HC Deb 05 August 1966 vol 733 cc205-6W
Mr. Perry

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now give details of his plans for invoking United Nations assistance in the passage of South Arabia to independence by 1968.

Mr. M. Stewart

On the 1st of August the Acting Permanent United Kingdom Representative at the United Nations handed to the Secretary-General on my instructions a Note reading as follows:—

  1. (i) "Her Majesty's Government welcome the assistance and participation of the United Nations in achieving Her Majesty's Government's declared policy of bringing South Arabia to independence as a United Sovereign State by 1968.
  2. (ii) "Her Majesty's Government accept the operative clauses of General Assembly Resolutions 206 1949 (XVIII) of December, 1963, and 2023 (XX) of November, 1965, subject to its being recognised, first, that Her Majesty's Government's responsibilities for security cannot be limited or abandoned: and secondly, that Her Majesty's Government are bound by their existing treaties with the Federation of South Arabia and the unfederated South Arabian states until these treaties terminate. In particular. Her Majesty's Government are constitutionally unable to give directions to the Federal Government except in matters of external affairs, defence and the public service and have no power to impose changes in the Federal Constitution.
  3. (iii) "Her Majesty's Government will be glad to co-operate with a mission appointed by the Secretary-General, subject to agreement on its composition, for the purpose of recommending practical steps necessary for the full implementation of the above-mentioned Resolutions of the General Assembly and in particular for determining the extent of United Nations participation in the preparation and supervision of elections, subject only to the two reservations noted in paragraph (ii) above.
  4. (iv) "I should be grateful for your confirmation that any mission appointed will operate on the above basis."

In making the reference in the Note to Her Majesty's Government's responsibilities for security I had particularly in mind the point which I had made in my statement in the House on the 16th of May that we should be prepared to implement the requirements in the resolutions that the emergency should be brought to an end and that all detainees should be released "provided that satisfactory evidence was forthcoming that terrorism in Aden had ended".

The decision to accept a Mission on the above basis was taken in view of the special circumstances of South Arabia. I trust that we shall be able to reach early agreement with the Secretary-General on the composition of a United Nations Mission to South Arabia for the purpose described in the Note and that the mission's report will lay the foundation for co-operation between Her Majesty's Government and the United Nations in bringing South Arabia to independence by 1968.

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