HL Deb 09 August 1966 vol 276 cc1756-8WA

asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether they made any recommendation in the United Nations of sanctions towards Rhodesia and, if so:

  1. (a) on what date;
  2. (b) what was the text of the recommendation;
  3. (c) under what section of the Charter it was made; and
  4. (d) what was the purpose of the recommendation, and what results Her Majesty's Government expected from it.


Yes. On April 9, following the arrival of the Joanna V at Beira with oil for Rhodesia, Her Majesty's Government sought and secured the adoption by the United Nations Security Council of resolution No. 221 (1966). The text of this resolution which was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter is available in the Library of the House.

Our objectives were described very fully by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister in another place during the debate on the Address on April 21, 1966. If the Joanna V's cargo had been pumped to Rhodesia or if other tankers (some of them already chartered and loaded with oil) had entered Beira in breach of the oil embargo, a very serious situation would have arisen. The Security Council's previous resolution No. 217 (1965) of November 20 (which called upon all States "to do their utmost to break off economic relations with Southern Rhodesia, including an embargo on oil and petroleum products") could not have been treated as conferring legal authority to use force to stop the Joanna V and other vessels from going into Beira.

In these circumstances, Her Majesty's Government called for a meeting of the Security Council and secured the adoption of a resolution which authorised the action necessary to deal with the urgent situation resulting from an apparently imminent breach of the oil embargo including authority for the use of the necessary minimum force.

Since April 20 the Joanna V has remained in Beira harbour without discharging her cargo and no other ship has entered Beira with oil for Rhodesia. As a result the oil refinery at Feruka near Umtali has remained closed.