HC Deb 02 November 1973 vol 863 cc21-2W
Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a detailed statement of how the British Government intend to play their part in fulfilling the agreed objective of the old and new Commonwealth as expressed at the recent Ottawa Prime Ministers' Conference to work for the emancipation of the suppressed people of South Africa; and, in particular, whether he will define the policy of the Government towards the liberation movements.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The complex and difficult nature of the problems of Southern Africa was recognised by Commonwealth Heads of Government at Ottawa. We have often pointed out that the alternatives facing Southern Africa are peaceful evolution by consent or change by violent confrontation. It remains the policy of Her Majesty's Government to encourage negotiation and constructive compromise, to promote in particular an acceptable settlement in Rhodesia, progress towards self-determination in the Portuguese territories and South-West Africa and dignified and harmonious relations between the races of South Africa.

While, therefore, we fully sympathise with the legitimate aspirations of dependent or suppressed people in Southern Africa, as elsewhere in the world, we cannot accept or condone the use of violence in pursuit of political ends. We made our position on this matter clear at Ottawa, and this was reflected in the communiqué issued after the meeting.