always, the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, gets a bit hung up on mandatory sanctions. I remember the unfortunate mistake the Conservative Opposition made in 1968 or 1969 when they divided the House (an enormous House) and won by only seven votes. We had all 18 Bishops on our side on that occasion. Not, as I might say to my noble friend Lady Summerskill, that that necessarily is evidence of virtue, but it does at least suggest that the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, would do better to forget that particular incident.

My Lords, I was a member of the Labour Government which, following the enunciation of the Five Principles by Sir Alec Douglas-Home, introduced sanctions. May I just say how much we shall all welcome Sir Alec back to this House. Although from time to time we teased him, too, no one is held or will be held in higher regard in your Lordships' House. In passing, I might say that the Commons have now lost the only two Members of that House who were entitled to use our dining facilities because they have come up here permanently in the shape of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, and now Sir Alec.

At the time that sanctions were introduced I was Minister of Defence for the Royal Air Force and I well remember the controversies and, indeed, the pressure and the sincere arguments as to whether we should have used military force at the time of UDI. I do not know whether we were wrong not to do so, but I still believe that on strict military as well as on moral and political grounds we were right not to intervene with force. With our undoubted responsibility, if I may say again to noble Lords, it is no use blaming our Governments of all Parties for their failures in other directions. This is not sufficient justification for our not doing what we conceive to be our duty in a particular situation. In my view we had no alternative but to go down the path we did and, as the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, made clear, let no one underrate the efforts that members of Sir Alec Douglas-Home's Government before and the Labour Government made to find solutions. Before UDI my noble and learned friend Lord Gardiner and others spent many days, indeed weeks, on the problem, and, as the noble Lord said, the Prime Minister, Mr. Wilson, took very great personal risks in trying to find a solution in the post-UDI talks, particularly in the "Tiger" as well as the "Fearless" talks, but the régime failed to take that opportunity for reasons that are still largely inexplicable. As has been pointed out, they would have been well advised to have done so and are now unlikely, I fear, to get the sort of terms that they might then have got.

My Lords, it is true that a factor, perhaps the major factor, in the developing situation in Southern Africa to-day is the change in the former Portuguese Colonies. Mr. Harold Macmillan's wind of change, as my noble friend made clear, is blowing with greater strength in Southern Africa. Perhaps some of the most exciting developments are in South Africa itself. May I say to the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, that I find it quite extraordinary that he should argue that sanctions are ineffective in Rhodesia except in driving the small white population into desperation, into obstinacy, while at the same time having apparently been effective in Portugal and in Portuguese possessions when the sanctions were not actually imposed against them. I do not find this argument convincing at all. I would say to noble Lords who still oppose the policy of this Government and the previous Government that one ought not to underrate the difficulties facing Mr. Vorster.

The news of a possible détente between Zambia and South Africa is a development on which I believe we have good grounds for pinning hope. The simple fact is that Kenneth Kaunda, that great and moderate African leader, held out an olive branch and did so in the presence of leading South Africans on Zambia's tenth anniversary celebrations which included not only some of the names that appeared in the Press, but men like Mr. Nofke, the editor of the leading Nationalist Party paper, The Transvaal. The fact is, in contradistinction to the examples that certain noble Lords have given, like President Amin, that there are some great African leaders—President Julius Nyerere. Sir Seretse Khama and Kenneth Kaunda. Therefore I greatly welcome the decision of the Foreign Secretary to visit Africa to talk to African leaders. In all this the moral position adopted by the West and by this country is of vital importance. Although sanctions did not fulfil the original hoped-for solution, I remember those early days when we had reports suggesting that they would be effective in a short period. There is no doubt that they have had a disappointing result, but in the long run I feel they have had a real effect.

No one wishes to see the whites of Rhodesia suffer or even be punished for some of the more monstrous actions of the present régime. I do not believe—I say this to the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine—that the action of the Smith Government over the Land Tenure Act and their treatment of the Tangwena people, driving them out of their registered lands where they have been for hundreds of years, could be regarded as just a reaction to sanctions. I cannot see——


My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way. Would he not perhaps feel that if we had given independence to Rhodesia under Sir Edgar Whitehead, or even Mr. Winston Field, as it was open to us to do, we should have had a much happier situation than to-day?


My Lords, going back into the past is always difficult because these are hypotheses. There are those looking back on it who lament the disappearance of the efforts at federation, and some of the African leaders with whom my noble friend Lord Gordon-Walker was concerned. The fact is that we have a legal responsibility. We are now dealing with the situation as it has been since Sir Alec Douglas-Home was first confronted with the threat of UDI. I cannot see how noble Lords can have any hope for a régime which offers no reasonable prospect of majority rule. No one has suggested—certainly not the present Government—immediate majority rule. Is the noble Lord about to disagree?


My Lords, I have already raised this point with the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, but as I read Hansar. of last Friday for another place the impression the Foreign Secretary gave was of that requirement, though I must admit that subsequently in the speech it was hedged by reservations.


My Lords, I read the speech and I did not come to the same conclusion. But the noble Lord is entitled to quote it if he wishes, because it was a ministerial speech. I did not make that interpretation. My noble friend will be replying to the debate and no doubt will deal with the point. But let us nail that particular canard. A Labour Government have never suggested immediate black majority rule, but have advised an orderly approach towards majority rule.

In this my position is entirely the same as the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir. She said last year: 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. She went on: We are very well aware of certain dangers which were mentioned by 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. How anyone can believe that 96 per cent. of a population without constitutional rights will forever remain under the rule of the remaining 4 per cent. is simply historically, socially and in every other way impossible. Therefore, we now have an opportunity—I believe a really good one—for a solution in Rhodesia.

I put one technical argument relating to the port of Lourenço Marques, which is essential to Rhodesia. That port is also essential to South Africa and it is necessary for South Africa to come to terms. That is what Mr. Vorster is trying to do. It is clear that Mr. Vorster is seriously considering what is to be done about Namibia. I do not want to get into arguments on this, but I make this appeal to noble Lords opposite who do not agree with me. Would they not be serving the interests of their white Rhodesian friends by urging them now to achieve a settlement before it is too late?

In my opinion, they will not be justified in relying upon the support of South Africa indefinitely. South Africa's own survival will be at stake unless they come to terms with the new forces in Europe. This chance must not be missed. We have seen too much of young South Africans and young Rhodesians leaving their countries because they have so little hope. Despite the inconsistencies and difficulties of a sanctions policy, I believe that we must continue to enforce it in the hope that within a reasonable time the appalling dangers that confront all those living in South Africa will be removed. I beg noble Lords to approach this problem with some hope and to give a united British approach to it.

5.19 p.m.


My Lords, matters beyond my control led to my missing the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Carrington. I deeply regret that and apologise to him.

A NOBLE LORD: And the Minister.


No, I heard that of the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts. Nevertheless I did hear my noble friend Lord Coleraine saying that the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, had emphasised again the old argument that anything we do that appears too friendly towards South Africa will upset the rest of Africa. Is that correct?


My Lords, I do not want to interrupt, but that is rather a simplification of what I said. I was building up what I believed to be a logical argument for a continuation of sanctions of which I myself disapproved and I voted against it in this House when they were proposed. What I said was that when you consider whether at this juncture sanctions should be removed any Government and anybody who proposed to vote on whether or not this Order should be continued, must take into account all the relevant factors and the situation of this country at the present time.


Yes, my Lords; I accept that perhaps Lord Carrington's point was that one of the factors is the attitude of the rest of Africa. I hope that is fair. I doubt very much whether the rest of black Africa would be greatly influenced one way or the other. I doubt it very much. It would be a nine-day wonder. They go where the trade is best. That is what they have done in the past; and, of all the people who have broken sanctions, it has been them. I have no financial interests in Rhodesia, but I do declare a great interest in South Africa. That is next door, and therefore what happens in Rhodesia is very important to my country.

I have noted in to-day's Daily Express. and in the Guardian. that Mr. Smith is reported to have said—and this has been the theme of some of the speeches to-day; or, at any rate, it seems to have influenced the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, and others—that there is now a chance of some kind of an agreement or arrangement which perhaps did not exist before, and that he discerned signs in other countries, meaning, presumably, in South Africa. That is part of the point which has already been made by noble Lords opposite. I am bound to join in hoping that this could be so, although for reasons which I shall elaborate a little later (although I shall not speak for very long) I doubt very much if it will work even then. However, I want to place on record that I have noted Mr. Smith's optimism, and if we could have a settlement and if it could be enduring (which is the point which I really doubt) nobody would wish for it more than I.

May I recite very briefly a few of the facts about Rhodesia which I think should be borne in mind with advantage. There is this thing called inflation. In Rhodesia, inflation is estimated by Mr. Smith's Government to be running at 3½ per cent. This is not just an optimistic view held by Mr. Smith; it is supported by the big Banks—the Standard Bank, Barclays Bank and the Nedbank—who operate in that country and who can judge. It is estimated that it might rise to 7 per cent. in the coming year because of oil.

My Lords, the figures are 3½ per cent. and 7 per cent. Will noble Lords remember those figures? Noble Lords may not have heard them for many years, but they may be allowed to remember them to-day. Then there is devaluation. There has been no devaluation of the Rhodesian currency. Even the strong Rand in South Africa has been devalued by 18 per cent. The devaluation of the pound during the previous nine years has been 40 per cent. There is no balance-of-payments problem in Rhodesia. The education provided by Britain is, I believe, at a cost of 6 per cent. of our gross national income. In Rhodesia, 8 per cent. is spent on education for the blacks only and is provided by the whites wholly. May we remember some of these facts, and possibly agree that Mr. Smith, with his minority and in all the circumstances of that country, is doing rather better than some of us in Europe and possibly rather better than we here in this old country. It is worth bearing in mind.

Let us turn to Mozambique. It has not been settled who is to govern Mozambique. There are two Parties there. One of them is pro-South African and probably pro-Rhodesian—at any rate, it is pro-trade. My Lords, 70 per cent. of Mozambique's living comes from South Africa and Rhodesia by shipping, by providing labour for the mines et cetera. It is my guess that they will go on with it. How can they afford not to? There is the matter of the writ. Our writ does not run. My noble friend Lord Barnby has pointed out how it hardly runs in Ulster. How can it run 8,000 miles away? It does not run. Therefore the power and influence which we are supposed to possess is imaginary. I honestly believe (and this brings me to my real point) that the example of what has happened since the speech about the wind of change—which indicated the British desire and intention to free what had hitherto been British Colonies from colonial rule and to give them independence—does not encourage me to believe in majority voting in Africa.

May I simply remind the House of what has happened. The British, acting sincerely and following a long-delayed desire to give independence to these people who had only recently in historical terms learned about government (they had not then learned very much) and who were accustomed to tribal systems, nevertheless gave them that independence, with a little Parliament, an Opposition and a Government, with votes for all adults. Every British Colony has had this, and every one of them, my Lords, has rejected it. It is they who have rejected it: not we who have denied it. We have given it in good faith and in generosity, and it has been rejected. In place of it there is a dictatorship, a semi-dictatorship or a single-Party State. It is not for me to say that our system in Westminster is better than any other in the world. Perhaps the system in America is better than ours. Perhaps the system in France is better still, or that in Germany. Perhaps the systems used in Africa or Asia are better. It is not for us to be arrogant and to pretend that we alone have the wisdom of Parliaments, although at least we claim to be the Mother of Parliaments. It is not for us to be arrogant to that extent.

These systems are different, but they are applied to different people in different surroundings. If one were to have "one man one vote" in Rhodesia either immediately, as has been thought, or later, as has been more wisely suggested, over a long period of time, what would be the effect of it? It would be to return a wholly black Government, as has happened in the Bahamas. Once that happened in Rhodesia, any black Government would stay there. How? By declaring the forthcoming Election illegal before it happened or while it was progressing. That has been done in Africa. Or, alternatively, simply by not having another Election. "One man one vote once"—it is very simple, and it is the right way to become a dictator. If one enjoys the amenities of Government, the power and the money, then one stays in Office, and the easiest way to stay in Office is not to have another Election. That is what will happen in Rhodesia. So one will be substituting for Mr. Smith's Government another type of Government.

I do not want to make invidious comparisons, but it cannot be beyond our observations that Mr. Smith's Government is managing well, and the figures I gave earlier in this speech show that it is managing very well by comparison with many countries in Europe, and even with ourselves in Britain. The Rhodesians are better off, not worse off, as the years go by; all of them, I mean—black and white together, and the coloureds. They are managing very well. The economy of the country, the business of the country, the finance, as well as the Government, are managed by the whites. Inevitably, one will be substituting for a Government of people who are governing well, who know the art of government and who have practised it for a long time, a Government of persons (I will put it in the most polite and simplest way I can) who have not acquired all those experiences and attributes.

How can one expect the Rhodesian people to be better off under that change? One cannot. Nor are their sensibilities, their culture, their history or their tradition so advanced that the spiritual desire to be free, so-called, would compensate for worse government, poverty and unemployment. That is the choice. It has been said that the Irish much prefer to be free to slaughter each other or the British, and that it is much more fun that way than to be part of Britain and have law and order. I understand that practice with the Irish, but they have been a long time practised in the art of developing that view of life. It is not so in Africa. It is beyond belief that Rhodesia will be better off under a change of Government of the kind noble Lords opposite want to see.

My Lords, I come to sanctions themselves. They have not been effective; they are bound to come to an end in time, not at our will but just as sanctions have always come to an end and just as rebellions have always succeeded unless they are put down swiftly and by force. We were not willing to do that nine years ago and we are not willing to do it now. I do not know whether we should have the power but we certainly have not the will, so we must just wait for the confrontation to come to an end by the effluxion of time. But how much time? A sensible Government in Britain would recognise that the country was no longer a double naval power as it used to be, that it is no longer the proud country that ruled the waves and that we have reached the stage where have to waive the rules. There it is. A sensible Government in Britain would see this coming and make terms before it came, making themselves look wise and generous instead of waiting for it to come and looking foolish.

UDI will remain, Rhodesia will stay outside and one day it will be recognised by somebody and then, in the end, by us. It has already been said that one does recognise Amin—God knows why!—so why not face the fact that we should now call it a day? Rhodesia is a country which is governed by decent people, our own kith and kin, men like my ancestors and the ancestors of many from Durham mines and from Cornish mines and from the Lancashire mills who went out there 80 or 100 years ago, settled and bred and whose sons and grandsons are there now. Why not recognise that they are governing the place well, that the alternative would not be as good and call it a day? Britain ought to have the courage to do that because if it does not do it now it will have to do it very soon.

5.34 p.m.


My Lords. the noble Lord, Lord Foot, started his speech by building up his opponent's case in order to knock it down. which is a very well-known forensic method. The noble Lord, Lord Foot, was so sympathetic with those of us who are critical of sanctions that he said that nothing was always black or always white, but that usually there was a colour between. At the same time, he seemed to deny the position that my noble friends Lord Carrington and Lord Coleraine take, and which I take myself, that it is possible to oppose sanctions as such, to dislike them, but at the same time to be quite willing to let this Order go through without a Division. That is not an unfair description of the position taken by many of us who are critical.

My Lords, I have listened to debates on sanctions over ten years and I have never myself spoken, though I have positive views. I start from the premise, which I hope is common ground, of wanting to see in Rhodesia a peaceful, prosperous, multi-racial society evolved by the rejection of extremes, on the one hand the extreme of NIBMAR—no independence before majority rule—and on the other hand anything approaching the South African brand of apartheid. with what seems to me its denial of human dignity to Africans within its borders. I suggest—and I hope that I am still on common ground—that we seek a society where responsibility and power do not go by colour, but go by quality and merit which all should have chances of developing and exercising. If one accepts that general premise, one can ask oneself: how far have sanctions helped towards such a society?

Alternatively, as the noble Lord, Lord Foot, said, many of us feel that the effect of sanctions over ten years has been not to promote that society but to strengthen the Smith régime for which I do not think any noble Lord in this House has a very strong feeling of support. The original purpose of the sanctions was to force white Rhodesia to its knees politically and economically, and the expression used at that time was, "in months". This policy has demonstrably failed and I think it is generally admitted by people, including the present Foreign Secretary, Mr. Callaghan, that though sanctions have damaged the economy they will never break it, and that there is in the white Rhodesians a stubborn courage which will make them face any hardship in the cause of what they think is right. The white resistance has been growing.

My Lords, I must say that I have some sympathy for the supporters in Rhodesia of the illegal régime. Could they not have felt in 1965 that our Parliament was acting so unjustly that they were absolved from compliance with the law? I have the words of the Secretary of State for the Environment on another subject. He said that the law in question, …offended a basic sense of natural justice."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, 6/11/74; col. 1077.] I am not arguing whether that law was right or wrong. What I am asking your Lordships to consider for a moment is whether the white Rhodesians in 1965 may not have felt something parallel to what Mr. Crosland was referring to in the statement which I quoted.

My Lords, the second question I ask is this. If—and it is generally admitted—the economic and political purposes of sanctions have failed, and are failing, to crush the régime of Mr. Smith, what is the purpose of sanctions? Is it, as the Guardian. wrote once, that There is always the chance that enough white Rhodesians will tire of the precarious illegality in which they live and decide to emigrate, leaving the economy more vulnerable"? I hope that there is nothing of that sort underlying the purpose of sanctions, because it is a terrible philosophy that one should break down an economy and force people to emigrate in order to alter the form of government.

If it is not that, is it punishment? If so, is it a punishment for those who refuse to alter their form of government to conform with other political views in Africa and at the United Nations? Is it a form of demonstration that we stand alongside the rest of Africa and deplore the refusal of Rhodesia to govern itself in accordance with the views held by other countries in Africa, including those vociferous voices at the United Nations of people who in their own countries, I regret to say, exercise oppression, denial of liberty and racial discrimination?

It seems to me that when they protest in this fashion there is something akin to a double standard going on at the United Nations, where the African countries indulge in such criticism of the white régime in Rhodesia. My fear is that the result of the continuation of sanctions and the present pressure for intensifying them (which I doubt will succeed) may tread underfoot such small young shoots of the delicate plants of reason and compromise as exist in the Rhodesian political soil; because, finally, it is reason and compromise which must prevail in some form.

I should like, if I may, to refer to a point which was made by my noble friend. I regret that I did not hear it being made, but I understand that the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, will be dealing with it in his winding-up speech. I fear that the Government are using a duality of words and are making a future settlement more difficult by such a practice. The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary last night said that the time is past when Britain and Salisbury could agree on a Constitution. At the same time, if we maintain sanctions until an agreement is acceptable to all Africans it means that Her Majesty's Government are giving a blank cheque to the African majority, who can veto all proposals that do not concede majority rule here and now, which is their declared purpose.

I hope that the Government will make very clear, when they say that a settlement is not now possible between Salisbury and London, and that a settlement must be acceptable to all Africans, that they do not mean that as a concession to extremist views, because if so it will do almost infinite harm to the prospect of final settlement. I hope the Government will pull back from any such extreme view which rejects compromise and which invites, finally, violence.

As I said at the beginning of my few remarks, I accept that sanctions must go on. But let us ponder for a moment the words used by Sir Alec Douglas-Home—and may I say that I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, that we are fortunate and happy in the prospect of shortly seeing him among us. On June 15, 1972, in another place, Sir Alec said this at column 1763: … if at some future date we decide that sanctions have finally failed in their purpose, or that the evasions are so widespread that they are intolerable, we should not act in some hole and corner manner. We should come to the House and go to the United Nations and state the case plainly for a change of policy."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons.] I hope that during this year we shall lose no chance of using a moderating influence on the Left and Right elements in Rhodesia. I do not think it is any good recriminating about the past. What we have to look at now are the present and the future. During the coming year I hope we shall try to build a foundation for that society which I described at the beginning of my remarks. If some progress is made before this time next year, I hope the Government will have the courage to go to the United Nations Organisation, as Sir Alec Douglas-Home suggested and, while showing distaste for this régime, say that the time has come to announce that "enough is enough of this mistaken failure".

5.47 p.m.


My Lords, my noble friend Lord Coleraine has the ability to say the most provocative things with an air of sweeter reasonableness than anybody else in your Lordships' House. I am tempted to follow the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, in commenting on some of the points that he made with which I profoundly disagree. I hope he will forgive me if on this occasion I do not do so—not because I would not like to do so, but because I do not want to be led astray from the argument which I hope to put before your Lordships during the few minutes I shall be addressing the House.

Unlike the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, I am afraid that I have, on many previous occasions, wearied your Lordships by speeches on this subject, but not, I think, during recent debates. Over the last two years or more, I have felt that there was very little new to say about the Rhodesian problem. But as the Minister, the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, has said—and he was echoed by others—the situation has changed radically during the last three months.

I confess I thought that the collapse of Portuguese authority in Mozambique would follow a mutiny of the black troops. Instead, it has been precipitated by the constructive mutiny of white officers. Although I always knew that South Africa regarded the white community in Rhodesia as expendable, I did not realise that the Government in Pretoria would be as quick on their feet as they have been during the last few days. Mr. Vorster has asked for twelve months to put the relations between the races in South Africa on a more viable footing. He, at any rate (whatever may be the results of what he does) has got his time-scale right and that, in my view, is the most important point which we in this country and those who are concerned with the situation in Southern Africa have to bear in mind. I suggest to your Lordships that a settlement in Rhodesia must be achieved within a year from now. That is a desperately short period of time, and that is all the time that is left for Rhodesians, South Africans and British to evolve a pattern of political progress in Southern Africa which will make it possible to avoid a catastrophe that will destroy so much of what has been achieved in Southern Africa over the last 1G0 years and more.

As I have said on a previous occasion to your Lordships, I can proudly trace back my heritage in South Africa for more than three centuries. I, perhaps as much as anybody in the British Parliament, have an incentive to do anything I personally can—and it is so little—to avoid a catastrophe which lies ahead. It is for this reason that I have tried to involve successive British Governments in making a constructive contribution to the achievement of a political solution which will give to that splendid area of this troubled world a chance of a prosperous and peaceful future. I believe that even to-day the key to this solution lies in Rhodesia. Let me say in parenthesis that when I talk about a time-scale of one year I am speaking not only from such political instincts as I might have myself, but of what I know from the information that I have been able to obtain from the admittedly tenuous contacts which T have had with the African leadership in Rhodesia during these past few months.

Whether or not we like it, and in spite of what my noble friend Lord Coleraine said, we, the British people, have a responsibility for the future of Rhodesia which is not discharged simply by renewing this Order in Council which we now have under discussion. We cannot, like a one-time colonial governor, Pontius Piiate, wash our hands of a major residual responsibility of an Empire which we created. I do not suggest that we can determine the policies of an ex-Commonwealth member, South Africa; their salvation lies in their own hands. But our ability to achieve a settlement in Rhodesia, even at the eleventh hour, could not only discharge the historic debt to the peoples of that part of Africa, but perhaps—and this to me is equally important—open the way to the containment of the dangerous situation which faces black and white alike in the whole of Southern Africa.

It is desperately difficult to produce some constructive solution, and I realise that we may, as we have on previous occasions, fail; but I suggest that the Government, and we who are concerned with this matter, would be culpable if we did not even try. I welcome, as other noble Lords have done, the intention of the Foreign Secretary to pay a personal visit to the countries of Africa North of the Zambesi and South of the Sahara. I hope that this will be a prelude to an initiative by the British Government to set up a Rhodesian Constitutional Conference. I know that the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, said in his speech that this is a question of timing, and there must be some reason to suppose that those who take part in it must be willing to do so. But the fact of the matter is that an initiative, even if it were to fail at this present time, gives a chance of some progress towards what is the only possible method and avenue available to us of making any progress at all.

The object of that conference should be not merely a constitutional settlement but a way of trying to provide for Rhodesia in the future a multi-racial basis for its existence. I studied with care and appreciation Lord Greenhill of Harrow's speech last week on the debate on the Address. It was derived from a long experience of the world and compassion for those who are now face to face with the realities of Africa in that part of the world. The House will remember the noble Lord suggesting that there should be some means of finding financial support to remove those Europeans who would no longer wish to remain in Rhodesia if there was a settlement uncongenial to them. I think white men and white women who have chosen to live in the sunlight of Rhodesia and to enjoy, as we all remember, the blue horizons and the hills in the distance—and that, to me at any rate, evokes Africa—who have chosen the easier way of life during these past years, and the privileges which they have undoubtedly enjoyed there (which my noble friend Lord Fraser of Lonsdale mentioned to some extent) should not be allowed at the expense of the British taxpayer, or his opposite number in the Commonwealth, to be baled out of the consequences of their choice.

I believe that Africa and the Africans need the European. I think Rhodesia would be a better country with a leaven of a loyal European community than it would be as a black African country, subject possibly to 'the tragic fate which has overtaken Uganda. I do not forget, and perhaps many of your Lordships do not forget either, that there was a time many years ago when Joshua Nkomo spoke as a Rhodesian from a Rhodesia which was neither black nor white. If we accept that there cannot be a multiracial solution for Rhodesia, how can we believe in a multi-racial solution for South Africa? And what then can be the future for European and African in Southern Africa as a whole?

What I am trying to say is that this is not a question simply of finding a constitutional political settlement which is viable in Rhodesia. Our object in that particular part of Africa should be to find what we originally tried to find in our policies of successive Governments in the past, a multi-racial solution which enabled black and white to live together in harmony in the same country and under the same laws. It is for this reason that I implore the British Government to try to take the initiative now or subsequent perhaps to the Foreign Secretary's visit. Let him by all means explore the ground. There may be new factors arising as a result of changes which have taken place which must be considered in taking that initiative. Then try to bring together a Rhodesian Constitutional Conference which could meet the needs of the situation, and a constitutional settlement, if that is the right phrase, in which the British will have a major part to play in accordance with the responsibilities which we continue to hold, whether or not we like it. Our contribution should be, so far as possible, as the noble Lord, Lord Greenhill of Harrow, suggested, on an all-Party basis. Our second component must be from the Europeans in Rhodesia, representative of the Smith régime and of the Opposition.

The next component must be the ANC under the leadership of Bishop Musarawa, and there must also be representatives of ZANU and ZAPU, the two militant organisations, because it is clear, whether or not we like it, that no settlement of any sort will stick unless those two organisations are parties to that settlement. In my view there should be representatives or observers of Zambia, Malawi, the Republic of South Africa and Botswana. This is a very tall order against the practical possibilities. My noble friend on my right smiles, laughs and derides it, but the alternative is what we have to consider. In politics we are not thinking of what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong, the whole time; one is very often, as in life, choosing between the lesser of two evils. The evil that lies ahead of Southern Africa is something about which the speeches of so many of my noble friends in this debate this afternoon appear to be completely unaware.

I can assure my noble friends who are unaware of them that the Government in South Africa, and, increasingly, the Government in Rhodesia, are only too well aware of the dangers which lie ahead not in the long term, but within a matter of twelve months from now. It is no good pretending that time can solve this problem, as my noble friend Lord Fraser of Lonsdale seemed to suggest. The only way it will be solved in that case is in terms of blood and destruction. Let the object of the conference which I suggest be the creation of a multi-racial political system in Rhodesia, which might not only help with the solution of the problems of the Republic but also influence developments in Angola and Mozambique. If the whole world is to retreat into racial enclaves I am certain that no one will suffer more than the vulnerable and disadvantaged black people of Africa. Those of us who have tried to rescue individuals from the bloody tyranny of Uganda, and who have watched the impact of famine in Ethiopia and in the one-time colonial territories of France, South of the Sahara, know what is at stake in an Africa which is abandoned by the rest of the world.

Let me say this, finally. A constitutional conference, difficult though it is, politically so impossible as it may appear to be to so many of your Lordships, is what the moderate Africans in Rhodesia at the present time want and are prepared to support and accept, so far as I understand. There are still moderates among the Africans of Rhodesia, but they are becoming fewer. By the end of 1975 they will have lost the initiative to the militants unless they can show some progress towards a political solution; and once they have finally lost the initiative to the militants then the worse will have come to the worst. This is now a race against time as well as a struggle against heavy political odds for Europeans in Rhodesia. Her Majesty's Government may not be able to ensure that the race is won, but, my Lords, an initiative within the very near future would, at any rate, give us some hope of success.

6.3 p.m.


My Lords, I must apologise for addressing your Lordships again on this subject but I feel, and always have felt, very strongly on it because I have quite a few acquaintances and one or two friends in Rhodesia. I have never had one pound invested in the country. After listening to the noble Lord who has just sat down I would say he has moved a little to the Right in his opinion on how we should look at Africa. I was pleased to hear his speech and I can agree with a great deal of what he said. I remember the last debate on the Rhodesia Sanctions Order which we had last year, when my Party were in Government. The noble Baroness, Lady Tweeds-muir of Belhclvie, opened for the Government, I believe, although I am speaking from memory, and at some point in her speech (I think the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, also referred to the subject) she said that if sanctions were proved to have failed the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, if he was quite convinced of that, might go to the United Nations and put before them the fact that in this country's opinion sanctions had failed and we should try to evolve a new approach to the problem of Rhodesia.

I have figures regarding the economy of Rhodesia, which show that in 1972 they had a balance-of-payments deficit with the rest of the world of about £2 million. I am told that in 1973 they had a surplus balance of payments of £24 million—I cannot remember how many Rhodesian dollars that is. That is a growth rate of 65 per cent. If those figures are correct—and I have no reason to doubt them—economically it can be said that sanctions have failed. The argument is, of course, put forward that sanctions are an incentive to make the Rhodesian Government come to a settlement. I should like to take up the point which the noble Lord, Lord Foot, made in the earlier part of his speech—and I agree with the earlier part of his speech. He said that, in his opinion (I hope I am quoting him correctly), sanctions were making the Rhodesian Government and those who support them obstinate; being a small minority, sanctions were binding them together out of loyalty. At the same time he said—and I could not quite follow his argument here—that if sanctions were withdrawn it would not make them less obstinate. I cannot agree there. It is not so much the economic effect of sanctions that is worrying them—although, of course, it does worry them—because with this balance of payments surplus sanctions would not appear to be doing so much harm as one might imagine. What infuriates them is the insult to their integrity, to think that they are held up to the world as tyrants whereas, in fact, they are quite the reverse and are trying to lead the Africans by education eventually to play a greater part in the government of their country. I cannot agree with the noble Lord, Lord Foot, that if sanctions were withdrawn it would not make the Rhodesian Government more amenable. From what my friends in that country tell me, it would make them more amenable to a settlement.

May I take up one or two points made by the noble Lord opposite, Lord Goronwy-Roberts. Correct figures can give rather the wrong impression. The noble Lord said—I have written it down, although I cannot remember his precise words—how unjust it was that 250,000 whites should rule 6 million blacks. We have to remember that of those 6 million Africans, three-quarters are below voting age; the number may be more than three-quarters. The noble Lord did not point out also that there are Rhodesian African Members of Parliament. It is true that they are not many. Although I do not go along with much that is done by the Rhodesian Government, I have always understood that their policy is not to exclude Africans from voting; their policy is to ensure that if an African has a vote, he has a certain standard of education to understand what he is voting about.

I have only slight practical experience of Africa compared with the experience of many of your Lordships, but I have considerable experience of the West Indies because I used to have agricultural property there. I remember, for instance, that when a form of democracy and a vote was introduced in Jamaica it was quite impossible to explain to the average Jamaican what having the vote really meant. That is notwithstanding the fact that we look upon the Jamaicans, particularly, as rather more advanced than the average tribal African.

However, I should like to make the point, as the noble Lord knows perfectly well, that there are moderate black African Members of Parliament in the Rho-desian Government. I appreciate that the situation has altered now. It has altered considerably as a result of what has happened in Mozambique. A great many of us on these Benches would agree that it has amounted almost to a Communist invasion of Mozambique, and that has altered the situation regarding Rhodesia.

My Lords, while on that subject, I understand that we are going to recommence aid to Tanzania. I do not object to that. But anybody who has been in Africa knows that much of the Communist terrorism comes from Tanzania—no doubt paid for by the Chinese. I hope that if we give funds to Tanzania, Her Majesty's Government will ensure, as, of course, they would want to ensure, that they do not fall into the wrong hands. I should like to make that point because so far as the British taxpayer is concerned it would be monstrous if we had to subsidise bloodshed in Africa. It would be appalling.

My Lords I know one or two British people who have had their assets confiscated and who have lost their businesses in Tanzania. If we are going to give money to that country, first of all I think we ought to compensate British people who have had their assets in that country confiscated by the Government, but preferably to make the Tanzanian Government compensate them.

If I may return to the question of sanctions, I do not think that sanctions will ever succeed. The reason is, of course, that not only in Rhodesia but also in other countries (not that I advocate contracting out of our international obligations; we must always act according to international law) many people are chary as to the original legality of the action over Rhodesia. However, you cannot have it both ways. If Rhodesia were an independent country, then she ought to have an opportunity to put her case to the United Nations; but we say we are responsible for her and that she is not an independent country. Under Chapter 6 of the United Nations Charter, if she were not an independent country sanctions would be completely illegal. Many people know this and that is why, so long as sanctions remain, they will rebel against them. You will rouse their human spirit of moral indignation. I am unable to see sanctions doing anything but harm, either to Africans or to Europeans.

Talking of harm, my Lords, if we consider the education of Africans in Rhodesia, a lot of funds have been held up, owing to sanctions, which could have gone towards educating the Africans in Rhodesia. It is tragic that we are now in the tenth year of sanctions. One noble Lord said that there are good African leaders. I admit that, but we all know that there are no democracies in Africa. As has been said this afternoon, if you had one vote per African in Rhodesia to-day, it would result in a black Government and it would be the last democratic election that you would ever have in that country. You would probably get a dictatorship—as the majority of black Africa is ruled to-day. It might be all right if somebody like Dr. Banda or President Kaunda emerged. but one would be taking a great gamble. What would probably emerge would be chaos and the destruction of the economy, with resultant hardship for the African population. As I say, one would be taking a great gamble. After all, we have had many instances in Africa where, by laying down our responsibilities, the worst has happened, the most recent case being Uganda. I know it is very difficult for Her Majesty's Government, but I am sure that they would obtain great good will, not only from the Rhodesian Government but also from many Africans in Rhodesia, if they would hold out the hand of friendship. I agree that this may not be the moment to go to the United Nations regarding sanctions. However, they should hold out the hand of friendship and try to forget some of their Fabian dogma.

My Lords, I was pleased to hear the noble Lord, Lord Alport, talk about consultation. The more conferences we can have on this subject the better. If you can keep people talking, usually you can stop them from fighting. Therefore, the more consultation Her Majesty's Government can have the better. If you hold out the hand of friendship, I am sure that you will receive friendship in return. I know a great many people in Rhodesia who are very hurt by the attitude of this country towards them. I agree that it would require great statesmanship, but if only Her Majesty's Government could do that I am sure that they would be surprised by the results.

My Lords, I will not say any more, except that we must try to compromise; we must not stand too much on our dignity. Many international lawyers have told me that it is a dubious question whether the imposition of sanctions was legal, anyway. Therefore we must not stand too much on our dignity but must try to reach a settlement by compromise.

6.20 p.m.


My Lords, I should like to endorse the last sentences uttered by the previous speaker, Lord Massereene and Ferrard, with regard to using conciliatory tactics and persuasive talk with Rhodesians in trying to settle this problem. When one comes to this time of night, at the end of this debate, and one has listened to the very interesting speeches which have been made by previous speakers, one derives a great deal of comfort for from my experience of having been overseas for 30 years and having been employed by the Colonial Office, I have been able to see the decisions which were taken by various Parliaments as a result of deliberations in your Lordships' House and in the other place, and consistently I must subscribe to the fact that the decisions taken here have been mostly for the good.

At the same time, if there is one thing which has rather dispirited me in this debate- it is the fact that we have concen- trated rather on issues outside the particular issue which faces the white settler in Rhodesia. Over a period of 30 years I was privileged to see the great contribution which was made to our Empire and Commonwealth by our own kith and kin, and particularly was this demonstrated when I was with them in Singapore—in Changi—when the very finest qualities which they had to exhibit at that time came to the fore in the conditions there existing. The conditions which are operating in Rhodesia are such that we have there settlers who have more or less divorced themselves from this country and have carried out a mission there of establishing themselves among the Africans. They have carried on trade in that country and their homes are there, and I am quite sure that the qualities that I have observed in various parts of the world certainly exist among the white Rhodesians in Rhodesia. Therefore, while all my life I have been involved in leading the particular countries with which I was concerned towards their own self-government, and while I subscribe to the view that quite obviously that is the policy which is right for Rhodesia, I hope that in this dispute, which is really with the white Rhodesians, their claims will not be overlooked in any settlement which takes place. That is my first plea to Her Majesty's Government, and I hope that in this conference which I believe is about to take place full effect will be given to the consideration of the white settlers.

With regard to the continuance of sanctions, I quite see that to-night we have probably to pass this Order, but on general grounds I am against the continuance of sanctions. First, always having had a respect for British Governments and Parliamentary institutions, it seems to me that to persist with a British policy into its tenth year when we have failed to obtain by means of sanctions the objectives which we set out to obtain, is to advertise for all to see what people will interpret to be the bankruptcy of British statesmanship. It will further, to some extent, also advertise what some people will interpret to be the incompetence of ourselves in Parliament. In that situation it is particularly undesirable at the present time, when the authority of Parliament from a number of directions is under a certain amount of challenge and attack in our own country. That is one point I want to make in regard to the continuance of sanctions.

Secondly—and I will not repeat what has been said by other speakers—quite obviously the object for which we originally introduced sanctions has really been achieved by events in Mozambique and other parts of Portuguese Africa, and it is now most important that Mr. Smith should not exhibit any obstinacy or obduracy when the time comes for talks to take place, whenever that may be. Conditions now are obviously favourable for the exhibition of statesmanship. I was particularly pleased (and this has been mentioned by other speakers) that President Kaunda is using his good offices to get these talks under way. So if they do take place in the near future I wish the very best of good fortune to Her Majesty's Government in their efforts to seek a reasonable, satisfactory and fair solution to all people in Rhodesia and elsewhere in Africa.

In a sense it has been said—I think it was said by the noble Lord, Lord Foot—that it would look bad if unilaterally we took our own action with regard to sanctions; in other words, if by ourselves we were to withdraw sanctions. As I understand the position, it is quite impossible for us to take any action with regard to sanctions without the agreement of the United Nations. It has been said by speakers in this debate that if we even suggested the discontinuance of sanctions this would immediately annoy other coloured Governments and coloured leaders in Africa. I sometimes think we are rather frightened of going to the leaders of Africa and of African opinion and pointing out to them that circumstances have now changed, and that it might be conducive to any negotiations in which we might be involved to conduct them without the duress of sanctions hanging over the head of one party. I feel that has been overlooked in this debate: in any case nobody has suggested it, but I wonder whether perhaps it might suggest itself to Her Majesty's Government. I well understand that they had to take action with regard to the unilateral declaration of independence. Her Majesty's Government could not absolve themselves from doing that, but new circumstances have arisen and I feel that perhaps the suggestion would not be received with the hostility which certain noble Lords—and I think Her Majesty's Government—might feel would come from African leaders in Africa.

That is all I really wish to say, except that I happened to see part of the leading article in the Daily Mirro. this morning which I do not think really helps the situation. They said this of Mr. Smith: His Government wants a society in which merit matters more than colour. They went on to say: This will be a change for Rhodesia, where so far colour has been the one thing that counts. What an extraordinary thing to write in a British newspaper! Does writing of that kind really help Her Majesty's Government to a particular understanding of the issues involved at present? In the negotiations, both with the Government which is in power during the tenure of office as Prime Minister of Mr. Wilson, and with that at the time when Sir Alec Douglas-Home was conducting the negotiations with Rhodesia. the facts are that one of the qualifications concerning the role of African members in the House of Representatives in Rhodesia was that of merit as regards earning power, and so on. To distort that, and to write as if it were something entirely different, which is what was put in the article in the Daily Mirror. is thoroughly reprehensible.

My Lords, that is all I have to say. I wish Her Majesty's Government the very best of good fortune in their negotiations. We all hope these negotiations will have a successful outcome.

6.31 p.m.


My Lords, I rise to speak on the subject of Rhodesia for the first time in all these nine years. I shall do so as shortly as possible. I have not spoken before because I suspect I am the most ill-informed of all your Lordships on this matter, never having been to Rhodesia, as so many of your Lordships have. But I, too, along with a great many of your Lordships, opposed the imposition of sanctions in 1965. I remember the slender majority by which sanctions were rejected on that occasion. I remember also how they were later allowed to pass. I think the misgivings expressed by so many of your Lordships on that occasion in 1965 have been amply justified.

Surely sanctions have manifestly failed. I further submit that to end sanctions now would not be the right course. They have been in force for nine years, and the psychological victory that would be thought to have been won by Mr. Smith would be a retrograde step, and would surely entrench him, and in particular his very Right-Wing friends, even more firmly than is the case at present. Therefore, the real issue is not for the unilateral ending of sanctions by itself, but for a general settlement. The ending of sanctions can surely only come as part of such a settlement.

The noble Lord. Lord Shackleton, invited noble Lords on this side of the House, particularly those sitting below the gangway, to use their influence with the whites in Rhodesia to bring about a settlement. I wonder whether I might ask the noble Lord—perhaps this is a little unfair since he will not be speaking again to-night—whether it would not be better for noble Lords on that side of the House themselves to try to achieve a settlement? I see the relationship between Westminster and Salisbury as one similar to that between parent and child. I wonder whether it is not in this case the prerogative of the parent to seek the settlement.

The right honourable gentleman the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary is going to Africa shortly, we understand. Should he not include Salisbury in his itinerary rather than ostentatiously ignoring it as he is doing at the moment? Should he not go to try to achieve a settlement acceptable to all Rhodesians except, possibly, those with extreme views at both ends of the spectrum? We have tried before for a settlement. Let us remember that if at first we do not succeed, let us try, try and try again.

6.35 p.m.


My Lords, we have had a very moderately-toned debate this afternoon, but I think rather a pessimistic one. With very few exceptions, there seems to be a consensus that sanctions have failed, but some think that it would be worse to remove them than to leave them on. I do not think we can say that sanctions have failed. The time-scale on which many of us have been thinking is possibly too short. Nine years or ten years is indeed a very long time. Quite a long time ago I formulated what I have come to call "The Beaumont Second Law of Reform"—that it takes you as long to get out of a mess as it took you to get into it. Probably the base date for the Rhodesian mess is somewhere back in the 'twenties, so we must have a little patience yet in order to see whether the policies of successive Governments will have an effect or not.

I agreed with the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, when he said that sanctions had an effect on Portugal and on the whole position of the Portuguese in Africa, and that that in its turn will have an effect on Rhodesia. The fact that so many of the white officers in the Portuguese colonies saw (through the continuing imposition of sanctions) how isolated white South Africa was, was one of the reasons—only one of many, I have no doubt—which led to the breakup of the Portuguese régime. I would disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, in thinking that the effect on Portugal is a bad thing. I have long thought that one of the great weaknesses of NATO was that it had undemocratic countries as component parts. As we all know, NATO is an organisation which is not purely military, but is for the propagation of democracy. Although I would regret it if Portugal went Communist, I am not entirely certain that a Communist Portugal outside NATO is very much worse than a Fascist Portugal inside NATO. The collapse of American policy in the Eastern Mediterranean shows what a mistake it is to rely on Right-Wing oppressive Governments in trying to support democratic ends.

In the long term, the most important thing we can do is to ensure that there is a friendly Africa to the South of us. This must be part of what influences us in considering our Simonstown Agreement, something which influences us in dealing with sanctions in Rhodesia. A friendly Africa will be one sphere where we are seen to do justice, where we have our responsibilities, but where we are seen not to play big Power politics. It is a mistake to think that Russia and China are necessarily obtaining large handholds on Africa. Much of what they do is bitterly resented by a great many of the black countries in Africa.

If I may return to the matter of sanctions, the noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, whose very thoughtful and well-argued speech I much appreciated, made a claim which surely he was not competent to judge—and nor would any of us be competent to judge. He said that the spiritual desire for freedom in Rhodesia at the moment (and I hope I am quoting the noble Lord correctly; he will correct me if I am wrong) the spiritual desire to be free was not strong enough to make up for the bad government that would ensue if there were a black Government in Rhodesia in the near future. I do not think that that is anything that the noble Lord can judge, nor that I can judge, nor that anyone here can judge. The question to ask ourselves is this: is the feeling of Africans so strong that there appears to be this spiritual desire to be free? Surely, the only evidence we have of that is the evidence of the Pearce Commission. The noble Lord, Lord Barnby, said that that was not a sufficiently wide spectrum of opinion to be reliable; a 6 per cent. sample, he said, is not adequate. If a 6 per cent. sample is not adequate, let us have a 100 per cent. sample; let us have one man one vote. And if, as the noble Lord, Lord Barnby, then went on to say, you cannot, for various reasons, have this and it is not very useful, what is the point of complaining that a 6 per cent. sample is too small? A 0 per cent. sample, which is what it boils down to when you rely on what the whites in Rhodesia say the blacks want, is certainly no better than 6 per cent. I would myself opt for 100 per cent.

The noble Lord, Lord Fraser, also suggested that the Rhodesian Government is a good one. I find that very difficult to stomach—a régime which has gone in for the mass transplantation of whole populations of natives from their homelands. How can that be a good Government by any standard? The noble Lord, Lord Barnby, went on to say that the result of freedom for Rhodesia would very likely be black tyranny of one kind or another. He condemned President Amin and I agree, speaking for myself, and not committing my Party of whose policy on this point, I regret to say, I am unaware. I would expel Uganda from the Common- wealth But African nationalism and African racialism is fed by white nationalism and white racialism, and it is the abolition of that which would help to get rid of some of the nationalism and racialism which we dislike so much in some of the black countries in Africa.

I agree that there is a strong possibility that if there is majority rule in Rhodesia the whites in Rhodesia may be in for a bad time; it is quite a possibility. Oppression breeds oppression; every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But the longer it goes on the worse will be the reaction. What we must pray for, what I think we would all agree we must work for, is a settlement as soon as possible, and a settlement that will bring justice to everyone in Rhodesia. I believe it can be shown that in the present situation in Africa sanctions are working: that they are keeping the pressure on. I therefore believe that Her Majesty's Government are not just making a negative gesture by not taking them off; I believe that Her Majesty's Government are right and positive to keep them on.

6.44 p.m.


My Lords, we have indeed had a most responsible and helpful debate. I am certainly aware of the very deep feelings felt by noble Lords in all parts of the House, and it is a mark of the maturity of this country, and I think of the help and leadership it may be able to give in the future in this and other similar contexts, that despite our divergence of view and even of feeling we always contrive to find a basic point of unity of purpose at least. I thought I saw this in the speech of the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition who has very kindly informed me that he has another engagement which may prevent him from being with us at the end of this debate. The noble Lord. Lord Carrington. said that he wished that Her Majesty's Government would play a more constructive role in bringing about a settlement. I and all my colleagues devoutly wish it, too. There have been repeated attempts by successive Governments to try to get the illegal regime and the people who support them to see sense and to face reality. All these attempts have failed.

I am not going to say to all those noble Lords who have referred to the possibility of a Briiish initiative leading to a constitutional conference that we in any way rule that out, but I must repeat what I said when I opened this debate. First, we must be clear that such a conference would yield results. Secondly, the composition of such a conference—and here I join with the noble Lord, Lord Alport, although not in every one of the details of the composition he mentioned—would have to have room in it for representatives of all the peoples of Rhodesia. The noble Lord, Lord Alport, went outside Rhodesia for possible representatives. I do not know that I could follow him that far. But certainly I agree with him that such a conference would have to be comprehensive in membership and meaningful in purpose. It must not be a charade, a performance through which people go without a basic intention of giving and taking and arriving at a final agreement.

That brings me to a point which a number of noble Lords have quite rightly raised. What is the nature of the agreement which would commend itself to this country, which, after all, has a responsibility for the past and future of Rhodesia. What is the nature of the agreement we would welcome? It is an agreement that would commend itself to the peoples of Rhodesia. It is up to them to get together to discuss their differences, and by negotiation to frame a new system of life and government which will prove broadly acceptable to all sections of their people. And that, of course, in practice means that it has to be acceptable to the African population of Rhodesia, who. after all, as my noble friend Lord Shackleton reminded us, are 96 per cent. of the population. There is nothing to divide this Government from their predecessors in this respect.


My Lords, is it going to be understood that chiefs are to be included as representing three-fifths of the populations in the tribal trust areas?


My Lords, I think it is for the Rhodesian people themselves to decide how they are represented, sectionally, tribally, Party-wise, in the kind of conference that I think we are all agreed would be meaningful.

I pass on now to the very substantial contribution made by the noble Lord, Lord Foot, who pertinently asked what would happen if we abandoned sanctions. This, after all, is the crux of our discussion. I have moved the Order. What would happen if, in a spirit of irresponsibility, we did not pass this Order. I am confident that, of course, whatever its views about sanctions, the House will agree that there is really no alternative to our passing this Order this afternoon. The noble Lord, Lord Foot, asked what would happen. I entirely agree with him that in Africa itself, in the international community in the UN and, if I may add, in the Commonwealth, the British position would be gravely prejudiced, if not rendered impossible. That would be no help to us, to the Rhodesians, or indeed to the cause of international co-operation and peace.

It is an interest of the world that this country should maintain the position. It is difficult to do so when it is increasingly seen to be a small country, without its former resources, honourably lost in defence of freedom in two world wars. But it is an interest of the world that we should be seen, as the noble Lord pointed out, to be upholding this decision, whatever reservations individual noble Lords may have had at the beginning or since, about the justification for the act of sanctions. The effects would really be calamitous in Africa, and indeed in wider fields, if we did not.

The noble Lord, Lord Barnby, pressed the point that my right honourable friend the Secretary of State should visit South Africa, and he was joined by a number of other noble Lords in hoping for this. The position is that my right honourable friend believes that he cannot do so on this occasion, when he visits Africa early in the new year, since he judges that such a visit, at this juncture at least, would create misunderstanding in other parts of Africa, and might inhibit the frank discussion that he wishes to have with African leaders. I think that it is a justifiable judgment to make. We shall of course be very anxious to consider the views of the leaders of all parts of Southern Africa. We are in touch with them all, not excepting Uganda. Even if we did not ask President Amin, he would take care to let us know what his views were. So I do not think the noble Lord should be unduly apprehensive about the fact that, this time at least, my right honourable friend will not include South Africa in his peregrinations.

The second point about the settlement is that of course we shall not, as I have said, accept or support a settlement which does not commend itself to the African majority. On the question which the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, underlined, and which had been raised by one or two other noble Lords, of how best to ascertain the views of the African majority, I can only commend to your Lordships a point made by a Member of another place on Friday—as it happens, an impeccably Conservative Member, who made this very logical point—that if a 6 per cent. sample interviewed by the Pearce Commission is too small, then logically the best thing to do is to have universal suffrage at once and then, as the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont, said, have a 100 per cent. expression of opinion. I liked the point, too, that at the moment, when the white Rhodesians tell us and the world what the black Rhodesians really want, it is a zero expression of black opinion in that country.

A number of noble Lords raised the question of immediate majority rule. My noble friend Lord Shackleton dealt very effectively with this point. It is the position that it is for the people of Rhodesia, by agreement, to decide their constitution, and the pace at which democratic majority government is introduced. This is not to say that distinguished Members of this House—and I refer particularly to the noble Lord, Lord Alport, who has a distinguished record of service in this area, like my noble friend Lord Shackleton—are not right in conveying a warning that time is short, that agreement must be reached possibly within the next year or so. There are certain indications that perhaps the time-scale of 12 months, as the noble Lord suggested, may be short. The point I am making is that agreement is urgent, but that agreement might well, indeed might wisely, provide for the movement towards democratic majority rule over a fairly extended period. What that period might be should be agreed by the Rhodesians, and become part of the acceptability of the final outcome.

The noble Viscount, Lord Massereene and Ferrard, like the noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, referred to the—as they saw it—success of the Rhodesian economy, and painted a glowing picture of the progress of that economy. Of course one could engage in a marathon debate, complete with statistics, on this question. I think that the short answer is also a fair one, that no doubt you can have a healthy balance of payments, no doubt you can point to certain growth, if your economy rests on an economic helotry involving millions of your fellow citizens. This country is now facing certain difficulties, and some of those difficulties arise from the fact that all our workers, all our people, increasingly share in the resources of the country. If, however, we were to retrocede and adopt discriminatory and unfair social and economic policies, if that were possible, it would act like magic on the statistics, if not on the health of our country.


My Lords, might I interrupt the noble Lord for a moment? I should like to point out, referring to the Rhodesian economy, that the African Rhodesian gets far higher wages than Africans in the black republics. I do not think the noble Lord is being quite fair here. I am told that the income of the Africans in black republics is only about £30 a year, and in the one or two republics that I have been in it is a lot less. It is far more than that in Rhodesia; it is over £100 a year.


My Lords, the noble Viscount is now comparing Rhodesia with the adjacent African countries. I was comparing—as he was formerly in his speech—Rhodesia with this country.

The noble Lord, Lord Alport, suggested that a conference should take place. He wants it early—otherwise, there may well be catastrophe—and he wants it to be comprehensive. I certainly agree with the second point. It is a matter of judgment how soon a British initiative, involving a conference of the kind he has in mind, should be launched. This takes me to the contribution made by the noble Lord, Lord Gridley, who pressed for a conciliatory approach to any negotiations, bilateral, individual, or conferential. I could not agree more. He linked this with the interests of the white Rhodesians. Indeed, it is very much in their interests that there should be effective, fruitful negotiations in the next few months, but it is for them to take the initiative. If they do, they can be assured, as can the other sections of the Rhodesian population, of every possible help and encouragement by Her Majesty's Government and I am sure by Her Majesty's Opposition in this country.

The noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, whose speech I greatly regret I had to miss—because he knows, as a former Minister, that occasionally one is conscripted by spirits from the outer space when one is winding up; I hope the Civil Service will feel that they have been promoted rather than insulted by that description—made a point of semantics when it was reported to me, as I said I wanted him reported, that he made a distinction between support of Africans and acceptance of an agreement by Africans. The practical point, surely, is that at the end of the day no agreement is going to stick unless it commands the acceptance of the African majority who, after all, form 96 per cent. of the population. So I hope we shall not be spending too much time and energy in the next few weeks and months on words like "support", "accept", "endorse" and so on, but fix our minds firmly on the end product of a significant negotiation.

The noble Lord, Lord Balfour, also said that he hoped that Her Majesty's Government did not mean that our unreadiness at the moment to take an initiative with Salisbury was a concession to extreme views. I hope he has been reported correctly to me. I can assure him that this is not so. We join with the noble Lord, Lord Alport, in expressing our readiness at the right time to co-operate, to take an initiative which fulfils the reasonable conditions that I set out when I opened this debate—the comprehensive nature of a conference and also the likelihood of its being a conference in earnest about an appropriate result.

The noble Lord, Lord Trefgarne, also thought that the Secretary of State should go to Salisbury and seek a settlement there. My right honourable friend will do everything he can to bring about a settlement. He cannot, however, make the Rhodesians agree, and I think the experience of our predecessors, like ourselves—certainly after the Pearce Report and after the work of the Commission had taken place—is that it is no longer possible to look for a solution simply by representatives of this country going to the representatives of the illegal régime. The time for that is past. However, a much more radical and effective method would be that of beginning with a consensus within Rhodesia and then of taking every opportunity of promoting that, and of taking any initiative which would help it come to fruition. I think that the alternative policy commended itself to our predecessors and it certainly does to us.

I have left to the last the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, because I wanted to pay my respects to him as a distinguished Parliamentarian to whom I often listened with great advantage in the other place. Like my noble friend Lord Shackleton, I was sorry that the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, struck such a despondent note. I do not share his despondency. He said that Rhodesia is now outside the control of Her Majesty's Government. In a sense it is. The crux of the Rhodesian problem is, and always has been, disparity between Britain's legal and constitutional responsibility on the one hand, and our limited power to influence events on the ground on the other. We have always made clear how limited that power is. The question is whether it would contribute towards a settlement and be compatible with Britain's wider interests in black Africa, in the United Nations and the Commonwealth, if we were to give up the responsibilities, however small our power may be. Successive Governments have thought not. There is a sense in which physical power is not always the deciding factor in situations like this.

I believe that we can influence events and decisions to the good in Rhodesia, and indeed in many other parts of the world. The noble Lord also said that it is sanctions which have driven Mr. Smith into extreme courses of action. All the evidence is to the contrary. Mr. Smith took his most extreme step, that is UDI, in 1965; sanctions were imposed as a result. Mr. Smith has made more attempts to engage representative Africans in political dialogue in the past 18 months than ever before; we would say because of sanctions. Perhaps the noble Lord would say despite sanctions, but the historical causation is there. We notice in the last week or so that Mr. Smith has begun to talk quite a new language about the possibility of concessions on discrimination—the discrimination that he denied ever existed becomes a theme for possible concessions. Is this because of sanctions? I think it is logical to say so.

In any case the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, himself turned his own argument somewhat on its head by ascribing to sanctions the events which have transformed the situation in Mozambique and Angola and which now in turn are affecting the position of the illegal régime in Rhodesia.


My Lords, iust for the purposes of Hansard. it was not I.


My Lords, I am sure if it was not the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, it was the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine. I understand exactly what he was arguing. However, I suggest to him that the form of his argument and the fact of the events that have taken place would even more certainly prove that sanctions have led to the existing situation whereby as an end result the illegal régime stands in very great uncertainty, if not jeopardy.

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Coleraine, abated not one whit of his rejection of sanctions and stood by his principles. As always we respect him for that. He was joined by other noble Lords whose feelings on this matter we all appreciate and respect. But he said—and I hope that the whole House will hearken to him—that it would not be in the broad interest of Rhodesia or of this country, or of the prospects of solution (and other noble Lords have said the same) if we declined to approve this Order this evening. I am sure that this is right.

There are views and feelings about sanctions; mine are that it is vastly preferable that in differences between or within nations sanctions, rather than force, should be applied. We have all tried force for thousands of years, but this method of persuasion is very new indeed;

it is hardly more than 20 or 30 years old. It may as yet not be wholly effective, but the time will come when it will be usual and natural for the comity of nations to apply this kind of force to recalcitrant members rather than the dreadful sanction of physical war. So in letting this Order pass this evening I am sure it will not do injury to the principles of any noble Lord. I personally and those who agree with me are quite convinced that at this juncture at least we can do no other.

On Question, Motion agreed to.