HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 cc208-9W
85. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he is aware of the difficulties of Christian missions in Rhodesia; and what are his plans to assist those missions to carry out their work in Rhodesia.

Mr. Bottomley

I would refer the hon. Member to the statement which my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations made in the House on Tuesday, 25th January, in reply to the hon. Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart). In this connection, I would like to draw the hon. Member's attention to the statement issued by the Office of the African Secretary of the Conference of British Missionary Societies on 27th January, on behalf of the London Missionary Society, the Methodist Missionary Society, the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the British and Foreign Bible Society. The statement read as follows: Neither the Missionary Societies in Britain nor the Churches in Rhodesia, with which they are in relation, wish the Church to be given special privileges at a time when others are suffering. At the same time they believe that the pastoral care exercised by the Church in a time of spiritual tension and service to African education form a vital contribution to the future peace of Rhodesia. In the circumstances the Missionary Societies consider the level of remittances authorised by the Government to be reasonable and fair. They have received every consideration from the Government in the discussion of their problems.

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