HC Deb 05 November 1962 vol 666 cc599-600
42. Mr. Dugdale

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the resignation of Sir Hugh Foot.

Mr. Heath

Sir Hugh Foot asked to be released from his post with the United Kingdom Mission at the beginning of this Session, and his request was approved with effect from 15th October.

Mr. Dugdale

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that many millions of people throughout the world are grateful for the courage of Sir Hugh Foot in deciding that he can no longer be the representative supporting the policies of Her Majesty's Government in Rhodesia?

Hon. Members


Mr. Healey

In view of the Lord Privy Seal's cowardice in refusing to give an answer—

Mr. Nabarro

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order for the hon. Member to accuse my right hon. Friend of cowardice? Is not that a proscribed word inside and outside the House?

Mr. Speaker

It is not in order for the hon. Gentleman so to describe the Minister's conduct. I ask him to withdraw the epithet.

Mr. Healey

In view of your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, I gladly withdraw the remark.

Is not the Lord Privy Seal aware that Sir Hugh Foot's reputation stands very high on both sides of the House and in the world as a whole? Will he accept as a very serious criticism of Her Majesty's Government's policy in relation to Southern Rhodesia that Sir Hugh Foot should have found it quite incompatible with his dignity as a human being to speak for it at the United Nations?

Mr. Heath

The right hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) and the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) have made statements of their own personal judgment. I respect entirely, as do Her Majesty's Government, the desire of Sir Hugh Foot to resign. If he wishes to make his reasons known, that is a matter for Sir Hugh Foot, not for Her Majesty's Government to try to interpret Sir Hugh Foot's personal position. The Government's policy is for the Government to decide, and it remains the same.

Mr. Grimond

Has not Sir Hugh Foot given some reason to the Government for asking to resign? Have they inquired why he wanted to resign? If so, can the right hon. Gentleman say why, in fact, Sir Hugh Foot did resign?

Mr. Heath

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman did not hear what I said. I said that, if Sir Hugh Foot wishes to make these matters known, that is a matter for him.

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