HL Deb 13 November 1979 vol 402 cc1096-233

2.52 p.m.

Then, Standing Order No. 43 having been dispensed with (pursuant to Resolution):


My Lords, I have it in command from the Queen to acquaint the House that Her Majesty, having been informed of the purport of the Southern Rhodesia Bill, has consented to place her prerogative and interest so far as they are affected by the Bill at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill.

My Lords, I beg leave to move that the Southern Rhodesia Bill be now read a second time. The Bill which is now before your Lordships will enable the Government to take steps which lead towards the goal of legal independence for Rhodesia with a constitution which guarantees genuine majority rule. That is a goal which all Governments, of whatever complexion, have striven to achieve for almost 14 years to the day. The history of the Rhodesia question is well known to your Lordships, and many Members of this House have played an active part in making it. I have tried, through my Statements on 7th November and on 24th October, and earlier, to keep your Lordships closely informed of the progress of the constitutional conference at Lancaster House. A summary of the independence constitution, which has been agreed by all the parties at the constitutional conference subject to satisfactory interim arrangements, has been laid before Parliament in a Command Paper. The proposals tabled by the Government at the conference for the pre-independence period have been placed in the Library of the House.

Rhodesia has no parallel among the problems which have arisen as part of the legacy of Empire. Even the legal procedures necessary to bring Rhodesia to independence are different. The Bill before your Lordships will not bring Rhodesia to independence. That will require a separate Act of Parliament, and a Bill will be introduced for this in due course. The purpose of this Bill is to grant the Government powers which they do not at present have under any other legislation in force to make an independence constitution for Rhodesia and to bring sections of it into force before independence to allow new elections to be held. It also provides the Government with powers to appoint a governor to exercise authority over Rhodesia in the period before independence.

Before describing to your Lordships the detailed provisions of the Bill, it may be helpful to explain the reasons why the Government chose to put the Bill before Parliament now and to ask both Houses to deal with it with unusual haste. I very much regret the inconvenience which this procedure has entailed for the House, but there are good reasons for dealing with the Bill in this way. In the first place, the Government have realised for some time that further powers would be required to implement a settlement. But we could properly, I think, have been criticised had we presented this Bill to Parliament before the parties themselves had been given time to consider and discuss our proposals, not only for the constitution but also for the interim period.

I do not believe that can be said now. There is conditional agreement on the constitution; and there is agreement on certain important principles concerning the interim period. The points which require decision are clear. The need to move on to discussion of the cease-fire and the monitoring of it is pressing. In these circumstances, the Government must be in a position to implement an agreement without delay, and must have the powers necessary to do so. The Bill should give both sides at the conference confidence in the Government's determination to implement an agreement as soon as possible—an agreement which will undoubtedly be of benefit to all the people of Rhodesia. If agreement is reached, momentum must be sustained, so that the progress towards independence is uninterrupted. I have thought it right to explain the reasons why the Government have asked both Houses of Parliament to agree to unusual procedures for this Bill. I turn now to its principal provisions.

Clause 1 of the Bill will enable the Government to provide an independence constitution for Zimbabwe. This constitution, because it will be a constitution which has been agreed upon as a consequence of negotiations, will be made by Order in Council, which will not itself be subject to parliamentary resolutions. It will be laid before Parliament before the independence Bill is introduced. I should add that the text in the White Paper before your Lordships is the summary agreed at the conference. It is the Government's responsibility to draft the full text, and this will be completed shortly.

Clause 2 of the Bill makes it possible to bring certain provisions of the new constitution into operation before independence. This will, among other things, enable elections to be held for the House of Assembly which will be established under the constitution. This provision, again, is peculiar to Rhodesia. In other cases where a territory is being brought to independence there has already been in existence a constitution under which the independence Parliament can be elected. In the case of Rhodesia, this is not so.

Before independence other provisions of the constitution will need to be brought into operation to permit Parliament to be constituted under the provisions of the new constitution and a Government to be formed after the elections. These parts of the constitution will be brought into force by Orders in Council, which will be laid before Parliament and expire at the end of 28 days unless previously approved by a resolution of each House. This clause also provides for temporary modifications to be made to such parts of the constitution as are brought into effect before independence. I should make it clear to your Lordships that this power will be used only in relation to the proposals for the pre-independence period which the Government have put forward.

Clause 3 provides for the making of Orders in Council for the Government of Rhodesia during the period up to independence. This clause will enable provision to be made for a governor and to authorise him to take the necessary action to organise free and fair elections. It is not the Government's intention that the governor should make changes in Rhodesian legislation other than for the temporary purposes of his administration. It will be for the newly-elected Government, which will decide which measures it wishes to perpetuate and which to repeal or amend.

This clause will also give the Government the power to deal with the consequences of our decision not to renew Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965. As I explained on 7th November, the lapse of Section 2 does not yet mean the end of sanctions. Clause 3 of the present Bill will give the Government sufficient powers to reimpose those sanctions at present in effect under Section 2 of the 1965 Act should there be unforeseen developments, unlikely as I think them to be, and the bulk of sanctions—those affecting direct trade between the United Kingdom and Rhodesia and exchange controls—will remain in force under other legislation for the time being.

Positive action will therefore be needed before these sanctions can be lifted. That action will be taken when Rhodesia returns to legality with the arrival of a British governor and acceptance of his authority. I envisage that the period of time before we are in a position to lift sanctions will be very short. It would not have made sense to renew those sanctions which stem from Section 2 of the 1965 Act for such a period. Nor would it have made sense in the context of the progress made at the constitutional conference.

The Salisbury delegation have accepted the British Government's constitutional proposals. They have accepted genuine majority rule and the abolition of the white blocking mechanism. They have accepted the conditions for a return to legality, including the appointment of a British governor and the holding of fresh elections. To have taken positive steps to renew Section 2 sanctions would, it seems to me, have been not only a churlish and petty act on our part, but an extraordinary way to acknowledge this progress and these concessions. We wish to encourage the delegations to make progress, not to impose fresh penalties on those who have done so. We wish to encourage them to look forward to the lifting of all sanctions. This we have done.

Other orders made under Section 2 of the 1965 Act covering constitutional, matrimonial and nationality matters and immunity for persons attending meetings and consultations will be continued by the Bill. The matrimonial and nationality orders minimise the hardships undergone by individuals as a result of UDI. They have already been approved by resolution of each House. The immunity order was introduced to enable consultations, and the present constitutional conference, to take place. It would not have been possible for the leaders of both sides to assemble in London and discuss a settlement if they had been exposed to the hazards of private prosecutions. Parliament has not yet had the opportunity to consider the immunity order. Your Lordships will have that opportunity in the course of this debate. These orders, which have been saved from the 1965 Act, will not be subject to further parliamentary control. But any order made in future under Clause 3 will lapse unless approved within 28 days.

It will be apparent that the Bill grants the Government broad powers. These will be necessary if we arc to exercise effectively the very considerable responsi- bilities which are ours and which are recognised to be ours by the international community. If your Lordships are to form a judgment on whether these powers are needed and will be wisely used, it is important that they and those outside this House should understand the Government's approach to the negotiations with the parties and the position which has now been reached in those negotiations.

The Government's policy has been, and remains, to reach a settlement of the Rhodesia problem in which all the parties can participate. The conference has already yielded important progress which your Lordships have from time to time recognised. The greater part of the objectives set out in the communiqué of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Lusaka have already been achieved. The white community have agreed to relinquish their blocking power in Parliament. The armed forces and the public service will be brought fully under the control of the elected Government. Agreement has been reached, subject to satisfactory arrangements for implementing it, on an independence constitution which in these and other respects guarantees majority rule. That removes the principal causes of the war.

Bishop Muzorewa's delegation have accepted the full proposals for the interim period which the Government tabled on 2nd November. The Patriotic Front have accepted the principles of elections and a British governor but have not yet accepted other aspects of our proposals. I recognise that these are difficult decisions for the Patriotic Front to take. They require compromise and flexibility. But it has been no less difficult for Bishop Muzorewa and his delegation to agree to put the position which they established in April to the test of a further election only a few months later. It was a courageous and positive decision by the bishop to do so. I very much hope to have an equally positive response from the Patriotic Front very soon.

The British Government too have had to take some difficult decisions, not least in undertaking to appoint a British governor with legislative and executive authority. Britain has never before been directly responsible in this way for the administration of Rhodesia. But the Government took this step because they had become convinced that only in this way could all the parties feel confidence in the impartiality of the administration in the interim. This is clear evidence of our determination to find a fair and honourable settlement. I do not believe that any other viable basis for agreement exists. It is too easily forgotten, if I may say so, that these are negotiations between three parties.

The proposals which the Government have laid down before the conference represent what we believe to be fair to all the participants, to be just, and, above all, to be workable. Because one side has accepted them does not mean that the bargaining should now start once more to shift the balance to a point halfway between the proposals now on the table and the position taken by the Patriotic Front. That would represent, if I may say so, a fundamental miscalculation of the nature of these negotiations.

My Lords, as I have said, the fundamental cause of the war in Rhodesia—failure to agree on a constitution providing for genuine majority rule—has been removed. The question at issue now is: who is to exercise power after independence? The position of Her Majesty's Government is clear. We intend to transfer power to a Government which has been chosen by the people of Rhodesia in fair elections supervised, as was agreed at Lusaka, under our authority. We have undertaken to appoint a governor with full executive and legislative powers to enable elections to be held in which all the parties can participate on an equal footing. We believe that a short and simple process is required. There is an urgent need for an end to political uncertainty in Rhodesia. We believe that a period of two months will be fully adequate for a fair election campaign. This period will commence from the date on which a cease-fire comes into effect.

As I told the House and the noble and learned Lord opposite on 7th November, the governor will go out to Rhodesia as soon as a cease-fire is arranged. Naturally, if an agreement is not reached, the Government will have to reconsider the position in the light of what has happened in the conference and of the responsibility for the deadlock.

Our approach to the question of authority during the interim is, as your Lordships will see, emphatically different from that of the previous Government. The power-sharing arrangements they proposed were never accepted by either side and, in my judgment, were unnegotiable and would have led to paralysis even if they had been negotiable. It is for this reason that we have proposed that none of the political parties should play any role in the administration of the country during the period leading to elections.

This responsibility will rest with the governor, who will of course be accessible to any political leader. The elections themselves will be supervised by a distinguished and experienced British official as election commissioner, with a full supporting staff. If the Patriotic Front, like the internal parties, are prepared to put their political support to the test in elections held under our authority on the basis which I have described, we shall move on quickly to negotiation of a cease-fire.

The Government will propose that there should be a cease-fire commission on which the military commanders of both sides would be represented, under the chairmanship of the governor's military adviser. The forces on both sides would be equally responsible to the governor for the observance of the cease-fire and would come under his authority. In addition, in conjunction with some other Commonwealth Governments, we are prepared to establish a monitoring force to help reassure all parties that the observance of the cease-fire will be impartially assessed and controlled. That force could also serve to have a stabilising effect when the result of the election is declared and before the new Government is established and independence granted. It will not, however, be an intervention force which could find itself in conflict with the parties. I would pay tribute to the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, all of whom have announced that they are prepared to contribute to such a force.

I regard this as a most important demonstration of the determination of the Government and of the other Governments concerned to contribute towards the transition to independence and a peaceful settlement.

Whatever the proposals which the Government make, there will be no certain end to the war unless both sides are prepared to seek a political solution and put their political support to the test in elections. A heavy responsibility will lie on any party which refuses to submit its claims to this test and persists in seeking power by other means.

At every stage of the constitutional conference we have explained our proposals in detail to the African Governments most closely in touch with the parties. We took the opportunity of President Kaunda's visit to London last week to clarify important aspects of our proposals for the pre-independence arrangements; as we pointed out to President Kaunda our proposals contain provisions—for example, those I have mentioned relating to the election Council, the cease-fire commission, and monitoring—which we hope the Patriotic Front and the front-line States will acknowledge as constructive measures to meet points of concern to them. I regret that nevertheless we have yet to receive a positive answer from the Patriotic Front to these proposals.

Our ability to bring Rhodesia to legal independence on the basis of elections in which all parties take part now depends on the Patriotic Front's reply to the proposals which I have put before the conference. With agreement already reached on genuine majority rule and an end to the rebellion against Britain's authority, there can be no turning back.

There will be no resolution of the problem if we accept that any party which refuses to put its electoral support to the test in elections held under our authority can decide unilaterally that Rhodesia should remain in a state of illegality; that the people of Rhodesia should continue to be subject to sanctions; and that they should not be given an opportunity to proceed to independence. We want, and shall continue to strive for, a settlement involving all the parties. This would be the surest guarantee of an immediate end to the war. But, if that is not attainable, we cannot allow the best to become the enemy of the good.

The constitutional conference has therefore reached a critical point. I would be misleading your Lordships if I suggested that any useful purpose would be served by delaying the moment of decision. The Government, I think, have shown much patience and flexibility in the interests of securing a comprehensive settlement and we have by no means given up hope of achieving it. But we have not got as far as we have by postponing awkward decisions. The pre-independence arrangements have now been discussed exhaustively and over a number of weeks in the conference. The preferred solutions of all the parties have been explained over and over and over again and are well known. In the end, my Lords, the British Government have to make a decision on what they believe to be a just and effective course. The time has now come when we must know whether this course is generally accepted.

Some may suggest that if we wait more days, more weeks, a settlement will emerge of its own accord. But, my Lords, I must tell you that after my experience of these last months it is my considered judgment that no question will be answered unless the British Government—after the fullest and most patient discussion—require an answer.

We have made a good offer to the parties. It is an offer which we are willing to back with the British Government's authority—the offer of peace, and of a fairly contested election: an offer we can fulfil. It is the best offer we can negotiate. Prevarication and postponement will not improve it. Indeed, the achievements of the conference so far will be jeopardised if its present momentum is lost.

And these achievements are not inconsiderable. It has been widely recognised throughout the world, by Governments of different persuasions and sympathises, that we have moved a very long way towards a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Rhodesian problem. If we cannot complete the last part of the journey towards what I am sure all in this House would regard as the best possible solution for Rhodesia, it will not be or have been through lack of effort or determination on the part of the British Government.

We have got this far because the Government have been prepared to exercise their responsibilities as the constitutional authority for Rhodesia. We are determined to carry out our responsibilities to the people of Rhodesia in full, and to bring them to legal independence at the earliest possible date and in the best possible conditions. This Bill will help us to do so by providing the necessary powers, and I beg to move its Second Reading.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Carrington.)

3.20 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONES rose to move, as an amendment to the Motion for the Second Reading, at end to insert ("but this House regrets the failure of Her Majesty's Government to retain Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 during the transitional period"). The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, in moving this Amendment, I do so with full awareness of the importance that nothing should be said in the course of this debate, by me or by anyone else, that could prejudice the possibility of reaching an agreement with all the parties to the Lancaster House negotiations. They are still taking place and, indeed, perhaps have reached their most critical stage. Despite the warning note struck by the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, which I trust did not indicate a state of despair and already the contemplation of a second-best solution—a bilateral deal with the Muzorewa régime—I hope greatly that the negotiations will continue and that the hope of that settlement will be reached.

We do not forget that the negotiations are, of course, taking place in the most remarkable and unhappy conditions—a bitter civil war still going on between the parties who are now in converse at Lancaster House; a war being conducted with armed forces trained and drilled, and with backers providing arms and help from outside the country. There is a vital national and international interest in ensuring that the Lancaster House negotiations should succeed. Failure would have grim consequences, above all for the unfortunate people of Rhodesia, whatever the colour of their skin. It would also have wider consequences, I fear, in worsening race relations everywhere—in Southern Africa; even perhaps here in Britain.

I heard the President of Kenya saying a few weeks ago that Africa was a bleeding continent. It is a sad statement of fact. That bloodshed will increase if we fail to reach an agreement which involves all the parties to the conference for, as the Lord Privy Seal said in another place, only a solution that involves all the parties will offer a sure prospect of an end to the war.

That was his statement. We on this side of the House have sought to be as encouraging and as helpful as possible during the course of the negotiations and we of course recognise that much has been accomplished; above all the agreement to the draft constitution and the other matters which were referred to by the noble Lord. But as the Lord Privy Seal, again, said in another place, agreement as to the constitution by the Patriotic Front is contingent on agreement on the rest of the package. He put it in this way: I…confirm…that the Patriotic Front's agreement to the constitution is contingent on agreement to the rest of the package, just as the agreement, which I hope will soon be forthcoming, to the interim arrangements will be contingent on agreement to a ceasefire".—[Official Report, Commons, 7/11/79; col. 419.] I take it that that still represents the view of the Government; that the final and essential pre-condition is a cease-fire.

I was gratified to note that the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, said today what, in effect, he said on 7th November. But the matter has been put in some doubt in another place, whether because of the excitement and pressure of the other place I do not know, so I think it essential that we should have the matter clearly on the record. In column 833 of the Official Report, on 7th November, the noble Lord said here: Sanctions will be taken off when the governor takes over in Salisbury". Some of the sanctions have apparently been taken off already, or they will be tomorrow. The noble Lord continued: and he will take over when a cease-fire has been agreed".—[Col. 834.] That has been repeated today. Then: I would not say that all the shooting will have stopped, but not until the cease-fire is agreed will he take over. Then, at that point there is, of course, legality". Then, in a further answer the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, said: …if there is to be an agreement between all the parties at the conference, between the Patriotic Front and the Salisbury delegation, it is essential that there should be a cease-fire, because if there are to be elections in which everybody takes part it is not possible to have them until there is a cease-fire. Consequently a cease-fire is necessary. In the context that we are talking about, it will obviously be necessary for a cease-fire and for the governor to go as soon as it is arranged "—[Col. 835.]

Are we to understand, therefore, from those words that there is no risk of a governor being sent out while the civil war is continuing, he being placed, by virtue of his authority as governor, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and having to take some part in the continuance of the civil war? That would be a wholly intolerable situation. It would be a situation where the armed forces of this country would not be available to come to his aid. I feel entitled to press those matters. if need be, for further clarification, if there is any doubt about words that, to us on this side of the House, seem absolutely fundamental and very clear.

The tragedy is that up to this point in time, at any rate, the pre-conditions for an agreed settlement have not been achieved, and the Bill which we are now discussing is being presented to us before the pre-conditions for giving effect to the Bill—the pre-conditions basically being an agreed settlement—have been accomplished. Parliament is, in effect, being asked to approve enabling legislation which gives the Government broad powers before agreement is reached, with wide discretion not only on sanctions but on action to be taken, with the strength of the powers that we shall be giving the Government in the event of a breakdown in negotiations. One would have expected that the ordinary course would have been to come to Parliament when agreement had been arrived at. There would then have been no difficulty. Steps could have been taken quickly—Parliament can move very fast in an emergency situation—to give the interim and other powers that are sought. Bringing forward this Bill at this point of time, when, perhaps, the most critical part of the negotiations has not been accomplished, is putting a great deal indeed upon Parliament. The situation becomes very serious because one has now detected for the first time, after the patience of the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary over nine weeks, that a mood of impatience, of haste, of hurry, seems to be descending upon the scene. I am glad to see the noble Lord and the Leader of the House shake their head, but there was a slight impression of impatience towards the end of the noble Lord's speech today.

The noble Lord referred to the visit of President Kaunda, whose interest in the achievement of a peaceful settlement is very great indeed. His country is in the front line and is suffering appalling and continuing damage. President Kaunda achieved, happily, an excellent relationship of goodwill between himself and the Prime Minister during the Lusaka conference, but the House will have noted that he expressed concern about the pressures for an immediate, quick solution before negotiations had been finalised. He made a statement in which he said that he would ask Lord Carrington to continue to exercise his patience. This problem has been with us"— he said— for the last 14 years. A little more patience might just do the trick". I would venture to remind the noble Lord of the words of Sir Winston Churchill: Jaw, jaw, jaw, is better than war, war, war".

However, it is to something else to which President Kaunda referred that the amendment which I am moving is certainly in part directed; namely, the action taken in regard to sanctions. In respect of the action which the Government have taken under Section 2 President Kaunda took the Government severely to task, and I think that the House might well like to know what discussion on that matter took place between the Government and President Kaunda when he was here. In a statement at a Press conference he called the decision on Section 2 "an unfortunate and incorrect decision" and said that it was mis-timed and would undermine the operation of the United Nations sanctions blockade in Salisbury. He added: The British Government says that 80 per cent. of the sanctions will remain, despite the ending of the Section 2 order". But then he said this: But once you say the principle is being removed, then there is nothing to stop other countries trading with Rhodesia, whatever this Government may say".

I do not think it is a sufficient answer for the Government to say that for the time being they are keeping in existence the sanctions imposed in compliance with the United Nations order. The fact is that the renewal of Section 2 sanctions orders, year by year, has been seen as a symbol of our determination to restore Rhodesia to legality. It is significant that in another place one supporter of the Government proudly described the non-renewal of Section 2 as "an act of great symbolism". As we all know, in politics symbols are often as important as realities. Another Member of the other place, also supporting the Government, described Section 2 as "the psychological core of sanctions". So this decision means that we arc touching on the sensitive nerve of action taken in the attempt to restore legality.

Another anxiety which we feel is that, so far as the success of the Lancaster House conference is concerned, the very concession on sanctions to Bishop Muzorewa's side cannot escape at any rate giving the impression that the Government have departed from their stance of impartiality and of being even-handed. In this matter of sanctions we have a special, indeed a primary, responsibility to the United Nations. The sanctions resolution of 1968 affirmed the primary responsibility of the Government of the United Kingdom to enable the people of Southern Rhodesia to achieve self-determination and independence, and in particular their responsibility for dealing with the prevailing situation. It was that resolution which set up the areas of sanctions which were to be carried out and which were made the basis of our sanctions order.

I should like to ask the Government what action they are taking, or will take, at the United Nations in respect of their unilateral decision to waive an important part of the sanctions—important not only because of their content but also, as I have said, because of the symbolism of Section 2. The United Nations still regard this country and the British Government as the administrative power in Rhodesia. This Government will be required to report to the Security Council any action which Parliament takes—and the action which the Government take, for that matter—on permitting some of the sanctions to lapse. The House will want to know what explanation the Government will give for ending some of the sanctions before the crucial settlement agreement between the parties at the conference has been achieved. I ask the Government whether they think they have any reasonable prospect at the United Nations of carrying the Security Council with them unless agreement is accomplished at Lancaster House.

Much is at stake here. Our reputation for carrying out our obligations to the United Nations and our standing in Africa among African countries are at stake because, as we see it, of unwise actions which may do much damage in the effort to achieve an agreement. One wonders again why that was done. One can only hope that it was not any limited party consideration or party difficulty which was at the root of this highly unadvised proceeding.

My noble friends and I have put down a number of amendments which we shall consider in the event of the House giving the Bill a Second Reading. The primary matter, to which I have already referred but which we shall need to consider, is the need to provide that this Bill shall operate only after agreement has been reached by all parties represented at the constitutional conference. That we see as a condition precedent to the granting of approval to the Bill itself. Then we see the necessity to make orders under the Bill dependent upon, as the Foreign Secretary has agreed should be the case, a cease-fire having been agreed. Those preliminary conditions for handing over these wide powers at this time to the Government we regard as fundamental, and it is for that reason that I beg to move the amendment standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, as an amendment to the Motion for the Second Reading, at end to insert ("but this House regrets the failure of Her Majesty's Government to retain Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 during the transitional period").—(Lord Elwyn-Jones.]

3.40 p.m.


My Lords, I should like to begin by apologising to the House for the fact that, owing to a long-standing engagement, I shall have to leave before the debate comes to an end. I hope the House will forgive me. When I undertook to speak in this debate I thought it was going to take place yesterday, as indeed was the original intention.

I have listened with close attention to the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary and have much appreciated his very thorough explanation of the purpose of this Bill, and I should like to make certain things clear at the outset. We on these Benches fully support the initiative taken by the Government in calling a conference to seek general agreement on the future of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

Secondly, we warmly congratulate the Government on the agreement which has so far been obtained, particularly with regard to the constitution. The features of the constitution at present in operation in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia which prevented world opinion from regarding it as genuine majority rule have been removed and that would not have happened if, as some noble Lords wanted, the Government had proceeded—as seemed likely at one time—to recognise the Muzorewa Government following the elections earlier this year. So far as the transitional arrangements for the pre-independence period are concerned, it has been much more difficult for those not actually involved in the negotiations to know how near agreement really is, and I think that difficulty is illustrated by two quotations from yesterday's Guardian. The leading article in the Guardian yesterday began with these words: It needs a rigorous search to find any great issue of principle on which the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian talks can now founder. The Constitution has been agreed. The outline of a transitional régime is conceded. A British and Commonwealth observer force is ready to take the field. No one disputes, at least in public, that there must be a cease-fire. All close onlookers and most participants want a settlement as soon as possible". Those were the optimistic words of the leading article, but on the front page of the same paper a report by James McManus concluded with these words: Thus, after 2½ months, the conference has returned to the prospects with which it began: A London-Salisbury deal which will infuriate the Commonwealth, alienate much of black Africa, and legalise Bishop Muzorewa's Government". It is against that background of uncertainty that we have had to consider the Bill now before us. We on these Benches have been anxious to co-operate but I am bound to state that we have four reservations about the Bill which seem to us to be very important indeed. First, we question the need for an enabling Bill before a settlement is reached. It has been explained—and explained again this afternoon by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington—that it is essential to have this Bill before an agreement is actually arrived at in order to prevent delay, in order that we shall not lose the momentum. Certainly I agree that it is important not to lose the momentum but I should have thought that legislation could be passed extremely quickly and with less argument and discussion than is now taking place if it followed on an agreement to which all parties contributed. Having the enabling Bill before there is an agreement means that we have to debate this whole question of relations with Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, covering, as it inevitably must, some very controversial matters and we must debate these at a delicate and critical time (as we have been told) in the considerations of the conference.

It has been argued by some that the reason why it has been felt necessary to have an enabling Bill before a settlement, is to avoid any difficulty within the party opposite about renewing the sanctions order this week, and no doubt there is some truth in that. Another suggestion has been that it is being done in order to put pressure on the Patriotic Front, in order to let them see that the process of legalisation will proceed whether they agree or not, and no doubt there is some truth in that. I do not believe there is any truth in the suggestion which has been made that the Government are putting on the pressure now to get agreement—or no agreement, whatever the outcome is to be—in these last few days because from the beginning they really wanted a one-sided agreement with the Muzorewa Government. I do not believe that is true. I believe that, as the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary has said this afternoon, the Government have been perfectly sincere in trying to get agreement between all three parties. But if a one-sided agreement does not come by design it may well come by default.

That bring me to the second reservation which we on these Benches have, which is the refusal to say that the Bill will not be operated unless there is a three-party agreement. At this point the Government bring in the argument about the veto. They say it was agreed at Lusaka that no party should be given a veto on the result of the conference and that if they were to say that the Bill would not be operated unless there was a three-party agreement that would be to give a veto to one or other of the parties involved. But against that argument we have to consider the dangers of a one-sided settlement. The war would clearly continue, we would be involved directly during the pre-independence period and no doubt morally—and flowing from that, physically—after independence was established, and we have to consider the effect of all this on African and world opinion.

In those circumstances it might well be right to proceed with a one-sided agreement in spite of the dangers, but such a course would be fraught with such difficulties and dangers that before embarking upon it the Government should surely come back to Parliament for approval. Of course I shall be reminded that this is not an independence Bill and that in any event the Government would have to present an independence Bill. But there is power under this legislation to proceed to the brink of independence with the installation of a governor and the holding of elections.

Our third reservation deals with the partial lifting of sanctions to which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, referred in the course of his speech. It seems to us that this will be seen by people in some quarters as recognition of the Muzorewa Government. We feel that sanctions should be maintained, as indeed the noble and learned Lord said, until the governor arrives in Salisbury. Therefore, I am very sympathetic to the terms of the amendment moved by the noble and learned Lord. I do not see these sanctions as being fresh penalties, as the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary said. They seem to me to be penalties which have been enforced over the years and which should be withdrawn, logically and morally, at the point of time when independence is established.

The fourth and last of the reservations we want to make is a reservation which relates perhaps more to the arrangements for the pre-independence period than to the Bill itself; that is, over the question of the time which is to elapse before the elections are to be held. I cannot feel that two months is enough. I under- stand why the Government want to limit the time and I appreciate the difficulties of maintaining a cease-fire, but I wonder whether, for example, it would be so much more difficult to maintain it for a period of four months than one of two months.

To sum up what I have been saying, I welcome the progress which has been made; I congratulate the Government on the agreement reached on the constitution and on other matters. We on these Benches profoundly hope that a settlement involving all three parties will be achieved. But we have these four important reservations about the presentation of the Bill at this time: reservations about the need for an enabling Bill before an agreement, about the refusal to say that the Bill will not be operated unless there is a three-party agreement, about the partial lifting of sanctions, and about the length of time which is to elapse before the election is held. We feel the House would do well to ponder these reservations which we have put forward, even while we welcome such progress as has been made and hope that the eventual outcome will be a settlement to which all the parties agree.

3.52 p.m.


My Lords, all the three speeches which we have listened to so far have, as one would have expected, been models of balance and restraint. I hope that the rest of the speeches, including that of my noble friend Lord Paget, will be in the same mould.


My Lords, the noble Lord will be disappointed.


But, my Lords, whether or not the speeches which follow will be of that sort, there is no point in closing our eyes to the fact that throughout the country as a whole feelings are running very high about Rhodesia and there is inevitably a natural inclination to look for the angels and the devils, the good and the bad, and to pinpoint on one person all that is good or all that is bad. That is a fatal error to fall into. I am not suggesting for a moment that the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, is doing so or has done so, but one must not forget the influence of general public opinion on those who are carrying out delicate political negotiations of this sort.

Just looking briefly at the protagonists in this conference, we have first, I suppose, although he is not here for the moment, Mr. Smith. I make no secret of the fact that I deplore and have always deplored his actions. After all, it is he who is responsible for the situation in which we are today and that must lie very heavily on his conscience. But for all that, I believe that Mr. Smith is, according to his lights, an honourable man, and acted, according to his lights, from the best motives for his country, however mistaken he may have been. The bishop, Bishop Muzorewa, and Mr. Sithole, about whom we now hear so little, they, too, are honourable men who are doing what they believe to be in the best interests of their country. It must have been very hard indeed for them to make that effort of joining in a coalition government with those who had been oppressing them individually and their people as a whole. They did it and their motives, I know, were good ones. And the same applies to Mr. Nkomo and to Mr. Mugabe. Unfortunately, too many people, the Press helping them, have castigated these two men as villains, as murderers, as assassins, and specifically now Robert Mugabe is cast in that role.

We must not forget that in Rhodesia it is a civil war. All wars are bloody; civil wars are more bloody than any others. And, of course, there are horrors and beastliness on the side of the Patriotic Front, and there are similar horrors and similar beastliness—and no one can say whether greater or lesser—on the other side too. Some of your Lordships may have read in the Observer that terrifying, heartrending diary of a young Englishman, formerly in the Royal Marines, his experience in fighting against the Patriotic Front and his slipping from decency into this horrendous beastliness. I recommend any of your Lordships who have not read it to do so because it will show you, I hope, and will help you to understand, the feelings which are engendered on both sides in a war of this kind.

Let us not forget the attitudes that many people took at the time of the Mau-Mau disturbances, the horrible things that happened in Kenya, the horrible actions that took place, and the remarks that were made then about the leaders of Mau-Mau. May I remind your Lordships that in 1960 Sir Patrick Rennison, governor of Kenya at the time, three years before independence, spoke of Kenyatta and called him "the leader under darkness and death". And yet there is no need to remind your Lordships of the eulogies rightly coming from the lips of our leaders and in the Press of this country when that "leader in darkness and death" eventually himself died, the saviour of his country, the great statesman of Africa, well deserved. So when we talk of the present leaders in Rhodesia, in Zimbabwe, of the Partiotic Front, let us remember some of those other things too. That, I think, will help us in arriving at a just and a decent form of settlement.

As it appears, from the Press in particular, and to a certain extent from what the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has said, that the leader of (shall I call it?) the difficult faction in these talks is Robert Mugabe, may I just spend a short time trying to put across what I believe to be some of his problems, some of his reservations. It is surely hardly surprising that he does not have complete confidence in the goodwill of the British Government—not only this Government but previous Governments too; both sides must share the blame for that—and in their good intentions. After all, he himself was in prison and suffered for many years in Rhodesia and we did not go to his help or the help of his people. We said—some of us felt it was mistaken; most of us did not feel that it was mistaken—that we were powerless to intervene. We did not intervene and that is the fact of the matter.

Then the Patriotic Front started their action, very slowly in a small way, and it is only because of their successes and the build-up of their forces, however much we may regret it, that these talks are taking place now. So the feelings of those who started the struggle and now lead it must be, surely, that very grave thought must be given and very grave support eventually must be given to their ideas and to their wishes in this, as being the people primarily responsible for bringing these talks about in the first place.

Quite frankly, I believe that Robert Mugabe's mistrust of the motives of the noble Lord are completely unfounded. I do not believe that he or his colleagues favour one side or the other, although I know that there are many supporters of his party who undoubtedly would have preferred to have seen Mr. Smith remain in power and who, still more, would prefer today to see Bishop Muzorewa win an election. But, for all that, I say without any hesitation that I believe that the noble Lord has carried out his functions as chairman of the conference in an impeccable manner and with no bias whatsoever. I hope that that will not only continue, but will be seen by all those concerned to continue. However, I must say that the introduction of this Bill is making that task more difficult. I shall not repeat the argument which my noble and learned friend put so eloquently in his speech, but there is no doubt whatsoever that there are many, on both sides of the argument, who look on the Bill as being an encouragement to Bishop Muzorewa and his friends and a discouragement to the Patriotic Front and its supporters.

To my mind there seem to be four outstanding points that must be dealt with before there can be a satisfactory outcome to this conference. Some of them have already been met, or at least met in part, but I would hope that they could be met in a somewhat more positive and categorical manner so that there can be no gainsaying what has actually been agreed. There must be complete incorporation on an equal basis of the troops who are operating under the command of Salisbury and the troops who are operating under the command of the Patriotic Front so that, whatever numbers those troops may eventually comprise, the numbers from each side are equal. Moreover, they must be under the command of somebody who not only is, but who manifestly is for all to see, a completely unbiased commander. I shall say no more about what type of person he should be or from where he should come.

Following on from that, the second point is the question of the civil service and police. We all know in this country how very important such people are in organising elections, controlling elections and ensuring that there is no intimidation —something which we in this country now take completely for granted. However, we must remember that the people who will operate at the grass roots—the police and civil servants at the lowest levels—who really will have contact with the voters, are all men who, for the past 14 years, have been loyal servants of an illegal régime. It is straining goodwill to the utmost to expect that the Patriotic Front can now accept that those same people will change their loyalties, will change their inbuilt desires and prejudices, and will become completely objective and unbiased guardians of fair play and of the peace. I do not know how that can be overcome and it is not for me to offer suggestions as regards that matter. But I do believe that it is a real problem which must be dealt with satisfactorily if one is to have wholehearted acceptance by the Patriotic Front of any form of cease-fire election. Of course, as the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has said, all parties must submit to a political test. But that test must be seen by all—parties and individuals—to be a fair one.

Thirdly—and in this connection I shall say no more than that I support the arguments of my noble and learned friend Lord Elwyn-Jones and the noble Lord, Lord Banks—sanctions in all their forms must be maintained until agreement is reached and the British governor is actually in Salisbury. However unimportant the sanctions may be in fact, symbolically, as my noble and learned friend said, they are of enormous importance. As a sign, if only of goodwill and lack of bias on the part of the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, I very much hope that he will, even at this late stage, have second thoughts on the removal of sanctions.

Fourthly, there is the question which the noble Lord, Lord Banks, so rightly mentioned—namely, the period of two months for an election. My Lords, that must be too short. It cannot be seriously considered that, in a country where law and order has broken down and which has been subjected for years to bloody slaughter and detentions of all kinds with protected villages and so on, within two months parties can organise themselves, select their candidates and conduct an election campaign. It just is not possible. The situation has been going on for 14 years. We are asking only for two months more and that surely is not too great a request to make.

Last Sunday we celebrated Remembrance Day in this country and had brought back to us the horrors of two world wars. They are a long way in the past and there are many people in this country who know of them only by hearsay. However, as regards the Rhodesian situation there is a risk that, just as the events in Sarajevo started the First World War, and the invasion of Poland started the Second World War, a failure to reach a settlement in Rhodesia could eventually be seen by historians as the spark which set off a third world war. Some may think that that is alarmist talk, but if these talks break down—and, I repeat, "if" they break down—three things inevitably will happen. First, the fighting will continue and it will escalate. Secondly, the Patriotic Front will be driven, however unwillingly, to seek allies elsewhere. We know that the Soviet Union is already offering its services—how long can they be refused?


My Lords, have they been refused? Who provided their arms?


My Lords, they have been refused.




My noble friend calls it "nonsense". He should go and look for himself and see the situation. The third thing that will happen is that the Commonwealth may well break up. The Commonwealth has shown its strength during these last months as an enormous factor in bringing together the disputants in this cause. I think it is right to say that without the Commonwealth this conference would never have taken place. If it breaks down now I hate to think what the future of the Commonwealth will be.

The noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has, if I may say so, dealt with all these difficult problems with admirable skill, tact, patience and restraint. He has got closer to a solution than has any of his predecessors from either party. A false move now, impatience, lack of understanding or talk of ultimatum could wreck all this good work. However, patience and understanding could crown the work with success. I hope that he may have those qualities.

4.10 p.m.


My Lords, I begin by asking for the indulgence of your Lordships—especially for the indulgence of my noble friend the Foreign Secretary—if I have to absent myself later in the debate. My wife has just come out of hospital and I have to rejoin her.

I do not intend to detain your Lordships for more than a few minutes, and then only on one specific point. This is not the time to delve into the past. Those of us—and there are several still here today—who nearly 30 years ago believed profoundly in the conception of a Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland as the foundation for a genuine multiracial society such as we are now trying to build in this country, must not waste our time on what might have been. We must welcome the advances which have been made at long last at Lancaster House as a new and, we hope, successful step, not only towards a lasting peace but towards our old ideal.

I am full of admiration for the achievements of my noble friend the Foreign Secretary, whose pertinacity and courage have led us so far along this precarious path. Naturally, we cannot all approve of everything that has been conceded in the process. By nature, I am a gradualist in these matters and I should have infinitely preferred to see the blocking power of the white minority in the Assembly maintained during these first difficult years. These are the years during which the whole economic future of the country of Zimbabwe will depend almost entirely on the skills, the goodwill and the confidence of the white community.

After all, the proposals of Sir Harold Wilson, and of my noble friend Sir Alec Douglas-Home, as he was then, were all based on the fine balance of a blocking European vote for a limited period. However, I well understand that so far as militant African opinion and indeed the support of the neighbouring Commonwealth States are concerned, the abandonment of this concept made the acceptance of the proposals in the constitution very much easier. Therefore, I accept the broad strategy adopted by my noble friend towards the innumerable difficulties presented by this problem. Although much will turn on good planning and good faith, in the last resort everything will depend on the goodwill of every member of the community, whether he be black or white.

I hope that we shall arrive at satisfactory arrangements for the maintenance of law and order during the interim period. We shall, I am sure, work out efficient plans for holding the elections. We may even—but with far more difficulty—evolve some sort of scheme for mixing the oil and water of the violently conflicting elements who are still at one another's throats. The formalities of the elections could, in fact, with good management, be fairly and efficiently carried out.

But lying behind all this is intimidation. In the darkness and loneliness of the villages of the Tribal Trust territories I fear that the perennial threat of intimidation—from whatever quarter it may come—will be rife. The ugly pressure of three or four strangers who arrive by stealth at dead of night, who talk quietly to a few known sympathisers, who whisper fearful threats into the ears of others and who perhaps even sometimes toss a petrol bomb into the headman's hut is what I fear most. These are the people—and I repeat, they may come from any quarter—who, on the eve of elections, could totally destroy the possibility of fair and impartial voting at the polling booths in the following days. I know from experience the terrifying effects of such tactics in Rhodesia. I have talked to some of the victims myself.

It is not only in the villages that this can happen. In the African suburbs of Salisbury and Bulawayo, such as Highfield, Harari and Pomona, the same thing can occur in less secret ways, as indeed has often happened in the past. It can occur also in the compound of a European farm. I understand that the electoral commissioner is to have a full and competent staff capable of carrying out the electoral process with exemplary efficiency. But I beg my noble friend to ensure that the most stringent measures possible are taken. It will be far from easy to anticipate and to thwart the terrifying threats of intimidation which may be exerted upon every African voter. This must be one of the primary tasks of the electoral commissioner and his men; indeed, in my judgment it must be in the forefront of the thinking of the British governor himself. It will be a most difficult task, but I pray that with foresight the difficulties may be overcome and that the elections may be carried out in such a way as to return a Parliament which will represent the real views of all the people and lead to a united advance towards majority rule and democracy, with the co-operation of all races and parties in this new nation.

4.17 p.m.


My Lords, I join most readily in the congratulations that have been offered by those who spoke earlier to the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary. As we have studied the progress at Lancaster House, I think that we have all admired the skill and patience that he has shown. We should also pay tribute to what all parties at that conference have done, including what the front-line Presidents have done, in the way of being ready to make concessions and to allow the conference to proceed. So far, so good.

However, to us on these Benches the introduction of this Bill at this time seems to be out of character with the noble Lord's previous handling of the problem. I can understand the argument that the moment one has a settlement, one wants to be able to proceed to implement it without delay. But let us look at the two possibilities. If agreement among all the three parties at Lancaster House is reached, no one—either in this House or in another place—would have a word to say or make any reservations or difficulties about a Bill of this kind. It could be passed while the delegates at Lancaster House were still packing their bags and getting in and out of aeroplanes. There would be no difficulty there at all.

On the other hand, what will be the position if agreement is not reached? What becomes of this Bill then? It is painfully clear that if agreement is not reached at Lancaster House, there will be no cease-fire. I understand—and like my noble and learned friend Lord Elwyn-Jones, I hope the Government will make this a little clearer—that the Government's position is that until a cease-fire is agreed, a governor will not be sent out. Therefore, much of the Bill will not come into operation at all. The other possibility, that we send out a governor charged with the nominal task of keeping order when there is no cease-fire, is even more alarming—no agreement, no cease-fire and presumably, therefore, no governor to be sent out, and the government parts of this Bill not to operate. Surely then it is entirely reasonable—and we shall hope to argue this further on the first of the amendments when we reach Committee stage—to be quite clear that this Bill will begin to operate when agreement is reached at Lancaster House. One might add also that if no governor is sent out and there is no cease-fire, then there is no return to legality, and therefore there ought to be no lifting of sanctions.

I am afraid that one of the reasons for the speed with which this Bill has been put through is that the Government wanted to avoid the embarrassment of having to renew sanctions. We have all had experience of embarrassment inside our own parties, and I can see that a Motion to renew sanctions would create embarrassment in the party opposite. But surely it is wildly out of proportion to give weight to that minor matter when we consider the issues involved, as, I am afraid, it is inescapable that allowing sanctions to lapse in the way they are going to be allowed to lapse is not going to help win the confidence of the Patriotic Front or make the achieving of agreement at Lancaster House any easier. So far as it has any effect, it is bound to make it more difficult.

I would say in passing about sanctions that many different opinions have been advanced as to how effective they have been, and at one time I was closely in touch with the working of them. But although, as compared with what I hoped, they limped, I never believed them to be ineffectual. One thing that convinced me of their importance was the passionate desire of Ian Smith's friends in this country to get them lifted, and the fact that Ian Smith himself, at the outset of the present chapter in the history of Rhodesia, made it clear that there were two factors, the guerrilla campaign and sanctions, which had obliged him to go for what was called the "interim agreement".

I suggest, therefore, that the Government are really getting things the wrong way round. They ought to continue their efforts to get real agreement, three-party agreement, at Lancaster House. Then they would whisk a Bill of this kind through Parliament without objection from anyone, and the sanctions could be raised without creating any difficulties either in Africa or at the United Nations. That is the way it ought to have been done. Although I have listened most carefully to what has been said from the Front Bench, I have not yet heard any convincing argument as to why it is not done that way round, except the argument that it saves the Conservative Party the embarrassment of having to renew sanctions, and I do not give that as much weight as perhaps it is given on the other side of the House.

The other point I want to make is this: I think the Foreign Secretary was right to argue that it would be weak-minded and silly to go on and on having a conference just for the sake of having a conference if it were quite clear that one of the parties was not going to agree. He said several times in a different form of words that you could not go on forever; the British Government had responsibility, and so on, to reach decisions. If the situation really were that one of the parties was being wholly intransigent I could understand that, but so far we have not been provided with any evidence that that is so. All three parties have had their moments of concession and their moments of stubbornness as the conference has gone on. That happens in all conferences. But what is it that now seems to be in the way? What is it that now worries the Patriotic Front?

I would say first of all that we must be willing to pay attention to any anxieties they have because, as they see it, Bishop Muzorewa's Government is "the man in possession". If elections are held it is they who have to start from the beginning building up an electoral organisation, and they have to do it in an atmosphere knowing that all the State apparatus, and all the instruments of power, have been in the hands of the party they will be fighting at the election. Allowing for that, we ought surely to say that these people have reason on their side when they express misgivings, and their remarks must be listened to with patience and attention.

It seems to me that there are two things they are chiefly concerned about. The first is time. I am bound to say that I have not found a single person with whom I have discussed this who thought that two months was a reasonable period for the holding of the elections and the campaign. I cannot think that the Foreign Secretary himself really thinks so. If he put it forward as a barganing counter at the beginning of the negotiations, in view of his previous skill I would not criticise him for that; but if he were to stick out to the point of wrecking the conference on whether it should to two, four, or six months, then that could not be defended for a moment.

The other matter they are concerned about is force; the actual organisation of the instruments of power, police and armed forces, while the election is going on. I need not develop that because it was done so eloquently by my noble friend Lord Walston a little while ago. I believe that the Patriotic Front have themselves made proposals—I think it is not public knowledge exactly what they are—as to how that situation could be dealt with. There could be a kind of joint force. If the Foreign Secretary finds those proposals unacceptable, it is up to him to devise some alternative which will go a long way to allay the quite genuine anxieties that the Patriotic Front arc bound to have about conducting an election in a situation where the instruments of power are in the hands of their opponents.

I believe, judging on the record, that the Foreign Secretary has the skill and the imagination to be able to do that; to allay those anxieties, and to surmount the difficulties. What we all beg him from this side of the House is to understand that we are not asking him to go on and on procrastinating forever, but to continue in the same spirit, and much at the same rate as he has already done with such considerable success. If he will continue to handle the matter that way without the unwise impetuousness that has crept in at the last minute, then I believe that this dreadful story of blood and suffering can be brought to an end, over which we can rejoice.

4.27 p.m.


My Lords, I feel happy that I find myself following the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, because I have the opportunity now, which I failed to secure last week through absence from the House, to congratulate him on his maiden speech, which I enjoyed reading. He has now reinforced that impression by the fluent way in which he has presented his thoughts to this House. He has naturally indulged in a keen analysis of the position. It is not difficult to seize points which can well emphasise the conditional status on which much of the progress has been reached.

I think I have spoken every year against the sanctions order. I suppose now it is about 12 times. I feel it only natural that I should take the opportunity of expressing the pleasure one feels that is has now been dropped. When this Bill becomes law it will prescribe that with the assumption of power by the governor the remaining coverage of sanctions will be removed. Surely that is essential for the credibility of Bishop Muzorewa, which we must all wish to support on his return to Rhodesia. The position has changed from longstanding perplexity and anxiety to acceptance of the proposed settlement as the best one that can be obtained. It has received the acceptance of Bishop Muzorewa and Ian Smith. It has certainly been devised with skill and persistance, and I am among those who, having had misgivings, am now satisfied that the moment has arrived when this Bill should have full support.

Implementation now falls squarely on the governor's plate with expectations that completion will produce an effective constitutional multiracial government which will result in an end to the fighting. As for the former misgivings and disappointments that have been generated over the years among many of us on this side of the House in the frequent talks that have taken place, we regard all those as water over the dam, and we can now apply ourselves with enthusiasm to supporting this Bill. We therefore congratulate the Foreign Secretary on his patience, sagacity and persistence; in short, he has achieved what many of us have consistently thought unlikely, and I salute him with jubilation.

But the cease-fire must be effective, and that means the withdrawal of directions from the Russians to the terrorists that they must continue fighting. Alas, the Russian direction and financing of SWAPO in South West Africa in the present setting raises doubts about Russia. Their aim in South-West Africa is surely to delay and produce continuous chaos.

I raise three points. First, completion of the elections should take place within two months. We all recollect the misfortunes in a previous case of procrastination. Secondly, surely it is possible for some form to be reached—I realise the difficulty of indicating it—whereby Her Majesty's Government would assume some part in assurances on pensions, because that is vital to the re-engagement of both civil servants and military personnel without whose services there would be great peril for any Administration in Rhodesia. However, I hope the amendment to be moved by the noble Lord, Lord Grindley, will help to deal with that. Thirdly, what are the lines along which it is hoped will come the inflow of investment without which the reconstruction of the economy will not be possible?

Regarding Zambia, I have for a long time decried the deferential manner in which successive British Governments have seen fit to seek counsel from that badly administered country which is approaching bankruptcy and which has an unstable dictatorship. By frequently presenting the begging bowl, they have, since independence, received, from the British taxpayer £167 million, but meanwhile have maintained on their territory a number of savage alien terrorists to invade what this Bill clearly sets out is British territory.

I conclude by anticipating the passage of this Bill—we must be confident that the arrangements that have been made will come to fruition—and, as I said, I congratulate the Foreign Secretary, our former Leader on this side of the House. I have sat with him in this House and admired his career for approaching 40 years. I wish to tell him that we are indeed enthusiastic about the fact that, after exercising all his patience and skill, he has produced a settlement in this situation which has for so long defeated all other attempts at a solution—an interval during which there has been a sad loss of life and destruction of the economy. A settlement will come (I am going to be optimistic and accept the assurances) with recognition, the dropping of sanctions, the end of fighting and, hopefully, a commencement of the rebuilding of the economy of Zimbabwe- Rhodesia. Zimrho—why not?—similar to Zaire for the Congo.

4.39 p.m.


My Lords, I am not sure why I am frequently listed to speak following the noble Lord, Lord Barnby. Perhaps it is because it is known that I feel a very deep affection for him, as I am sure the whole House does. However, in my case I agreed with not a single word he uttered on this subject.

We have a common responsibility for the situation we are debating today. There are those of us who, when I first visited Rhodesia 30 years ago, were unable to foster multiracial and indeed non-racial organisations like the Southern Rhodesia Labour Party of that time, and we allowed it to disappear. There were those who, I believe mistakenly, put together those disparate units as the Central African Federation and, equally, those of us who failed to oppose that disastrous experiment. There were those of us who were unable at the time of the break-up of the federation to see far enough ahead to recognise the difficulties, the problems, the dangers, and the disasters which have since followed in Rhodesia. And I would say that, above all, there have been those on both sides of the House who over the last 14 years have encouraged the misguided men and women in Rhodesia who rebelled against the Crown and British authority in 1965—and who have encouraged them to go along an utterly disastrous path. I would just remind those Members who have given comfort and support to the rebel régime of that period that around them in Kenya only this week, in Zambia, and in Tanzania there have been clear examples of how a non-racial society can work; of how a European and an Asian can be elected in free elections by Africans; of how in Kenya, in Zambia, and in Tanzania Governments have included men and women of European descent—once race was taken out of politics.

We have heard this afternoon that the conference (which we are now discussing) to try to close this disastrous chapter in the history of Southern Rhodesia has gone on for a long time. Nine weeks is not a long time in debating and discussing the intricate problems of the last 90 years. It is not a long time in terms of any international conference. It is certainly not a long time in comparison with the 10 years that have been taken out of the lives of a number of men who are now sitting round that conference table, who spent that time in detention.

Since the beginning of the conference I have been trying to imagine myself in the position of the Foreign Secretary, from Lusaka onwards, and I have been trying to imagine what would be my responsibility as Foreign Secretary of this country; and I think that I have come to two conclusions. It would be the responsibility of the Foreign Secretary, first, to devise a constitution which is comparable to those given to previous British colonies, as has been stated as one of the objectives of the Lusaka Conference; and, secondly, to devise a system of free and fair elections within that constitution to allow a fully representative Government of that country to be elected. If the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary wants experience of the comparability of such constitutions I suggest that he consults his noble friend, the noble Viscount, Lord Boyd of Merton, because Lord Boyd and I have spent many hours in Lancaster House at previous constitutional conferences. I quite realise that this is different, and that therefore the word must be comparable", not "identical".

But there is one aspect of those previous conferences which I believe should be emphasised and which appears to me to have escaped the attention of the Foreign Secretary in his conduct of this conference. It is that on every previous occasion the constitution which we have devised for a colony approaching independence has been based upon the wishes of the people of that colony—not on our wishes; not on the imposition of what we consider to be the instruments of that constitution, but on an attempt to draw out from the representatives of the colonial peoples themselves what they wish should be the form of their constitution. It has seemed to me that too often the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary has been telling the conference what it should do, telling the delegates what instruments should be involved and what form the constitution should take, instead of drawing out from the representative members of that conference what the Zimbabweans want, what is the highest common denominator of Zimbabwean opinion, irrespective of his own, or the Foreign Office's preconceptions.

During the conference all sides have made certain compromises, although I believe that those of the British Government have been minimal. But I would pay my compliments to Bishop Muzorewa for making certain concessions during the course of the conference. I do not think that he has been helped when one member of his delegation, by name of Ian Smith, described his own leader, the bishop, as being "wet putty" in the hands of the British Government. Nevertheless, the bishop has made the concession of agreeing that he and his Ministers will resign during the interim or transitional period.

I should like the noble Lord who is to wind up the debate to enlighten the House as to the exact meaning of the word "resign" in this context because I think that this will be a very important matter during the election period. When the bishop and his fellow Ministers resign will they leave their ministerial houses, will they discard their ministerial cars? I ask this because, as we know, this is obviously an important matter in a country when elections are held. If they are seen to be going about in their cars and inhabiting their ministerial houses, it will be thought by the electorate that they really remain there, that they are really the Government, and that the electorate is going to be asked merely whether or not to confirm them. And remember, my Lords, these are members of a régime which is still illegal, still in rebellion against the Crown. The Foreign Secretary said that the Ministers will not play any role during the election. I would ask the noble Lord to enlighten us upon this point because I believe that we, and indeed the conference itself, are entitled to know.

It has been very widely disseminated among the media of this country and among political observers that it is the present régime that has been making all the concessions. It is not. The major concessions—one has only to consult the documentation of the conference to see this—on the original conference positions have been made by the Patriotic Front. On the constitution—just to give three examples—the Patriotic Front wanted an executive president. The Patriotic Front was opposed to racial representation. The Patriotic Front was against the entrenchment of the Bill of Rights so far as it applied to land holding. On all these matters they have given way—and indeed on many others, too.

Now we come to the issue of the present day, and I suggest that the proposals which are now being made by the Patriotic Front, and which apparently are being resisted by the British delegation, are proposals which the British delegation could very easily accept without in any way diminishing either their authority or their responsibility to ensure that the elections are held in a fair and just way. There is, first, the period of transition. The Government say that they cannot extend this period beyond two months. But what is the situation today? The Patriotic Front is banned in Rhodesia. Is that ban going to be removed? All we had in the British delegation's document of reply to the Patriotic Front was that there would be a review by the governor of the state of emergency". Not a removal of the emergency laws under which the Patriotic Front is banned, not a removal of the laws under which Patriotic Front leaders in Rhodesia are in prison or in detention, but a review. That is the most that the British delegation is offering to the Patriotic Front.

The Patriotic Front has to find the means of restoring its many thousands of refugees from half a dozen countries around the borders of Rhodesia. Above all, it has to create a political machine. Whereas so far its function has been to create and organise an army, it now has to create, virtually from scratch, a political machine. Registration has to take place—and, please, my Lords, do not be deceived into the belief that you cannot register voters in Rhodesia. It was done in Zambia in six weeks. It can be done in Rhodesia, too. Registration is essential if there is to be the maximum protection against deception during the election itself. I remind noble Lords—and, indeed, I am sure the noble Lord who preceded me will support me in this—that the two months that the British Government are suggesting as the run-up time to the election is the rainy season in Rhodesia; and the rainy season in Rhodesia is not like a rainy day in London or in Newcastle. It is of monsoon proportions with unbridgeable rivers. Are you asking the respective parties in Rhodesia to organise an electoral campaign during those very two months when the country is most difficult to traverse?

Secondly, on security, I should again like to ask the noble Lord who is to wind up to answer this question specifically: When it is said that there is going to be a cease-fire, on what respective bases are the two armies to be founded? Are the present régime's security forces to be considered the legitimate army of Rhodesia and the Patriotic Front's armies to be considered the rebels, or is there to be absolute equality on both sides? This extends beyond the armed forces to the police, because remember that the policeman in Rhodesia is not like the London "Bobby" The police force of Rhodesia, the British South African Police, is part of the combined operations force, which is a Government dominated, led and organised force for opposing the Patriotic Front. They are given military training. What is their attitude going to be to those members of the Patriotic Front that they have on their files as wanted men? Although we may forget, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe will not forget the face of Patrice Lumumba, who, in a legal State, was murdered by the police and armed forces of his opponents in his own State.

So I suggest, my Lords, on security, that if you are still wedded to the principle of free and fair elections you must answer these questions—and I believe that the only answer to them is to return to the concept of the Anglo-American plan, in which there is an international security force. Whether the members of that force come from the United Nations or the Commonwealth I am not going to argue, but there should be an international security force which can be seen to be absolutely impartial, and an international police force. Because we must remember that the Patriotic Front also has a police force, and if you give the power to the present police force, to the police force governed by the present régime, you are discriminating in favour of one of the parties to the election.

Further, I believe that these international forces should start integrating the respective forces during the transitional period, because unless that integration is seen to be taking place during that period then people will not believe in reconciliation. If they do see integration taking place, then they will believe in reconciliation; and Lord Carver already had the outlines of a plan, so please do not say that it is impossible. More than that, have you thought beyond the election? If you freeze the two armies and the two police forces, what is going to happen after the election? Surely, beginning that integration with an international force there—an international force of security men and an international police force—is essential if you are going to prevent disaster once the election is over.

Finally, I really do not understand—and again I ask the noble Lord to pass on the request that the Foreign Secretary should consult his noble friend Lord Boyd—why it is that the British delegation has consistently resisted the proposal that the governor should be aided by an advisory council drawn from both sides. This has always been done previously. I know the circumstances are different here, and I know that in other colonies executive councils gradually increased their authority and more and more drew in the indigenous people; but the principle is still the same. The principle that, before independence, an advisory council gains experience and is seen to be holding a fair balance between the contending parties surely makes it one of the most constructive suggestions which can be made at this conference and which can be applied during the interim period.

This would also help to obviate one of the most dangerous underlying causes of discontent that my noble friend Lord Walston has already mentioned: the fact that, so far as one can gather, the British plan is that the present power structure shall remain there and conduct the elections; that the present public officials and the electoral officers, however many of them there may be, shall remain there and be in charge of the election and conduct the administration during the transitional period. With an advisory council drawn from both sides you have a joint control which prevents the accusation of partiality. My Lords, are these not reasonable suggestions? Are these not suggestions to which Bishop Muzorewa would agree? If not, can we be told: Have they been put to the bishop? Can we be told wether the bishop objects to them, and, if so, why? They seem to me to be reasonable, constructive, constitutional proposals which could greatly help the transitional period and which could avoid a breakdown of the conference.

So we come to the Bill. Really, my Lords, the very publication of this Bill has undermined trust in the conference. Last week, the publication of this Bill was greeted with alarm and despondency, not only in Rhodesia, not only in Lancaster House, but at the United Nations and throughout the Commonwealth. Obviously, the sanctions issue within that conference broke the pledge of the Government to remove sanctions only when there was a return to legality. That ignored the fact that sanctions are indivisible; you cannot say, "We will take 20 per cent. and 80 per cent." Sanctions are indivisible. Are the Government going to use the powers which they have in this Bill? Will the noble Lord answer that question when he winds up? The Government are taking powers to continue Section 2 of the 1965 Act when that section expires. Are the Government going to use their powers to continue that 20 per cent. of the sanctions that they talk about? If they are not, they will deeply offend international opinion, as has already been seen by the protest that has been made by the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee.

Frankly, since this Bill was published the chances of the Government getting a genuine agreement—that is, an agreement with all the parties to the conference—have deteriorated. They have deteriorated because the delegations at Lancaster House have seen that one of the purposes of the Bill is to remove sanctions without having to go through the debate and Divisions which would have been forced in both Houses of Parliament if they had come openly and said: "We are not going to renew the sanctions order". Secondly, because it is believed that one of the purposes of taking these very wide powers which the Government are asking the House to grant is to be able to make a bilateral agreement with Bishop Muzorewa which, as my noble friend has pointed out, can lead only to an extension of the war, to an internationalising of the war, to the bringing in of South African troops to support the bishop on the one hand, with the inevitability of the Patriotic Front looking elsewhere, to the Communist forces, as in Angola, in order to prevent the South Africans from sustaining a régime in Salisbury which has not the confidence of the people.

So the fact that this Bill was published last week has really made the task of Her Majesty's Government much more difficult. It is widely thought that they have put the domestic peace of the Conservative Party as an interest higher than securing agreement at Lancaster House. If the conference at Lancaster House fails, please do not blame the other participants. If that conference fails, it is a British failure; it is a failure to apply the principles of free and fair elections which were laid down at the Lusaka conference.

5.4 p.m.

Lord HOME of the HIRSEL

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Hatch of Lusby, asked why his name was put down to follow the name of my noble friend Lord Barnby. I suppose that of all the noble Lords in this House none are more totally exposed in their form and more totally opposed in their views than these two, and therefore I am inclined to congratulate the "usual channels" on their placement. The noble Lord then went on—and I listened to him with some interest—to give advice to my noble friend the Foreign Secretary. He suggested that the right thing to do would be to go back to the Anglo-American plan, and be passed a good many strictures on this Bill.

I allowed myself one passing and gentle reflection at that point. At the time when Bishop Muzorewa's Government brought in a constitution which installed an African as Prime Minister, brought in African majority rule and safeguards for all races in it, ensuring a multiracial state, the Government which the noble Lord supported at that time did nothing at all. They did nothing to help the bishop to remove the defects in his constitution. They did nothing to call together the disputing parties in a conference to end the war. I could not help thinking that with that record behind him and his Party, the noble Lord was in a somewhat poor position to criticise.

By contrast, my noble friend has called together a conference of all the parties which is taking place in London now, and both the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, and the noble Lords, Lord Stewart of Fulham and Lord Walston have acknowledged his skill and perseverance. He has obtained agreement on the form of a new constitution. That really is the foundation for everything, and my noble friend has achieved just that: an independence constitution accepting majority rule and all the conditions which successive Governments have asked for under the Six Principles. That was the first essential, and it is no mean achievement to have achieved that.

My noble friend has exercised infinite patience, and rightly. I think it would be the consensus of the whole of this House that this is the last chance for a peaceful settlement. My noble friend said, "There is no other viable basis for negotiation" which he thinks exist at all. Therefore we are in a situation where this is the last chance of any settlement. I believe that to be true. My noble friend has taken a number of risks. I think they are great risks. There is one outstanding danger which I think the House will recognise as such in Africa today. It is the tribal rivalries which are fragmenting society in one African country after another. The intimidation which accompanies that situation in those countries is so effective and the external interference is part of it.

Rhodesia has been remarkably free from these troubles. But now, my Lords, I see some ominous signs, the beginning of tribal rivalry, the beginning of intimidation and certainly external interference, because guerrillas outside Rhodesia are being supplied with Russian arms. The worst possible result of these years of search for settlement in Rhodesia would be the total collapse in authority of any Government and Administration in Salisbury. That may easily happen unless there is agreement now and unless my noble friend can achieve it in a comparatively short time. It would mean the end of multiracial co-operation in that country, and in such an event Rhodesia would begin to disintegrate. That would not only be a disaster in that country; it would have the gravest and most horrible consequences throughout the whole of South Africa and Southern Africa.

One cannot be fully aware of the balance of considerations round the conference table. I very much hope—and so do all your Lordships—that there will be an agreement between all the parties, even now at the last moment. But my instinct tells me most strongly that there is almost no more room for delay. I think the effect of further delay could be disastrous. This is essentially the plea of the noble and learned Lord and of the noble Lords, Lord Stewart and Lord Walston,—that there should be some further delay: probably four months instead of two. I am bound to say I think that would be beset with very great dangers indeed. The noble and learned Lord recalled the words of Sir Winston Churchill: Better ' jaw-jaw ' than war-war ' But, my Lords, we have both in this situation at the present time and that has been the trouble for a good many months now. In other words, supposing the Amendment of the noble and learned Lord were to be passed it would amount to this: a continuance of a veto by the Patriotic Front. That is the trouble; that is the essence of the matter, as I see it, that has been running on and on and on.

So, although Bishop Muzorewa has fulfilled all the conditions of the Six Principles and although he has modified his constitution as the Foreign Secretary has asked him to do until there is no question at all that it would be a proper constitution to underpin an independent Rhodesia, no advantage can be taken of it as long as the Patriotic Front maintain their veto. Therefore it seems to me that this situation must be brought to an end. We cannot allow it to continue for very much longer.

My noble friend will have to make the judgment. Nobody else can do it; but I do hope he will not allow this conference to run on very much longer. The Patriotic Front were offered by Muzorewa a chance to come in from the start and take part in the formation of the new government for an independent Rhodesia. They have strung this situation on and on and on. It is too dangerous to allow that to continue for very much longer, and I hope therefore that this House will pass the Bill today with a decisive majority, because I believe it will help my noble friend in his negotiations.


My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down—I did not want to interrupt his argument—would he follow a point that he made one stage further, for enlightenment? He rightly said he was frightened of external interference in Rhodesia. Does he apply that equally to the physical interference that has already occurred on the part of South Africans and which may occur again?

Lord HOME of the HIRSEL

My Lords, I am against any interference by one country in the internal affairs of another, and indeed the founders of the United Nations were right to place that at the top of the list of things that arc necessary if there is to be a peaceful world. So I condemn interference from South Africa or from the Soviet Union. There is no doubt that the Soviet Union has interfered in Africa to a point which makes me very alarmed that the kind of thing they achieved in South-East Asia may now happen on the continent of Africa.

5.14 p.m.


My Lords, there is one great advantage in following my noble friend, Lord Home of the Hirsel: that is, that you can discard most of what you want to say because his wise and clear expression of the problem removes the necessity for you to try rather imperfectly to follow it.

I want to concentrate my observations tonight on the aspect of democratic elections. As noble Lords know, there are very different views in Africa and in Europe about how democratically to express your wishes. In Europe we believe in the ballot box. In Central Africa they believe in the ndaba. The ndaba is a method by which those who are participating express their views freely and at length until the chief or the presiding officer sums up what he believes is the conclusion of the conference, and then the argument ends. In passing, it looked to me sometimes, reading the accounts of the Lancaster House conference, as though this was being treated as an ndaba and the participants were expressing their views freely and at length, waiting for the chairman to sum up the conference. This he has done, and this is the Bill: but that is by the way.

I What happened in Rhodesia was that in April 1979 Bishop Muzorewa, realising that he had somehow to justify and fulfil the Six Principles, organised a democratic election on European lines. The amazing thing really, in all this history of Rhodesia, was the result. There was a 64 per cent. poll. Here in Britain, where we have the Mother of Parliaments, when we had direct elections for Europe, in many constituencies not half that percentage voted. It was not 32 per cent. In a by-election recently the turnout was as low as 20 per cent.

That does show, I think, how the Africans responded to that appeal to demonstrate their views. They now had a multiracial government and they wanted to show that they would fulfil their duty by voting at that election. All the observers, with the notable exception of the noble Lord, Lord Chitnis, said the voting was free and fair: yet every vote given at that election was in fact an act of courage. Every effort was made by terrorists to stop the electors from voting—yet the villagers who had suffered from land-mines, from the beatings and maimings, the rapes and the massacres that had decimated their families, who had suffered from the closures of their schools and from the murder of 37 missionaries, turned out to vote and to give their support to the first really multiracial government in Rhodesia.

Now this election is discarded as irrelevant. This is my real anxiety at the present time. There is to be a new election two months after the implementation of the cease-fire. I hope that my noble friend the Foreign Secretary will explain to the people of Rhodesia, the electors, the exact reason for this volte-face. Without an explanation, I think the voters will assume that they made a mistake last time and that they should pay heed to the intimidators and abstain from voting. This change, the discarding of the last election, will have invoked among ordinary voters the feeling that Britain has somehow not fulfilled her promise about the Six Principles. Undoubtedly, Bishop Muzorewa has lost a great deal of his credibility through that change, and by agreeing to it. Wonderful courage was shown by the voters at that time. The ordinary people of Rhodesia have given a sustained and prolonged demonstration of courage in the 14 years since UDI. But now they expect an escalation of violence, with the increasing incursion of terrorists from neighbouring States.

There is a danger in this House and in this country of thinking too much about how the Rhodesian problem and our attitude to it will affect our relations with other African States, or, indeed, of thinking in terms of the different ambitions of the various politicians in Rhodesia. Too little is thought of that large silent majority, the African voters, who have suffered so much during these last years. At the moment, all I hear in Rhodesia is that they are fearful of what they face. They believe that they are in grave danger, as my noble friend said just before me, of an outbreak of tribal violence in Rhodesia which, coming after those years when they suffered from the terrorists, gives them a very unhappy outlook for the future. I hope that when my noble friend the Leader of the House sums up this debate he will give some consolation, encouragement and explanation to those people in Rhodesia who now believe that they face a very unhappy future.

5.23 p.m.


My Lords, like many other people, I am bewildered by this sudden hurry; and I gather that even President Kaunda said there was no need for hurry. Will it not immediately create suspicion among other nations in Africa as to the intent of the British Government, and are we now going to make it possible—this is a question to which I do not know the answer—for any country to trade with the Muzorewa régime, which forms only one side in the present negotiations? I can see the dilemma of this present Tory Government. Fundamentally, economically and strategically they must want a neo-colonial puppet government in Zimbabwe, allied to South Africa, and they thus want to block every conceivable chance of the Patriotic Front coming to power. All the Patriotic Front's arguments and criticisms must be brushed aside. Yet our Tory Government also must realise that no political settlement or peace can be achieved without the Patriotic Front.

At the moment, the Patriotic Front is being offered participation in new elections under the control of its bitterest enemies—General Walls' security forces. They are being asked to trust the armed forces, the police and the political structure which are loyal to Smith and Muzorewa. Surely, their objections to these points are understandable and reasonable. Yet it seems to me that our Government are simply brushing them aside as being of no importance whatever. Are those objections not reasonable? Unless the Patriotic Front agree to those terms as they stand, they will be betraying all those who laid down their lives in the struggle in the past seven years for the liberation of the Rhodesian people.

Again, it is proposed that they negotiate for a ceasefire, draw up a register of voters, arrange the return of exiles and refugees and create a political organisation all within two months. Surely, they are reasonable when they stress the impossibility of this. Are not these points, to which we are insisting they agree, a long way from the points laid down by the Commonwealth, the members of which insisted that every party should have equal opportunities during the election period; that a third force must therefore take over to prevent security from being under the control of either party, and that there should be more time for the Patriotic Front to supervise a ceasefire and solve its other problems. Were not those the points put forward by the Commonwealth and why do we object to them? Why are the British Government insisting on such unreasonable terms?

We do not get the Foreign Secretary's arguments in answer to the Patriotic Front's objections. Every day the Press tells us what the Patriotic Front is objecting to, but we never read, or are never able to study, the answers of the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, or what are his arguments. So that one begins to suspect that perhaps Her Majesty's Government are really doing all they can to get the Patriotic Front to give up, to walk out and to destroy the conference. But are not Britain's relations with the Patriotic Front very important for us, and for our relations with the whole of the rest of black Africa—the whole of rapidly changing Africa?

The Press and the media give only a very superficial surface picture of what the Lancaster House conference is all about, and of the forces below the surface. Could there be a third party looming huge—South Africa? One would be very naïve not to admit it. At Lancaster House, at the base of the conference, there are contradictions between the interests of the African people and of white neo-colonialism, and Zimbabwe is the key focus of this. South Africa is 100 per cent. behind white neo-colonialism, with its huge vested interests in South Africa and in what was Rhodesia. So everything must be done to stop the Patriotic Front. With this aim, South Africa subsidises in a big way the war against the Zimbabwe people and its black neighbouring border states. It is now increasing its war incursions as well as creating more and more economic difficulties for these black states. It hopes that if it turns the screw they will succumb to economic collapse and to war weariness. Muzorewa could not survive without his South African support. I repeat, deep down the tussle in the conference room at Lancaster House is about the combined military and economic offensive against the Patriotic Front and its black African allies—on the one hand, white South Africa and the stooge for white interests in Zimbabwe and on the other black Africa emerging into a new, liberated society.

Again I stress the hurried raising of sanctions and point out that it must raise suspicion throughout the whole of Africa. It will sharpen the relationship between Britain and the black front line states. Surely this relationship is of great long-term value to us. Is not this Bill, lifting sanctions, a blind, short-term policy? I urge Her Majesty's Government to delay the Bill until an agreed policy has been discussed and found. I do not believe that it will not be found if the discussions go on. I cannot see the argument for hurry and the argument about the waste of time over further discussion. We have to take into account the reasonable demands of the Patriotic Front. Again I ask this Government why they are not being reasonable. If they are not reasonable, the war will continue and it will not be the Patriotic Front but Britain which will appear to be the wrecker.

5.32 p.m.

The Earl of ONSLOW

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Home of the Hirsel, commented on how the noble Lord, Lord Hatch of Lusby, and the noble Lord, Lord Barnby, differ. I put it to your Lordships' House that Lord Onslow and the noble Lord, Lord Milford—one an old Etonian Communist and the other an old Etonian Whig—possibly differ even more. Africa, by its recent past and its pre-imperial history, has shown a savagery of an incompetent and vicious kind. Dingaan's smoking out of witch doctors, Bokassa and Amin's modern and better armed variants are examples. Menelik and Mengitsu are old and new practitioners of barbarism in the same Abyssinia. The Angolan squabbles ended in bloody shambles crossed with Russian imperialism. Mugabe's Marxism; the residual Shona resentment of Lobungula's Matebele overlordship, perhaps temporarily forgotten because of Ian Smith's more successful tribalism; Nkomo's ambition; Zessunu and Manyika rivalry; the total lack of trust between parties make it likely that any settlement agreed at Lancaster House, even if it is signed by all parties, will end in bloodshed. The ability of human beings to take the stupid and violent course when compromise and peace are possible never ceases to amaze me.

Ian Smith failed to learn the lesson of generous treatment or compromise until it was forced upon him. Think how the internal settlement would have been agreed and greeted as an act of generous and farsighted statesmanship five years ago. It is now under terrible pressure. I suggest this pessimistic forecast is the probable outcome of the drama of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, but I should like to sketch a vignette which holds out a more hopeful and possibly even very exciting future, and beg all participants just to heed its possibilities.

In this conference, for the first time since 1923, Great Britain has had power and above all the determination to use that power and to use it wisely. The Government of Bishop Muzorewa has shown an intelligent and helpful negotiating position. Let it also be said, in spite of some of their public announcements and postures, that the Patriotic Front has moved a long way from its original negotiating position. For this we must give them credit. Perhaps it shows that they mean to keep an agreement if it is reached and signed, otherwise they could have agreed to anything and then broken their word, once in power.

One of the objects of the Bill is to enable sanctions to be lifted the moment there is a return to legality. We should all be very conscious of the importance of the return to legality. Therefore, I want to ponder upon the effect of that lifting of sanctions upon the future of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. One of the beneficial side effects of sanctions has been the creation in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia of a strong, well trained, African artisan class and the beginnings of an African middle class. This has been caused by an inability to buy on foreign markets, together with the fact that as the blacks until recently were not conscripted and the whites were, large numbers of blacks had to be trained up to do those jobs faster than possibly people would have wished. I have seen them do it very efficiently and well.

Popular myth says that all of the land is used up. This is wrong. Acres of land are available. Part of the trouble of agriculture in the tribal trust lands is the lack of a system of freehold or long leasehold, thus preventing investment in long-term improvement. Therefore, I suggest to your Lordships, and above all to the future Government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, that the compensation payable to European farmers for their land must be reinvested in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia—not taken out. I hope that the Government will pay lower compensation if money is taken out, or will tax that compensation if it is expatriated.

I have seen black African farms which are every bit as efficient as white farms in Rhodesia—not very many, admittedly, but they are definitely there. There is ample water for irrigation. There are white Rhodesian tribesmen who regard Zimbabwe-Rhodesia totally as their country—not the United Kingdom or anywhere else. These are factors which make it possible—I say possible, not probable—that there is an exciting future for a rich and prosperous Zimbabwe.

The consequences of this are fascinating. If this projection comes off, then the effect on middle Africa will be dynamic. A capitalistic, multiracial, prosperous Zimbabwe-Rhodesia becomes a magnet and an example to Mozambique, Angola, Malawi and, of course, Zambia. Your Lordships will notice that I have left out South Africa from this list. If this success is shown, South Africa is isolated—as are, above all, the Russians who are shown to be the imperial frauds that those of us who have seen the Berlin Wall know them to be.

What this Bill does is to enable my noble friend Lord Carrington to continue his present policy. It is to give him the freedom to act as he deserves and it gives him one little extra help to produce the, unfortunately, less likely of my two possible forecasts. Anything that encourages the second at the expense of the first must be pursued with vigour. I have been to Rhodesia, as have several other members of your Lordships' House. I have found some of the older whites quite intolerably racial, quite intolerably tribalistic and quite intolerably bigoted, but the younger ones seem to have a different view. They are committed to Zimbabwe as their country. They were born there and they are loyal to it rather than loyal to their own tribe.

Zimbabwe or Rhodesia, or call it what you will, is going to need these people the same as it is going to need those black artisans, that black middle-class and the good black farmers so that all may benefit. If these can pull together, if the whites can follow Rowan Cronje and not Ian Smith, if Nkomo and Mugabe can continue to show that there is an element of compromise in their make-up and, above all, if there can be not only maximum disarmament as well as cease-fire—disarmament on both sides and by everybody because there are far too many guns about the place—but also Taiwanese standard of economic growth in a world of economic recession, then the possibility of great success is there. But, my Lords, if—if—if—if … No one has even slightly to err, let alone blunder, because if they do then, to paraphrase Chamberlain, Zimbabwe will miss the bus.

My Lords, as a final remark I dread to think of the row there would have been if Her Majesty's present loyal Opposition had been in power and the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, had tabled a similar amendment to the Second Reading of a Bill in your Lordships' House. I dread to think what the future noble Lord Skinner of Bolsover would have said. He would have screamed and yelped and he would have hurled abuse and the columns of the Daily Mirror would have waxed lyrical on the undemocratic behaviour of your Lordships' House. For that reason, among others, I will certainly vote and give my noble friend the maximum support I can.

5.42 p.m.


My Lords, I was quite recently in Rhodesia with the noble Lord and there is certainly one point of his which I would agree with; it is that not all the tribalists in Rhodesia, or indeed in Africa, are black. We have lived through the dissolution of an empire—an empire which I believe was a beneficial influence in world development. I have not found it a happy time. I do not think that we have much reason to be proud of the way in which we shed our responsbilities for those whom we governed. Indeed, of our successions I think there are only two that we can really look at with pride: they are Kenya and Malaya. In both of those we fought a savage war, saw it through and won it, and it was by winning those wars that we made those nations possible. In an odd way right through history war has been the midwife of nations. In every other one of our ex-colonies democracy has disappeared, dictatorship has replaced it, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened, civil rights are largely nonexistent, people who are rash enough to sue the Government are very rare, food supplies, despite the green revolution, are diminishing; starvation is present. It is not a happy sight for us to look at because all these areas are areas in which we abandoned our responsibilities.

Indeed, our objections to the Rhodesian constitution on the grounds that it differs from constitutions which we have so freely handed out to the rest of Africa seems to me to be somewhat astonishing, considering that every one of those constitutions was torn up within a very short period. Within this period of decadence, it seems to me that there stood out one man and one people: that was Ian Smith in Rhodesia and I think we should look with clear eyes at the achievement of UDI. I think we should recognise its glory. Let us consider: Within that period of 10 years economically they produced the finest and most consistent growth rate in the world. Their birthrate sprang up because that, in a country such as that, is perhaps the unfortunate result, but they were able to feed, look after and bring health to those children. Half the population of Rhodesia is now under 13. They are literate and they are healthy. Nowhere else in Africa can compare with that performance.

Public services are certainly the best outside South Africa. With regard to finance, inflation was most remarkably held throughout this great period of expansion; and morale, the spirit that makes a nation—because a nation is an act of faith—the improvement of the morale, the sense of nationhood, the sense of unity which I found on my recent visit as against the times of UDI when I was visiting that country, was as remarkable as the economic achievement.

Then came the Portuguese collapse and the communist opportunity. I was glad to hear the communism spokesman in our Parliament, the noble Lord, Lord Milford, tell us that for the communists Rhodesia was their number one priority. That I believe to be true and they had something which was very easy to work on—tribal war. Tribal war in Africa is old, and I do not entirely agree with the noble Lord, Lord Home of the Hirsel, that it has not been a menace in Rhodesia. When we first went to Rhodesia no Shona slept in his hut because the Matabele warriors blooded their spears on the Shona. They set fire to the huts and blooded their spears when they ran out. It was only under our rule that they could sleep in the huts.

That was the kind of situation that existed. Rhodesia controlled it until the frontiers were opened and the communists set about creating tribal warfare. It is now loosed. It is not very surprising. People far more evolved than the Africans have regarded war as the only suitable occupation for a man. It was not so very long ago that we did. In Africa that is certainly the feeling: the warrior can look down on the farmer and the labourer and to these primitive people the opportunity to be warriors was wonderful. They did not turn out to be very good warriors, but they were armed, they were taken, they were equipped and then they were sent back with a modern gun and probably a grenade or two and they were tremendous chaps. They could eat and they could take their choice of the women without having to work. Oh indeed! The warriors felt themselves to be the big chaps. That is a very easy thing to create and it is what communism has created. But it created a frontier pressure which Ian Smith had to face and I think he faced it with great courage. He needed international assistance to control the external forces of chaos and that was the basis of a new internal settlement which lie sought. There was an internal settlement negotiated strongly and fairly and created by Rhodesia for Rhodesia, and then it was affirmed in an election which many of us went to see. And that was real at least in one sense: it was real in establishing who was in control of Rhodesia. In spite of all the threats of the Patriotic Front, not one of the polling booths spread all over the country was closed even for six hours. And it was also right in establishing that the régime was acceptable to the people.

I certainly thought at that time that I was witnessing a nation being born. My Lords, one cannot create nations for other people. It is a process that I have been watching all my life, with the dissolution of the Austrian Empire, the dissolution of the Turkish Empire, the whole proceedings of decolonialisation. None of these given nations has worked, been satisfactory. They have not created the faith, the mutual independence which is necessary to make a nation work. They have been a sorry spectacle. But here one found the act of faith, a certain fundamental acceptance of a common interest, a mutual trust. War, true, the struggle had been the midwife, sanctions and invasion. But there it was, and you had a government who were trusting each other, working together, establishing themselves in that very remarkable election.

I believe that they should have been forthwith recognised, accepted, worked with and assisted. I think that was the Prime Minister's reaction ; it was what she wanted to do, but she was diverted by the Foreign Office, who came forward and said "What about the United Nations, what about the USA, what about our trade with various people in Africa, what about our oil supplies? All these things cannot be sacrificed to the interests of Rhodesia. Is success for Rhodesia more important to us than all these other considerations?" Realise this, that the one issue which has not been considered in this long drawn out conference has been the interests of Rhodesia. I am not saying that the Foreign Office have not displayed a brilliant exhibition of diplomatic gamesmanship. Nobody can fail to recognise how skilfully this has been done. The unity of the Rhodesian Government has been successfully undermined. Negotiated conditions to protect minorities have been upset. Men who came here trusting each other are now trusting each other no longer. Faith has been broken. The Rhodesian Government, instead of being self-reliant, is now a malleable instrument.

For the internal settlement which was Rhodesian a bogus British settlement has been substituted, and I use that word "bogus" deliberately. Consider first cease-fire. What do we mean by ceasefire—cease-fire between whom and when? You are not dealing with belligerent nations or indeed with a civil war in which there arc effective authorities competing. The civil war we are considering here is much more like a cease-fire between the police and the criminals. The terrorists are not under command. Many groups of armed warriors have moved in, and they have been sitting in Rhodesia for two years. As long as they are fed and get their girls they are not much of a nuisance. They are fed. They are hanging about the country. They are not in communication with their command. They are not advanced enough to be able to carry about radios or things like that. They have a very few elementary weapons which are not used very much. They do a certain amount of poaching. But does anybody seriously imagine that Mr. Mugabe or Mr. Nkomo can tell them to bring these precious guns back and stop firing? The idea that a cease-fire here is deliverable is nonsense. After all, what kind of fighting do they go in for? It is a very odd war in which you cannot point to one single engagement in which the terrorists have had a success or one single defended farm which they have taken. All they have done is casual murder. The only reaction which they have when our airborne strikes come up and parachutists jump is to run away. It is unrecorded that they have ever stood and fought. The only fighting in the sense of armed force fighting armed force has been with each other. There is a genuine and real fight when the Mugabe boys meet the Nkomo ones, when the Shona meet the Matabele. There have been real fights there. There have been no fights between these chaps and the Government. To talk about a cease-fire in those terms seems to me quite unreal.

Then we come to the position of the British governor. He is to command the forces, he is to command the police, he is to be the Government, the Minister of Works and Prisons and everything. Pooh-Bah will not be in it. In fact he will command nobody and will have no real power at all. He will not have any of the instruments of power. He will be just a bogus appointment. The man who will operate the power, in my estimation, is Mr. Ian Smith, because white or black he is the one man in Rhodesia whom everybody trusts. With considerable nobility and much as he disapproves of this, he has gone back to Rhodesia to make it work and he will make it work. The difference between his statements and the kind of statements we have been hearing in this House and the other House from members of my party—well, I will not comment.

What about the election? The last election was on a real issue, something which had to be demonstrated and shown. What about this one? This is going to be an African election. Let me say this. No African election has ever yet been lost by a government, because that is not the way they think of elections in Africa. Does anybody in this House seriously imagine that a Mugabe victory is acceptable in this election? The judges have said quite frankly that they will bolt before he can catch them. What will be the position of the civil service, the army, the police and indeed of South Africa, which has made its position quite clear. This is a performance, not a reality. But one cannot for a moment deny the skill of the Foreign Office. The United Nations were all against us, the USA, the Commonwealth, the Presidents, the Bishop. They have all been pulled into this nonsense; they have all been successfully bamboozled. It is a splendid performance in these terms. But I wonder enormously whether it is worth while.

Would not one really, if looking for economies, better do without a Foreign Office? A Foreign Office is a fine thing for great powers. Theodore Roosevelt described his foreign policy simply in these words: I never express an objective unless I know that I am in a position to enforce it, by force if necessary". Foreign politics are about power. Foreign politics without power—and we have not got power now—are an exercise in chicanery. We have been watching one at Lancaster House. Sweden and Switzerland had the sense to realise that—they do without a foreign policy, but of course, there is consular representation. But foreign policy in the sense of trying to interfere with other people's policies when one does not have the power to enforce one's wishes is, I believe, an undignified and undesirable occupation.

I am the only person who has spoken so far—and I do not suppose that anyone else will say this—who hopes that the negotiations break down. If they break down, the Rhodesian Government can be left to get on with their own business and win their own war. I believe that they can do so. What we and South Africa should do is to confine ourselves to exerting such power as we have to assert international law and to stop criminal intervention from outside Rhodesia's frontiers. If we do that for her, she can be left to look after herself.

6.2 p.m.


My Lords, in September this year, at the invitation of the Public Services Association of Rhodesia, I was invited to Salisbury to address the members of that Association. Its membership comprises some 6,000 black and white Africans. They are not political: they have given an undertaking to serve loyally any Government elected in the future. It was arranged prior to my departure—and I was out there during the first 10 days of the Lancaster House Conference—that I would visit public servants in the security areas, and in addition to that, address public servants in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. I travelled extensively by air during my journeys and daily over 14 days had many conversations with black and white Africans. I made a point of speaking to as many black Africans in the public service as possible. At Miwera, an outstation which I reached by flying over the tribal trust lands, I found a young married girl on duty as a gazetted junior district officer. She had taken the place of a district commissioner killed by terrorists before my visit. It made no difference to her that she was pregnant. I found that attitude to duty by public servants in Rhodesia—both black and white—prevalent wherever I travelled. Duty came first, even if it meant the loss of life itself.

At Victoria Falls I had a long conversation with about 20 black Africans who were public servants. They were immigration officers put on duty to watch the situation on the bridge which links Rhodesia with Zambia—the bridge over the Zambesi. After a conversation with them which lasted about an hour and a half I found that they were more concerned for the future stability of their country than with giving any outward expression of the complexion of their future government. But wherever I went on my journeys and in the countless conversations which I had with white and black Africans—by which description those public servants and others prefer to be known—I found an overriding anxiety on the part of all of them about the future of their pensions. I shall say more of that when I move the amendment in my name during the Committee stage.

However, I should like to say now, in order to save your Lordships' time, that when I move my amendment in Committee I do not envisage any guarantee whatsoever by Her Majesty's Government to underwrite the pensions of Rhodesia public servants. I wish to emphasise that. That must be, and to my knowledge has always been, the responsibility of the overseas country itself, in respect of all oerseas territories, at the inception of independence.

What I seek by my amendment—and I must speak to this now because it has a bearing on the Second Reading of this Bill—is justice and stability for black and white Africans and for Africa generally. I seek justice and stability for blacks in an orderly transfer of power to themselves, which they must take when the new Government is appointed. I emphasise that that stability and the power which they ought to exercise—and which we hope they all will exercise when they accede to a government of their own—can all be lost if precipitately they were to lose white expertise in the early days of independence. I shall ask my noble friends in Government on this side of the Houe and my noble friends—if I may respectfully refer to them in that way—on the Opposition Benches who have played an honourable part in the saga of Rhodesia (indeed in all quarters of the House noble Lords have played their part) to understand what I am saying. I am not enunciating a racial proposition. It is absolutely vital that there should be co-operation between black and white and that white expertise should not leave the country precipitately.

However, I respectfully suggest that it would help the situation if it were possibe for Her Majesty's Government to send to Rhodesia an expert from the pensions office at the Ministry of Overseas Development to advise the public servants in that country—the Public Services Association and the Public Services Commission—on how to bring their pension regulations up to modern conditions. The State Pensions Act for Rhodesia appears to have been conceived at a time when it was not envisaged that Rhodesia should be other than a self-governing colony—in other words, that Rhodesians should not leave the country. There is no provision, for example, for when a Rhodesian officer might become Africanised early in his service, which is bound to happen. There is no provision under any of their laws for payment of the transfer by sea to some other country of himself, his wife or household effects. There are a number of other anomalies with which I will not weary your Lordships at present. I believe that if that could be done, and Her Majesty's Government were to consider this, it would assist the situation and the African Government when they come to power.

In conclusion, I should like to make a few comments about what I have said to your Lordships. When I obtained a copy of the Bill on Thursday night from the Bill Office I took the precaution of telephoning Salisbury and speaking to the president of the Public Services Association in that country. I checked with him what I proposed to say to your Lordships. We could not have a great deal of conversation on the telephone and it was decided that he should come to England. He arrived on Sunday and spent Sunday night with me in my home in Somerset. We went through the points that I have put before your Lordships today. Mr. Barry Lennox, the president of the Public Services Association, is listening in the gallery, and I think he would agree that I have depicted to your Lordships a correct account of the situation. I shall have more to say about this when we reach the Committee stage.

6.10 p.m.


My Lords, it is beyond dispute that had not Mr. Ian Smith declared UDI some 14 years ago we should not be having this debate tonight. It is equally true that had not the Patriotic Front resisted by armed force the consequences that flowed as a result of Mr. Smith's act, we should not be discussing this conference. In turn, the conference would not have been convened had it not been for the cancelling out of metropolitan Portugal and the emergence of Mozambique. Therefore, there is no doubt whatever that we must regard UDI as an act of rebellion and treason, for which two of our fellow countrymen were executed. Mr. Smith, together with the Duke of Montrose, Mr. Van der Byl and others who supported them, undertook with enthusiasm treasonable activity, and they undertook that act hoping it would be successful. It has not been successful because of the action of the Patriotic Front and because of the events in Mozambique.

If one listens to the alibis—to those who seek to make the actions of Mr. Smith, his friends and supporters in this country acceptable—one concludes that there is one easy alibi which we have heard put forward this afternoon. The noble Lords, Lord Home of the Hirsel, Lord Barnby and Lord Paget of Northampton, referred to it and it has often been repeated in another place. On my way to the House tonight I heard on my car radio a Conservative Member of Parliament explaining, in the usual objective way of the BBC, the influence of the Russians in Rhodesia. I make the point that the Russians and Russian arms have, without doubt, reached the hands of members of the Patriotic Front. However, they could easily be other arms because there is an international trade in arms. I have no doubt whatever that Soviet arms came in direct.

However, I have the advantage of a typescript of an interview given by SACEUR, by General Alexander Haig just before he gave up the Supreme Allied Command in Europe. He was questioned on the build-up of Russian arms in Africa and it was perfectly clear that, in his opinion, there was a massive build-up at the time of the Somali invasion of the Ogaden. I think that that is wholly true. It was a magnificent military performance logistically, because within a period of about three months some 2,000 million dollars-worth of ultra-sophisticated Russian equipment entered Ethiopia. At present the Ethiopian air force is perhaps the most militarily advanced force in black Africa; they have some 150 Mig 21s and more than a handful of "floggers", to give them their NATO name, which is the M.23, which could take out anything that we have, never mind what the Rhodesian air force possess.

Therefore, we should thank our lucky stars that so far the Soviet Union has not been actively engaged in the support of Mozambique, although it has had plenty of excuses, quite apart from Rhodesia. There is no doubt whatever that the policy of South Africa is one of overall destabilisation. They were bombing last week in Angola; they have an active undercover force operating in Mozambique. But so far there has been no specific Russian commitment.

In his wisdom the noble Lord, Lord Paget, hoped that the talks would collapse. If the talks collapse, we must face what we might be letting ourselves in for. We may find ourselves faced with an extension of the war on an international scale. Therefore, we need to be careful and perhaps do a little homework before we start talking glibly about Soviet intervention. So far I do not believe that that has taken place, but General Haig was quite clear about it. He envisaged the possibility of an Ethiopian intervention on a brigade-group scale, with air raids if the raids continued into Mozambique.

That brings me to my next point concerning the exercise of power. With all respect to the noble Lord, Lord Home of the Hirsel, as Prime Minister he bore considerable responsibility for UDI. The noble Lord was Prime Minister in 1964 and during the Conservative Adminis- tration of 1961 to 1964 had Rhodesia not been supplied with Hunters, Canberras and Vampires, it could never have declared independence. It would have been quite impossible for land forces from this country actively to intervene. I had some ministerial responsibility at that time, and I would have resigned at once if there had been any pressure for us to use military force in Rhodesia. I do not play politics with other men's lives, although, as a serving soldier in the ranks of the Regular Army, it has often been done to me. Having been at the receiving end, I would never impose it upon anyone else.

It is a fact that at that time Rhodesia had about 75 aircraft which enabled them effectively to control the country and to do what they wanted, because any outside intervention was impossible. I give no military secrets away, but an attempt was made by Mr. Wilson's Administration to get President Nyerere to accept as a first move a squadron of Lightnings in Tanzania. President Nyerere would not wear it. The Lightning is not a particularly effective aircraft because it is an interdictor, and in the circumstances a fighter attack aircraft was required.

I must be as careful as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, in not contravening the laws of order, but last week in another place an ex-Conservative Cabinet Minister gave a description of the Bill, a description with which I wholly agree. He objected to it in principle and he objected to the way in which the Bill seeks to obtain its objectives. He went on to make a comparison. He said that the governor going out to Rhodesia, whoever he may be—and the noble Lord, Lord Paget, said much the same—would go out with his plumes, his medals and his sword. The Member said that he thought the whole thing would become a farce, but equally, that it could become a tragedy, and possibly both. I simply do not believe that.

I have considerable respect for the Member in another place. Certainly I have great respect for his logic. Historically, the comparison with Gordon going into Khartoum may be correct, but it is no more than that, because Gordon went to Khartoum when the Liberal Government of the day—I shall not be objectionable—in their wisdom had obtained a cease-fire from the Mandi. Gordon, however, went to Khartoum by dhow. The governor who goes to Rhodesia today will go by aircraft. He would control the air force. The Rhodesian air force consists of 65 aircraft. Many of the Hunters have gone; the Canberras have nearly all gone; there are still some Vampires and quite a number of helicopters; they have a fairly considerable counter-insurgency force. There are five airfields. At one stage they had three airfields. If he were to order them to put those aircraft onto two airfields, and put in one squadron only (two would be a luxury) of Phantoms, the F4H, Britain would control Rhodesia. That is what air power means.

The Member in another place who was making the comparison with Gordon going to Khartoum was wrong in thinking that the Gordon of today would not have behind him the Government if the Government had the will. I would go a little further. I have listened to discussions between Members of your Lordships' House on that impartial instrument, the BBC, as to who should go. There were discussions about those whom I would regard as Foreign Office deadbeats, and those whom I would also regard as political deadbeats. The person who should be sent there is a Member of your Lordships' House. Send Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Elworthy, who commanded the force in Kuwait and who has considerable experience of commanding joint forces. He has the additional advantage of being a New Zealander. Furthermore, he has an intellect of the first order. If an Air Marshal of the Royal Air Force was put into Rhodesia and given one squadron—a second one for luck—in fact he would control the situation. Then, and only then, he could make his dispositions with the full knowledge that he had the power if he wished to exercise it.

Now we are asked today to pass this Bill. Why? The seed of this Bill was planted on 2nd July in Sydney, when Mrs. Thatcher, going her strident way and pursuing the tactics which were so ably carried out by the Housewives' League, got up and said without a brief that sanctions would not be renewed. She was committed in advance to sanctions not being renewed. Of course this caused a storm. It caused a storm throughout Africa, and the reverberations are still there. The actions of Her Majesty's Government are not trusted. What this House needs to realise is that we are not just a debating society. It is not just merely a question of political convenience of that side or this side, or who said what. What is on the line is Britain's integrity. Either we mean to stage a fair show in which there are going to be elections honestly conducted, or we have taken sanctions off. And why have we taken sanctions off?

Well, may I again follow the careful example of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, and mention no names beyond the fact that it was a Conservative supporter in another place who said that of course sanctions must not be renewed because Bishop Muzorewa must get back to Salisbury, and the fact that he had managed to bring about the end of sanctions would be a winning card in the election campaign.

So we have first of all Mrs. Thatcher making her statement. She has to be bailed out. They are a loyal lot on the Government side, and they are engaged at this present moment in bailing her out, never mind what she says. But it will not be very long before a different tune will be called. But that will be called of course by the impact of facts and not arguments. Then we have the fact that, having gone as far as we have, the Bishop must be helped to win, because the object of the exercise is to get the Bishop to win. What then happened? They went to Lusaka. There they were bailed out by the Secretary-General, Mr. Ramphal. He bailed them out by getting the Commonwealth countries to agree to the proposal for a conference in this country, and so the conference was called.

Then of course, the point was reached when Mr. Ramphal saw what was happening. The 16th October was a turning point. Mr. Ramphal made it perfectly clear, both in a considered statement which was published by the Commonwealth Office and in a Press statement, that what the Foreign Secretary had been doing, despite the eulogies poured on him for his integrity and competence, was something outside the letter and spirit of the Lusaka Agreement. So the situation had changed. Mr. Ramphal had performed his duty. The world, the Commonwealth, and Africa were alerted. Every step they take, every word they utter, is being watched. It is not going to be judged by what happens in the Division Lobby tonight, but by what comes out at the other end.

Now we come to the Bill. I was glad indeed that the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, helped me out in conscience because I do not like the Bill.I contemplated putting down an Amendment that this Bill should be read in six months' time, which would be an out and out rejection. If you examine Clause 1, this House is asked, as another place was asked, to give the Government a blank cheque to a constitution when it is agreed.

It is said that this has always happened; this is common form in all decolonisation methods. As the noble Lord, Lord Soames, knows, he and I have had little arguments over the years. If I may say so respectfully, I have not always lost because, as last week on a racing debate, I do my homework. I can find no example whatever of any decolonisation proposals that were carried through in which the constitution was to be followed by elections in which there is no electoral register; there are no constituencies, and there is no knowledge at all of where the constituents are going to be. Does the noble Lord want to interrupt?


My Lords, would the noble Lord confirm that in Tanzania and Zambia there are no electoral registers?


My Lords, I do not believe that there was a complete absence. I ought to have put in a third point; there is no machine for electoral registration as well. There was there, but in this case there is absolutely nothing.

What is the objective situation in which we find ourselves? According to my guesses—and they are only guesses—there are not less than 60,000 or 70,000 citizens of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia outside the borders of Zimbabwe in neighbouring countries. How are they to be polled? How are they to be got back? Furthermore, the elections presumably are to be carried through, as the noble Lord, Lord Hatch, says, supervised by the British South Africa police. The nearest approach in the modern world to the British South Africa police was the SS.

Several noble Lords: No, no!


Yes. If noble Lords do not agree, I ask them to read in the Observer of last week the diary of a young ex-soldier in the Royal Marines describing what happened to him and his experience there dealing with what he called the "gooks".


My Lords, would the noble Lord allow me to intervene?




I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way. Would the noble Lord not agree that all propaganda consists in selection, and that that was a highly selective extract?


My Lords, I cannot talk about propaganda. I only talk about the facts I know. This force is not a police force. It is a paramilitary force which has carried out repression, and has undertaken interrogations which savour of the methods of the SS. That is what I said and what I stand by. Therefore, for that force to be let loose on the world——

The Earl of ONSLOW

My Lords, would the noble Lord allow me?


Certainly, though I wish noble Lords would let me at least finish a sentence.

The Earl of ONSLOW

I certainly beg the noble Lord's pardon. Is the noble Lord aware that the only member of the council—I am not exactly sure what it is called—who opposed the introduction of martial law in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe was the Police Commissioner, Peter Allen? I heard that as did other noble Lords when we visited him, and there was documentary proof. That is not like the methods of the SS.


Of course he opposed martial law, my Lords, because they had it already. The noble Lord goes out to Rhodesia in a tame sort of way. He is a nice chap but the idea that he managed to penetrate beneath the surface belongs to the realm of fairy stories. Of course he did not. This is a rough lot, and I have seen some rough lots in my time and I could mention other examples under Britain's authority where there have been some rough deals. This is a paramilitary force that is in no way comparable to any police force that has recognition in this country and it is going to supervise the polling, and of course it will not. What it will do is to maintain law and order on the methods it has employed in the past.

We have got to the point when the Patriotic Front will not accept the arrangements which the Government are now seeking to impose on them by the use of an ultimatum—when one starts talking in terms of hours—unless they are satisfied that the elections will be fair. Thus, it is a prime condition that they should be fair, but at the present moment they do not trust the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, and neither do I——

Several noble Lords: Oh?


——despite all the eulogies; and I will give an example.

Several noble Lords: Twenty minutes!


I know how long I have been speaking, my Lords. Let me give a couple of examples, three if noble Lords like. Last Thursday night the Patriotic Front was charged by Lord Carrington with an act of gross discourtesy. Let us see how it worked out. At 2.30 President Kaunda, having arrived on Thursday morning, saw the Sovereign. He, the President of Zambia, asked to see Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo at 3.30. Lord Carrington had called a plenary session for 3.30, so they very courteously got in touch with the Foreign Office and said, "Sorry, no plenary session", and that was that. Subsequently they heard from the Foreign Office that Lord Carrington refused to call off the plenary session. So they did not turn up and Lord Carrington lost his temper, as he has done frequently, and tried to treat them as if they are houseboys, and they are not, and charged them with being discourteous about something of which he and his office had full knowledge. Later, the High Commissioner of Zambia talked with officials of the Foreign Office and said, I think rightly, that if there was any act of discourtesy and any lack of regard to the proprieties, they had been committed by Lord Carrington and not by the Patriotic Front. Those are the facts, and of course the media did not get the point, but never mind.

Let me give another example. Lord Carrington got to what appeared to be a turning point, going back on what he had previously said and there was going to be a military force; it was to consist of New Zealanders, Australians and a force from Britain. Bishop Muzorewa was consulted and told about the proposals. The Patriotic Front read them in the newspapers. Those are the ways in which these negotiations have been so "competently and courteously" carried on, and this has gone on from the beginning. I ask noble Lords, if they want to, to look at the Press and see what happened. On 16th October we see the turning point. Up to that time it was made perfectly clear that there was option No. 1 and option No. 2, and option No. 2 was a unilateral agreement with Bishop Muzorewa and the Patriotic Front would go back to Africa. As I said, it was the intervention of M. Ramphal and the alerting of public opinion throughout the Commonwealth and the world that made the Foreign Secretary change his mind.

Now we come to the present time. I believe, much as the noble Lord, Lord Paget, said, in the efficacy that on balance the British Commonwealth has been for the good of the world. I deplore the fact that the sacrifices of the British Army for the most part and those of the administrators have been dissipated following the wind-of-change policy. I was no party to it, and I regret it. But above all now there are issues of transcendental importance. If Lord Carrington goes ahead with his proposals and has an ultimatum, the ultimatum will result in no agreement and then, I should have thought, almost certainly, a deterioration in the situation and an internationalisation of the war. That would be tragic for Africa, for the world at large, and it would certainly be tragic for this country, not least because it would bring down on our heads the economic and political penalties of the overt hostility of the Commonwealth, not only in Africa but throughout the world, and that would be wholly regrettable.

I am not a diplomatist. I notice that the Foreign Office, like The Times, has had an unbroken record of always being wrong on every major issue throughout the century. I excuse myself from any claim to diplomacy purely on the ground that when I have a bet I like to back a winner or two. But let us see where he has now got to. He has got himself into the position that, whereas I believe he was seeking up to 16th and 17th October of forcing the Patriotic Front to break it off and therefore bear the responsibility for having broken off the agreement, he has now boxed himself in because Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo are just as able as he is and they are not going to break it off; they are going to disagree with the proposals of the Government, and the responsibility for breaking it off will rest not with the Patriotic Front but with the British Government. That is the terrible price we have to pay for the incompetence and arrogance of a Foreign Secretary who has yet to learn his job, and the penalty will be paid not by him, not by the Conservative Party, but by Britain, and that is my excuse for detaining your Lordships tonight.

6.38 p.m.


My Lords, it is always a pleasure, for me at any rate, to listen to the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, because in a House which is apt to be somnolent he brings us to life; we had 28 minutes of good-hearted stuff from an old soldier and, surprisingly to myself, I found myself in agreement with him on one matter which he touched on, and I hope I understood him right. It was his reference to the need for air power in supporting the proposed British presence, but I will come back to that shortly.

I believe he is mistaken, however, in his assertion that there have been no first elections in newly-independent Commonwealth countries without the compilation of a register. If my memory serves me right, there was no register for the first elections in Kenya. I may be wrong and it may have been Tanganyika, but at any rate there have been one or two precedents, though I need not detain the House on that.

I think it important to take Lord Wigg up on one allegation; namely, that the police in Rhodesia may be likened in their methods to the SS. I believe that is an unworthy remark, and I say it is unworthy because while I do not know Africa and have been to Rhodesia only once, and that for a short time, whenever as a newspaperman—and I was a newspaperman for 25 years—I was sent to a country, place or situation I did not know, I always followed a simple rule. That was to try as quickly as possible to discover what I will call a fix in the situation, namely, some person or body of persons whose word could be trusted. When I went to Rhodesia I happened to have a number of contacts among missionaries—some Roman Catholic, some non-RC, some for the régime, a good many more against it. I asked all of them particularly about the police. The story I got from both sides was very different from the impression conveyed by the noble Lord.

Most speeches from the Opposition Benches have focussed on two areas. First, there has been the Patriotic Front case, and secondly, there has been the argument about speeding things up. As to the Patriotic Front case, frankly I can see no merit in trying to re-argue in your Lordships' House now, tonight, a case which has been stated over and over and over again, at Lancaster House and in the media as well. That is stale ground. As to the speed-up, there have been nine weeks which I, as an outsider, not involved in the conference, would say have amounted to a filibuster. When the point is raised: Why not a four months' transition period instead of two?—the answer is that it would be twice as hard, twice as long, and twice as difficult. But these are short points.

The question surely today is whether, and how, a settlement, if it is reached, between the Muzorewa Government, the terrorist leaders, and the United Kingdom Government can be made to work. I am quite sure that President Kaunda will be very glad to have Mr. Nkomo and his army off his back. I have little doubt that President Machel will be happy to see the back of Mr. Mugabe and his men. But is there really much likelihood that those who disdained to join, and who vowed and used military force to try to prevent the April elections, will now join in democratically and without terrorist intimidation? They politics like ours profess, the greater prey upon the rest"; and with Dr. Johnson I hope I shall never be deterred from detecting what I think a cheat by the menaces of a ruffian.

If the cease-fire comes, it is certain to be fragile; equally so, surely, the pretended restoration of British Sovereignty. I am afraid that I find it horribly like rhetoric without power. And this is the connection in which I find myself in agreement with what I understood to be a suggestion from the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, that the introduction of air power could make all the difference. What is certain to me is that here is a very courageous, but my goodness! almighty, gamble. Its best hope, surely, is the situation already created by the internal settlement and left by Bishop Muzorewa and Mr. Smith.

Had sanctions been lifted in May after the fulfilment of the Six Principles, I personally believe that a much more promising situation would have presented itself today. I beg your Lordships to remember that my noble friend Lord Carrington and the right honourable lady the Prime Minister have more than once proclaimed that we must build on the achievements of the Muzowera-Smith internal agreement and on the result of the April elections. The last time we debated Rhodesia in this House my noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel urged that the Muzorewa Government should be given a fair chance, and the noble Viscount, Lord Boyd of Merton, with all his authority, having just returned from an extensive tour with a team of six very skilled and discerning observers, said as much also.

Of course we hope that it is all going to work out. Maybe within a year or less judgments will be possible; judgments whether this is a magnificent triumph for political commonsense, or judgments whether the real interests of millions of simple people have been cast aside, and whether there has been a ghastly misjudgment, so that geopolitical interests vital to the Free World have been thrown away—all that in the belief that you can talk your Marxist enemies out of anything. I hold my breath in wonder at the soldierly daring of my noble friend Lord Carrington, and in this I wholeheartedly agree with him—any further delay could be madness, or worse.

6.45 p.m.


My Lords, those of us who have counted ourselves for a good many years as close and admiring friends of the present Foreign Secretary must have had our friendship and admiration powerfully reinforced during the last nine weeks. A year ago in this House, in the sanctions debate, friendship did not prevent me from voting conscientiously against his advice. Nothing could deflect me tonight from voting on his advice, and for this Bill. It seems to me that for a man whose brain works at a tempo and with a reasoned assurance possessed by few, he has conducted these negotiations with a most remarkable patience—more remarkable from him than it might have been from a more leisurely and hesitant personality.

Due to this, timing has been calculated and stretched to snapping point. My noble friend Lord Home of the Hirsel speaking this afternoon with his immense authority, said that there is no more room for delay. I also picked up, as he did, the words quoted by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones: Jaw, jaw is better than war, war and I am bound to say that they shocked me. Nobody who has been recently to Rhodesia, as I and others in the Chamber have, could have used those words in this context. Every day before solution costs innocent lives and inflicts heavy economic damage upon this deserving people.

The noble Lord, Lord Walton, with whom I should so much rather be in harmony than in dispute, said that two months was insufficient time for the parties to prepare their campaigns. But what sort of campaigns? My anxiety is that the misnamed Patriotic Front had been so plentifully provided not only with sophisticated arms and ammunition, but also with vehicles and radio equipment, that they will have an unfair advantage, but this is a disadvantage accepted by the present Government of Rhodesia. In fact when the so-called Patriotic Front refer to campaigns they are not talking about the same kind of campaigns, they are not talking about electoral campaigns, they are not talking about democratic procedures in which they do not believe. The noble Lord, Lord Walston, warned the House that under the present proposals war would continue and escalate. If so, it will be by the determination of the Patriotic Front, and to permit that front to prevent a resumption of legal status would be an appeasement comparable to Munich in moral weakness, if not in scale.

The noble Lord, Lord Walston, also said that it strained his credulity to suppose that the present security forces would be able to change their loyalties to the new governor. They have been loyal, as they have seen it. to their country. Did it, I wonder, strain anyone's credulity that they continued loyal to the Black majority rule of Bishop Muzorewa's Government? They did remain loyal.

I was grateful to my noble friend Lord Carrington for paying tribute to the way in which Bishop Muzorewa and his delegation had surrendered the achievement of their own elections last year. At those elections I was an official observer from the European Parliament. Other observers were my noble friend Lord Onslow and the noble Lord, Lord Paget, who have both spoken in this debate. My own official report agreed very closely indeed—almost identically—with that of Lord Boyd's group. Under appalling conditions, totally unknown to this country or any other Western country, fair elections were carried out among a people who had never had an election before and did not know what an election meant. I met and talked to people who had walked 30 miles through the bush in order to vote, and some had been beaten up on the way.

I must admit that I was slightly troubled by the implication contained in the words of my noble friend Lord Carrington that the British governor could not take up his post until there was a cease-fire. If that ground rule were operated literally, it seems to me, it would leave the terrorists with the tool of unlimited postponement in their hands. Later in his speech my noble friend balanced this interpretation by saying—I am paraphrasing, but I hope accurately—that no single element would be permitted unilaterally to delay, beyond a reasonable space, Rhodesia's return to legality. It is my trust in that assurance which commands my heartfelt support for this Bill.

6.52 p.m.


My Lords, I must apologise for coming so late on the list of speakers, but it was only at 12 o'clock that I put my name down to speak. I can assure your Lordships that I will speak for only four minutes; but, having always spoken on this subject whenever it has come before this House, I felt I ought to offer my congratulations to my noble friend the Foreign Secretary for being such a brilliant negotiator as to have got as far as he has. But, as the Foreign Secretary said, speed is the essence of this question; and, having some knowledge of Africa, I am quite convinced that if the negotiations were to drag on and on then the intimidation would be so great (in Africa we have many societies such as the Leopard men, who I have seen, and one or two others) that these proposals would suffer the same fate as that which befell the Pearce Commission's proposals. Therefore, I agree most heartily that speed is the essence and that these negotiations cannot drag on. It would be disastrous, I feel.

What I do not understand are some aspects of the opinions of the party opposite. The party opposite appear to be completely unaware (and unless they wear blinkers I do not know how they are unaware) of the fact that if the Patriotic Front (I prefer to call them the Marxist terrorists) got their way then eventually Southern Africa would come into the Soviet orbit. The party opposite are, quite rightly, very concerned about the unemployment in this country. But if the West were denied the vast mineral resources of South of the Zambezi then, as I have said before in this House, unemployment in this country would not be 1½ million, it would probably be 5 million, or even more. Therefore, I say that speed in the ending of these negotiations is essential.

Various noble Lords, particularly the noble Lord, Lord Hatch, have said, "Ah, but the Patriotic Front will not have time to set up an organisation for the elections". As we have heard today, Mr. Ian Smith and Bishop Muzorewa repeatedly asked them to take part in the elections, but they never did. The noble Lord, Lord Hatch, said that the Patriotic Front have given a lot of ground. They have given ground inasmuch as they have said they will not go for a Marxist dictator- ship straightaway, but they have not given all that amount of ground. They have not given nearly as much ground as the bishop. Therefore, I would merely repeat that it would be completely disastrous if the negotiations were to drag on. My Lords, I will not speak longer because we have several amendments coming after this Second Reading debate, but I sincerely hope that this Bill is passed. I do not know whether it will go to a Division, but if it does do so I hope it is passed by a very large majority.

6.55 p.m.


My Lords, I am sorry to intervene in this debate in what must seem to be an unscheduled way, but in fact I put my name down to speak but it was inadvertently missed off the list. I will none the less try to be as brief as I can. I must say that, despite all that has been said this afternoon, I cannot help feeling that it is still strange that there has been this hasty and, frankly, ill-timed introduction of the enabling Bill at this delicate stage of the Lancaster House negotiations. Frankly, I was not convinced by the explanation given by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington; and, while I sympathise with his desire to mollify those of his party who have consistently championed white supremacy in Rhodesia, the proposal to allow Section 2 sanctions to lapse before an agreement with all parties is concluded can only jeopardise the chances of achieving a lasting settlement, it seems to me, and is bound to be interpreted by some as a demonstration of bad faith.

I am not going to talk about the obvious defects in the British proposals for a constitution since these seem now to have been conditionally accepted, albeit reluctantly, by the Patriotic Front, but I want of course to concentrate on the important issues relating to the transition which are still outstanding. I said in your Lordships' House in April that free and fair elections could not be held in Rhodesia unless there was a cease-fire and unless there was a neutral force to guarantee the end of hostilities and the freedom of the electoral process. I still see no reason to change my mind. Indeed, the continued escalation of the war since April has only strengthened my belief that, in the absence of the integration of the Rhodesian military and the armies of the Patriotic Front, such a force is a sine qua non of a free and fair election.

I ask your Lordships to look at this objectively. I just happen to have come back from Poland, which is a country where we should all like to see a free and fair election. Suppose it was to be announced that there was to be one, but that it would be administered by the bureaucrats who currently control that régime and policed by the forces which currently control the population there. All your Lordships would be justifiably sceptical about the result. Indeed, in some ways the situation in Rhodesia is worse than it is in Poland. I am amazed to hear talk about apprehensions as to the possible breakdown of law and order. The law and order which Mr. Smith has always claimed so fervently to be maintaining does not in reality exist for the vast majority of people in Rhodesia. Rhodesia is in the grip of, not two but five armies, and the resultant situation is one of lawlessness and near anarchy.

Of course, I do not believe that the Patriotic Front forces should be solely in charge of security during the transition; but neither do I believe that the existing security forces should be. The security forces, together with the so-called auxiliaries, taking advantage of the carte blanche afforded by the martial law which now blankets almost the entire country, are themselves responsible for much of the chaos. Punitive strikes, both on villages inside the country and on refugee and transit camps outside it, continue with increased ferocity and frequency. Little or no distinction is made by them between civilians and armed guerrillas, between curfew-breakers and guerrilla collaborators, or between innocent herdsmen and those people who steal cattle. Martial law is not just an item on the statute book. The sweeping powers which it affords are for the majority of people in Rhodesia an appalling reality. The use of torture appears to be standard practice there.

In the last week I have been shown three petitions for clemency which were submitted to the President of Rhodesia in August this year. The cases concern three boys—one aged 19 and two aged 16—who have been convicted by special courts martial of collaborating with the guerrillas.

The convictions were based on the confessions of the three defendants. Two were sentenced to death and the other to life imprisonment. In all three cases the defendants allege that the confessions were extracted through prolonged and brutal torture—beatings, near drownings, electric shock treatment and so forth. I do not at the moment know the result of these petitions for clemency, but, had it not been for an action in the Rhodesian High Court earlier this year, brought by the Commission for Justice and Peace in the face of fierce Government opposition, to ensure that those convicted of martial law offences should be granted the same right to the presidential prerogative of mercy as other detainees, it is unlikely that these cases would even have seen the light of day.

No one can say with any certainty how many martial law detainees there are since they come within the jurisdiction of combined operations, and statistics are not published for "security" reasons. Nor do we know precisely how many people—guilty or innocent—have been sentenced to death by martial law kangaroo courts or who have been executed. Indeed during the current negotiations in London, on 1st November, martial law was again extended to cover prisons so that these now come directly under military control and the blanket of national security.

What is certain is that, if a climate conducive to free and fair elections is to be created, martial law will have to be lifted, draconian security legislation, including the infamous Indemnity and Compensation Act, held in abeyance pending its repeal, and those currently held in detention, whether under the emergency regulations or martial law provisions, must be immediately released.

In the light of what I have said, demands for a neutral peacekeeping force are unarguable, and I am glad that the British government has finally—and in accordance with what they said they would do in Lusaka—conceded this principle. But I question whether the British proposals—at any rate as leaked to the Press this weekend—go far enough to provide the kind of assurances needed for free and fair elections.

I am not a military expert and I am not qualified to pronounce on the size of the force required; but, bearing in mind that the activities of the Rhodesian military forces will have to cease to ensure that the harassment, intimidation and coercion practised by them during the April election is avoided, I would urge the government to reconsider whether 1,200 "military observers" bearing only light arms are sufficient for a country the size of Rhodesia.

If the Rhodesian police force is to be responsible for the bulk of the policing during the transition, as I understand it is under the British proposals, it is of paramount importance that it be brought effectively under the control of the British governing authority.

Again, in the absence of the integration of the forces of the Patriotic Front and the Rhodesian security forces, and particularly in view of the rejection of the Patriotic Front's proposals for a power-sharing executive during the transition, it is crucial that the commitment of the leaders to a cease-fire is maintained. For this to be achieved, the British governing authority must ensure the confidence of all parties. This precludes treating the Patriotic Front and their supporters as second-class citizens, and involves not only parity for the leadership of the Patriotic Front with the internal leaders but regarding their armed forces as equally legitimate. If one side of the conflict, the security forces are to be maintained on the State payroll during the transition, similar financial provisions should be made for the guerrilla forces. If one supposes that all guerrilla activity is to finish, the guerrillas too have to be fed, housed and clothed. Assuming that there are some 15,000 guerrillas, and assuming that they were paid the same as the auxiliaries are in Rhodesia now, the cost to the state would be roughly equivalent a month to the current cost of the war a day.

In addition to the question of security during the period to independence there is the question that we have discussed about the length of the transitional period. I agree that once agreement between all parties is reached, the transition should be made as quickly as is possible; but the time-scale proposed by the British Government frankly seems absurd.

The difficulties of arranging a cease-fire when the guerrillas have in the past been bombarded with propaganda, threats and false promises are considerable. Announcements in the government-controlled media are not going to be enough. Even given the means of communications at the Patriotic Front's disposal, including radio broadcasts from Lusaka and Maputo, guerrilla groups will have to be contacted by people they trust and assured that the cease-fire proposals are genuine. This is bound to take time, particularly when one remembers the fate of 183 of the Rev. Sithole's auxiliaries massacred in July this year by the security forces in a preemptive strike.

Then there is the question of political organisation. As the noble Lord, Lord Hatch of Lusby, said, the political parties of the Patriotic Front are banned in Rhodesia. The names of their leaders have in the past not even been able to be mentioned in the media; party supporters are liable to arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention, and the leaders and top ranking officials of the Patriotic Front have been out of circulation inside the country for many years.

In the light of this, it is clear that the British proposals favour the internal parties who have existing party organisations, whose leaders and officials have been projected nationwide by an intense public relations campaign, who control Rhodesia's biased media and who, if they have no experience of competing in free and fair elections, have amply demonstrated their considerable expertise in mass mobilisation.

The six months' transition period proposed by the Patriotic Front frankly does not seem at all unreasonable to me, and would ensure that all parties are given equal opportunities in the election campaign to put forward their programmes. In this regard, it is relevant to point out that a longer transition period would also enable the necessary restructuring in my opinion by outside personnel of Rhodesia's Press, radio and television to ensure not only equal access by all parties to the media, but to correct the current gross distortions of what is in effect a government propaganda machine.

Also, as has been mentioned, such a period would allow for the registration of voters—conspicuously lacking in April, when I also was at the election, and which led to a number of abuses. As has been mentioned, there is the problem of the estimated 300,000 refugees in neighbouring Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. In the April election of course these people were disenfranchised. A longer transitional period than that currently proposed by the government would at least allow provision to be made for some to return home and play their legitimate role in the election process. The refugees, who have lost everything in the war and who continue to be victims of Rhodesian raids and pre-emptive strikes, unarguably have a far greater stake in the future of their country than, say. the non-citizen contract or temporary workers, most of whom were enfranchised in April.

In conclusion, I would strongly urge the government to reconsider its current negotiating tactic of precipitate action, threats, ultimatums and the use of the non-renewal of Section 2 sanctions as a weapon in the current talks. The Patriotic Front is not being obstinate, is not fili-bustering, as can be judged from the level of support for their position from the front-line States and the Commonwealth as a whole.

The spirit of reconciliation which the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has rightly urged on the participants at Lancaster House should also apply to the British Government, and I hope that over the next few days the Government will adopt a more sympathetic attitude to the not inconsiderable compromises which have been made by the Patriotic Front, and give more flexible attention to their legitimate demands. The so-called second-class solution—proceeding on a bilateral basis with the internal leaders—is no solution at all to the tragedy of Rhodesia—neither for Britain nor, more importantly for the suffering people of Zimbabwe.

7.7 p.m.


My Lords, there is very wide agreement in the country and in Parliament as to what we all want to see in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. We want to see a settlement which stops the fighting, adopts an agreed constitution, establishes genuine majority rule through free elections leading to a lawful government deriving its authority from those elections. It is agreed that there must be a transition period during which the neces- sary arrangements for the transfer of power should be conducted by a British nominated governor in whom there would be vested complete executive—including military—authority.Very considerable progress has been made towards these goals. I repeat that great credit is due to the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, for the skill and perseverance with which he has pursued these objectives; and also—as I am sure he would agree—to the leaders of the Patriotic Front and the front-line Presidents, all of whom from time to time have themselves made crucial concessions without which the negotiations would have broken down a long time ago. It is to the statesmanship of all concerned, including our African colleagues in Lancaster House, that we in this House address ourselves this evening.

However, for that progress to be translated into a real and durable settlement, it simply must be acceptable to all the parties concerned in the negotiations. It must be acceptable to Africa as a whole, to the Commonwealth (without whose support the negotiations could hardly have got off the ground) and to world opinion. Such a settlement must be compatible with UN decisions by which we are bound, and many of which we ourselves initiated in New York.

First, it must be effectively agreed in Lancaster House. The wider concurrence and support which will give durability to the settlement can only flow from that agreement. If we fail there, then it is no use our canvassing the possibility of African, world, Commonwealth and United Nations acquiescence and support. Unless we have that, this Bill is pointless and the policy which it represents can only lead to new dimensions of disaster in Rhodesia if it is persisted in. At least this Bill is pointless unless it is backed by that kind of agreement in its present form. The Bill is described as an enabling Bill, simply doing the sensible job of providing the Government with the means of implementing an agreement in the future as that agreement emerges. If it were such a Bill, then I am pretty sure we on this side of the House would not object to it: indeed we might support it. But it is not truly an enabling Bill. It contains within it certain elements which, regardless of whether or not there is an agreement, the Government intend to implement at once, immediately.

In particular, in my view, it quite unnecessarily exempts Section 2 sanctions from the provisions which an enabling Bill would anticipate rather than tackle at once. Sanctions are a very sensitive issue. There are many in all parties, in this country and wider afield, who regard sanctions as a potential substitute for war, as an instrument of proper coercion still to be perfected, and certainly not to be cursorily treated, as I think they are in this Bill. In Rhodesia in particular, in Africa and in the coloured world, our maintenance of sanctions is seen as the acid test of British and Western good faith. The Government in their own Bill seem to think so. They tell us that only about 20 per cent. of sanctions are touched by this Bill. Eighty per cent. are carried on, regardless of this Bill. In that case, why remove even 20 per cent?

The question has been asked, and answered, from this side of the House. Naturally, it has not been answered with any frankness from the other side of the House. It is true—is it not?—that this central mistake of spoiling what might be a very useful instrument for the orderly and coherent transition and transfer of power—this fatal flaw—has been included in order to buy off the extremists of the Conservative Party, particularly in the other House, and indeed to give the Salisbury régime a talking point at home that may help them in the elections. This is a fundamental mistake, because it is not going to help the Salisbury régime at all. The Africans are already defining this gesture to them for what it is worth: already it is a non-starter. It may certainly harden African suspicions about our own intentions and it may, if what I am told is true and Section 2 does in fact include matters subject to United Nations mandatory resolutions, land us in considerable difficulty in the Security Council and the General Assembly. So this is not an enabling Bill. If it were, I believe I would support it. I can see an enabling Bill, which prepares the ground but does not jump the fences, as a very useful and and indeed necessary instrument for the implementation of a proper agreement.

Having made that point, I have only one or two other points to make. One of them includes the important practical question of the transition stage. The first point to make is that I am profoundly disappointed and surprised that the Government, although they have been pressed from all quarters by more than one party, and certainly from the African quarter, to extend the two months' period of transition, have remained obdurate. In African circles this is regarded as part of a stratagem somehow to rush the elections so that those now in situ, the Salisbury parties, will have a distinct advantage in organising their campaigns and appealing to the Rhodesian electorate. Whether or not that is true, if it is believed then it is a very cogent argument for extending the period.

There are practical arguments for it, of course—we have heard them over and over again—in order to organise something like a comprehensive register and to lay down the basic regulations for the sharing of public media facilities, about which once more the non-Salisbury régime parties are profoundly suspicious. There is the practical argument that men who lead what we hope will be parliamentary parties taking part in the election—the men who lead the new parties of the Patriotic Front and who have been exiled from their own country and indeed imprisoned for years and have not been able to go about and do anything as democratic as canvassing—will find it very difficult indeed to make a credible, coherent appeal in a vast territory like Rhodesia to an electorate of at least 3 to 4 million.

So we are profoundly disappointed that there is no move to meet this very reasonable demand for an extension of the period. Four months has been suggested: even three months would help to give credibility to the purpose of the Government in enabling elections to be held at all. It would help the governor when he gets there. He would not be beset by people complaining to him and saying: "There is no time; we have not been able to get this or that; we have not been able to file this form". Two months is a derisory period in which to hold the first democratic election——

Several noble Lords: The second!


The first democratic election——

Several noble Lords: Second!


The first democratic election which is so regarded by the people most concerned, the vast majority of the black Africans of Rhodesia——


My Lords, will the noble Lord give way just for a second?


Secondly, we are still not clear about the timing of the arrival of the governor and his role when he gets there. These are serious points. They touch the point of legality and they also touch very closely indeed the point of efficacy once the governor is there. He will go to Zimbabwe as a plenipotentiary, vested with all executive power, including the military power. If he goes out with those powers backed by effective agreement from Lancaster House then his task, although one of monumental difficulty, will nevertheless be possible. But if he goes out—and I repeat my noble friend's question as to the intentions of the Government—without the backing of such an agreement but merely on the basis of a bilateral arrangement or contrivance with the Salisbury parties, then his task will not only prove to be impossible but it may lead to new dimensions of disaster, involving this country in an actual confrontation with the Patriotic Front and the front-line Presidents, with the OAU and with significant countries in that continent, such as Nigeria. He will take over from the Salisbury régime not only the civil administration, but the military and police power. Through him, as the only legal Government in the country, the United Kingdom will be governing Rhodesia and it will be responsible for law and order and for any threat to it, both from inside and from outside the country.

There are possibilities of confrontation, not as now between the Muzorewa forces and the Patriotic Front, but between this country and its forces—if they can get there—and the insurgents. From where will he draw his military and police forces—from Rhodesia, from the white led forces of the Salisbury régime, from the bishop's auxiliaries? Will they cooperate?—they may. Will they perhaps be manoeuvring for a position in relation to each other, seeking points of power and advantage when, as they think, possibly, the governor will have failed and will have to be withdrawn? All that will not happen, if he goes there on the basis of a real agreement in Lancaster House. All that may well happen if he is sent there on the basis of a mere bilateral contrivance with the Salisbury régime. This is really the basic objection that we have to the policy of the Government as it has now evolved.

We say once more that the negotiations have been conducted with skill. We have been very pleased to support in every way the progress of those negotiations, and we are surprised and alarmed at the sudden turn of events about a week ago when, as my noble friend pointed out, the patience of the previous nine weeks was substituted by the impatience of the last nine days. I cannot believe that the Government have fully thought out the implications of their sudden change of tempo, including the introduction of this Bill during the past few days. There is still time to adopt an alternative strategy, to amend this Bill this evening in this House so that it becomes truly an enabling Bill; to take away from it what spoils it—the provision for dropping Section 2 sanctions and one or two other things that we have emobdied in a number of Amendments. In that way, the Government would be provided with the full powers of initiative, subject of course to coming to both Houses for Affirmative approval, which would not be delayed and would certainly not be withheld.

It would not be a question of adding another week or two to the negotiations of the past nine weeks; it would be a question of adding a few days to the negotiations of the last 14 years, and it is well worth stating at this late hour that the agreed constitution—and I agree so very much with the noble Lord, Lord Home, that that is a major achievement and an essential one—cannot be viable unless it is part of a general agreement. It remains a blueprint. I repeat that a great deal of progress has neen made, with all the parties to the conference making their contribution, and an invaluable degree of consensus has been created in Parliament and in the country. I hope that the noble Lord, when he replies, will be able to respond to the questions which my noble and learned friend Lord Elwyn-Jones and I have put. If he does so we may be able to agree to the Bill and to continue to help. If not, we must register our disagreement.

7.25 p.m.


My Lords, it falls to me to follow the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, in winding-up this debate from this Dispatch Box. Rhodesia is a question which has always attracted numerous and distinguished contributions from noble Lords in all quarters of the House when it has deen debated, and today's debate has lived up to that standard. I shall do my best to answer as many points as possible that have been raised by noble Lords opposite.

But before I turn to the specific themes of our debate, may I remind your Lordships briefly of the respects in which I believe our consideration of this problem can be, and should be, different on this occasion from the approach which has characterised our discussion of it here and in another place in recent years, or even at any time since the illegal declaration of independence by Mr. Ian Smith's Government in 1965. Certainly, every year since 1968 successive Governments have had to ask your Lordships to support their efforts to secure a peaceful settlement in Rhodesia, to deplore the failure of this party or that in Rhodesia to make an adequate response to those efforts, to acknowledge that there was no means by which the Government could impose any solution, however reasonable, against the wishes of the parties themselves and, finally, to accept that economic sanctions against Rhodesia must be continued for yet another year.

To say this is not to seek to try—for it is the last thing that I would wish to do, because how difficult these things are—to depreciate the sincerity with which successive Governments have tried to find an honourable solution to this, the last and most vexatious problem posed by our colonial heritage in Africa. All did the best they could, as they saw it at the time. All strived hard to achieve their results. But all failed, ultimately, because events in Rhodesia itself and the attitudes of those with direct power in and over the country had not developed to a point where they matched what any British Government were prepared to do to achieve a settlement.

But that is not the situation that we find ourselves in today. Rhodesia has changed fundamentally in the last year and there has been a fundamental change in the attitudes of Rhodesians themselves. This Government have made it their task to build on that change. Unlike the noble Lord, Lord Wigg, I think there are so many aspects that have led to this change of attitude that I would not try to single out any particular one. But one thing that is for sure is that this Government are right—and I think noble Lords on both sides of the House would have wished it—that if advantage could be taken of this change of attitude, it was right so to do.

Many of your Lordships have generously, and I think justifiably, acknowledged the success of my noble friend in carrying out that task. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, and the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, as I saw it, did not question the rightness of what the Government are seeking to achieve, but they did question the timing of this legislation. They spoke sincerely of the danger they foresaw of precipitating a breakdown of the present conference by appearing in this respect and in others to exert undue, unfair pressure on one or other of the parties to it.

As my noble friend has already said in his opening speech, the Government fully recognise the inconvenience to the House of the procedures adopted for this Bill, but it would not have been possible to introduce it before the Government had tabled their full proposals for the interim period in the conference on 2nd November and had received the first reactions of the parties to them. Before that it would not have been possible. Had we done so, we should most certainly have been accused of trying to exert unfair pressure. But thereafter there really was not a reason for further delay.

The conference has been in session now for nine weeks. Considerable progress has been made. Indeed, I would say great progress has been made, compared with what happened before. The issues remaining for decision have been identified and the need now is to clear the decks for decision and for action. We may very soon need the powers which the Bill will grant and which we do not at present have. The Bill in no way pre-empts or prejudges decisions to be reached in the conference. As we have explained and as my noble friend has explained to the delegations, its purpose is to permit us to implement those decisions with all possible speed when the moment comes. Now that there is agreement on full majority rule and, we hope, an imminent return to legality in Rhodesia, there is no reason why the people of Rhodesia should wait any longer than is unavoidably necessary for the opportunity to decide their future in free and fair elections.

The amendment to the Bill proposed by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, is, I find, a somewhat curious proposition. It regrets the failure of the Government to continue in force Section 2 of the 1965 Act "during the transitional period". I do not understand why noble Lords opposite regret this fact. Do they suggest that the indirect sanctions orders made under Section 2 should remain in force throughout the transitional period? If they do, we have been applying sanctions against ourselves. This would seem to me to be patently absurd, for once a governor had arrived we should in effect be applying sanctions against whom? We should be applying sanctions against a legal part of Her Majesty's dominions. If the suggestion is that the Government should keep in force Section 2 rather than introduce this enabling Bill, then the noble Lords have, I would say with respect, missed the point of the Bill. It is precisely because the 1965 Act does not give sufficient powers—powers to make an independence constitution and hold elections, since these were never envisaged in 1965—that the Government have needed and have therefore introduced this Bill.

A number of noble Lords, in particular the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, have asked whether the Government will appoint a governor even if there is no agreement between all the parties on the cease-fire. May I interject here that my impression of this debate is that if the conference continues to go on as it has gone on hitherto but with more speed—and I shall come to that in a moment—then noble Lords on both sides of the House will be delighted.

The whole thrust of the speeches made by noble Lords in opposition was, what would happen if the conference did not succeed? This caused the noble Lord, Lord Stewart of Fulham, to ask whether a governor would still be appointed—this was the direct question he asked me—if there was no agreement on a cease-fire among all parties. We all agree that that is what we seek. Of course this is what we want to have. We have been striving for it and we hope to get it. We think that Rhodesia deserves it and needs it, and we think that we have been perfectly and scrupulously fair in what we have offered. We hope that it will be possible to make further progress tomorrow. But agreement will never be reached if we allow any single party to any negotiations to have what is effectively a veto. Any noble Lords who have had dealings in negotiations must and do realise this.

Here I would ask noble Lords to consider who can best judge this. Oh, yes, we can make speeches; we can talk to the people who arc involved in the negotiations; we can have our own views. But these are not easy negotiations. There is this country and there are the three other parties. The situation is very difficult. As for the guy who is running and handling them, either you have confidence in the way in which the negotiations are being handled or you do not. Certainly suggestions can be put to him and he, I know, welcomes them as much as anybody. However, the time has to come in any negotiations when you think that the right thing to do is to say, "We have had enough time to discuss this. Everybody knows where everybody else stands and the time has now come to reach a decision".

If there is no agreement—and I regret to have to come back to the noble Lord's point—then the Government will have to make up their mind on how they are going to proceed. This is not what we have been counting on, and it is not what we are looking for. In doing so, however, we shall have regard to what has been achieved in the conference and to what we think—if failure there is—are the reasons for that failure. But it must surely have been clear from my noble friend's opening speech that the Government are determined to carry out their responsibilities to the people of Rhodesia. This we intend to do, and it is our earnest hope that we can do so with the agreement of all the parties to the conference.

I turn next to the question of sanctions, which has been a subject of great concern on all sides of the House. The purpose of sanctions, let it be remembered, was to bring an end to the state of illegality and to bring Rhodesia to genuine majority rule. Bishop Muzorewa's delegation has accepted the independence constitution which indisputably provides for genuine majority rule, as have the other parties to the conference, and also the appointment of a British governor, which would mean Rhodesia's return to legality. In these circumstances, the Government believe they would be unjustified in taking the positive step of renewing sanctions, in so far as they are applied under Section 2 of the 1965 Act.

What are these sanctions? They are indirect sanctions. They are not sanctions against direct trade between this country and Rhodesia. They are sanctions against someone selling something out of this country through a third party, via a third country, which then gets transmitted on into Rhodesia. It was about, say, 20 per cent. of the trade; that was the order of it.

If we envisaged a long delay of some months or even years before we made up our minds about the major aspect of sanctions, then I think that noble Lords who say that it is very dangerous to take off the indirect sanctions might have a point. Why? Because it takes quite a time to set up this indirect trade. It does not just happen from one day to the other. We hope that it will only be a very short time before the governor will go to Salisbury, Rhodesia and thus restore legality to Rhodesia. When that happens it will be the intention of the Government to take off all sanctions. So in fact what we are doing short of legality, as it were—it is rather like the housemaid's baby; we have done it but it is only very small; and it is not going to be very effective, either, in the short period of time before we hope to have full legality and the removal of all sanctions. I believe this is a fair solution; one which does no violence to any of the principles which we uphold and I certainly could not accept that it shows partiality to any one party. After all, as my noble friend Lord Home pointed out, Bishop Muzorewa has agreed to all that successive British Governments, from that side of the House and from this, have asked them to do.

The noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, asked what the Government would say on this subject at the United Nations. My Lords, the Government will point out that Britain continues to prohibit direct trade with Rhodesia and the transfer of funds to Rhodesia, for the moment, until we get back to legality. But the progress made at Lancaster House has been such that we can clearly now see a prospect. I pray that we may be proved right. We can clearly see a prospect within a very short time of a return to legality and when that has been achieved there will be no reason or authority for the continuance of sanctions.

The noble Lord, Lord Gridley, drew attention to the need to reassure Rhodesian public servants and former public servants about the future security of their pensions. Let me assure him that the Government accept that need: the constitution will contain measures to protect public service pension rights, but let me say again that the most effective way to guarantee these pensions is to bring Rhodesia to legal independence and to lift sanctions in circumstances which allow Rhodesia's economy to flourish. That is what we are aiming to achieve through the conference.

Several noble Lords on the Opposition Benches have suggested that the transition period is inadequate.


My Lords, before the noble Lord goes on to that, will he permit me to ask him one question? Supposing that Mr. Mugabe were to win this election, what would be the position with regard to the pensions of the civil servants?


My Lords, as I have said, the British Government take whatever responsibilities they will need to take in this regard and they will look to the Rhodesian Government to take the responsibilities that the people who are elected should take.

Several noble Lords have suggested that the period set aside for elections is inadequate. Frankly, we do not accept this. I understand the argument. There is a balance to be struck and certainly there must be adequate time for all to prepare for elections, to put their views to the people; but it is not as though the Patriotic Front leaders are unknown in Rhodesia. I can assure the noble Lord Lord Hatch of Lusby, that the ban on the parties making up the Patriotic Front, upon which he specifically asked me a question, will be lifted in those circumstances. But the cease-fire will be extraordinarily vulnerable and difficult to maintain. And do not let us forget that it is the British Government who will be responsible for this and it will be a very fragile cease-fire: it will be fragile for days, let alone weeks, and let alone months. And supposing it bursts in our face, would it have been very clever to have given it so long a time that the cease-fire bursts and turns into chaos? It would not be a very pleasurable proposition. Of course, it is no fun having it in the rainy season, but "there is a tide in the affairs of man"—and we are where we are. We cannot say, "We will stop now because it is the rainy season and We will pick it up again in three months' time". That would lose momentum. I hope the noble Lord was not saying that it had been planned to happen in the rainy season, because that was certainly not so. We must strike a balance here and I really do not think that we are wrong. It is a matter of judgment. There are arguments both ways and we think that we have hit it just about right.

The nobe Lord, Lord Hatch, asked me about the position of Bishop Muzorewa and his colleagues during the election campaign. What matters in this situation is the exercise of power and the bishop has agreed that he and his Government will not exercise power during that period. Power will be exercised by the governor through the administration in Rhodesia and not by Ministers. This is a major concession. I think if it was put to either of our parties we would not like it very much, but he has conceded it and there is no reason to humiliate them by insisting that they divest themselves of their titles and everything else. It is the power that matters, and they are not going to have it, and it will be seen that they have not got it; and it is understood and they are prepared to face up to this. and they are prepared to face up to this. The cease-fire remains to be discussed at a later stage of this conference——


My Lords, may we get this absolutely straight? Is the noble Lord saying that the Ministers who have resigned will keep their ministerial houses, their ministerial cars, and all the appurtenances of their offices?


My Lords, I think a lot of Ministers keep their cars—do they not?—during elections until they have been beaten. I cannot answer that. What matters here is whether they exercise the power or they do not. Whether they are living in one house or another, or driving one car or another, I do not regard as a major issue in the election.

As I have said, the cease-fire remains to be discussed at a later stage and I do not want to anticipate the discussions here. It is very dangerous and I think it is frightfully important that we do not try to transfer the Lancaster House arguments into this Chamber. What we want to do here is to discuss this Bill.

The noble Lord, Lord Tranmire, suggested that the Government were too easily discarding the elections held in Rhodesia last April. I can assure the noble Lord that this is not so. The Government have never concealed their view of the importance of those elections, but none the less we are convinced that further elections at which all parties can take part are an essential step in implementing the new constitution. That is what we should like to see. This was the commitment undertaken at the meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government at Lusaka in August, and this is what we are trying to get agreed at Lancaster House.

In conclusion I should like to say this. Several noble Lords opposite drew attention to the dangers they could foresee if Rhodesia returned to legality and subsequently became legally independent in a situation where the Patriotic Front were continuing the present war. It is not for me to say whether they were right to pose that, but in my submission they were wrong in implying, if they did wish to imply it, that this consideration must give the leaders of any party a right to delay the settlement indefinitely. The Government are still seeking a comprehensive settlement and believe that such a settlement is possible, but the time for decision cannot be put off much longer, Much is at stake—the prospect of an end to the war, the exercise by the people of Rhodesia of the right to genuine majority rule. We look forward also to wiping out the bitterness which has distorted Anglo-Rhodesian relations for the past 14 years. The people of Rhodesia for their part are looking impatiently for a return to legal status in the comity of nations. For them and for their neighbours it can mean, if the will is there, a future of stability and of prosperity. The Government have no hesitation in asking this House to give them the powers which will enable the first steps—and they are but the first steps—to be taken into that future.

7.52 p.m.


My Lords, the noble Lord the Leader of the House has deplored the transfer of Lancaster House arguments to this Chamber, but, pray, whose fault is that?


My Lords, I apologise that I missed what the noble and learned Lord said. I was being complimented, as I always am.


My Lords, I will not say whether the noble Lord deserves to be complimented or not. It was a speech which was delivered with more vigour than enlightenment. But let us not exchange discourtesies for a moment. When the noble Lord's attention was temporarily distracted by compliments I was venturing to deal with his complaint about the transfer of Lancaster House arguments to this Chamber. Whose fault is that? I think it is deplorable that in the middle of the most delicate and difficult negotiations this procedure has been necessary in Parliament for the reason that the Bill has been brought before Parliament. As my noble friends have said, it should have been brought forward at the end of negotiations and when, as we hope, a settlement has been accomplished. It would have gone through rapidly; there would have been no difficulty from this side of the House. We have sought to sustain the Government in their attempts at a settlement.

What I am bound to say is that what we on this side of the House, certainly I, found most disturbing was the failure of the noble Lord to answer the question about what the Government will do if, alas, no agreement is arrived at and negotiations fail. They will in the mean- time, if the Bill goes through the House and through Parliament, have secured powers for the Government. Parliament is entitled to ask what, in that situation, the Government would do with those powers. Is there to be a simple handing over of authority to the Muzorewa régime? Is that what is proposed? These are problems which the noble Lord has sought to avoid answering by simply saying "Well, wait and see; we will see what to do when that time comes". I really do not think that is satisfactory, and I think this House and the other place should have been given an explanation.

So far as the issue of sanctions is concerned, I hate to repeat again the much-discussed statement of the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary when he said on 7th November: sanctions will be taken off when the governor takes over in Salisbury, and he will take over when a cease-fire has been agreed".—[Official Report, 7/11/79; col. 833.] But the Government are taking off part of the sanctions now before the governor goes to Salisbury and before a cease-fire is agreed, and that the most symbolic part of those sanctions, the Section 2 sanctions. I am bound to say that, like the noble Lord, Lord Banks, and other noble Lords on this side of the House, we are not satisfied with the explanation which Ministers have given for not renewing the Section 2 sanctions. Indeed, on the contrary, we regard this as a fundamental mistake for the reasons which my noble friend Lord Goronwy-Roberts and other noble Lords have given, and a mistake which could have damaging effects on the prospect of a settlement and on our standing in the United Nations.

What the noble Lord the Leader of the House did not answer is what procedural steps the Government are going to take at the United Nations. Are they going to go in sackcloth and ashes and explain that we are departing from the sanctions resolutions of the United Nations, or are they waiting upon events? That would be a very dangerous course to take, because those not well disposed to us could take the initiative. So I would like to know what steps are to be taken. We did not get the answer on that. It may well be that, if it is inconvenient for the noble Lord to answer now, we could, when we come to discussing some of the Amendments, revert to the matter, which is something we do need further guidance upon. In view of our dissatisfaction with the explanations that have been given, in particular about sanctions, I must on behalf of my noble friends and myself press my reasoned amendment.

7.57 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 79: Not-Contents, 233.

Ardwick, L. Galpern, L. Oram, L.
Aylestone, L. Gardiner, L. Peart, L.
Bacon, B. Gordon-Walker, L. Pitt of Hampstead, L.
Balogh, L. Goronwy-Roberts, L. Plant, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Gregson, L. Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Bernstein, L. Hale, L. Ross of Marnock, L.
Birk, B. Hamnett, L. Sefton of Garston, L.
Blease, L. Hatch of Lusby, L. Simon, V.
Blyton, L. Houghton of Sowerby, L. Stedman, B.
Boston of Faversham, L. Howie of Troon, L. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Bowden, L. Hughes, L. Stewart of Fulham, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L. Jacques, L. Stone, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Jeger, B. Strabolgi, L.
Castle, L. Kaldor, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Chitnis, L. Kilbracken, L. Underhill, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Kirkhill, L. Wade, L.
Collison, L. Lee of Newton, L. Wallace of Coslany, L. [Teller.]
Cooper of Stockton Heath, L. Llewelyn-Davies, L.
Crowther-Hunt, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. [Teller.] Walston, L.
Cudlipp, L. Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
David, B. Lockwood, B. Wells-Pestell, L.
Davies of Leek, L. Lovell-Davis, L. Whaddon, L.
Davies of Penrhys, L. McNair, L. White, B.
Denington, B. Maelor, L. Wigg, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Melchett, L. Wigoder, L.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Milford, L. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Gaitskell, B. Murray of Gravesend, L. Wynne-Jones, L.
Abinger, L. Bradford, E. Crawford and Balcarres, E.
Ailsa, M. Bridgeman, V. Crawshaw, L.
Airey of Abingdon, B. Brocket, L. Cromartie, E.
Aldenham, L. Brookeborough, V. Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Allerton, L. Brookes, L. Dacre, B.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Brougham and Vaux, L. Davidson, V.
Ampthill, L. Brownlow, L. de Clifford, L.
Armstrong, L. Cairns, E. De Freyne, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Caldecote, V. De La Warr, E.
Audley, L. Camoys, L. Denham, L. [Teller.]
Avon, E. Campbell of Croy, L. Derwent, L.
Baker, L. Carrington, L. (A Principal Secretary of State.) Digby, L.
Balerno, L. Dormer, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Chalfont, L. Drogheda, E.
Barnard, L. Chelmer, L. Drumalbyn, L.
Barnby, L. Chesham, L. Dudley, E.
Bathurst, E. Clifford of Chudleigh, L. Dulverton, L.
Bellwin, L. Clitheroe, L. Duncan-Sandys, L.
Belstead, L. Clwyd, L. Eccles, V.
Berkeley, B. Cockfield, L. Effingham, E.
Bessborough, E. Coleraine, L. Ellenborough, L.
Biddulph, L. Colwyn, L. Elles, B.
Birdwood, L. Cork and Orrery, E. Elliot of Harwood, B.
Blake, L. Cornwallis, L. Elton, L.
Bolton, L. Cottesloe, L. Enniskillen, E.
Bourne, L. Craigavon, V. Erne, E.
Boyd of Merton, V. Craigmyle, L. Exeter, M.
Boyd-Carpenter, L. Cranbrook, E. Fairfax of Cameron, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Crathorne, L. Fairhaven, L.
Faithfull, B. Lindsey and Abingdon, E. St. Aldwyn, E.
Falmouth, V. Linlithgow, M. St. Davids, V.
Ferrers, E. Lloyd, L. St. Just, L.
Ferrier, L. Long, V. Saint Oswald, L.
Forester, L. Loudoun, C. Salisbury, M.
Gage, V. Lucas of Chilworth, L. Sandford, L.
Gainford, L. Lyell, L. Sandys, L. [Teller.]
Gibson-Watt, L. Mackay of Clashfern, L. Savile, L.
Gisborough, L. Macleod of Borve, B. Seebohm, L.
Glasgow, E. Mancroft, L. Selkirk, E.
Glenarthur, L. Mansfield, E. Sempill, Ly.
Glenkinglas, L. Marley, L. Sherfield, L.
Godber of Willington, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Skelmersdale, L.
Gowrie, E. Merrivale, L. Slim, V.
Gray, L. Middleton, L. Smith, L.
Greenway, L. Mills, V. Soames, L.(L. President.)
Gridley, L. Monk Bretton, L. Spens, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. (L. Chancellor.) Monson, L. Stamp, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L. Strathclyde, L.
Halifax, E. Morris, L. Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Hanworth, V. Mottistone, L.
Harvey of Tasburgh, L. Mountgarret, V. Strathspey, L.
Hastings, L. Mowbray and Stourton, L. Stuart of Findhorn, V.
Hawke, L. Moyne, L. Sudeley, L.
Hemphill, L. Nelson of Stafford, L. Suffield, L.
Hereford, V. Netherthorpe, L. Swansea, L.
Hertford, M. Newall, L. Swinfen, L.
Hill of Luton, L. Northchurch, B. Swinton, E.
Hives, L. Nugent of Guildford, L. Terrington, L.
Home of the Hirsel, L. Nunburnholme, L. Teviot, L.
Hood, V. Onslow, E. Teynham, L.
Hornsby-Smith, B. Orkney, E. Tollemache, L.
Howe, E. Orr-Ewing, L. Torphichen, L.
Hunt of Fawley, L. Pender, L. Tranmire, L.
Hylton-Foster, B. Penrhyn, L. Trefgarne, L.
Inglewood, L. Radnor, E. Trenchard, V.
Jeffreys, L. Rawlinson of Ewell, L. Tweeddale, M.
Jellicoe, E. Reading, M. Ullswater, V.
Kemsley, V. Reay, L. Vaizey, L.
Keyes, L. Redmayne, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Killearn, L. Reigate, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
Kilmany, L. Renton, L. Waldegrave, E.
Kilmarnock, L. Renwick, L. Ward of Witley, V.
Kindersley, L. Robbins, L. Westbury, L.
Kinloss, Ly. Rochdale, V. Windlesham, L.
Kinnaird, L. Rochester, Bp. Wolverton, L.
Kinross, L. Rockley, L. Wynford, L.
Kintore, E. Rodney, L. Yarborough, E.
Knutsford, V. Romney, E. Young, B.
Lauderdale, E. Ryder of Warsaw, B.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

On Question, Bill read 2a.

8 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, that the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Carrington.)

House in Committee accordingly.


Clause 1 [Power to provide constitution for Zimbabwe]:

Lord ELWYN-JONES moved Amendment No. 1: Page 1, line 5, at beginning insert ("After Agreement has been reached by all parties represented at the Constitutional Conference").

The noble and learned Lord said: I beg to move Amendment No. 1. We have discussed the general principle during the debate on Second Reading and many noble Lords have taken part in the discussion. On this side of the Committee we have emphasised that these powers that are to be given under the Bill should not operate until agreement has been reached by all parties represented at the constitutional conference. There is no reason why the Government should be given the broad, unconditional powers in the Bill, save in the context of an agreement and to carry through an agreed settlement. If there is no settlement alas! the war will go on, and it is not really so much a matter of a veto as, alas! a fact of life if no agreement is reached.

There is a considerable difference between giving the range of powers that the Government seek in the Bill once a cease-fire and agreement have been achieved, and doing so in advance of that achievement. Accordingly, we think it proper to include and to make it a condition of the making of the orders to provide a constitution and all else, that the grant of these powers should be conditional upon obtaining agreement by all parties represented at the constitutional conference. Accordingly, I beg to move Amendment No. 1.

Lord Hatch of LUSBY

As my noble and learned friend Lord Elwyn-Jones has pointed out, if no agreement is reached at Lancaster House, despite all the efforts of all the parties involved, inevitably the war will continue. What I cannot understand—and perhaps the noble Lord who is to reply can make this clear—is why the Government themselves cannot accept and, indeed, welcome this amendment. All that it implies is that according to the first clause of the Bill, the Order in Council will come into effect when agreement is reached.

As I understand it, this Bill has been introduced by the Government because they believe that agreement is in sight. It has also been clearly enunciated from the Government Benches this afternoon and in another place that the intention of introducing the Bill was to further the progress of the Lancaster House conference and to give the Government the power to bring into effect a new constitution. If that is the case, surely the Government themselves only want the power to bring into effect this Order-in-Council when agreement has been reached by all parties at the Lancaster House conference. If, for example, to take a hypothetical case, the Lancaster House conference had broken down last week, presumably this Bill would not have been introduced. So the Bill has been introduced on the supposition that agreement will be reached at the Lancaster House conference.

Therefore, I suggest that in the light of their own logic the Government should accept Amendment No. 1 and avoid the suspicion that the powers—and the powers in this Bill are very wide indeed—which the Government are asking Parliament to grant them, could be used for any other purpose than introducing a constitution which was agreed upon, and all the arrangements agreed upon, by all the parties at the Lancaster House conference. If the Government do not accept this amendment, they are at least implying that in certain circumstances they might use these powers without the agreement of all the parties represented at the constitutional conference.

I suggest that that would be a bad influence on the progress of the conference itself, and so I call upon the Government to recognise that in putting down this amendment we are trying to help them at the Lancaster House conference, that we are trying to help all the parties at that conference, that we are trying to remove the suspicions which have already been voiced about the purpose of the Bill; and that by accepting it they will be moving a step forward towards agreement between all the parties represented at Lancaster House.


Before I speak to this amendment I must declare a business interest in Rhodesia. I strongly oppose the amendment: first, because it ties the Government's hands unnecessarily. All noble Lords will agree that the progress that has been made by my noble friend the Foreign Secretary has been outstanding. That is a powerful argument for giving the Government the maximum freedom of manoeuvre in these negotiations. Secondly, I oppose the amendment because, effectively, it would give the Patriotic Front a veto, and even the previous Foreign Secretary clearly stated that no one in these negotiations on Rhodesia should be given an effective veto.

Of course, as many noble Lords have said, the Patriotic Front must be treated fairly and honourably. Equally, they must act reasonably themselves. Clearly, Bishop Muzorewa and his party have made far more concessions than the Patriotic Front. Therefore, I can think of nothing more likely to encourage the Patriotic Front to hold out for unreasonable, one-sided conditions in the subsequent negotiations than the passing of this amendment. So I strongly oppose it.


The effect of this amendment would be to make it impossible for the Government to make provision for an independence constitution for Zimbabwe, except with the consent of all the parties represented at the constitutional conference at Lancaster House. I believe that this would be an extraordinary provision to incorporate in a statute, and it would be wrong for the Government to accept this amendment.

As I hope I made clear in my opening speech on the Second Reading debate, all the Government's efforts since 3rd May have been devoted to seeking an agreement on Rhodesia in which all the parties can participate. That has been the purpose of the extensive consultations which the Government undertook in the early summer. That was our aim at the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government; that has been our purpose over nine, nearly 10 weeks of negotiation at Lancaster House. I have also explained the very considerable progress that has been made towards achieving that goal. But the fact is that we have now reached a point where further progress can be made only if the Patriotic Front will face up to the need for a decision.

The proposals for the independence period which the Government have put forward are a fair compromise between the opening positions of the two sides, and in our judgment, and that of many of our friends and allies, would allow both sides to take part in elections on an equal footing. They provide a genuine opportunity to settle the competition for power fairly and by peaceful means. As soon as the Patriotic Front can accept them, as Bishop Muzorewa's Government has done, the negotiations can move on to a cease-fire; but without agreement on the basic political issues we cannot take this step.

The Government have gone to great lengths to ensure that the Patriotic Front fully understand our proposals, and to provide them with clarification on certain points. Indeed, officials of my depart- ment have been meeting the whole of this afternoon with the Patriotic Front to go over possible points of misunderstanding yet again. However, there comes a moment when decisions can no longer be delayed, and I am bound to tell the Committee that in my opinion—and I have informed the leaders of the Patriotic Front of this—the moment is now with us.

I have listened to some of the speeches from noble Lords opposite about patience—a few more days, a few more weeks, and a few more months; but there is a difference between patience and indecision, and there is a difference between patience and procrastination, both of them conceivably and very possibly leading to the real danger of a collapse of what we have achieved so far. There are two parties to these negotiations. If the Government were to accept the amendments proposed by the Opposition, the effect would be to grant one party or the other a veto over the outcome of these negotiations, as my noble friend behind me has said. I can imagine nothing less likely to help progress at Lancaster House than to put a provision of that kind in this Bill. If I may say so to the noble Lord, Lord Hatch, if it were the Salisbury delegation who were delaying things by their lack of progress I doubt whether we should have heard the same speeches from him this afternoon and this evening.


Would the noble Lord allow me to intervene?


May I just finish my sentence. If I may also say so—and I should be happy to be corrected—I have heard nobody on the opposite side of the Committee who has acknowledged the concessions and compromises and the very difficult decisions that the Salisbury delegation have taken.


I am obliged to the noble Lord. His accusation is totally without foundation. I have worked with, been friendly with, and associated with members of all races, of all parties in Rhodesia, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and now Zimbabwe. I do not take sides between the Patriotic Front and the Muzorewa party. I do not take sides between the Patriotic Front and the present régime in Salisbury, because, as I understand it, the present régime in Salisbury is an illegal régime; it is in revolt against the Crown, and at least a section of it has been responsible for the disasters which we have seen in Rhodesia over the past 14 years.


Your Lordships will have the opportunity tomorrow of reading in Hansard the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Hatch, and making up your own minds as to whether I was right or he was right. If he is right, I apologise; if I am right I expect the same apology.

I was saying that I did not think that it was right that any party should have a veto over what happened. The Government cannot accept that in the last resort, when every effort has been made to find a settlement to which all the parties can subscribe, the gains of all of those weeks of negotiations should be lost because one side is unwilling to put its support to the test in elections held under our auspices. The Government will do all

in their power to achieve a full settlement and a cease-fire. I cannot imagine what noble Lords think the Government have been doing over these last months, if not that. But we also have a responsibility to the people of Rhodesia, which we intend to meet. I must not leave the Committee in any doubt on that point. I do not believe that any Government could accept the proposed amendments to the Bill, since they would inevitably restrict the Government's room for manoeuvre at a crucial stage in these negotiations. It would make the further conduct of negotiations almost impossible. I hope that for that reason the noble and learned Lord will withdraw his amendment.

8.26 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents. 68; Not-Contents, 207.

Ardwick, L. Gardiner, L. Peart, L.
Avebury, L. Goronwy-Roberts, L. Pitt of Hampstead, L.
Bacon, B. Gregson, L. Plant, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Hale, L. Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Bernstein, L. Hamnett, L. Sefton of Garston, L.
Birk, B. Hatch of Lusby, L. Simon, V.
Blease, L. Houghton of Sowerby, L. Stedman, B.
Boston of Faversham, L. Howie of Troon, L. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L. Hughes, L. Stewart of Fulham, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Jacques, L. Stone, L.
Castle, L. Jeger, B. Strabolgi, L.
Chitnis, L. Kilbracken, L. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Kirkhill, L. Underhill, L.
Collison, L. Lee of Newton, L. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Cooper of Stockton Heath, L. Llewelyn-Davies, L. Walston, L.
Cudlipp, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. [Teller.] Wedderburn of Charlton, L
David, B. Wells-Pestell, L. [Teller.]
Davies of Leek, L. Lockwood, B. Whaddon, L.
Davies of Penrhys, L. Lovell-Davis, L. White, B.
Denington, B. McNair, L. Wigg, L.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Maelor, L. Wigoder, L.
Gaitskell, B. Murray of Gravesend, L. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Galpern, L. Oram, L. Wynne-Jones, L.
Abinger, L. Barber, L. Brabazon of Tara, L.
Airey of Abingdon, B. Barnard, L. Bradford, E.
Aldenham, L. Bathurst, E. Bridgeman, V.
Alexander of Tunis, E. Bellwin, L. Brocket, L.
Allerton, L. Belstead, L. Brookeborough, V.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Berkeley, B. Brookes, L.
Ampthill, L. Bessborough, E. Brougham and Vaux, L.
Armstrong, L. Buddulph, L. Brownlow, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Birdwood, L. Cairns, E.
Audley, L. Blake, L. Caldecote, V.
Balerno, L. Bolton, L. Camoys, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Boyd of Merton, V. Campbell of Croy, L.
Carrington, L. (A Principal Secretary of State.) Hanworth, V. Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Harvey of Tasburgh, L. Reading, M.
Chalfont, L. Hastings, L. Reay, L.
Chelmer, L. Hawke, L. Renton, L.
Chesham, L. Hemphill, L. Renwick, L.
Clifford of Chudleigh, L. Hereford, V. Robbins, L.
Clitheroe, L. Hertford, M. Rochdale, V.
Cockfield, L. Hives, L. Rochester, Bp.
Coleraine, L. Home of the Hirsel, L. Rockley, L.
Colwyn, L. Hood, V. Rodney, L.
Cork and Orrery, E. Hornsby-Smith, B. Romney, E.
Cornwallis, L. Howe, E. Ryder of Warsaw, B.
Cottesloe, L. Hunt of Fawley, L. St. Aldwyn, E.
Craigmyle, L. Hylton-Foster, B. St. Davids, V.
Cranbrook, E. Inglewood, L. St. Just, L.
Crathorne, L. Jeffreys, L. Saint Oswald, L.
Crawshaw, L. Kemsley, V. Sailsbury, M.
Cromartie, E. Keyes, L. Sandford, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Killearn, L. Sandys, L.[Teller.]
Dacre, B. Kilmany, L. Savile, L.
Davidson, V. Kilmarnock, L. Seebohm, L.
de Clifford, L. Kinnaird, L. Selkirk, E.
De Freyne, L. Kinross, L. Sempill, Ly.
De La Warr, E. Kintore, E. Sherfield, L.
De L'Isle, V. Knutsford, V. Skelmersdale, L.
Denham, L. [Teller.] Lauderdale, E. Slim, V.
Digby, L. Lindsey and Abingdon, E. Smith, L.
Dormer, L. Long, V. Soames, L. (L. President.)
Drumalbyn, L. Lucas of Chilworth, L. Stamp, L.
Dudley, E. Lyell, L. Strathclyde, L.
Duncan-Sandys, L. Mackay of Clashfern, L. Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Effingham, E. Macleod of Borve, B.
Ellenborough, L. Mancroft, L. Strathspey, L.
Elles, B. Mansfield, E. Stuart of Findhorn, V.
Elliot of Harwood, B. Marley, L. Sudeley, L.
Elton, L. Masham of Ilton, B. Suffield, L.
Enniskillen, E. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Swansea, L.
Erne, E. Merrivale, L. Swinfen, L.
Erroll of Hale, L. Middleton, L. Swinton, E.
Exeter, M. Mills, V. Teviot, L.
Fairfax of Cameron, L. Monk Bretton, L. Teynham, L.
Fairhaven, L. Monson, L. Tollemache, L
Faithfull, B. Montagu of Beaulieu, L. Torphichen, L.
Falmouth, V. Morris, L. Tranmire, L.
Ferrers, E. Mottistone, L. Trefgarne, L.
Forester, L. Mountgarret, V. Trenchard, V.
Gage V. Mowbray and Stourton, L. Ullswater, V.
Gainford, L. Moyne, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Gibson-Watt, L. Nelson of Stafford, L. Wakefield, of Kendal, L.
Gisborough, L. Netherthorpe, L. Waldegrave, E.
Glasgow, E. Newall, L. Ward of Witley, V.
Glenarthur, L. Northchurch, B. Westbury, L.
Godber of Willington, L. Nugent of Guildford, L. Windlesham, L.
Gowrie, E. Nunburnholme, L. Wolverton, L.
Gray, L. Orkney, E. Wynford, L.
Greenway, L. Orr-Ewing, L. Yarborough, E.
Gridley, L. Penrhyn, L. Young, B.
Grimthorpe, L. Radnor, E.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

8.38 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONES: moved Amendment No. 2: Page 1, line 6, after ("constitution") insert ("as contained in Command Paper No. 7758").

The noble and learned Lord said: This is a probing amendment. The clause provides that:

"Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide a constitution for Zimbabwe".

I assume that what is referred to is the constitution as summarised in the Command Paper. It occurred to us that perhaps it would be prudent to identify the constitution that is proposed—it is not fully in draft yet—and that it might be desirable to those circumstances in some way to identify it. Perhaps the noble Lord will give the Committee his guidance on that suggestion. I beg to move.


As the noble and learned Lord has said, the purpose of the amendment is to require the Government to make the constitution described in Command Paper No. 7758, and no other—and that is important. The conference at Lancaster House has reached agreement on the independence constitution which will for the first time ensure genuine majority rule in Rhodesia. This is a very considerable achievement which no other Government have been able to attain, and we are grateful to both the other parties in the negotiations for the willingness to compromise which they have shown.

I can assure the Committee that this is the constitution that the Government intend in due course to make for Rhodesia, and no other. There is no need therefore to amend the Bill as the noble and learned Lord proposes. Indeed, it would be inappropriate to do so because the text in Command Paper No. 7758 is the summary of the constitution as agreed at the conference. The full text, in proper legal language, is being prepared and will be brought forward in due course. Therefore I hope that in the light of this explanation the noble and learned Lord will not press his amendment.


The noble Lord having given the assurance that I asked for, I do not press the amendment, but beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

8.42 p.m.

Lord GORONWY-ROBERTS moved Amendment No. 3:

Page 1, line 16, at end insert— ("Provided that no recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make such an Order until a cease-fire has been agreed.")

The noble Lord said: Our object in moving this amendment is, if we can, to elicit from the Government what importance they ascribe to obtaining a cease-fire before they move to make recommendations to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order on any particular. Do the Government include a cease-fire in the final package agreement that they seek in Lancaster House? They are moving now, I understand, to dealing in particular with the very difficult and extremely important question of a cease- fire. But will the agreement to be announced be inclusive of an agreement on a cease-fire? We ascribe very considerable importance to this point for obvious reasons, and I will not reiterate the arguments that were so ably put on Second Reading. But do the Government, for instance, envisage any situation in which they may move for an order for any purpose without having obtained agreement on a cease-fire? I should hardly think so myself, but perhaps the noble Lord will explain how the Government see this, and I hope that he will find it possible to accept the amendment. I should not think it would in any way impair the validity of the Government's policy or technique if in fact the amendment were included, thus firmly making a cease-fire—which, after all, is essential to any kind of developing action in Rhodesia—integral and, in the terms of the Bill, beyond any doubt a part of the final agreement emanating from Lancaster House. I beg to move.


I believe that the amendment may be subject to the same kind of criticism as Amendment No. 1; namely, that if accepted, it would give a veto to one of the parties at the Lancaster House conference. May I answer that point as it applies both to the cease-fire and the necessity for a general agreement. If two or more parties are negotiating with an object of reaching an agreement, any party has a veto; inevitably it must have a veto. If any part says, "No", that is a veto, a veto to agreement.

What we are trying to suggest, and what we are still urging upon the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, is that the object of the conference should be, must be, to obtain agreement between the Rhodesian parties concerned, and that it is his responsibility to try to achieve what I referred to this afternoon as the highest common denominator between those parties. I do not understand why the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary, and indeed other noble Lords, have made this point about the veto. Inevitably, the Foreign Secretary is trying to get the Patriotic Front to come to agreement, but not, surely, agreement with the British Government rather, agreement with the other parties to the dispute in Rhodesia. Nor do I understand the comment made by the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary in his last intervention about the transitional period—and this amendment refers to the transitional provision. I cannot understand how his period of two months is a halfway point between two original positions. The Patriotic Front has been asking for a minimum of six months. What is two months the middle of?

Finally, may I point out that this amendment really repeats a great deal of what the noble Lord said in his Statement last week—a Statement which I warmly applaud: that the governor will not be sent out until a cease-fire has been agreed Once a cease-fire has been agreed, then in the circumstances of the debate we are happy about the rest of the clause. But it is the cease-fire, and only the cease-fire, the end of at least the present, and one hopes the final, stage of this war, which must bring this conference to an end and allow the Government to take the powers which have been laid down in the Bill.


I have listened to most of the Second Reading debate and what comes through to me is the importance of the Committee stage. It looks as though the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary may be intending to resist the Amendment. I hope that he will not—but it looks as though he is going to. That means that the Government arc going to commit themselves to the prospect of acting without a cease-fire. The noble Lord the Foreign Secretary cannot blame noble Lords on this side for stating that obvious point—that by resisting this Amendment they have to go on record as being in that position. It was the unwisdom of bringing forward this very Bill which has impaled the Government upon the amendments moved in Committee—amendments which noble Lords on this side have been bound to move. I still hope that the noble Lord will not resist the amendment, but if he does, he will put himself in a position—because of the Government's own Bill—of having to make a pronouncement which he might have wished not to make in order to retain a better position in the negotiations themselves.


The noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, in his delightful way has of course skated over the fact that the effect of the amendment will be almost exactly the same as the effect of the first amendment which we discussed earlier. I need hardly say that it is the Government's desire to reach agreement on a cease-fire before making the arrangements for the interim Government of Rhodesia which have been described to your Lordships; that goes without saying. But if the amendment is accepted it will make it impossible for the Government to make any provision for, or in connection with, the Government of Southern Rhodesia before the territory proceeds to independence unless there is an agreement on a cease-fire.

I would remind your Lordships—and I was reminded of this point by my noble friend Lord Duncan-Sandys earlier—that there have been occasions in constitutional conferences when there has not been agreement; for example, in Kenya, in relation to the Kenyan constitutional agreement, and the constitutional conference on Malta never came to an agreement. Those countries are now independent.

One has to have regard, I think, to the consequences of what one does before one accepts an amendment of this kind; but the result in this case, of course, as in the case of the previous amendment, would be to give any of the parties to the present war an effective veto over the implementation of what has so far been achieved. The Government cannot accept that this would be right. If there is a failure to agree on a cease-fire, then the Government will have to decide what action is to be taken in the light of where we consider the responsibility for that failure lies; but your Lordships would surely not wish to put the Government in a position in which they could do nothing without the consent of one side or the other in the war.

Any party which decides to continue the war after agreement has been reached on a democratic constitution, and after the Government have reached agreement with one delegation at the conference on the arrangements for returning Rhodesia to legality, will surely, in everybody's view, bear a heavy responsibility; but to go on to give that party the power to prevent the Government taking any further steps really would be intolerable, and I would ask the noble Lord not to press his amendment.


I find it very difficult indeed to respond to what the Secretary of State has said. It is equally intolerable—indeed, unthinkable—that we should move to secure these powers while a war is going on. It is, to say the least, pointless to proceed in that way, and could be dangerous. I fear that I cannot withdraw this amendment.

8.53 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 62; Not-Contents, 202.

Ardwick, L. Goronwy-Roberts, L. Plant, L.
Bacon, B. Gregson, L. Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Birk, B. Hale, L. Ross of Marnock, L.
Blease, L. [Teller. ] Hamnett, L. Sefton of Garston, L.
Boston of Faversham, L. Hatch of Lusby, L. Stedman, B.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L. Houghton of Sowerby, L. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Bruce of Donington, L. Howie of Troon, L. Stewart of Fulham, L.
Castle, L. Hughes, L. Stone, L.
Chitnis, L. Jacques, L. Strabolgi, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Jeger, B. Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Collison, L. Kilbracken, L. Underhill, L.
Cooper of Stockton Heath, L. Kirkhill, L. Wallace of Coslany, L.
Cudlipp, L. Lee of Newton, L. Walston, L.
David, B. [Teller.] Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Davies of Leek, L. Lockwood, B. Wells-Pestell, L.
Davies of Penrhys, L. Lovell-Davis, L. Whaddon, L.
Denington, B. Maelor, L. White, B.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Murray of Gravesend, L. Wigg, L.
Gaitskell, B. Oram, L. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Galpern, L. Peart, L. Wynne-Jones, L.
Gardiner, L. Pitt of Hampstead, L.
Abinger, L. Camoys, L. Elliot of Harwood, B.
Airey of Abingdon, B. Campbell of Croy, L. Elton, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E. Carrington, L. (A Principal Secretary of State.) Enniskillen, E.
Allerton, L. Erne, E.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Chalfont, L. Erroll of Hale, L.
Ampthill, L. Chelmer, L. Exeter, M.
Armstrong, L. Chesham, L. Fairfax of Cameron, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Clifford of Chudleigh, L. Fairhaven, L.
Audley, L. Clitheroe, L. Faithfull, B.
Balerno, L. Cockfield, L. Falmouth, V.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Coleraine, L. Ferrers, E.
Barber, L. Colwyn, L. Ferrier, L.
Barnard, L. Cork and Orrery, E. Forester, L.
Bathurst, E. Cornwallis, L. Gainford, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Cottesloe, L. Gibson-Watt, L.
Bellwin, L. Craigmyle, L. Gisborough, L.
Belstead, L. Cranbrook, E. Glasgow, E.
Berkeley, B. Crathorne, L. Glenarthur, L.
Bessborough, E. Crawshaw, L. Godber of Willington, L,
Biddulph, L. Cromartie, E. Gowrie, E.
Birdwood, L. Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Greenway, L.
Blake, L. Dacre, B. Gridley, L.
Bolton, L. Davidson, V. Grimthorpe, L.
Boyd of Merton, V. de Clifford, L. Hanworth, V.
Brabazon of Tara, L. De Freyne, L. Harvey of Tasburgh, L.
Bradford, E. De La Warr, E. Hastings, L.
Bridgeman, V. Denham, L. [Teller. ] Hawke, L.
Brocket, L. Digby, L. Hemphill, L.
Brookeborough, V. Dormer, L. Hereford, V.
Brookes, L. Drumalbyn, L. Hertford, M.
Brougham and Vaux, L. Dudley, E. Hives, L.
Brownlow, L. Duncan-Sandys, L Home of the Hirsel, L.
Burton, L. Effingham, E. Hood, V.
Cairns, E. Ellenborough, L. Hornsby-Smith, B.
Caldecote, V. Elles, B. Hunt of Fawley, L.
Hylton-Foster, B. Nelson of Stafford, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Inglewood, L. Netherthorpe, L. Slim, V.
Jeffreys, L. Newall, L. Smith, L.
Kemsley, V. Northchurch, B. Soames, L. (L. President.)
Keyes, L. Nugent of Guildford, L. Stamp, L.
Killearn, L. Nunburnholme, L. Strathclyde, L.
Kilmany, L. Orkney, E. Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Kinnaird, L. Orr-Ewing, L.
Kinross, L. Penrhyn, L. Strathspey, L.
Kintore, E. Radnor, E. Stuart of Findhorn, V.
Knutsford, V. Rawlinson of Ewell, L. Sudeley, L.
Lauderdale, E. Reading, M. Suffield, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E. Reay, L. Swansea, L.
Long, V. Renton, L. Swinfen, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L. Renwick, L. Swinton, E.
Lyell, L. Robbins, L. Teviot, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. Rochdale, V. Teynham, L.
Macleod of Borve, B. Rockley, L. Tollemache, L.
McNair, L. Rodney, L. Torphichen, L.
Mancroft, L. Romney, E. Tranmire, L.
Mansfield, E. Ryder of Warsaw, B. Trefgarne, L.
Marley, L. St. Aldwyn, E. Trenchard, V.
Massereene and Ferrard, V. St. Davids, V. Ullswater, V.
Merrivale, L. St. Just, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Middleton, L. Saint Oswald, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
Mills, V. Sandford, L. Waldegrave, E.
Monk Bretton, L. Sandys, L. [Teller.] Ward of Witley, V.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L. Savile, L. Westbury, L.
Morris, L. Seebohm, L. Wigoder, L.
Mottistone, L. Selkirk, E. Wolverton, L.
Mountgarret, V. Sempill, Ly. Wynford, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L. Sherfield, L. Yarborough, E.
Moyne, L. Simon, V. Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

9.3 p.m.

Lord GORONWY-ROBERTS moved Amendment No. 4:

Page 1, line 16, at end insert— ("Provided that such transitional provision shall include provision for elections and that a party of members of all parties in the House of Commons shall observe those elections").

The noble Lord said: This is a probing amendment and also could be described as a very well-intentioned suggestion—two, in fact. We agree with the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary in what he said during the Second Reading debate that all parties in Rhodesia—and by "parties" I mean all elements, including the Patriotic Front—should be not only encouraged but indeed required to take part in the democratic process. The object of this suggested form of words, to be added to line 16 on page 1 of the Bill, is to make clear in the statute that the transitional provision most certainly includes the provision for elections. We all know that it does, but it is a point of importance that will not suffer from repetition, particularly in Africa.

The second point of suggestion (which I equally hope the Minister who will reply will be glad to accept) is that these elections could well be observed by—I hesitate to use the term "official"—an all-Party delegation, properly serviced, which could be sent from the House of Commons, as the elected body, to Rhodesia to observe the conduct of these elections. It may well be that some Members will think that if such an official party were selected and sent then it might well be drawn—not in equal proportions perhaps—from both Houses of Parliament. I would not violently object to further amendment to this amendment on those lines.

In any case, we think that to add these words and this provision to the clause would do two things. First, it would emphasise the importance of the democratic process, the electoral process, as part of the transitional provision—hopefully encouraging such a provision to be continued during independence, which is not always the case in all parts of the world. Secondly, in regard to this election their observance should be placed on a more formal and official basis than has happened in the past. I beg to move.


As the noble Lord explained, this amendment falls into two parts. It was agreed at Lusaka that elections were an essential step in implementing the new constitution. As members of the Committee will know, the Government's main concern in the interim period is to create conditions for free and fair elections, and we have made detailed proposals for them. A distinguished British official will be appointed as election commissioner and will have a substantial staff to help him supervise every aspect of the electoral process. There is provision for elections in the first three lines of Clause 2(1) of the Bill. In the Government's view, it would be a mistake to link elections to the transitional provisions, as suggested in the amendment, since they take effect only at the moment when the constitution comes into force. Elections should be held well before then, and the Government must have the powers to organise them. For that reason provision is made in Clause 2.

Regarding the second part of the amendment, it will be open to any Member of either House who wishes to do so to observe the elections. No provision for this is necessary in the Bill. If there is a strong desire to set up an all-party parliamentary group to observe the elections, this can be discussed through the usual channels. But there is no need to make statutory provision: nor is it obvious why the members of such a group should be drawn only from another place. The noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, referred to that in his speech; but the amendment we are considering refers only to the House of Commons, and I believe the Members of your Lordships' House may well wish to participate. I hope, having given these reasons, that the noble Lord will not press the amendment.


I can hardly press this amendment after that extremely helpful speech by the Mimister. I think enough has been said, and no more will be said, to emphasise that we regard the democratic electoral process as very much an integral part of the transition period and of the period following that transition. In view of what the noble Lord has said, I will not press the amendment, and I beg leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

9.9 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONES moved Amendment No. 5: Page 1, line 17, leave out from ("section") to end of line 18 and insert ("shall be subject to the approval of each House of Parliament").

The noble and learned Lord said: I beg to move this amendment. The relevant part of the clause, as your Lordships will see, concerns subsection (3): Any Order-in-Council under this section shall be laid before Parliament after being made". There is no provision in that subsection for any resolution being necessary, and once the order is made it becomes effective and that is the end of the matter. The explanation that Ministers have given of the distinction between that and the other subsections (2) and (3) is that this relates to the constitution and an Act of Parliament will be necessary to introduce and set up the constitution, and that the content of an agreed constitution is not amendable. That I follow; but your Lordships will see that subsection (2) provides that: Her Majesty may by Order in Council revoke the Constitution of Southern Rhodesia 1961, and may make such transitional provision as appears to Her Majesty to be necessary or expedient in connection with the coming into effect of the new constitution or the revocation of the said Constitution of 1961". It seemed to us that transitional provisions do not come into the same category as the provision for the new constitution itself. Do they come into effect only after a new constitution has been put into a Bill and that Bill has been approved by Parliament? In respect of those transitional provisions and in view of their potential importance, I wonder why there is no provision in relation to them for the orders to require affirmation by Parliament at the very least as in Clauses 2 and 3.


I think it will be for your Lordships' convenience if I speak to Amendments Nos. 5, 6 and 7 at this moment. The arguments that I shall deploy are broadly in line, and I think that the arguments the noble and learned Lord would want to make are also broadly in line on those three Amendments.


I have no objection.


If I may say then, procedurally I shall answer this amendment and we shall dispose of it and then the noble and learned Lord will decide what to do with the subsequent amendments, but not speak to them. Subsection (3) of Clause 1 provides that the constitution order is to be laid before Parliament after being made. There is thus no provision for parliamentary control over the order. This subsection follows normal practice. It has not been the practice, either of this Government or of previous Governments, to make an order granting an independence constitution subject either to the Affirmative Resolution procedure or the Negative Resolution procedure.

For example, no such parliamentary control was provided for in the Cyprus Act, in the Seychelles Act, in the Kiribati Act or in respect of constitutions granted under the Prerogative or made under the Foreign Jurisdiction Acts. The reason for this is clear. When the main elements of the constitution have been agreed at a constitutional conference, these elements are often the result of the most delicate negotiations. This is certainly the case in the present instance. There could be no question of Parliament subsequently changing the elements agreed at the conference, without putting at risk the agreement which has been so painstakingly achieved.

In any event, the present debate and subsequent consideration by Parliament of the independence Bill, which the Government expect to lay before the House, provide ample opportunity for noble Lords to state their views. As your Lordships will know, the Government have tabled a White Paper containing a summary of the independence constitution as agreed at Lancaster House. I hope, therefore, that your Lordships will agree that you have been properly informed, and I accordingly ask the noble and learned Lord not to press his amendment.


I wonder if the noble Lord can tell me whether, in regard to the other constitutions which he has mentioned, there were equivalent—not the same, of course—or similar transitional provisions. I am not aware of any, but his knowledge may be better than my memory.


I am not able to respond to that point at this moment, but I am not sure that it is exactly relevant.


I thought that the noble Lord was calling precedents in aid. It is a good legal technique; I have done it myself from time to time. It is the bread and butter of the legal profession. I thought that the noble Lord was showing a remarkable skill and now he resiles from it. He had better forget that part of his argument, I think.

On Question, amendment negatived.

Lord ELWYN-JONES had given notice of his intention to move Amendments Nos. 6 and 7: Page 1, line 18, at end insert ("and shall be subject to affirmative approval by both Houses.") line 18, at end insert ("and shall be subject to negative resolution of both Houses.")

The noble and learned Lord said: In view of what the noble Lord has said, I shall spare him the burden of arguing a point which he then has to abandon. I am sorry, I must not put the boot in in the most Welsh rugby tradition. Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 are not moved.

[Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 not moved.]

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 [Power to bring particular provisions of new constitution into force before appointed day]:

9.17 p.m.

Lord GORONWY-ROBERTS moved Amendment No. 8: Page 2, line 9, leave out ("with or without modifications").

The noble Lord said: My purpose in moving this amendment is to endeavour to get further clarification of the words "with or without modifications". To what extent do the Government anticipate, if at all, bringing the constitution into force with modifications? Is it a question of bringing some parts of it into force—is that the modification envisaged here—or do they anticipate looking at the constitution when the time comes, and changing in some degree the provisions of what is an agreed constitution which certainly, in summary, deserves to be agreed to? It is a short point. Are the Government in a position to give us some idea of what modifications they think may be necessary? Would they be considerable or would they be minor? If minor, then this is inevitable. But if considerable, then we would need to discuss the matter further, would we not? I beg to move.


I think, if I may say so, that this is a perfectly reasonable question and amendment, and I hope I can answer it without getting the boot put in, as the noble and learned Lord so elegantly put it. The steps leading to independence are normally taken under a constitution previously granted by the United Kingdom for internal self-government. That is not possible in the case of Rhodesia. The 1961 constitution has been set aside. It is therefore necessary to introduce parts of the independence constitution before independence, so that the elections can be held for a parliament and government to be formed under the provisions of that constitution. I can assure the Committee, and the noble Lord opposite, that the Government have no intention to use the power to modify those parts of the constitution which are implemented before independence in any sweeping way. But the fact of the matter is that, in certain important respects, the proposals which the Government have made for the pre-independence period will require some departure from what will subsequently be the normal constitutional practice.

For instance, it is envisaged that the first elections before independence will be conducted on a party list rather than a constituency basis, and that it will not be possible to conduct a full registration of voters. Both these points will require a temporary—and I emphasise the word "temporary"—amendment to the provisions of the constitution. Similarly, in the pre-independence period any reference to the "president", in those parts of the constitution which are introduced, will in the interim period need to be modified to read "governor". In each case the relevant modifications will be made by Order in Council which will be subject to the Affirmative Resolution procedure. The Government therefore see no need for this amendment. I hope I have satisfied the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy- Roberts, that the Government have no evil intention in this matter.


I am sure that the Government have no unusually evil intentions. I am sure, too, that the noble Lord would not only wish the constitution to be applied in the most effective way possible but would need to be able to apply certain parts before others. He would also need to be able to vary not only nomenclature in the case of the governor and the president but also, perhaps, electoral processes—the substitution of the list system for one election in preference to the constituency system. I am most grateful to the noble Lord for having explained the Government's intentions in this matter, and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

9.21 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONES moved Amendment No. 9:

Page 2, line 15, leave out subsection (3) and insert— ("(3) No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order under this section unless a draft of the Order has been laid before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.").

The noble and learned Lord said: I beg to move this amendment. Your Lordships will observe that this clause gives power to bring particular provisions of the new constitution into force before the appointed day. It is clear that these are steps of some importance because subsection (3) provides expressly for Affirmative Resolution. However, it is an Affirmative Resolution procedure which has the result that on the laying of the order the order becomes effective, remains effective for a period of 28 days and then expires unless during that period it is approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

There is another more stringent form of Affirmative Resolution procedure which requires the Order in Council to be approved before it takes effect. That has been used recently as a procedure under the new Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 and, curiously, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. We feel that these are important provisions and that Parliament should have a greater opportunity to keep an eye on them—indeed, to keep control over them. This is why we move the fuller parliamentary procedure which is provided for in the amendment. I beg to move.


As my noble friend explained earlier this afternoon, and as my other noble friend Lord Soames repeated in his winding up of the Second Reading debate, the purpose of the Bill is to allow the Government to implement an agreement quickly. The constitution itself has been agreed by the parties to the constitutional conference and will not itself be subject to parliamentary procedure. It would therefore be quite disproportionate to insist that orders to bring parts of it into effect for the purpose of holding elections should be subject to prior parliamentary approval.

If the concern of the noble and learned Lord is with the circumstances under which parts of the constitution may be introduced, then there will be an opportunity for Parliament to express views on the Orders in Council introducing parts of the constitution which will be subject to Affirmative Resolution. But the need to introduce parts of the constitution will arise as the situation in Rhodesia develops and the Government must be able to act quickly and effectively. For this reason I hope that the Committee will disagree with the amendment.

On Question, amendment negatived.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 [Other powers with respect to Southern Rhodesia]:

9.26 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONESmoved Amendment No. 10: Page 2, line 31, leave out paragraph (b).

The noble and learned Lord said: I beg to move Amendment No. 10, and with that it is convenient to discuss Amendment No. 11. Clause 3 provides that Her Majesty may by Order in Council—and then I will mention (a) because it may arise later, but not too late: Her Majesty may by Order in Council—

  1. (a) make provision for and in connection with the Government of Southern Rhodesia in the period up to the appointed day;"
Then (b) make such provision in relation to Southern Rhodesia, or persons or things in any way belonging to or connected with Southern Rhodesia, as appears to Her to be necessary or expedient— (i) in consequence of any unconstitutional action taken therein;".

I should like a little elucidation of what is intended to be covered there. As I understand from a speech made by one of the noble Lords today, what seemed to be contemplated was obviously the desirability of granting immunity to Ministers or persons in Rhodesia who might, because of any unconstitutional action, be imperilled by attending a conference. If that is all that is its purpose, then of course it is something that is necessary. Or is it intended to cover an attempted grant of general immunity for all matters, alleged offences or other, conducted during the period of the rebellion? I imagine not, but it is a matter about which I should be grateful for elucidation.

Then Amendment No. 11 proposes to leave out lines 37 to 39, that is the last sub-paragraph (b)(ii): The provision in connection with the repeal, revocation, expiration or lapse of any statutory provision relating to sanctions. I take it that when earlier your Lordships were informed that at any rate power could be given to revive, so to speak, Section 2 of the 1965 Act that was the power which would enable that to be done. I am not sure whether that is so or not but perhaps we might get a little help about that. I beg to move Amendment No. 10.


I think that Amendments Nos. 10, 11, 13, 14 and 15 really all have the same object, which is to require the Government to maintain sanctions either by adding UN sanctions orders made under Section 2 of the 1965 Act, the orders to be saved and continued, or by deleting references to powers to deal with the consequences of the expiry of sanctions. I wonder whether, with your Lordships' permission, because we have, so to speak, gone round this buoy a number of times already this afternoon, I might make an answer in advance of anything that might be said on Amendments Nos. 13, 14 and 15 which I hope, if it does not satisfy noble Lords opposite, will at least serve as an answer.


I am quite content that that should be done. I was not absolutely sure what the full purpose of Clause 3(1)(b)(ii) was, but it is inter-related and I accept therefore that it is convenient to consider that along with the matters raised in Amendments Nos. 13, 14 and 15.


If I may make a general statement which I hope will satisfy the noble and learned Lord, the Government's decision on sanctions and the renewal of Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 was set out in my Statement in the House on 7th November. The Government considered their decision against the background of the changes which have taken place in Rhodesia in recent months and of the progress which has been made at the constitutional conference.

In Rhodesia itself there is an African Prime Minister and a Parliament representing the African majority in the country. Bishop Muzorewa and most of his colleagues were not involved in the illegal declaration of independence. At the constitutional conference they have agreed on a constitution which is internationally accepted as providing for genuine majority rule. They have also accepted the appointment of a British governor, which will mean in effect the end of the rebellion in Rhodesia which led the United Nations to impose sanctions at our request in the first place.

In this situation the Government could see no justification for taking the positive step of renewing Section 2. Indeed to have done so would, in our judgment, have been a slap in the face to Bishop Muzorewa and his delegation, and I cannot believe that many Members of your Lordships' House would really wish to justify such a decision in the light of the dramatic change which has taken place in the circumstances which led to the imposition of sanctions in 1965.

But, as I emphasised in my Statement of 7th November, the great majority of sanctions—that is those which cover direct trade and financial transfers—will remain in force until there has been a return to legality in Rhodesia. This will come about when a British governor arrives in Salisbury and his authority is accepted. The Government will take the action necessary to lift all sanctions and will expect other governments to do so, too. Indeed it would be patently absurd to do otherwise, since we would in effect be applying sanctions against ourselves. This would be the effect of the proposed Amendment No. 13.

To deal with all possible contingencies the Government will have the power under Clause 3(1)(b)(i) to reimpose all sanctions should events justify such action, although, as I have told your Lordships, the Government find it hard to envisage circumstances arising in which this power would be needed. The amendments proposed by the Opposition would mean that the full vigour of sanctions would continue to be imposed even though Bishop Muzorewa had accepted all that had been asked of him and the conditions for an end to the rebellion had been agreed, and the Government do not believe that such an action is justified.

Clause 3(1)(b) is the power which enables us to reintroduce sanctions. Clause 3(1)(b)(ii) deals with indemnity or amnesty or consequences of ending sanctions. There is no intention whatever of using the clause on immunity for other than the purpose that I have described, which is to allow those who have been taking part in this conference to escape the penalties of a private action.


I am very gratified with that assurance. It was indeed implied, if not expressly stated, earlier in the speech of the noble Lord, but I just wanted it clearly on the record. The noble Lord has brought that into discussion, but of course we shall not reach it for the purpose of the amendments being proposed until after the noble Lord, Lord Gridley, has moved his Amendment No. 12.

However, the general issue of sanctions has, in many ways dominated a great deal of our debate today and we have traversed the ground pretty thoroughly. I noticed that in another place the Lord Privy Seal said on 8th November at column 666 that the Heads of Government at Lusaka, accepted that it must be a major objective to bring about a cessation of hostilities and an end to sanctions as part of the process of implementation of a lasting settlement", That implies, as we have thought to be the case, that sanctions should only cease to operate on the cessation of hostilities and as part of a lasting settlement. Now it is being done as a preliminary step and with total frankness the Foreign Secretary has said that it is being done as a gesture to Bishop Muzorewa. I have already expressed the view that that is not evenhanded treatment of the parties to the conference.

However, we have covered this ground very fully. Indeed, in a sense, we divided on it when I moved the amendment to the Motion for Second Reading. Therefore, I do not propose to burden the Committee, because repetition will not add strength to what has been said before. However, we are satisfied that the decision on Section 2 is unfortunate and may well prove to be ill-fated. Accordingly, I beg leave to withdraw Amendment No. 10.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 11 not moved.]

9.38 p.m.

Lord GRIDLEY moved Amendment No. 12: Page 2, line 39, at end insert— ("(c) make such provision in relation to the pension rights of the public servants and former public servants of Southern Rhodesia and their dependants, as appears to Her necessary to ensure that those rights will be no less favourable than the rights enjoyed by pensioners under the Overseas Pensions Act 1973").

The noble Lord said: I beg to move Amendment No. 12 which concerns page 2, line 39 of the Bill. I move this amendment because Clause 3 envisages that certain things may be done to secure the government of Rhodesia during the period up to independence. My amendment refers to the pension rights of the public servants of Southern Rhodesia and asks that as regards their pension rights under the Bill—which is a Bill to bring into force an independent constitution for Zimbabwe—there should be an Order in Council ensuring that those rights are no less favourable than the rights enjoyed by pensioners under the Overseas Pensions Act 1973.

I wish to stress to my noble friends in the Government and on the Front Bench that the amendment does not require that the existing pension laws in Zimbabwe should be taken on board by the Overseas Pensions Act 1973. It suggests that the Rhodesian pension laws should be amended to bring them into line so that they are in a no less favourable position than those under the Overseas Pensions Act 1973.

In addition, I emphasise that under the amendment there is no obligation at all on Her Majesty's Government to under-write or guarantee the viability of Rhodesian pensions. No guarantee is necessary at all. The payment of such pensions would be—and it is correct that they should be—the responsibility of the Zimbabwe Government under their own pension laws. The Overseas Pensions Act is to be a yardstick as regards what should be done in Zimbabwe.

There are a number of reasons why the Rhodesian State Services Pension Act should be amended during the intervening period if the new independent Government, when in office, are to get off to the best possible start. If it were possible for someone with a dispassionate mind or for someone from the overseas pensions department or from the Ministry of Overseas Development—a person expert in overseas pension matters—to go to Rhodesia and examine the position, that would be of benefit not only to pensioners themselves but to the new Rhodesian Government, which we want to see get off to the best possible start.

Under the existing Rhodesian Services Pensions Act there are many anomalies. When that Act was conceived I would suggest that in Rhodesia there was the intention that it should apply to persons retiring in that colony. Anomalies arise which affect pensionable emoluments. For example, there is no provision at all when a man receives a pension or when he might be Africanised, which will obviously have to be faced in the future, for him to obtain transfer expenses or passage expenses to the country of his new occupation. There are other anomalies in the Rhodesian Pensions Act which do not apply to other colonial officers, although I accept that in this case the Rhodesian public service is a service on its own.

The position is that during the tenure of office of a serving Rhodesian officer, he is required to buy a house for occupation; whereas the normal position of a serving colonial officer in an overseas territory was that he paid a nominal sum for the quarters in which he lived. When a Rhodesian public officer is Africanised in the circumstances which I have depicted, he might well be left with a property on his hands and find difficulty in selling it.

All these anomalies have a bearing on the situation and on the financial position of a serving officer when he retires. Those are only some of the worries that affect the Rhodesian public servant today. I submit that it is essential that these worries should be removed, particularly at the present time. The purpose of this Bill for a new constitution for Rhodesia is to give security and stability, together with independence, to the new Government. But I stress that the success of the new Government will very markedly depend on support from an experienced, contented and efficient public service. I stress that that also applies to the future economy of that country, which is envisaged in the constitution which the Government now wish to bring to Rhodesia.

I can give other examples of anxieties which have to be ironed out at this time. Now is the time when a governor will probably be appointed to Rhodesia. There are terms for the abolition of office, and the preservation of the value of pensions in an inflationary age, and so on. I assure noble Lords in the House that this anxiety exists among black and white Africans with whom I have had discussions.

There is another issue which affects pensions. At the time of the 3rd March 1978 internal agreement in Rhodesia, inducements were offered to public servants to remain in the service for a minimum period of one year to ensure a state of tranquillity in the transfer of power to the incoming government of Bishop Muzorewa. It is expected, because the anomalies which I have illustrated to your Lordships exist, that it is very possible that many public servants, including those in the security forces, will take advantage of the position which exists and leave at a time when, under the constitution in this Bill, Her Majesty's Government must hope, and must be concerned, that they will remain to provide stability to the incoming government. If the war continued, and men of the security forces were to leave, what would happen to Zimbabwe and this new constitution? Would it not be the end? Might not South Africa be drawn into an escalating war?

I fully appreciate that guarantees regarding the pensions of public servants have been written into the constitution by Her Majesty's Government, but they do not cover the anomalies in the present Rhodesian pensions legislation. All I seek in my amendment is to assist the Government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia—and ourselves—in their present difficulties regarding pensions. I would ask that Her Majesty's Government would sympathetically consider sending somebody out to Rhodesia as soon as the governor of that country is appointed, and that under the instruction of the governor the Public Services Commission and the Public Services Association should go carefully into the question of existing Rhodesian pensions and bring them into line with modern conditions.

For 14 years Rhodesian public servants and most people in Rhodesia have been ostracised. They have been entirely out of touch with what has been going on in the outside world. They need all the assistance we can give them at the present time. I respectfully suggest that it is of vital importance for the success of this constitution that what I have said should be acted upon and that the pensions situation be brought up to date. What is happening under the present consitution before this House is, I appreciate, a guarantee of pensions under the constitution, but in modern conditions I do not think that a guarantee of these pensions meets the case of the present situation. I beg to move.

9.48 p.m.


Very briefly from this side of the House, without introducing any acerbity into this discussion and debate, I should like to support the noble Lord, Lord Gridley. He is well known in this House for the work he has done over a number of years in support of public servants' pensions. I myself had experience in the other place on Committees of the anomalies that existed as the old colonies were disappearing. I hope that we can get a constructive answer, whereby we shall be acknowledg- ing to those people who have been public servants over the years in Rhodesia their due and their rights, which I think this country should grant to them. I hope we can have some declaration that is a little further than that in Cmnd. 7758, which I have carefully read.

My name was down for a number of amendments today, but I accept the clarity of diction of my noble and learned friend here, the ex-Lord Chancellor, and he said that repetition does not increase anybody's case. I certainly agree with that. I sincerely hope that we shall get a definitive and positive answer that some constructive action will be taken over the pensions of these people who have served sometimes a little in the darkness.


In my view the noble Lords, Lord Gridley and Lord Davies of Leek, have missed the boat; we are talking not about pensions but about Africa. We have to solve that problem first, and until that is done the question of pensions and so on does not arise. What we want to do today is get the right settlement, and when that is right we will have pensions and everything else right, and that must be our first task. We must get the African people to support us. We must get our independent States and the Commonwealth with us and until that is achieved pensions will be forgotten. It is all very well talking about pensions and the like, but the atmosphere must be correct first. I talked about this sort of thing in the pits 20 years ago, but it did not happen because we did not have the right climate. The pensions issue can be got right in Rhodesia only if we get a proper settlement.


I fully accept the modest effects which my noble friend Lord Gridley intends of the amendment, but I am not sure that the modest effects which he intended are in fact the effects which will flow from the amendment if we were to agree to it.

The Overseas Pensions Act 1973, which is referred to in the amendment and if we were to accept it, would impose considerable burdens on Her Majesty's Government. We well understand the need to reassure Rhodesian public servants about their pensions rights. For this reason the independence constitution which has now been agreed at Lancaster House contains provisions, amendable only by a 70 per cent. majority, specifically preserving public service pension rights. Moreover, a provision in the Declaration of Rights, entrenched for 10 years, equates pension rights in general with other property rights protected against arbitrary deprivation. I believe those provisions amount to a substantial guarantee of public service pension rights under the constitution.

As I have said, the British Government cannot undertake to underwrite the Zimbabwe Government's public service pensions liability. They could not impose such a large contingent liability on the British taxpayer, especially at a time when we are making strenuous efforts to control increases in public expenditure. We have made it clear to the Salisbury delegation that there is no prospect of a change in the British Government's policy of refusing to contemplate underwriting the pensions liability of the Zimbabwe Government.

If there is a satisfactory outcome to the constitutional conference, the apprehensions in the public service which my noble friend encountered in his recent visit to Rhodesia, and which he described earlier in our debate this afternoon, could be largely allayed by the time the present incentive scheme for public servants expires next April. It is likely that a constitutional settlement and the lifting of sanctions will lead to a large inflow of commercial investment into Rhodesia and there will be prospects of economic aid as well.

My noble friend specifically asked whether an official experienced and knowledgeable in pension matters could go to Rhodesia to advise the managers of the pension fund there. I cannot give a commitment that that will be so, but I do give a commitment that that matter will be looked into and I will write to my noble friend with the answer of our consideration. I hope that with those assurances my noble friend will feel free to withdraw his amendment.


I am most grateful to my noble friend Lord Trefgarne for saying that they will consider sending a pensions expert out to Rhodesia. That meets very much the case which is in my mind. I hope that by doing so it will be a constructive act to make the position happier in Rhodesia for the public servants, who I know from experience, are the most loyal people and who have given a pledge of their loyalty to any Government who may be elected after the elections. I wish to express my thanks to my noble friend and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

9.55 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONES moved Amendment No. 13: Page 3, leave out lines 1 to 4.

The noble and learned Lord said: We discussed Amendments Nos. 13, 14 and 15 when we discussed Amendment No. 11. Perhaps I should have been less ready to accept not putting Amendment No. 11 to a decision of the Committee. However, I beg to move Amendment No. 13, which has already been discussed.


It is a pity that the Foreign Secretary has already replied to this because there were certain questions that I asked in my speech on Second Reading this afternoon which were not answered and I have to make implications in relation to those answers now. I do so in this way. I asked directly whether the Government will use the powers in the Bill in order to re-enact Section 2 of the 1965 Act, which applies to sanctions. I was not given an asnwer, but I believe that I am right in saying—and I trust that he will correct me if I am wrong—that the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary has answered that and that the Government do not intend to re-enact the sanctions under Section 2. Where does that leave us? It leaves us with a Government who have declared that they will lift sanctions when there is a return to legality, and who at the same time are saying, "We are lifting sanctions now." I think that this is a dilemma; it is a contradiction which will be seen perhaps much more importantly in the rest of the world than in this country.

It may be that the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary can tell us that this applies to only 20 per cent. of sanctions. It does now. But that 20 per cent. can very easily be increased. Unless I am wrong, the section to which I have referred allows British companies to supply Rhodesia through their subsidiaries. We know that this figure can be increased. But, above all, and much more importantly, may I remind the noble Lord the Foreign Secretary of the very solemn words issued by his noble and learned friend the present Lord Chancellor in the debate on sanctions last year on the binding responsibility of our international obligations. I believe that unless we agree to this amendment, this country stands condemned of having broken its international agreements, having indeed broken its own word by lifting sanctions before Rhodesia has returned to legality.

The noble Lord accused me of partiality, and asked me to read Hansard tomorrow. Unless I am mistaken—and if I am, I apologise to him—I do not think that he was here during my speech. I certainly did not suggest that the lifting of sanctions was an act of partiality. My case was that it was an act which made it much more difficult to reach agreement at the Lancaster House Conference. This is not a question of partiality, but it is a question of national honour and of the integrity of this country—in having taken our case to the United Nations in the first place, and having used a newly-independent country such as Zambia, only 13 months old, as a front liner on sanctions, now unilaterally lifting sanctions because it suits the domestic needs of the Conservative Party. I believe that that is a shameful act.


Without wishing to be discourteous to the noble Lord, we have discussed this matter through the whole of the afternoon and evening and, with very great regret, I do not think I can shed much more light on it.

10 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 13) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 46; Non-Contents, 186.

Ardwick, L. Gaitskell, B. Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Galpern, L. Ross of Marnock, L.
Birk, B. Goronwy-Roberts, L. Sefton of Garston, L.
Blease, L. Hatch of Lusby, L. Stedman, B.[Teller. ]
Boston of Faversham, L. Howie of Troon, L. Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L. Jeger, B. Stewart of Fulham, L.
Bruce of Donington, L. Kilbracken, L. Stone, L.
Castle, L. Kirkhill, L. Strabolgi, L.
Chitnis, L. Llewelyn-Davies, L. Underhill, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. Walston, L.
Cudlipp, L. Lockwood, B. Wells-Pestell, L.
David, B. [Teller. ] Lovell-Davis, L. Whaddon, L.
Davies of Leek, L. McNair, L. White, B.
Davies of Penrhys, L. Murray of Gravesend, L. Wigoder. L.
Denington, B. Peart, L.
Elwyn-Jones, L. Pitt of Hampstead, L.
Airey of Abingdon, B. De La Warr E. Long, V.
Alexander of Tunis, E. Denham, L. [Teller.] Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Allerton, L. Digby, L. Lyell, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Dormer, L. Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Ampthill, L. Drumalbyn, L. Macleod of Borve, B.
Armstrong, L. Dulverton, L. Mancroft, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Duncan-Sandys, L. Mansfield, E.
Audley, L. Dundee, E. Marley, L.
Balerno, L. Effingham, E. Merrivale, L.
Ballantrae, L. Ellenborough, L. Middleton, L.
Barber, L. Elles, B. Mills, V.
Barnard, L. Elliot of Harwood, B. Monk Bretton, L.
Bathurst, E Elton, L. Monson, L.
Bellwin, L. Enniskillen, E. Morris, L.
Belstead, L. Erne, E. Mottistone, L.
Berkeley, B. Erroll of Hale, L. Mountgarret, V.
Bessborough, E. Exeter, M. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Biddulph, L. Fairfax of Cameron, L. Moyne, L.
Birdwood, L. Fairhaven, L. Netherthorpe, L.
Blake, L. Faithfull, B. Newall, L.
Bolton, L. Falmouth, V. Northchurch, B.
Boyd of Merton, V. Ferrers, E. Nunburnholme, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Ferrier, L. Orkney, E.
Bridgcman, V. Forester, L. Orr-Ewing, L.
Brocket, L. Gainford, L. Penrhyn, L.
Brookeborough, V. Gibson-Watt, L. Radnor, E.
Brookes, L. Gisborough, L. Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L. Glasgow, E. Reading, M.
Brownlow, L. Glenarthur, L. Reay, L.
Burton, L. Godber, of Willington, L. Redmayne, L.
Cairns, E. Gowrie, E. Renton, L.
Caldecote, V. Greenway, L. Renwick, L.
Camoys, L. Gridley, L. Robbins, L.
Campbell of Croy, L. Grimthorpe, L. Rochdale, V.
Carrington, L. (A Principal Secretary of State.) Harvey of Tasburgh, L. Rockley, L.
Hastings, L. Rodney, L.
Chelmer, L. Hawke, L. Romney, E.
Chesham, L. Hemphill, L. Ryder of Warsaw, B.
Clitheroe, L. Hereford, V. St. Aldwyn, E.
Cockfield, L. Hives, L. St. Davids, V.
Coleraine, L. Home of the Hirsel, L. St. Just, L.
Cork and Orrery, E. Hornsby-Smith, B. Saint Oswald, L.
Cottesloe, L. Hunt of Fawley, L. Sandford, L.
Craigmyle, L. Hylton-Foster, B. Sandys, L. [Teller.]
Craigton, L. Inglewood, L. Savile, L.
Cranbrook, E. Kemsley, V. Selkirk, E.
Crathorne, L. Keyes, L. Sempill, Ly.
Crawshaw, L. Killearn, L. Sherfield, L.
Cromartie, E. Kilmany, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Cross, V. Kinnaird, L. Slim, V.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Kinross, L. Soames, L.(L. President.)
Dacre, B. Kintore, E. Spens, L.
Davidson, V. Knutsford, V. Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
de Clifford, L. Lauderdale, E.
De Freyne, L. Lindsey and Abingdon, E. Strathspey, L.
Sudeley, L. Toliemache, L. Waldegrave, E.
Suffield, L. Torphichen, L. Ward of Witley, V.
Swansea, L. Tranmire, L. Westbury, L.
Swinfen, L. Trefgarne, L. Wolverton, L.
Swinton, E. Trenchard, V. Wynford, L.
Teviot, L. Ullswater, V. Young, B.
Teynham, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L. Young of Dartington, L.
Thorneycroft, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.

10.11 p.m.

Lord ELWYN-JONES moved Amendment No. 14: Page 3, line 10, at end insert ("shall remain effective until the end of the transitional period").

On Question, Amendment negatived.

Lord ELWYN-JONES moved Amendment No. 15:

Page 3, line 34, at end insert— ("(e) the Southern Rhodesia (United Nations Sanctions) (No. 2) Order 1968; (f) the Southern Rhodesia (United Nations Sanctions) Order 1977").

10.12 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 15) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 41; Not-Contents, 177.

Harvey of Tasburgh, L. Monson, L. Savile, L.
Hastings, L. Morris, L. Selkirk, E.
Hawke, L. Mottistone, L. Sherfield, L.
Hemphill, L. Mountgarret, V. Skelmersdale, L.
Hereford, V. Mowbray and Stourton, L. Slim, V.
Hives, L. Moyne, L. Soames, L.(L. President.)
Home of the Hirsel, L. Netherthorpe, L. Spens, L.
Hunt of Fawley, L. Newall, L. Strathcona and Mount Royal, L.
Hylton-Foster, B. Northchurch, B. Strathspey, L.
Inglewood, L. Nunburnholme, L. Sudeley, L.
Kemsley, V. Orkney, E. Suffield, L.
Keyes, L. Penrhyn, L. Swansea, L.
Killearn, L. Radnor, E. Swinfen, L.
Kilmany, L. Rawlinson of Ewell, L. Swinton, E.
Kinnaird, L. Reading, M. Teynham, L.
Kinross, L. Reay, L. Thorneycroft, L.
Kintore, E. Redmayne, L. Tollemache, L.
Knutsford, V. Renton, L. Torphichen, L.
Lauderdale, E. Renwick, L. Trefgarne, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E. Robbins, L. Trenchard, V.
Lucas of Chilworth, L. Rochdale, V. Ullswater, V.
Lyell, L. Rockley, L. Vaux of Harrowden, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. Rodney, L. Waldegrave, E.
Macleod of Borve, B. Romney, E. Ward of Witley, V.
Mancroft, L. Ryder of Warsaw, B. Westbury, L.
Mansfield, E. St. Aldwyn, E. Wolverton, L.
Marley, L. St. Davids, V. Wynford, L.
Merrivale, L. St. Just, L. Yarborough, E.
Middleton, L. Saint Oswald, L. Young, B.
Mills, V. Sandford, L.
Monk Bretton, L. Sandys, L. [Teller.]

Resolved in the negative and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Remaining clause agreed to.

10.22 p.m.

House resumed: Bill reported without amendment: Report received.

Bill read 3a, and passed.