§ Mr. Speaker
Before I call the Foreign Secretary to move the Motion standing in his name and that of other of his right hon. Friends, I shall tell the House that I have selected the Amendment standing in the name of the Leader of the Opposition and his right hon. Friends. I shall also say what I usually have to say—thatI have an enormous list of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen, including four right hon. Members on the Opposition benches, who wish to speak, so I hope speeches will be fairly brief.
§ 4.39 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)
I beg to moveThat this House takes note of the Report of the Commission on Rhodesian Opinion; believes that it is right that there should be time for reflection on the implications of the Report; and supports the Government in its desire to achieve a settlement within the five principles.I hope the debate will justify my assumption that the aim of all parties in this House is to try to secure progress for Rhodesia towards a truly multi-racial society. Anyone who is familiar with the history of the last 50 years in Africa will realise how ambitious that goal is. But, equally, anyone who knows Rhodesia can see that, although a minority of Europeans hold all the power, control the administration and own 90 per cent. of the wealth, and, on the other side the proportion of Africans to Europeans is over 20 to 1, even so the elements for racial harmony are present in that country.
Rhodesia is different from South Africa in this respect. There is still a widespread feeling among Europeans and moderates of all races that Rhodesia should not become a society based on a total separation of the races. Apartheid, with all its hideous consequences, could take charge, but there is still time and quite possibly the will to reverse the trend and to stop it. That must be our ambition in this House.
1757 In 1961 Britain made an effort to provide Rhodesia with a constitution which would, by evolutionary political change, using a common electoral roll, have brought Rhodesia to majority rule. It was first accepted and then rejected by the African leaders. I think that most thoughtful Africans now regret this. Then over the years the Europeans began to harden their attitude to African participation in politics. Both these actions were mistakes of the first magnitude.
The question now is: can there be at this eleventh hour any recovery through compromise between the race which counts in numbers and the race which holds the power? We can, I hope, start from common ground in the House in that we want to try to use whatever influence we can to see whether a multi racial community can be set up in Rhodesia.
It would be a general assessment on both sides of the House that the continuation of the present constitution in Rhodesia would be likely to lead to a greater separation and increasing confrontation of the races. In the context of Africa that spells violence, and that violence would not be confined to Rhodesia. Few can contemplate that with anything but total despair.
That is one side of the matter. On the other, there is this fact of life, that NIBMAR—No Independence Before Majority African Rule—is totally unacceptable to the European electorate. The only possible conclusion, as I see it, is that political progress to parity in Parliament and then to majority rule must be gradual. There is no getting away from that. It is the only peaceful way—evolutionary change. The only possible course for Britain is to use any influence which we have to try to change the direction of the present constitution of Rhodesia and set in motion an evolutionary process leading through parity in the Parliament to majority rule. Evolutionary change was implicit both in the "Tiger" and the "Fearless" proposals. So it is in the settlement proposals agreed with Mr. Smith in November which abolished parity as an ultimate aim and substituted the ultimate aim of majority rule.
To this latest compromise proposal, made by Mr. Smith and myself, Lord 1758 Pearce and his colleagues have said that they found the African answer was "No". That finding we have accepted. I think, from reading the report, that it is fair to conclude that the "No" related less to the actual proposals than to distrust of the Rhodesian Front Government—[Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman may dispute this later. I do not think he will dissent broadly from what I shall say. I think the "No" related less to the actual proposals than to distrust of the Rhodesian Front Government and the doubt as to whether they would in the event keep their word. That, of course—I agree with the hon. Gentleman—does not make the future any easier unless European and African leaders can get together for the common good.
But in that context one comment should be made for the sake of the future. In turning down the proposals put forward by Mr. Smith and myself, the Africans clearly—we see this throughout the Pearce Report—clung to the belief that there would be more favourable terms to come. That emerges time and again. I must therefore do two things. First, I must make it clear that I could not in my view have negotiated better terms in November for the Africans than I was able to get then from Mr. Smith. Secondly, as Mr. Smith has lately made very clear, I could not do so now. It was my concern to gain from Mr. Smith the terms most favourable for the Africans, and that was done. I would therefore ask all Rhodesians, and particularly African Rhodesians, to study the advantages which were obtained for them, measuring them not against an ideal solution, which it seemed to me on reading the Pearce Report they were always doing, but against an indefinite continuation of the status quo in Rhodesia. As they were clearly always thinking in terms of something better, and that is not available, I would ask them to look again very carefully at what they rejected. I think I have a duty to do so as there is so much evidence throughout the Pearce Report that the only alternative to this kind of settlement is confrontation and conflict.
The proposals are still available, because Mr. Smith has not withdrawn or modified them. I would remind the House of the most important advantages the proposals would have given to the Africans in terms of a change of direction 1759 in the constitution and in terms of a better future for them. First, under the present 1969 constitution there is an absolute bar to progress beyond parity. They cannot get beyond parity of representation in the Assembly. The proposals of November provide without impediment for progress to majority rule. Secondly, there is now no blocking mechanism to prevent retrogressive amendments to the constitution which would act to the detriment of Africans. The settlement provides one, and would arm the elected Africans with a veto on any such attempt. Thirdly, the rate of increase of the number of African Members of Parliament and the pace of their entry to Parliament are at present controlled by a calculation involving an assessment of the aggregate income of the racial groups. The basis for that calculation can be changed in any annual Finance Bill. It is a system which anyone who has studied it knows to be unfair and capricious. For this, the proposals substitute an individual qualification based on property, education and income under which there would be a steady addition of Africans to the Rhodesian Parliament, leading to majority rule.
Today there is no justiciable declaration of rights. From that omission have flowed, as many Africans told me when I was lately in Salisbury, many of the undesirable increases in racial discrimination of recent years. The settlement provides for the right of the citizen to challenge all new legislation in the courts and all new regulations under the old legislation which increase racial discrimination. At present there is no attempt to modify racial discrimination—rather the reverse. With the proposals, a commission would be set up with the positive instruction to make recommendations which would make progress towards ending racial discrimination, a goal which was specifically accepted by the Rhodesian Government, and which forms part of the proposals.
Those are some of the reasons why I feel justified in asking for further time for reflection inside Rhodesia, as we ask in the first part of our Motion. There are other reasons. Lord Pearce found that most of those to whom the Commission spoke were capable of understanding the main elements of the pro- 1760 posals. But a week or two ago a small deputation of African National Council leaders came to see me. One of these leaders, who have responsibility for guiding African opinion, had no idea whatever that there was a blocking mechanism in the hands of the Africans to prevent modification of the entrenched provisions of the constitution against African interests—no idea whatever, and he was an African leader of the ANC. So there are, clearly, gaps in the knowledge of some Rhodesians, gaps which are fundamental to judgment.
Again, Lord Pearce reports that the young African male school leavers were unanimously against the proposals. They are the unemployed at present with very poor prospects of work, and, with unemployment seriously depressing the wage level in Rhodesia. I feel that they and their families must be given another chance to appreciate the change that the injection of£50 million for development, matched by another £50 million from the Rhodesian Government over 10 years, and the extra investment which would come from a settlement, would have on their lives, and that they should be given another chance to look at the effect on unemployment in Rhodesia. That seems to me quite necessary.
Had Mr. Nkomo not, on second thoughts, rejected the 1961 constitution, the Africans would by now have been well established as an effective and powerful Opposition in the Rhodesian Parliament, with the certain prospect of majority rule. I trust that this cardinal error of history will not be repeated by Rhodesians today.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
I know that the right hon. Gentleman sincerely wants a fair picture. Notwithstanding what he has just said, does he accept paragraph 80 of the Pearce Report, in which the Commission found that…even if details might be imperfectly grasped, there was a generally good understanding of the fundamental elements involved and, among smaller groups, the degree of comprehension was remarkably high.Does the right hon. Gentleman subscribe to those findings?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
That is what the Commission found, and Lord Pearce, Lord Harlech and their colleagues are 1761 very experienced people. I am not questioning their findings or their judgment. What I am saying is that only the week before last I found a leader of the ANC who had not the least idea of one of the main parts of the proposals—a part fundamental, I would have thought, to a judgment of the whole issue.
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon (York)
The right hon. Gentleman and I and two other hon. Members have had the opportunity of seeing the Executive of the ANC, and it gave evidence to Pearce in public. Whatever the deficiencies of the gentleman of whom the right hon. Gentleman is speaking, there was no question in anyone's mind that these men fully understood all the technicalities of the proposals. Nevertheless, quite sincerely and massively they rejected it.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I accept what Lord Pearce found in general, but the question of the blocking mechanism was essential to a judgment of the proposals. Not to know about it in a position of leadership is something which should be remedied. All I am asking is more time for the Africans to understand these things fully.
In the earlier months of this Parliament, the right hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) used barely to conceal his conviction that the Government would act in bad faith. Others, here and overseas, took their cue from him. I ask the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who now speaks on foreign affairs for the Opposition, not to fall into the same kind of error, into which the right hon. Member for Leeds, East was so prone to jump with both feet. The Pearce Report has said "No" and we have accepted that the African answer was "No". We said that we would negotiate within the five principles, and we did so. We promised that the Commission would be impartial and objective, and it has been conspicuously so.
I ask the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East in particular to believe that our sole purpose throughout—and it is our purpose now—has been to prevent in Rhodesia polarisation of the races which would be bound to end in racial conflict. That is our purpose. I take it that it is the right hon. Gentleman's also, although 1762 he may quarrel with some of our methods.
The report shows that the great majority in Rhodesia of all races still want a compromise. Only a very few of the Africans gave as a reason for rejecting the proposals a desire for immediate majority rule. Europeans were almost unanimous in their readiness to move off their present constitution—and this is significant—to one which lessened racial discrimination and led them past parity to majority rule. The Asians and the Coloureds were in favour.
I have no doubt of the reason. It is perhaps most graphically expressed by one who is well known to many in the House as a believer in the multi-racial society. Mr. David Butler wrote to the Commission:There are only two ways in which Africans here can advance. One is by revolution…and the other is by constitutional evolution which is only possible within a system acceptable to white Rhodesians.That is really the fundamental problem in Rhodesia. Mr. Butler states it fairly, and it is stated by others, including Africans, in the report. That is the situation in a nutshell.
That is why it must be right to give all Rhodesians, for so many of them think in terms of compromise, time to think again—for the Africans to ask themselves whether their decision was really in the best interests of their people; for the Europeans to convince the Africans that they mean to create from now on a partnership of the races. If together they can come forward with agreement on better ideas for progress than those contained in the settlement, we shall be receptive. We have done almost everything we can to help. The effort must now come from the Rhodesians themselves.
Beside this momentous question of whether or not there is to be a truly multi-racial country in that part of Africa, other matters are almost incidental. Any future settlement would, clearly, be within the five principles. Having read the Pearce Report, I doubt whether many will question the wisdom of reserving judgment on the method to be adopted in any future test of acceptability. I think that it is only common sense to be flexible. Should any consensus emerge from Rhodesia—andwe do not know 1763 what is to happen inside Rhodesia—the circumstances would be different from those of today.
Finally, there are sanctions. They have been on for nearly seven years, and they have not achieved a decisive political change in Rhodesia. Those who argue that another three or four years will do so have little evidence to support their view. Nevertheless, if our purpose—and this is what I am asking the House to do, and only this—is to give all Rhodesians time for sober reflection on their future, I doubt whether there will be many who question that we should at the present time preserve the status quo. I believe—and I say this straight to the House—that the time required for Rhodesians to judge and to adjust their minds again to a prospect of settlement will take us beyond November of this year.
How long, then, are sanctions to go on? I cannot tell. But this I will say to the right hon. Gentleman—that if at some future date we decide that sanctions have finally failed in their purpose, or that the evasions are so widespread that they are intolerable, we should not act in some hole and corner manner. We should come to the House and go to the United Nations and state the case plainly for a change of policy. That is how we should approach the situation. However, that is not for today, because today we are keeping the status quo, and it could go on beyond November, because we shall not hear from Rhodesia before then.
I come now to the Opposition Amendment. I rather hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not move it, and I hope still that he will not divide the House on it. I do not think that we need an Amendment to the Motion. I hope that it will be noted that the Amendment does not refer to the report or to time for reflection. Any settlement in the future will be within the five principles. I have never seen any difficulty in that and have never tried to evade it. Any fair settlement would automatically be within the five principles.
As to a British initiative to intensify sanctions, I believe that there is considerable misunderstanding. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will consider what I say. The Amendment implies that there 1764 is something more that we, the British, can do. To suggest this is positively misleading, and I could not accept an Amendment which implied any such thing. I hope that no one in this House would point the finger at either the last Government or this Government on this matter. It would be totally unjust. The machinery in Britain and internationally for enforcing sanctions is there. We constantly exhort the Security Council to have the breaches stopped and to insist upon stricter observance by the international community. No accusation or exhortation can justly be aimed at Britain in this matter. If it is aimed at us it is aimed at the wrong mark. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will consider this, because the Amendment is misleading.
The Amendment asks that in any future discussion representatives of the Rhodesian people should take part. This is a late conversion by the Labour Party, because neither on "Tiger" nor on "Fearless" did any such thing happen. I hope to see in the next stage interracial discussions inside Rhodesia and inter-racial proposals made. Meanwhile, I will take the course, very wisely adopted by the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends in the last Parliament, of leaving the options open. They did not commit themselves to any specific definition in circumstances which could not be foreseen. I cannot see how the future will develop or in what form we may be able to make progress. I am sure that if we tie ourselves down at this stage to strict definitions it will make the achievement of a fair solution less likely not more likely.
§ Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)
Why is the right hon. Gentleman so scornful about that part of the Amendment which deals with African participation? Is it not justifiable for the House to say that, after these three experiences, two under the previous Administration and one with Lord Pearce under this Administration, it is time to learn from them and say that any discussion on the future of Rhodesia without the direct participation of the African majority is not worth while? Can we not learn from experience?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I am not prepared to be lectured on this by the 1765 hon. Gentleman, because I saw the Africans when I was in Salisbury, a great many of them.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I may have got the wrong answer, but at least I saw them. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not. Do not let us quarrel about this, because I hope that we need not have an Amendment to this Motion.
Finally, the Amendment says that any proposals resulting from future discussions shall be put freely and openly to the Rhodesian people as a whole for their prior acceptance or rejection. The right hon. Gentleman will no doubt tell us what he means; a referendum, a commission or what? I prefer to keep the options open. The previous Government were content with the fifth principle and so am I. I have already made it clear that this Government are not in present circumstances prepared to state precisely how this principle will be satisfied, and that remains the position.
It is my considered judgment that the acceptance of the Amendment would hinder rather than help a just and honourable settlement. If approaches are made to us, it is my hope—and this is my answer to the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson)—that these will come jointly from all racial groups in Rhodesia. That may be ambitious, but it would be the certain way to success.
I hope that the House will not find it necessary to divide and that the right hon. Gentleman is not trying to cook up excuses for doing so. I do not think the situation requires it. After Pearce I am asking for time in which, quietly, peacefully and, above all, without interference from outside, all Rhodesians may reflect on their country's future.
Lord Pearce has helped us to recognise the deep emotions latent among all sections of opinion in that country. In Africa perhaps more than anywhere else in the world there is deep wisdom at this time in the words "Peace be still". I am asking for time, for one more chance for the people of Rhodesia to say whether it is to be peace between the races or whether it is to be war.
§ 5.5 p.m.
§ Mr. James Callaghan (Cardiff, South-East)
I beg to move, in line 1, to leave 1766 out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereofdeclares that any constitutional settlement with Rhodesia must be within the five principles and calls upon the Government to intensify and strengthen the present policy of sanctions; and is further of opinion that in future discussions for such a settlement representatives of the majority of the Rhodesian people shall take part, and any proposals resulting from future discussions shall be put openly and freely to the Rhodesian people as a whole for their prior acceptance or rejection".I listened with great care to the Foreign Secretary because I wanted to hear how he justified one of the most timid, limp, tepid and hesitating Motions that I have ever seen on the Order Paper. There are parts with which I would not quarrel just as there are certain of the right hon. Gentleman's aspirations with which I would not quarrel. I must try to separate his aspirations from his manner in attempting to avoid a Division tonight.
When he said that he is not willing to be lectured, may I say that I do not feel that it is my duty to listen to lectures from the right hon. Gentleman about the way in which I should conduct myself, especially in view of the fact that he comes here this afternoon in the light of a report from the Pearce Commission which wholly negatives all that he thought was the Africans' view about what he had done. I would not, on the grounds of the mixture of weak defiance and cajolery which characterised the Foreign Secretary's approach this afternoon, recommend my hon. Friends to vote for the Motion as it stands.
If the right hon. Gentleman wants to avoid a vote—[Interruption.]—let him make up his mind. I thought he was saying a minute ago that he did want to avoid one. Does he or does he not?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I am not in the least afraid of having a vote. I thought that the Labour Party would be behaving rather more responsibly if it did not have one.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I did not think we were talking about fear or whether anyone had courage. I thought we were talking about what was the right thing to do.
The Foreign Secretary has a difficult rôle this afternoon. He is faced with an Amendment—I do not know whether 1767 it is to be called—tabled by some of his hon. Friends, and he has to try to carry the whole of his party along with him. Heaven knows, it is already split into three. It is a good tactic, no doubt, to try to take it out of the Opposition, but he should not expect us to sit back and listen to him talking to us about the way in which we should conduct matters when he has such a ghastly series of failures behind him. [Hon. Members:" 'Tiger' and 'Fearless'; devaluation."] I am going back much further than that, I am going back to Munich.
We do not support the Motion in its present form. I must say that I find the Foreign Secretary's attitude offensive. We do not support his Motion, and if he wants co-operation he will have to go about it in a different way. We are not surprised that some of his hon. Friends should take an entirely different view because they do not find this Motion satisfactory either. He put on record that the great majority of African people both understood the implications of the proposals and objected to them. I notice that the Motion does not accept the report.
What the Motion asks the House to do—forthe sake no doubt of his hon. Friends—is to take note of the report. He said in his speech that he accepted the report. I am glad to hear that. If that had been stated in the Motion, it might have made a bit of difference. He has recorded that the people of Rhodesia as a whole do not regard the proposals as acceptable. The hopes that he and Mr. Smith built on the proposals have collapsed and the settlement falls.
I understand that the Foreign Secretary may feel a little tetchy about all this, but he must fact the facts, and the reality of the situation, as he knows, is that, however long he waits for others to consider this matter, he will get no different answer. I am astonished at the degree of innocence he affects in telling us that reflection might mean a change of mind and trying to persuade us that the majority there under Mr. Smith are anxious and willing to proceed to improve the lot of the Africans to the point where the Africans are likely to accept it. That is too innocent to 1768 ring true, and I do not believe anything of the sort.
What the Foreign Secretary is trying to do is to buy a few months of time on this issue, not for consideration in Africa but to help him with his difficulties in connection with more domestic problems. That is not my view alone; it is also the view of Mr. Smith. I shall return to it later.
Whatever different views we may take about the settlement proposals—and the two parties took different views—I shall probably get a considerable degree of agreement on the Government side of the House if I say that the Government were guilty of a blunder in their attitude towards the fifth principle. There was miscalculation on their part that once the agreement had been reached the giving of consent by the Africans would prove to be likely. This was the assumption upon which it was commended to the House.
Let me quote from what the British negotiators told Mr. Smith on 3rd April, 1971. This is Mr. Smith's version, but I quote it to the House as he quoted it to his House of Assembly:British Ministers retained an open mind on this aspect—that is, on the speed—although there were certainly two considerations which would weigh heavily with them. First, they felt they owed it to their own consciences and to their parliamentary position to be able to stand up and say they were satisfied that by and large any agreement entered into was acceptable to Rhodesians as a whole. Secondly, they wished any such exercise to be done as quickly as possible and with as little upheaval as possible…and above all, they would not wish any test of acceptability to be regarded as a whitewash but, on the other hand, they would wish to see it came up with the right answer.That is fair enough. Of course they wanted it to come up with the answer that the Africans agreed with the settlement that had been made, but it was at this point that the Government made a serious blunder. What the Government and Mr. Smith, apparently, acquiesced in was that the form of question that was to be put to the Africans would produce "the right answer". Let me continue with what Mr. Smith had to say:The British negotiators expressed the view that there would be little doubt of the result if the Commission approached the inquiry with the object of determining whether the 1769 people preferred the settlement proposals to retaining the present position.So the question was to be put in this form:Do you prefer the settlement proposals, or do you insist on remaining under the present Constitution?Mr. Smith goes on to say:This attitude was maintained by the negotiators throughout the negotiations and indeed as late as 21st September, 1971.
§ Mr. Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler (King's Lynn) rose—
§ Mr. Callaghan
I will give way in a moment. It is still the custom of the House that hon. Members can choose when to give way. I am still in the middle of my point.
The difficulty arises because the Africans have refused to accept that these are the only two alternatives. The Africans have refused either to remain under the 1969 Constitution or to accept that the Constitution which has been devised for them by the Smith-Home agreement is the alternative they must have. They choose neither, and when the Foreign Secretary begins to accept this, we are likely to move ahead. The Africans insist that they are free to, and intend to, reject both the existing Constitution and these new arrangements.
§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House how many times during the period of office of the previous Government the Africans had the opportunity of taking part in any discussions whatever with the British Government on the various proposals which were discussed between the former British Government and the illegal régime?
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am not ready to go into that matter, because I have a speech here which I wish to make.—[Laughter.]—I shall make it in my own way in spite of the derision. If this is the general attitude in African debates, I am glad that I have been spared them for some time.
I am trying to make the case, as I see it, in relation to the Pearce Commission. The fact that the British negotiators and Mr. Smith insisted on the Africans choosing between the 1969 Constitution and the new arrangements was put clearly to them 1770 by the Commissioners. The Commissioners are not at fault here. Lord Pearce and his colleagues put the question in the way in which the British Cabinet wanted it put.
I will quote from the introductory paragraph 4 of the document which was distributed which was known as the "Black Book":If you do accept"—that is, the Rhodesians—then the present dispute will end and Britain will declare to all the world that your country is now independent. If you do not accept then things will continue as they are at present and how this will turn out no one can easily say.That is clear. It is exactly the way in which the Foreign Secretary wanted the question put. The question was put in that way and the Commission got an answer. Seven hundred thousand copies of this document were issued, and the answer was clear. Although the Foreign Secretary has found one leader of the ANC who does not understand it, that does not override the conclusions of the Pearce Commission. As he did not seem to think it did, I wondered why it was necessary for him to refer to it. Perhaps there was a case for referring to it as a case of misunderstanding when we consider the failure of the present Government to understand even the most elementary aspect of industrial relations.
There is one sentence in this introductory paragraph which the Foreign Secretary will have to live up to—and so far he has. We want to pin him on this. This is what was said to the Rhodesian people, both European and African:Britain will agree to what the people of Rhodesia as a whole may decide.That is what the Foreign Secretary has lived up to in accepting the verdict of Pearce. I hope that he will continue to live up to it in this interim period of reflection he now wants us to undertake.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The right hon. Gentleman is talking about the fifth principle. I have said that we accept the fifth principle. Perhaps he will consult his right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) before he goes much further. The right hon. Member for Leeds, East said on 11th March that the five principles must now go over-board.
§ Mr. Callaghan
There is certainly a logical and sophisticated case for arguing that, if African representatives take a full part in the next series of negotiations, the first four principles are covered by their attendance, especially if they are allowed fully to participate and to join in the conclusions. But to argue from that, as the Foreign Secretary has done this afternoon, that there is no prospect of this kind of situation emerging and then to raise the question of whether the five principles disappear, seems to be indicative of the Foreign Secretary's whole approach to the question. I did not get the impression from the right hon. Gentleman's speech that he wanted to do anything but shuffle off this problem as quickly as he could.
I come to the next step. Mr. Smith is in no doubt as to what his next steps are. He has not budged from the original position which was taken between himself and the British Government. His words are in strong contrast to the rather limp attitude we have had from the Foreign Secretary. I shall quote what Mr. Smith said to the House of Assembly just a week ago:If therefore the Africans of Rhodesia want a settlement, they will have to reverse the Pearce verdict. The terms of the settlement are not negotiable. These were agreed by the British and Rhodesian Governments last November and there is no question of amending them in order to make any further concessions to the Africans or to anybody else. The hon. Member for Kunyasi and other hon. Members on the cross benches appealed to me to talk to the Africans, to discuss with them ways and means of achieving a settlement. Because the terms already agreed with the British Government are not negotiable, there is no point whatever in my talking to people whose object is to get these terms amended. However, I will be happy to talk to anybody who is prepared to accept these terms.What, then, is the period of reflection to be about? If that is the attitude of the major partner in these discussions, what will happen? The Foreign Secretary knows as well as I do Mr. Smith's views. Is he now trying to kid the House for a little longer while he gets the European Communities Bill through the House? Is that his purpose? No doubt he thinks that that suggestion is unworthy and I will deal with that view a little later. We shall see what Mr. Smith believes is the reason for what he regards as a change of attitude by the British Government.
1772 I wish to make one other quotation from Mr. Smith's speech in the House of Assembly:Therefore, if the Africans wish to have a settlement they must put aside all extraneous factors and decide whether they wish to retain the 1969 Constitution and, the status quo or whether they wish to move forward under the proposed new Constitution. That is the only question to be answered…It is not the only question and the Africans will insist that it is not, British opinion would insist that it is not and opinion in Africa as a whole and indeed throughout the world will insist that it is not.
As events unfold in the years ahead, Mr. Smith will find many alternative questions will arise that he will have to answer, and they will be presented in a much sharper manner than these questions are being presented now. Many of us in the 1950s watched the so-called fancy franchises which were erected in Northern Rhodesia and Kenya. They were invented, implemented and disregarded almost at the rate of one a year. When I look at the nature of the latest Constitution, I am led to consider what advantages it has over the 1969 Constitution. In some respects it is an advance on the 1969 situation. However, whatever improvement is there, it is still in the realm of other fancy franchises which were discarded and swept away and then put in the dustbin of history. I do not know how long the 1969 Constitution will last; it may last for a little while. Mr. Smith controls the Armed Forces, the police and in the last resort power determines what happens in these matters—for a time, but not for ever.
I am sure that these are not the last words on this matter and, if Mr. Smith pretends that they are, he is spitting into the wind. Whatever Mr. Smith may say about the only two choices that are open, it is important that the British Government should clearly state their position. Mr. Smith gives the impression that the British Government would not be a party to any renegotiation. That impression can be derived from his words. I am not sure whether he means it, but that is the way I read his words. He is saying that, because an agreement has been entered into between the British Government and himself, there can be no renegotiation.
I ask the Government to make it clear that Britain is not standing out against 1773 further negotiations. Is that so? I do not ask for an answer now, but I hope that this question will be dealt with in the debate tonight. It is an important question which should be dealt with.
Is Britain saying that this is the last word and that there can be no renegotiation? Mr. Smith states that it is the last word. The Foreign Secretary's attitude is on the lines, "I cannot get any more, it may not be perfect, but it is as much I can get because Mr. Smith will not go any further." It will be wrong of Mr. Smith to convey to the Africans or to anybody else that because that agreement has been made, it is inviolable as the British Government will not reopen it. We must have a clear understanding from the British Government that they would be willing to reopen these terms to give greater advantage to the African majority and that the British Government would have no objection to reopening negotiations or standing in the way of that course.
If the Foreign Secretary is trying to build up a common attitude then he should go further, because we regard it as reasonable at this stage that Africans should be brought into the negotiations. If anybody pauses to reflect on the events of the last 12 months in Northern Ireland, he must see how Government opinion and the opinions of others can change and develop. It is not of much interest to talk about what happened in 1967 or 1964 or at any other time. We are asking about circumstances of today when the Africans for the first time have been given the right of veto and have exercised it. If there is to be further negotiation and discussion and conclusions reached, it would be more sensible to bring in those who might have a veto at the moment when the conclusions are being formed, rather than to reach conclusions and then ask "What is your view about them?"
The fact that the Pearce Commission reported in the way that it did has meant that the centre of gravity has moved in terms of the Africans and their position in the situation far beyond the situation at any earlier time. We shall never be able to go back to the previous period—unless there is a scuttle, and I do not believe that the Foreign Secretary will scuttle on this issue. He may declare to Mr. Smith that the Government must 1774 pay regard to their own principles. Therefore, unless there is a scuttle, the Africans will have to be brought in and take a full part if a settlement is to be a lasting settlement.
§ Mr. Patrick Wall (Haltemprice)
The right hon. Gentleman speaks about the "Africans". Which Africans does he mean? Is he referring to the Mashone, the Matabele, the elected Africans in Parliament, or the leaders of the African National Council? Who would represent the Africans?
§ Mr. Callaghan
I would listen to what the Foreign Secretary had to say on that matter. I shall not go into details as to who would represent anybody. The hon. Gentleman and I visited the country together in 1957 and I learned sufficient about the situation not to commit myself about who should be the representatives. It is surely not beyond the wit of man to work out from whom the representatives should be drawn. I accept that Bishop Muzorewa and the African National Council should be included. It is certainly long overdue for Mr. Nkomo to be charged or released from the detention in which he is held—[Interruption.] I do not know whether there is any evidence against him. It would appear they do not have much or they would have brought him to trial.
Certainly I say to the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) that Garfield Todd, who was Prime Minister when we were there, and who I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree is a man of great honour and distinction, should be released from house arrest and might take part in the talks. There will be no difficulty in selecting a number of people able to speak more truly for the Africans in Southern Rhodesia today than does Mr. Smith, who does not even pretend to do so.
The immediate point is that Mr. Smith should not be allowed to get away with the idea that these terms cannot be renegotiated. They can be, and in my view they will be. I say that because the existing situation is unstable and because the present constitution is unjust. At present, Britain is tied by the Africans' refusal to agree to the present terms and by Smith's refusal to renegotiate them. The right hon. Gentleman recognises that Britain cannot proceed on her own to 1775 implement the agreement or to pass the necessary legislation in this House. Indeed, I doubt whether he would get a majority if he tried, and I have no doubt that that has crossed his mind.
Should Britain withdraw? That is the alternative posed in the Amendment tabled by a number of hon. Members opposite. They peddle this alternative. From what should we be withdrawing? What should we leave behind if we came out of our continuing responsibilities? In what situation should we leave the Africans and others? Let me quote the present Foreign Secretary on this topic. The right hon. Gentleman adverted to it again today, but he spoke about it in more detail in our debate on 1st December.
If we were to leave Rhodesia in the present circumstances, this is what we should be leaving behind us, according to the right hon. Gentleman. He said that he found that aspects of the Land Tenure Act were unwarranted and offensive in their discrimination. Those who would bring us out and who ask us to forgo any responsibilities would be asking us to leave that situation behind.
The right hon. Gentleman said that he found the present atmosphere was such that it was easy for ordinary critics of the régime to be accused of treasonable conduct to their country. Those are not my words; they are the right hon. Gentleman's. So the critics of the Government on the benches opposite ask us to leave that situation behind and to disclaim responsibility for it.
The right hon. Gentleman concluded that the income tax test for African representation was hopeless and unjustifiable. Again the right hon. Gentleman's words, not mine. The critics who want us to pull out ask us to leave behind that situation, too.
Finaly, the right hon. Gentleman told us that the mechanism for preventing a backwards movement for the Africans in the matter of the constitution was totally inadequate. Those are strong words. They are to be contrasted with limp deeds and a pretty limp speech today to follow them. In the face of those words, if those are the right hon. Gentleman's conclusions, as they are, how could a British Government abdicate their responsibility 1776 and at the same time keep their honour? Perhaps we cannot discharge our mandate fully. But we cannot deny it, as critics on the benches opposite would have us do. We have a responsibility there. The fact that we are not able fully to carry it out does not mean that we can escape from it. It means that we have to try to put ourselves in a position in which we can continue to influence events.
On the main issue I say to the Smith régime and to the Africans that we regret that there is as yet no basis upon which Britain can honourably yield legal independence to Rhodesia. Therefore we shall maintain our legal relationship and our trustee status for as long as is necessary to satisfy the principles clearly laid down by a Conservative Government in the first place and adhered to by my Government when we were in power.
We should say to Smith and the Africans—it will fall on deaf ears; nevertheless we should state our position—"We advise you to enter into discussions with each other which may lead to negotiations as a first step to later negotiations with Britain in which we shall wish to see the Smith régime and the Opposition coming, as well as representatives of all the African parties. Then, at that stage, we can look at the possibility of removing the legal impediments which hinder your development". That is what we should say to them. But does anyone seriously believe that there is any prospect of Smith taking this line with the Africans? There is not a hope. As matters stand at present, there is not a chance. In those circumstances, I feel justified in saying that we are debating one of the limpest Motions ever to appear on the Order Paper of this House. "In the meantime", we should say to them, "you must take it that the policy of trade sanctions will be pursued with vigour both by us and through the machinery of the United Nations."
I believe that that should be our general approach. Events in due course will take charge of the situation. People can stand against the bar of history for some time, but not for ever. Although Smith or others may try to hold back the onrush, at some stage he and those who try to hold it back will be swept away. I much prefer the attitude which tries to channel that onrush into more constructive paths. 1777 I believe that this should be the message going out from this House.
I can remember Smith trying to convince his party by saying, "If we do not accept the settlement, the future for our children in 10 or 20 years' time will be much blacker than it is now." Whatever views we may take about that settlement, if they adhere to the 1969 constitution there is no doubt where we are heading, and the Foreign Secretary and I are in agreement on that.
However, that leads me to believe, contrary apparently to the right hon. Gentleman, that we have to state frankly and fully to Smith where we stand on these issues. He must recognise what he is facing not only for the sake of some legal relationship between Westminster and Rhodesia but for his own sake, for the sake of Europeans there and for the sake of their children. All of them have an interest in this. Speaking for myself, nothing would please me more than to see in that country, especially when I look round some of the other African countries and remember the vigour and intelligence that that country can command, a non-racial approach to its development. It would be a tremendous lesson to the whole of Africa as well as to wider areas of the world.
Can anyone say, bearing in mind Smith's attitude at the moment, that such a situation is likely to come about? The statesmanship must come from him. He has the Government. He has the power. He has the ability to make the changes. The Africans have not. What every one of us has seen time after time is that what is not conceded to reason eventually yields to force. There have been many lessons of this in our own history. Surely now it is the right hon. Gentleman's job to take Smith by the hand and to say to him that this is our assessment of the situation.
There are a number of detailed points which arise and which perhaps some of my hon. Friends will take up in the course of the debate. We should have a discussion today on how to prevent the leaks in the sanctions policy. I do not point the finger at the right hon. Gentleman. Nor do I point the finger only at the United States in relation to the chrome situation. There are divided opinions there. I point the finger at the 1778 Foreign Secretary, however, for instructing our delegate to abstain on the last sanctions Resolution. There ought to be no more of that in the future.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles (Winchester)
The Labour Party's Amendment refers to strengthening the intensification of sanctions. I understand that the right hon. Gentleman's supporters and others in many parts of the House feel that aid to and trade with the Third World is a responsibility to which this country should pay heed. Will the right hon. Gentleman explain where the morality lies in subjecting only one country in Africa to the very opposite process, pushing it down by the intensification of sanctions so that the standard of living of everyone, including the Africans, is reduced?
§ Mr. Callaghan
The United Nations has taken a decision on this matter to which we adhere and which we should attempt to enforce. This is a question of many conflicting moralities, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman should not attempt to pick out that little bit of the argument which seems to suit his purpose. This is one way in which this country can demonstrate that it still regards its legal obligations as important.
I do not believe that sanctions will bring down the régime. History and experience has shown that that is so, but if, as the Foreign Secretary hinted, the Government were to go to the United Nations and say that they believe that the time had come to withdraw sanctions, against the background which the right hon. Gentleman has stated, of the unsatisfactory nature of the constitution, the credibility of this country would be at an end in the world. That is the reason why the Foreign Secretary is not willing to reach such a decision, despite the pressure from the lobby behind him, and I am glad that so far he has stood up to it.
We ought to have more discussions on how to prevent breaches. A number of countries are breaking these rules. There have been suggestions—I shall not go into them now—about how the matter should be dealt with. Some of my hon. Friends will want to raise questions about the detention of Joshua Nkomo and 1779 Garfield Todd and his daughter and the arrest of Mr. and Mrs. Chinamano, all held without access to friends or allowed to receive letters or even to make telephone calls.
This is still our responsibility, even if we cannot carry out our mandate on these matters. The Foreign Secretary should continue to be both vigilant and active on this question even though success has not yet been achieved. We shall not criticise the right hon. Gentleman if he is not successful, but we shall criticise him if he does not continue to make the effort.
We shall also expect the right hon. Gentleman to watch carefully the fortunes of the African National Council. There is great fear—and with justification—that now that the Pearce Commission is over Smith will use or abuse his position to break the African National Council. They must be very unsure of themselves, and they are acting like dictators when they ban a party membership card of the African National Council as being an unlawful publication under the Law and Order Act. That brings law and order itself into contempt, and I should like to hear anybody justify that action by the Smith régime.
If the agreement is not to come into force, how can we help African education forward in order to train a cadre of people who will be able in due course to take their place in governing their country? That is a responsibility which we have if we are to try to discharge this mandate in due course. Smith may not like it because he sees in every educated African capable of running the country an enemy of white supremacy and domination, but it is our responsibility to see, as far as we can from outside the country, that Africans are trained for this purpose.
In short, we expect the Foreign Secretary to challenge any acts of bad faith by the Smith régime to move towards creeping apartheid. The right hon. Gentleman must maintain vigilance over events in Rhodesia and create a machinery in the Foreign Office and elsewhere which will enable him to maintain that vigilance and be ready, wherever opportunity offers to reassert the authority of Britain in this matter.
1780 I understand the limitations, but Mr. Smith must also understand that this issue is by no means dead. We regret that the present situation has come to the point that it has. We would welcome a genuine non-racial society in that country. There is no doubt that it needs it. A developing country of that sort, with the growth in population which I see has taken place, needs a large injection of fresh capital every year if it is to progress. Indeed, in terms of capital development one has only to look at the statistics to see that it is suffering from pernicious anaemia.
The terms of trade are adverse because, despite some successful attempts to break sanctions, they rely so much on the export of raw materials, minerals and foodstuffs. With exports increasing by 9 per cent. a year, and imports increasing by 20 per cent. a year, without foreign exchange, and without the injection of outside capital, that country will indue course go backwards and everyone will suffer, including the Africans. It is therefore in the interests of us all to try to bring that situation to an end. The net capital inflow is no more than £12 million a year, and that is insufficient to keep pace with the growing population and labour force.
These facts have to be brought home to Smith. It is all very well to say that the Africans suffer from this policy. They have shown that they are willing to suffer because of it because there are other considerations in their minds. The white Rhodesians must see that they can have what is needed to overcome these difficulties into which they have plunged themselves but that first they must be prepared to recognise that the present policies which they are following and the constitution which they have do not satisfy their population, do not satisfy this country, and will not satisfy other nations in the world as the situation develops.
Their future intentions in this matter are not acceptable. They must come to terms with the legitimate aspirations of the African people. If they do that, if they are willing first to share power and then to acknowledge that in due course they will yield power, then Rhodesians, Europeans and Africans alike could still live in what might become a happy and prosperous country.
§ 5.46 p.m.
§ Mr. Stephen Hastings (Mid-Bedfordshire)
I found the speech of the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Calaghan) more than ordinarily disappointing. He made an aggressive, bad-tempered and thoroughly unconstructive speech. He descended after a few sentences to party calculation and, generally, that is where he stayed.
The right hon. Gentleman's remarks bordered at times on the ridiculous when he accused my right hon. Friend of what he called "a ghastly series"—
§ Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South)
Does my hon. Friend think that it was right of him to overhear the speech addressed by the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) to his own back-benchers?
§ Mr. Hastings
I am sure that my hon. and learned Friend has made an apt comment, and I was coming to something of the same sort.
I cannot resist reminding the House that the right hon. Gentleman accused my right hon. Friend of "a ghastly series of failures" which appeared to go back to the Conquest. There is only one basis of comparison between the two sides of the House on this matter. One is "Tiger" and "Fearless", and the other is the agreement reached with the Rhodesian Government in November last. "Tiger" and "Fearless" may not have been "ghastly failures", but they can scarcely be claimed to have been successes.
It is understandable, as my hon. and learned Friend said, that the right hon. Gentleman should seek to raise the temperature of the House this afternoon because hon. Gentleman opposite have been walking both ways for months. They have been arguing with one another in public and in private. They have been saying one thing, and voting another, and it must be with delight that they turn to a subject on which they feel they can all agree for once. The right hon. Gentleman's speech was addressed to them rather than to the House or to the situation which we are supposed to be considering this afternoon. It is far too serious a matter to have merited a contribution such as his.
1782 The right hon. Gentleman made one reference to the Amendment which has been tabled, though not called, by some of my right hon. Friends and myself, and I must pick him up on that one point. He made it blatantly clear that he interpreted it as a suggestion to the Government that we should leave Rhodesia and our responsibilities there. It does not say that at all, and one glance at it would convince anybody that that is so.
We say that we hope that the Government will institute the agreement which they have so wisely and well achieved, and we think that it is so important that if it or something like it is not achieved, we see little purpose any more in any British Government purporting to control the situation in Rhodesia. That, in sum, is what we say.
All my right hon. and hon. Friends and many other hon. Members will agree with me if I begin by expressing my sympathy to the Foreign Secretary that, after all his efforts and the great achievement that he made at the end of last year in reaching agreement with the Rhodesian Government, it should apparently, and for the time being, have come to naught. To him, to the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, and all those who contributed to that achievement our sympathy today should go out.
And if the House will tolerate it, I should like also to offer sympathy, on my part anyway, to the Rhodesian Government. In spite of the mistakes and mis-judgments which they have made and may be making, they did their level best to make this inquiry succeed, as Chapter 10 of the report makes absolutely clear. They staked much; and concessions, in the siege atmosphere of Rhodesia, isolated as it is, are no easy matter. It behoves us to be conscious of that as well.
The central fact which we should face—andlet us put aside the moral posturing that so often accompanies our debates in this place and in the country on this subject; the party calculations; the speculations about what might or might not happen at the United Nations or in other parts of Africa; or whether Nigeria will or will not nationalise our oil—the central fact is that, against all the odds, a very good deal indeed, the best since UDI, was obtained for the Rhodesian people in November last. It has been lost, and with 1783 it a great chance for Rhodesia and for the stability of central Africa as a whole. It fell at the last fence on the assessment of opinion, under the fifth principle, and it is a tragedy, virtually unmitigated.
It is no satisfaction whatever to me or to any of us—there were one or two—who said consistently that the fifth principle could not be practically or fairly implemented—[Interruption.] There are two opinions on this. I am trying to put mine, and I believe that the evidence in the report bears me out.
The task which faced Lord Pearce and his Commissioners was appallingly difficult—as they themselves make plain at the outset. I express my respect of and indeed admiration for them for their persistence and indeed their courage, because some of their experiences must have been alarming. But that is no reason why we should not examine the report critically. My own concern about its contents, and leading to its conclusion, centre on five separate points.
First, the weighting of their judgment was plainly quantitative rather than qualitative. They make this clear on page 40. Yet this quantitative judgment, apart from any other objections to it, was based on only 5.8 per cent. of the African population—and it is overwhelmingly the African population with whom we are concerned. No special weight was given to Africans who, professionally or economically, are contributing disproportionately, in terms of the population as a whole, to Rhodesian life. It could well have been argued, and it was argued, that they understood much better what was at stake than did many others—[Laughter.] If I could be allowed to continue, what I have to say has great relevance in Rhodesia.
For instance, it is maintained that senior teachers in schools were far more in favour than juniors. What weight, if any, was given to that? Apparently, none at all. In a country which ranges—anyone who knows Rhodesia will confirm this—from primitive societies to what can fairly be termed an advanced technological society, it is nonsense to take no account of qualitative weighting but simply to form one's decisions on quantity alone. Every constitution which has been debated or applied in Rhodesia 1784 has taken account of this, so it was surely wrong for the Commission to write it down as it did.
My second worry lies in what I term the imbalance of propaganda or persuasion. The report makes it clear that the ANC was active in all areas four weeks before the Commission arrived. Yet the effort to "sell" the proposals, on the other hand, was taken up only in the last few days or a week or two of the Commission's time in Rhodesia. It was carried out by the Committee to Organise Support for the Settlement, by the Progressive Liberal Forum and by an organisation known as the People against Racial Discrimination. But they came into the field very late indeed, while the Rhodesian Administration itself, according to the Commission, did nothing to sell the proposals anywhere.
This may have been very silly—I accept that—and I agree with a remark by my right hon. Friend some time ago that Mr. Smith and the Government appeared to be quite confident that the answer would be "Yes". In other words, they were out of touch. I am not arguing with that. I am simply saying that the evidence in this report appears to show that those who were for "No" were arguing and preparing before the Commission arrived and that those who were for "Yes" started only at the last moment. At the very least that should have alerted the Commission to the danger of error.
§ Mr. Richard
Would the hon. Gentleman consider paragraph 415 on page 111:We do not think the African National Council would have obtained so great and so swift a response had they not met a potential desire among the majority of the people for leadership in a rejection of the terms and in a protest against the policies of the last few years."?Does he accept that?
§ Mr. Hastings
If we are to start quoting at one another, I have a few quotations that I would like to make myself. I am simply maintaining that there are contradictory views in this report. My own opinion on this point is that the inequality of the advocacy as it was conducted is something that the Commissioners should have taken into account more than they apparently did.
1785 I want to turn, third, to the question of intimidation. The Commission, to my mind, appeared to take this far too lightly and to discount much of what the Rhodesian Government reported. What they put into their own report is, I suppose, necessarily selective, but take for instance one part of the evidence submitted by the Rhodesian branch of the Institute of Directors—[An Hon. Member: "It was very good."] Indeed it was. It said:We cannot claim to represent the current collective views of the African employees of our members because in many instances these have changed drastically in the past few weeks, due to large-scale intimidation in the form of threats of violence and, far worse to the majority of Africans, witchcraft effecting employees, their families, cattle, crops etc. This intimidation is indisputable and our members have ample evidence of this which, if required, can be submitted in the form of written evidence.In this long report, I have sought to find that and I cannot find a trace of it anywhere. If it exists, I should be interested to see it and I hope that it will be placed in the Library.
No one who knew Rhodesia in 1960 will ever underestimate the power, the speed, the cruelty and the evil of African nationalist intimidation at its worst—the maiming and the brutal killing of cattle, the threats, the stoppage of contour farming and dipping of cattle. Perhaps hon. Members do not know it, but if those two practices are stopped, the agricultural economy is ruined in the tribal trust lands in no time at all. That is what they were doing.
It was all happening again on this occasion, if only briefly, and many of the same men were there and were at it. The Commission made an attempt to follow up some of these cases, but only a few—they had no time for any more. In my view they underestimated the result—that is, with some glaring exceptions, to which I shall turn in a moment or two.
The fourth of my worries about the report is regarding the understanding of the settlement. The terms of reference required the Commission to "explain" the terms of the settlement, but not to satisfy themselves that these were properly understood. The report certainly seeks to examine Commissioner's views on this point, but the evidence is equivocal. They 1786 say that they were satisfied. I think that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party alluded to paragraph 80, which is certainly in this vein. But at the same time, at paragraph 208 on page 56, we read:Clearly there were many Africans who at the end of our labours had at best a limited understanding of the Proposals. Few could understand the full complexities of an elaborate constitutional document.That was a "few" of only 5.8 per cent of the total African population.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North) rose—
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon
Will not the hon. Gentleman continue? The next sentence says:But all our teams of Commissioners except one…concluded that a majority of the Africans whom they met sufficiently understood the basic principles and implications of the proposals to pass a valid judgment on them.
§ Mr. Hastings
Some understood and some did not and I have quoted an undeniable passage in the report.
That leads me to the fifth of my five worries about the report, and that concerns the minority or dissenting reports among the Commissioners. They came from two teams, the team operating in Matabeleland, North, and the team operating in Victoria. I make no apology to the House for quoting two passages which allude to this, and anyone who takes a responsible and sensible interest in this matter ought to read those minority reports in full. They do not exist in the body of the Pearce report. I ask my right hon. Friend to place them in the Library so that we can judge the reasons for their most important and significant dissent.
I turn first to page 109 and in this connection we read:One of our teams concluded that because of the amount of intimidation at the public meetings which may have prevented many people from saying 'Yes' and because a significant section of the population in the Tribal Trust Lands and labour on European farms in that area had neither heard of nor in any way understood the Proposals, they were unable to determine whether the Proposals were acceptable to the people as a whole or not. Another team reported that bcause of their inability to assess accurately the very important question as to how far the results obtained were induced by the conssequences of intimidation, they must de-value the mass meetings as a means of obtaining genuine opinion and found that the evidence received 1787 by other means was so divided as to prevent them from arriving at a firm conclusion.
§ Mr. Richard
The hon. Gentleman is being much less than fair, either to his case or to the House. The very next sentence in the report says:These latter Commissioners, when questioned, stated however that while they were unable to say that the answer was 'No', they could emphatically say that it was not 'Yes'.
§ Mr. Hastings
Certainly. But I am getting a little tired of giving way to the hon. and learned Gentleman. I am trying to lead to a conclusion which bears very much on what he said.
I am not arguing that the Commission could possibly have been represented as having said "Yes", but my quotation there was entirely relevant to my argument.
I turn to page 200 in the same connection. Here we read from the team for Victoria Province:Our impression throughout the Province was that pressured persuasion, in varying degree, was a major factor at all save private interviews. Such persuasion was almost entirely by African on Africans.But the House can read it for itself. It was perfectly plain that these teams had no confidence in their ability to assess judgment because of intimidation.
It may be argued that those were only two teams and this is the way that Lord Pearce and the rest of his colleagues saw it. But those were two teams out of seven, or nearly one third of those engaged in assessment in the Tribal Trust Lands.
Now, the Commission clearly state, just before its conclusions, in a most important passage:Because these other Commissioners"—that is to say, those not in the two teams but in the five, the majority—concluded that despite such degree of intimidation as they found, the clear answer from the great majority of Africans was 'No'. Therefore the answer was overwhelmingly 'No'.I am no lawyer, but I assert that the position could have been deduced in a very different way. They could have said that "because nearly one third of the teams operating in the Tribal Trust Lands 1788 found it impossible to assess with any certainty, we must qualify our judgment in this respect". That is what they should have done.
Mut despite the neat, concise, one-page conclusion, the report is shot through—it is not unfair to say this as I have alluded to the immense difficulty of the task as a whole—with evidence of experiment, hypothesis and uncertainty. In one of the early chapters on "The description of work" we read that:Sometimes Commissioners had too short a time for explaining the Proposals adequately, at other times they were obliged to cut short a meeting to travel on to the next place. They needed more flexibility to enable them to make unscheduled visits and unplanned stops in an effort to probe beneath the apparent concensus views expressed at large public meetings.On the next page we read:The meetings were frequently lively and vociferous and sometimes tense, so that it was often impossible for our Commissioners to see small groups or individuals apart from the main meeting. Explanation of the Proposals was followed by question time, after which came the moment to invite the expression of an opinion. Opportunity was given to the crowd to split up into small groups or individuals for this purpose, but this was only rarely accepted, the crowd strongly preferring to shout out the answer or raise their hands to indicate a massive consensus.Again, we read:The presence of a group of people committed to a rejection of the Proposals often—I repeat "often"—reduced the quality of the dialogue since such people tended merely to repeat the same arguments in favour of rejection and to shout down anyone else likely to express a contrary opinion.I would not wish to detain the House more with quotations of this nature. Certainly they can be found in fair profusion in the report.
I simply do not believe that the situation in Central Africa, complicated and complex as it is, can possibly be susceptible to legalistic judgments of this kind, or to anything bordering on the clear-cut "guilty or not guilty".
One other point I should have mentioned: there is evidence that 1 per cent, only said "Yes" in public, whereas 15 per cent, did so in private. What is the implication?
I am not suggesting that the African answer could possibly be represented as "Yes", from the evidence in the report. But whatever judgment was reached on 1789 the basis of this report should clearly have been heavily qualified and it was not.
Anything so hideously complex and important as the future of millions of people of different races in Central Africa is simply not susceptible to clear-cut judgments of this kind.
Such an answer should never have been sought, and on the basis of what we read in the report it should certainly never have been given.
Now it is up to my right hon. Friend to take up the burden again. I agree there should be a period of reflection. But for how many months? There is a difference between a period of reflection of two or three months, and one of a couple of years. I would counsel speed because I do not believe that attitudes in Rhodesia can do anything but harden as time goes on. And why does he say the next move is up to the Rhodesians? Both Government and Parliament insist that we have the responsibility. The Government got so close this time. Let them keep up the dialogue and let there be no undue delay.
The present festering uncertainty—for that is what it is—is a disgrace to us all in this place. The test of acceptability was a mistake. The original judgment and achievement of my right hon. Friend was right. It was right and in the interests of all the people of Rhodesia. Let him try again, and let him try soon. And this time, I entreat him to trust his own great wisdom and judgment, for I believe it to be a sounder guide than anything we read in the Pearce Report.
§ 6.10 p.m.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
The House will be grateful to the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) for bringing at least one element of realism into the debate. The House of Commons, separated by many thousands of miles from Rhodesia, will at least see something of the mentality of the Rhodesian Front and the difficulty of negotiating with it in terms of the multi-racialism in which we in the House of Commons believe.
The hon. Gentleman also practised what he preached. He said that we must give up moral posturings; and very soon afterwards he succeeded in doing so in his speech.
1790 The Amendment to which the hon. Gentleman has put his name says, basically, "We do not mind the Fifth Principle, but we do not think that it is possible realistically to apply it. Therefore, let us scrap it and force through a settlement or, alternatively, scuttle from our responsibilities". It is rather like the young candidate who said at the end of his election address, "These are my principles. If you do not like them, I have others."
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman made quite such selective use of the Pearce Report as did Mr. Smith himself. "His master's voice" is not quite as effective in that matter as was Mr. Smith when I saw him on television.
§ Mr. Hastings
On that last point, the right hon. Gentleman has made a fairly predictable attack on what I said, in what I believe was a genuine and serious attempt to put the matter objectively. The right hon. Gentleman called Mr. Smith, my "master". In what respect?
§ Mr. Thorpe
Certainly. I said that about the hon. Gentleman advisedly. Mr. Smith has been in rebellion against the Crown. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman may or may not like it, but Mr. Smith happens to have been in rebillion against the Crown. If in any way I am legally incorrect, no doubt the hon. Gentleman will correct me. Mr. Smith made an illegal declaration of independence against the Crown.
It happens that every Member of the House has taken an oath of loyalty to the Crown. On many occasions there has been something very close to a conflict on the part of those who have shown that their loyalty to Mr. Smith is so great that I should have thought that, not least in the recommendations that have been made in regard to that rebellion, these must have tried their consciences and caused them to suffer a conflict of conscience on many occasions. In the hon. Gentleman's case, whose loyalty to the Crown cannot be questioned, in the support he has been seen to have been giving to Mr. Smith ever since the UDI, he must have suffered grave twinges of conscience. That is what I meant by my assertion.
The hon. Gentleman also mentioned the qualitative and quantitative test and repeated Mr. Smith's argument that only 1791 a small percentage of the population was consulted. The fact that 120,000 Africans were seen covering every one of the 50 administrative provinces, plus the map at the back of the report showing the scheduled and the unscheduled trips, leads me to suppose that the Pearce Commissioners are probably at this moment better informed as to African opinion in Rhodesia than any other body of men now or at any time.
As far as we know Mr. Smith's view, certainly before the test of acceptability, it was the oversimplification—"We have the happiest Africans on the African continent". How wrong he was.
That is one of the reasons why Mr. Smith was a little slow on his propaganda; because he assumed that he could rely upon the chiefs to deliver the vote. There has been talk of intimidation, but even when the chiefs were seen in private they produced a different report from that which they had given in public and there was a majority of them who were either opposed to the settlement or who abstained from expressing an opinion, many of whom publicly felt that they had to say that they were in favour of it.
Therefore, I am not very impressed either with the morality or with the logic of the Amendment to which the hon. Gentleman has appended his name.
Having said that, I believe that the House does itself a disservice if we underestimate the matters upon which the House of Commons is agreed—the principles which unite both sides of the House. That is why I believe that the drafters of the Government's Motion have been somewhat maladroit and could have bound the House together without, possibly, the necessity for a Division save from their own Rhodesian lobby.
The Motion merely asks the House to take note of the report and expresses the hope that there will be time for reflection. I should have thought that the Government could have been a little more generous: expressed their gratitude to Lord Pearce, accepted Lord Pearce's conclusions, said that they would keep on sanctions, and said that their ultimate objective was a peaceful solution based on multi-racialism. I cannot speak for the Opposition, but I should have thought that it was more likely that the Opposition 1792 would vote for that Motion than for that which has been tabled. Indeed, it is slightly unfortunate that the Opposition themselves pay no tribute to Lord Pearce or to his conclusions.
I believe, ironically, that the views of the House of Commons, if I may put forward such an unradical viewpoint, are best expressed by the Amendment moved by the Labour Peers in another place, whichExpresses appreciation to Lord Pearce and members of the Commission on Rhodesian Opinion, approves the decision of Her Majesty's Government in accepting the Report and findings of the Commission, agrees with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs that the initiative for future negotiations on independence must come from the different races of Rhodesia acting in concert and that any settlement must be within the five principles and urges Her Majesty's Government to increase their efforts to make sanctions more effective…".It seems that that more closely sums up the view of both sides of the House and I commend their Labour Lordships, at any rate in spirit, on this occasion to the House.
What are we agreed upon? I accept that the Government have drafted their Motion because they regarded it as necessary to stave off rebellion from their own Rhodesian lobby. They have not done it. They will get it, anyway. They might as well have tabled a Motion which united both sides of the House and isolated only 20 or 30 votes.
Surely, first, the House is grateful to Lord Pearce and his colleagues for a fair and thorough report. I say straight away that I had very great doubts when the Pearce Commission was set up, not for one moment because I doubted the integrity of Lord Pearce and his colleagues, but because I wondered whether they would be able to make a political evaluation of great complexity in a very large, scattered country with a very large population.
I say immediately that I was a critic of the Pearce Commission. I believe that the fears I had then have been totally confounded. I believe that this is a fair, thorough and impartial Report. I believe, excepting the views which the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire expressed, which were somewhat critical of Pearce, that the majority of the House takes that view.
1793 I believe that the way in which the Commissioners went about their work, distributing 700,000 copies of the proposals, the care which they took to see that the interpreters should be completely independent, and the fact that they took the trouble to go to every administrative district, shows that this is a report of whose accuracy we can be convinced.
Both the Government and the Opposition have also made it clear that on the Fifth Principle we mean what we say. On that I salute the Government. I, too, had some doubts about whether the Fifth Principle would be fudged. It has not been.
I remind the House that the Fifth Principle—the test of acceptability—was one which Mr. Smith himself invented in 1964 when he asked the present Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for independence on the 1961 Constitution. It was Mr. Smith's idea. It seems that it is one of the few positive, practical contributions which Mr. Smith has made to Rhodesian negotiations.
By "acceptable as a whole" Mr. Smith meant to the chiefs. The difference arose on interpretation. However, the Fifth Principle was Mr. Smith's idea.
Next, we agree also that sanctions will be kept on. There may be a slight revolt on that, but that, again, is the majority view of the House. Let no one in Salisbury be in any doubt on that score.
We also agree that, if there is to be any progress, it must be on the basis of talks between all races. I do not believe that discussions are meaningful if those representing 98 per cent, of the population are left out and are then called in at a later hour and asked whether they agree with what has been decided upon behind their backs.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary told us that one African National Council member was not quite certain—albeit on a vital element—about the blocking arrangements. If he can find one ANC politician who says that, I guarantee that I can find at least 12 Conservative divisional chairmen who do not understand the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Community, who support going into the Common Market! That is why I hoped that nonetheless the Government would have 1794 accepted the lesson the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) put when he said, "Surely we ought to have learnt from the past".
I and my colleagues always felt that the Federation would not survive. When the Victoria Falls Conference was held with two senior Labour Ministers, in which no African, represented Southern Rhodesia, the future was decided. At no time was African consent a condition precedent to the creation of the Federation. I always believed that whatever may have been the merits politically and economically, a system which did not have the consent of the African population was doomed to failure.
Likewise, I believe that accepting, as we do, the Fifth Principle, no constitution will ever get acceptance unless the Africans, the Asians and the coloured population are brought in for the initial negotiations. Surely the Government could have brought that into their Motion. The Secretary of State was right—he was slightly barracked on this—in that the African rejection applies as much to a mistrust of Mr. Smith as to the terms themselves.
When the Chinamanos and Todds were restricted, and the Pearce Commissioners could not find out the reason, they had to conclude that it was to restrict their political activities. Lord Pearce is not an African extremist. This was his view in the report. People were being moved from certain areas which were being cleared for a forestation purposes—the Secretary of State denied it when I asked him and then later wrote and confirmed that it was going on even during the course of acceptability. When one considers all these things, including the way in which Mr. Smith obtained the Declaration of Emergency from the Governor on the basis that he was not going to do a UDI, and then did it within a few hours, can it be a cause of surprise that the Africans mistrusted the man they were asked to agree should take charge of their destinies in an independent Rhodesia?
The Government could not merely say, "We would like all races to get together." They go one stage further and say that it is essential if there is to be a lasting solution that all races must get together.
1795 When the Pearce Report came out I was in Lusaka, which I suppose is the independent African country which has suffered more from UDI than has any other African country. Certainly it has been more critical, often with justification, of this country and its successive Governments than has any other country over the Rhodesia issue. There was not only a feeling of relief when the Pearce Report came out; the automatic reaction of their Government was, "They have done a Monckton". What they meant by that is that this country and the Government had commissioned somebody of total impartiality, of independent mind, to produce an independent honest report which reflected the views currently prevailing, and had agreed to abide by its decision.
I hope that the Minister for Overseas Development found when he went to Nigeria that this country's stock in independent Africa arising from the Pearce Report is very high indeed. The Government are responsible for that situation and they are fully entitled to the credit. I do not want to see that credit now dissipated. There are those who say that sanctions have not worked. It is perfectly true that sanctions have not brought about a multi-racial society in Rhodesia. However, sanctions have brought Mr. Smith to the negotiating table on three different occasions. It will be remembered that he was the man who in November, 1965, did a UDI because there was nothing further to discuss. In Mr. Smith's speech reported in The Times today he says that Rhodesia's economic development may have to be slowed down to cope with the balance of payments problems caused by sanctions.
There is no doubt that sanctions have had an effect. If the mutterings of the hon. Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett) go further and amount to an intervention I shall be delighted to give way.
§ Sir Frederic Bennett (Torquay)
I was not muttering. I have heard that sort of statement in countries which were not subject to sanctions.
§ Mr. Thorpe
I do not know which countries the hon. Member for Torquay has in mind. He was wrong when he said he was not muttering. He was muttering. Perhaps he does so without notic- 1796 ing it. If he says there are countries which in theory keep sanctions and in practice break them, I will agree. I am coming to that in a moment.
§ Sir F. Barnett rose—
§ Mr. Thorpe
I have already shown that the exercise was not worth the effort. I accept that this country has tried honourably to make sanctions work and for that I give this Government credit. I believe that this Government have credit in Africa and other countries concerned. My only regret is that they were a bit weak-kneed—in fact, there were no knees at all—when it came to the United States and chrome. If strenuous representations had been made to the White House at that stage, as they were made when America was wondering whether she would withdraw her Consul General from Salisbury and then did, the lifting of sanctions on chrome would not have gone through. On that I am absolutely certain.
§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
Is it not a fact that the American Executive gave their support to the recent Magee Amendment in the Senate designed to observe sanctions and despite that the Amendment was defeated by four votes?
§ Mr. Thorpe
The Administration, if I am correct, at the last moment made it known in a rather half-hearted way that they would prefer that Amendment to go through rather than be defeated. So the technical answer is "Yes", but what is important is the timing and the vigour with which that political initiative was taken. Her Majesty's Government should clearly have approached the Americans at an early stage before there was any question of an Amendment and before the chrome sanctions were lifted.
This country, having adhered to the Fifth Principle and to sanctions, is entilled to protest to countries such as West Germany, France, Yugoslavia and Japan who are breaking sanctions. We are entitled to say to the OAU and other countries that it is no good crying and screaming at us to do more. We are entitled to say, "We are carrying out sanctions. What are you going to do to get other countries to give up breaking sanctions?"
I should like to see British business men going through black Africa and saying, "We are seeking to sell British 1797 cars and goods. We are a country that is not in breach of sanctions. You are buying from the Japanese, the French and the Germans and others who are." We are entitled to say that this country is not prepared for ever to keep on sanctions if other countries are in breach. We should bring them to realise the reality of the situation.
We are in a position of strength. This country can express its determination, whatever mistakes have been made in the past, and heaven alone knows there have been many in Rhodesia, for the fact remains that at the moment we have a clean slate; we have had an impartial inquiry, which we have accepted. We are making sanctions as effective as we can from this country.
Finally, it is said that the choice is between evolution and revolution. That is wholly correct. The only way in which the Europeans can prevent that revolution is by rapid evolution. The choice lies with them. Perhaps the most dramatic statistic coming out of Salisbury was one which they produced in 1970. The European population was 204,000 and the number of Africans in domestic service was 104,000, averaging four servants per house. There lies the economic equation of those who wish to maintain the status quo and why they wish to maintain it.
We are not yet in the position of South Africa, where Mr. Vorster's storm troops are to be found pulling people by the hair out of the Cathedral where they have gone to take sanctuary by the altar. We may have greater economic power in South Africa than we have in Rhodesia. We have not reached that position yet.
However, there is no doubt that in both those countries, unless there is a recognition that people cannot be denied political rights, that they have a chance to be treated as people who should be brought forward in partnership, there will be in Southern Africa one of the bloodiest revolutions the world has ever seen. I want to see it prevented, not by appeasing the present racialist régime, not by holding out false hopes that at the end of three months there will suddenly be a change of heart by Mr. Smith, but by solid economic pressure. That is the only argument which is understood and will prevail.
1798 Having just come back from South Africa, I believe that one hopeful aspect of the society there is that there are still Europeans of good will and there are still Africans of good will who are not embittered. Why Africans should not be embittered I know not. If I lived under those conditions, I do not think that I should have the magnanimity which many of them are showing today.
There is still time for the races to come together. If they will not listen to reason, they must heed economic pressures which we must galvanise the world to make more effective. Sanctions cannot be 100 per cent. effective, but they can and already have had an effect. That is why I say to the Government, perhaps for the first time in any Rhodesian debate, that I believe they have acted properly regarding both Pearce and sanctions. They have an enormous fund of good will throughout independent Africa. This is the moment when they must cash that cheque.
§ Several Hon. Members rose—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We have had four speeches in nearly two hours. I repeat my plea for shorter speeches.
§ 6.32 p.m.
§ Mr. John M. Temple (City of Chester)
We have listened to a most thoughtful speech by the Leader of the Liberal Party. The right hon. Gentleman has focused our attention on the almost intractible problems of Southern Africa.
It is almost presumptuous of me to address the House this evening on the subject of Rhodesia and Southern Africa as I have never set foot in Rhodesia. However, I had the experience, during the 26th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, of occupying the United Kingdom's seat on 49 successive occasions during debates on Southern Africa. I was in the Security Council when the British Permanent Representative first announced the terms of the settlement at the United Nations. I was the first United Kingdom representative to state that a settlement has been reached in Salisbury between Mr. Smith and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
My experience at the United Nations has given me some thoughts which I think are worth sharing with the House. 1799 I think that tonight we should concentrate on the future rather than the past. Lord Pearce has reported, and I accept his verdict. I hope that those at the United Nations and elsewhere—I commend the remarks of the Leader of the Liberal Party in this respect—who were so active in their criticisms of the Commissioners and of Lord Pearce will now realise the total integrity of the noble Lord and his colleagues. I think that will add tremendously to the importance of the report.
I should like to join my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire, (Mr. Hastings) in his tribute to my right hon. Friend. I sat through 10 days at the United Nations when we were waiting for news to come out of Salisbury. No one was more thankful than I when the agreed proposals were brought forward. However, I should be the first to admit, having studied those proposals in detail and been in the Security Council at the time they were explained, that they were extremely complex and in some respects incomprehensible. Nevertheless, as a package—one has to regard those proposals as a package—they were reasonable in the circumstances surrounding the negotiations which took place at that time. Unfortunately, my experience in New York at the United Nations made it clear to me that emotion rather than economic realism motivated much of the African thinking on this type of settlement.
Another matter which emerged was that the future of Rhodesia cannot be divorced from the future of all the other States of Southern Africa which surround that country Unfortunately, the situation in all the other countries is disturbing. For various reasons, it is extremely alarming. However, when we realise that in this world racialism is the most emotive factor with which we have to deal, it gives one a comprehension of the difficulties with which anybody trying to move forward from the present situation is faced.
My right hon. Friend addressed the 26th General Assembly on 29th September. In a shortish passage concerning affairs in Southern Africa, he stressed the need for dialogue. That need, which has hardly been mentioned today, still exists. I believe there is room for dialogue in various ways in all those States. No one 1800 can see exactly how that dialogue could or should develop, but my conversations in the corridors led me to suppose that dialogue was perfectly possible.
The tip—indeed, the whole—of Southern Africa is an area of the world of extreme strategic importance. If Southern Africa were controlled by enemies of the Western powers, the oil lifeline, as I describe it, from the Middle East to the Western powers—not particularly to the United Kingdom—would be threatened. Therefore, we must consider outside influences which may have been affecting the thinking of the Africans and, indeed, the thinking in Rhodesia when the Pearce Commission was there.
It is most unfortunate, but in my view we can expect Afro-Asian pressures, strongly supported by the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, to build up against us at the United Nations. In other words, it is unrealistic to think that the status quo will prevail for a matter of months or years. The Opposition Amendment calling for an extension and tightening up of sanctions is indicative of what will be called for from, and possibly on, other countries in Southern Africa in the relatively near future.
I am glad that tribute has been paid to this country—it certainly requires it—concerning the keeping of sanctions.. We have an exemplary record, which is accepted by the Sanctions Committee of the United Nations.
On 29thMay, really only a few days ago, an important conference was held on affairs in Southern Africa under the auspices of the South-West Africa People's Organisation. Forty nations were present at that conference. There was a unanimous call from that conference that the OAU should be asked to boycott the multi-national companies operating in South-West Africa; and there was a further call, I regret, that the United Kingdom should be removed from the Security Council. I mention these matters because we should have regard to them.
I hate quoting my own speeches, but as hon Members on both sides do not often pick up reports from the United Nations I should like to mention one short intervention—
§ Mr. Robert Hughes
I was present in Brussels at the conference on South-West 1801 Africa. I do not recall any resolution being passed calling for Britain to be removed from the Security Council. Will the hon. Gentleman quote the document or let me see it so that I may be able to say whether it is authoritative or not?
§ Mr. Temple
I was relying on a Press report in the Financial Times headed "Brussels, May 29.", which states:Britain should be removed from the Security Council for refusing to recognise the court's ruling".It referred to an advisory opinion of the International Court of the Hague.
On 20th December last, speaking in the General Assembly on the subject of the financing of freedom fighters through the agencies, I said:…my delegation is increasingly concerned by the tendency of the specialised agencies to become involved in political matters at the expense and to the detriment of their legitimate activities".I give only those examples of what I call the shape of things to come, and that is why I emphasise that the status quo will not persist. We must not delude ourselves by thinking that things will carry on as before.
The rejection by the African majority of the settlement proposals is, and should be seen as, a watershed. I am not particularly optimistic about a change of heart on the part of the Smith Government. We should make it clear in international circles that we are not, and have not been for 50 years, the administering Power in Rhodesia. We have certain residual powers. Unless we make this abundantly clear, we shall be hounded in the international forums for a very long time to come.
I have no solution to offer; I wish I had. The way ahead is extraordinarily difficult. But I revert to my right hon. Friend's advice to the General Assembly on 29th September for an increase in dialogue. That was wise and sensible advice. Nothing is simple in these matters. Further, being in a position of responsibility without the power, the only thing for the United Kingdom to do is to seek to disengage as quickly as we reasonably can from a situation which is becoming increasingly impossible.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Mr. Arthur Bottomley (Middlesbrough, East)
It is my wish to meet 1802 your request, Mr. Speaker, to hon. Members to keep their speeches as short as possible. Therefore, I am sure that the hon. Member for the City of Chester (Mr. Temple) will understand if I do not comment on his speech but concentrate on what the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary said.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary's hopes were for a compromise settlement because, he said, there would otherwise be a polarisation of the races and the prospect of a conflict. In my opinion, a compromise settlement would have hastened the conflict and made sure that only by violent means could the Africans obtain their legitimate rights. The Pearce Commission has shown the strength of African feeling against white minority rule. There is, clearly, a great gulf of distrust between the communities.
The Africans, aware of the real and desperate problems facing Rhodesia, have no confidence in Mr. Smith or in his Rhodesian Front Party. They are not prepared to see a settlement reached between the British Government and the Smith Administration. So we have now to resolve that there can be no settlement of the Rhodesian problem without the effective co-operation of the Africans. They have asked for the holding of a constitutional conference, which is a very reasonable request. In my opinion, we should seek no further talks with Mr. Smith except on the understanding that the Africans' request is met.
Lord Pearce, in his report, says that he is satisfied that the terms of the Anglo-Rhodesian settlement were adequately understood by the great majority of those who gave him their opinions. Mr. Smith disagrees. He places no trust in a judge of the High Court and a group of distinguished ex-colonial civil servants, all of whom have greater knowledge and experience of African affairs than most of the leaders of the Rhodesian Front Party. For example, the so-called "President" of Rhodesia, Mr. Dupont, was a solicitor in my home town and arrived in Rhodesia after I had been there on an official visit in 1947.
One of this country's most skilled politicians and diplomats, Lord Harlech, was singled out for bitter attack. The Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary himself does not escape, for in a radio interview Mr. Smith said that it had passed through 1803 his mind that the British Government had planned a "No" answer to the test of acceptability of the terms of the settlement with Rhodesia. I recall Mr. Smith's treatment of a true Rhodesian who remained loyal to the Crown—the ex-Governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs. The treatment of him by Mr. Smith was abominable. I remember, with the former Lord Chancellor, meeting Mr. Smith on several occasions. I can only say as a result of my dealings with him that I long ago made up my mind that it was impossible to conduct negotiations with him.
Over the past 20 years I have had dealings with every Rhodesian Prime Minister. All of them, with the exception of Mr. Smith, have approached their problems with varying degrees of good will towards partnership and genuine development. They were not progressive enough for me, but their aims were on the right lines. Contrast this with what Mr. Smith and his Rhodesian Front Party have done since they have had power. Since 1962 they have placed an emphasis on racial separation and differences. Competent African leaders like Joshua Nkomo and the Reverend Sithole have been detained and their political organisations banned. They have been denied freedom of speech and of the Press.
The late Dr. Elisha Mutasa, a personal friend of mine, and a very gentle, mild man, a genuine reformer, was convicted because he made a speech in which he said that some Africans were selling themselves for 20 pieces of silver. He also said that the chief of the Tangwena tribe was elected by the people, unlike some who had been appointed by the Government.
Every means has been employed to suppress African feelings. Under the Land Tenure Act, the Tangwena tribe were to be moved. Their case against being moved was taken to the High Court, and they won it. But the Government, by an Order in Council, upset that decision. Other communities are threatened. Action might have been taken had it not been for the talks initiated last November. But we must be alert because there is no guarantee that the missions and other people who do much to help the African will not suffer the same fate as the Tangwena tribe.
1804 The Land Tenure Act is pernicious. It divides the country into racial areas: one portion of 45 million acres for 240,000 Europeans, and the other portion of 45 million acres for over 5 million Africans. The main industrial and urban areas are situated in the European part of the country. About 10 times as much is spent on European education as is spent on African education. Only 2 per cent. of the gross national product is made available for African education. The reduced contributions are forcing the control of primary education out of the hands of the missionary schools into what are called African councils. This means Government-controlled education to make sure that the kind of education which the African gets is subservient to the ruling clique in power.
Housing and social services as we know them are practically non-existent in Rhodesia. As we heard today, unemployment is growing, and it is not due to sanctions alone. The African population is increasing at such a rate that work cannot be found for all of them.
The Africans have shown that they want a peaceful solution to their problems. At the Lusaka conference in 1969 they saidWe would prefer to negotiate rather than destroy, to talk rather than kill.The African National Council, led by Bishop Muzorewa, was calling for this constitutional conference, to which I have referred. We should put our full weight behind this very reasonable request. Not only would this encourage the Africans, but it would also give encouragement to the liberal elements among the Europeans in Rhodesia. There are still many of them.
The student unrest in South Africa and the bold statements by leading South African citizens can have their repercussions in Rhodesia. We cannot afford to lose our credibility with the Africans. The agreement last November with the Foreign Secretary cannot be implemented and we should say so. On the other hand, we cannot sit back and do nothing. I have never ruled out the use of force in any circumstances. The Government should now be planning with our Commonwealth partners facilities for the movement of British troops in case of need.
1805 Above all, the application of economic sanctions must continue. Sanctions have been responsible for bringing the Rhodesian Front Party to the negotiating table. The Rhodesian Europeans are feeling the effects of isolation in the world and their inability to secure the political and economic benefits of their rebellion. The railways and the airways are badly run down because of the shortage of foreign exchange. Sanction-evading operations have resulted in reduced profits and increased import prices. The national debt has risen over 70 per cent, and trade balances which were favourable have now run into a deficit.
The Foreign Secretary has quite rightly referred to Britain's part in supporting the United Nation's policy and we all have a right to be proud of that. But we should not forget that the majority of the members of the United Nations are doing the same. The main sanctions breakers are certain Western European countries and Japan. I intended to say some of the things that were said by the Leader of the Liberal Party. British businessmen should be taking more action to ensure that it is known that some of the African countries are giving business and orders to the sanctions breakers and not to those who are abiding by the sanctions policy: namely, British businessmen.
The African nations are now seeing the wisdom of applying economic sanctions more effectively. I have always pleaded with the African leaders to do so. It could be possible for the United Nations, with stronger machinery, to provide ways and means whereby cargoes from Rhodesia could be confiscated either en route or at their destination. We must remember that many African countries are getting to the position where trade is vital, as in the case of all the trading nations of the world. Nigeria is the richest and most populous country in Africa, and it is no longer indifferent to what is happening in Rhodesia. We must ensure that we do not risk British investment in Nigeria, which is far greater than investment in Rhodesia.
We must all have heartfelt sympathy for the unfortunate incident at Wankie Colliery. In this hour of tribulation black and white suffered alike. If men must die together, can they not live together in mutual trust and regard? 1806 There is now in Rhodesia a coherent black opposition which is disciplined, moderate and non-violent. The African National Council, backed by ZAPU and ZANU, is calling for a dialogue, and if the Rhodesian Europeans reject that call there could be violence, for which the reactionary elements in Rhodesia would be responsible.
The British Government and the British people cannot escape their responsibilities. Fifty years ago Winston Churchill said that it would be an ill day for the native races in Rhodesia if they were abandoned to the sea of self-interest of a small white population. We must resolve that it does not happen. We must take effective steps to see that the rebellion in Rhodesia is crushed.
§ 6.56 p.m.
§ Mr. John Hunt (Bromley)
I will begin by echoing the regrets which have already been expressed at the apparent intention of the Opposition to divide the House at the end of the debate. I have always sought to maintain and encourage a bipartisan approach to the problems of Rhodesia. I bitterly regret, therefore, the tabling of the Opposition Amendment, which in present circumstances can only been seen as unnecessary and unhelpful.
It is a political truism that after the work of the Pearce Commission things can never be the same again in Rhodesia. The astonishing upsurge of African opinion which coincided with the arrival of Lord Pearce in Salisbury clearly took many people, including the Rhodesian Front, very much by surprise. In my view, and this is largely borne out by Lord Pearce's report, the upsurge was to a great extent a reflection of the simmering sense of grievance and resentment that has been bottled up amongst Africans in Rhodesia since UDI. One group of Commissioners reported in paragraph 396:The grass roots expression of distrust and suspicion of the present Government was overwhelming.It also seemed universal to them in the urban areas, and, perhaps more surprisingly, in the rural areas as well.
I do not think it is always appreciated that the arrival of the Pearce Commission in Rhodesia provided Africans there with their first opportunity of direct personal contact with Britain for more than six 1807 years. Their remarkable and generally spontaneous outburst and turnout was a touching and telling reminder to us of the extent to which these people still look to Britain. It dramatically underlined the continuing moral and, indeed, legal responsibility which we have in this country for them and their future.
I share the widespread regret on this side of the House that the terms which were so patiently and skilfully negotiated by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary proved in the event to be unacceptable to African opinion in Rhodesia. We know this must be a tremendous personal disappointment to him after all his strenuous efforts. I share his view that the settlement terms offered a prospect of steady and substantial improvement in the economic and political status of the Africans. But that is history. The terms have now been rejected and, as a previous speaker has said, we must now look to the future.
I do not agree with a great deal that my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) said, but on one point I saw eye to eye with him. That was when he urged a continuing dialogue between this country and the Rhodesian Government. It is important that we, and my right hon. Friend in particular, should not be unduly deterred by the setback we have suffered, that we should continue wherever possible to give Mr. Smith the benefit of our advice, and, in particular, the wide experience of my right hon. Friend in all these complex matters. Indeed, I think my right hon. Friend is one of the few Englishmen to whom Mr. Smith will still listen.
In the meantime, I believe the Government are absolutely right to urge, as they do in the Motion, that there should now be a period for calm and quiet reflection, which I think is much more likely to yield constructive results than the kind of precipitate action urged in the Opposition's Amendment. In the intervening, period, as my right hon. Friend has stressed, there must be a maintenance of the status quo. I hope that my right hon. Friend will continue steadfastly to resist the misguided wooings of those who are seeking to persuade him to lift existing sanctions. If he had listened to those same people two or three years ago, we 1808 should never have succeeded in getting Mr. Smith to the negotiating table at all.
Of course there is some evasion—indeed, on a substantial scale. Of course the Rhodesians have managed to diversify their economy, and in that way to minimise the effect of sanctions. But, equally, there is no doubt that a shortage of foreign exchange, the lack of capital investment, will and must have a cumulative effect, and that so long as Rhodesians are deprived of that degree of international acceptability and respectability for which they yearn there will be present in Rhodesia the continuous and, I believe, growing desire to find a solution to the problem.
At some point, perhaps in two or three years' time, talks between our two countries will have to be resumed. I share the hope which has already been expressed in this debate that at that stage it will be possible for men of the calibre of Bishop Muzorewa to be brought into the consultations. Indeed, we hope that a constructive dialogue between black and white in Rhodesia will start long before that.
One message which comes loud and clear from every page of the Pearce Commission Report is of the tragic gulf of ignorance and incomprehension between the two races in Rhodesia. A further vivid illustration of the gulf was provided in a series of articles in the Sunday Telegraph a few weeks ago by Mr. J. W. M. Thompson, a balanced and responsible journalist. He wrote of the whites in Rhodesia havingcontrived to live their lives at a soothing distance from the black millions. It is not that they do not see them. This they constantly do, at work, in their leisure, in the streets, and above all in the shape of domestic servants in their own homes. They simply inhabit a different world which happens to exist within the same country as the black man's world.To me that is a terrible indictment of the life which has been lived in Rhodesia up to now.
It may be that events in recent months, startling and traumatic as they must have been for many in Rhodesia, will in retrospect be seen as a turning point in the history of that country. From now on, established attitudes on both sides will have to change. The white minority will have to accept eventually that there will be greater African involvement in the life 1809 of their country, and that it is inevitable and long overdue. At the same time, the Africans will have to realise that for many years to come the European will play an important and prominent rôl e within Rhodesia.
Many of us feared that the return of Lord Pearce to this country would coincide with a wave of repression against those Africans who had campaigned against the settlement, that we might see the arrest and detention of Bishop Muzorewa. The fact that this has not so far happened is a glimmer of encouragement. It indicates, perhaps, that the Rhodesians are still to some extent sensitive to world opinion. It may, I hope, also reflect a willingness on the part of the Rhodesian authorities to have a time for reflection, as we are having, and to consider their next steps with care and restraint. We should like to think that even at this late stage they will turn back from the paths of segregation and discrimination, that they will be prepared to amend or abolish in particular the hated Land Tenure Act.
I always felt that a key part of the settlement terms negotiated by my right hon. Friend was the proposal for the provision of £50 million for 10 years from this country for the education and training of Africans in Rhodesia, to be matched by a similar amount from the Rhodesian Government. I welcomed that, because it has always seemed to me that it was unfair to expect the small white minority in Rhodesia to carry the whole burden of educating the much larger African population. Unhappily, this part of the settlement, like the rest, will now have to stand in abeyance, but I wonder whether in the meantime we could find a way of providing facilities in this country for the education and training of Rhodesian Africans. That would seem to me a practical way of alleviating the appalling hardship, the chronic unemployment, particularly among the school leavers in Rhodesia.
One of my constituents who was a secondary school teacher in Rhodesia tells me that he knows of a young man with good O-level science qualifications who wants to be a motor mechanic. There is no provision for such training for Africans in Rhodesia, although, paradoxically, there is nothing to stop them, 1810 once trained, from obtaining such a job. That is the sort of case which we should try to help.
I understand that shortly after UDI there was a proposal to set up a Commonwealth special assistance programme for Rhodesian Africans. It seems that nothing has come of that. Could my right hon. Friend give earnest consideration to the possibility of our taking an initiative in the matter and providing some help for those who are suffering most in Rhodesia?
Although we are, naturally, disappointed by the rejection of the settlement terms, I do not believe that the outlook for Rhodesia is wholly bleak. What is important now is that we in this House and in this country should not, for reasons of lack of interest or of impatience, turn our backs on a country which, for all its faults and problems, still has strong links with, and loyalties to, Britain among both its black and white populations. Rhodesia is a country whose destiny is inextricably linked to ours. For those reasons, I shall have no hesitation in supporting the Motion.
§ 7.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Maurice Foley (West Bromwich)
I am delighted to follow the hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Hunt), because we are aware of the profound interest he has shown over the years in reconciling races in this country and in other parts of the world, and because of the courageous stand he has taken within his own party on the issue of sanctions.
The debate must be seen in the context of the Government's policies in Africa as a whole. These are matters of the widest importance in terms of our relations with the United Nations, with other Commonwealth countries and with our European partners. They are matters of responsibility, of morality and of British interests. That is why I say that the Government's policies in Africa have been characterised in the past two years by a series of miscalculations designed to sow the seeds of mistrust of the Government's motivations in many African leaders.
I believe that it was within a month of their coming into office that probably the Government's first foreign policy decision was taken. This was the decision to sell arms to South Africa. Probably 1811 the first communication from the Government to other Commonwealth Governments was that announcement. It was shortly afterwards followed by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference in Singapore, and despite all the briefings it seemed clear that the aim there was in effect to elevate the threat of Communism in the Indian Ocean as justification for the decision to sell arms to South Africa. This again is not a policy designed to encourage the African heads of State to believe in Britain's honest intentions to deal with the difficult problems of race in Southern Africa.
We were told of the decision to sell arms to South Africa, but when the White Paper emerged, it was the promise of some helicopters and nothing else. What have we got out of it? We have earned for ourselves a reputation of being on the side of white supremacy and of giving comfort to a régime in South Africa who were not really interested in getting arms from us, because they can get them from other sources, but wanted the British Government's agreement to sell arms as a cloak of support and respectability.
It is in that broader context that we look at the talks with Mr. Smith. At the time of the agreement, the Opposition divided the House. We thought that it was a bad agreement. We voted against the settlement terms because too much was left to the good faith of Mr. Smith. In the event, the Pearce Commission has presented in clear terms the apprehensions and realities of Africans in Rhodesia. They mistrust him, they were not consulted or involved in the negotiations. That is part of the reason why they said, "No".
It is true that we must realise that we are in a new situation. I, too, had apprehensions about the Pearce Commission. I felt that it should include people from other Commonwealth countries. I was anxious that these would merely be a whitewash exercise. One had had reports from friends that, prior even to the visit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, basically the work had been done, that he was just going there to dot the "is and cross the "it"s of an arrangement already worked out. It was against that background that I was fortunate enough to 1812 visit Rhodesia during the time of the Commission's investigations, in company with the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Nigel Fisher). We were able to observe for fully six days the work of the Commission, both in Salisbury and in a tribal trust area, and to see for ourselves the quality and competency of Lord Pearce and his immediate staff and of the commissioners in the field.
We were wrong. I was wrong. I had underestimated the integrity, quality and capacity of the Commission to do its work. I came away after those six days fully satisfied with its methods of work and its dedication to the job. I think that Mr. Smith and the British Government were wrong. They hoped that it would be a quick job, that it would be done easily, and that the answer would be to endorse the agreement.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) instanced the mind of Mr. Smith by quoting from his own documents as to what he thought a test of acceptability would be and what would turn out. Lord Pearce and his Commission proved themselves to be people of considerable vision, skill and ability. They were right to reject the proposal that the chiefs would speak for the rural Africans and that no one else was needed. They were right to say that they would not work entirely through the district commissioners, who are the instruments of Mr. Smith's policy and clearly let him down badly in terms of their ultimate advice.
We must now look at where we are and where we go from here. I want to echo things already said about sanctions. Before my more recent visit, I was last in Salisbury in 1968 on another ill-fated mission of negotiation. I looked at the shops then, as I did on this occasion. There is clear evidence of goods from West Germany, France and Japan, and what has been said is right—that we are probably the only honest country in terms of our dealings in this matter.
When I look at the decision of the United States on chrome imports, I say frankly to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary that I find it an incredible coincidence that, on the second day he was in Salisbury talking to Mr. Smith, the United States made its decision on 1813 chrome. I find it incredible, whether it was a coincidence or not. Equally, I find it incredible that there has been no condemnation of United States policy by the British Government.
The Labour Government were approached by the chrome lobby pleading their case, but we said, "No". We had our difficulties at the time in implementing the United Nations Resolution on consulates. We told the United States and Portugal and they both closed their consulates. I find the absence of a sense of urgency or indignation on the part of the Government on the chrome issue a little strange if one parallels it with the desire and anxiety to be level-headed.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The hon. Gentleman is not aiming at the right target. Nor would we have been had we protested to the American Government. They tried to enforce the sanction, but were overruled by Congress.
§ Mr. Foley
One has read that, but also one has read about the extent to which the President himself did not intervene when he could have done. One has talked to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives anxious to reverse the decision. One knows the full facts of the story, just as I hope the right hon. Gentleman is acquainted with the realities of the chrome situation in the United States and with the fact that this decision is a dirty deal in a Presidential election year and a pay-off to the big boys financing the campaign.
It is in this context that one expects the British Government to make their minds known, just as one expects them to make their minds known to the two countries who have thwarted successive British Governments in their attempts to bring the illegal régime to an end—South Africa and Portugal. One should stand up to these two countries and say to them, "You are in breach of sanctions. What you are doing is a hostile act to Britain." The impression that is now current, however—and there may well be truth in it—is that, in making this difficult equation of foreign policy, the Government are coming down on the side of the white racialists, and that is something inimical to the rest of black Africa. This is the only conclusion that many Africans have reached in terms of our work in this matter.
1814 When I talk about urging the maintenance of sanctions, it is with a view to stating publicly who are in breach of sanctions. I think that there is nothing more one can do about the structure. It is a question of will and how strongly we feel about those who break sanctions and with whom we otherwise have excellent relations. It is a question whether we tell them privately, and, if that fails, publicly, that they are in effect pursuing policies which do not conform to what we believe should happen in the normal relations between friendly countries.
Equally, I believe that we must, in the light of the overwhelming "No" vote, make sure that no further talks can take place without the presence of African leaders. The right hon. Gentleman talks of a period of quiet reflection. The hon. Member for Bromley talks about a period of calm. Let them look at Southern Africa and tell me where there is calm, where there are periods of quiet reflection. Do they see it in Johannesburg, in Namibia, in Rhodesia, in Angola or in Mozambique? Do they not realise that in Rhodesia Africans outnumbered Europeans by 20 to 1, and that the whole system of society there is organised to preserve and protect the Europeans in terms of their privileges and to deny the Africans access to the cash economy, to keep them in the rural areas, to deprive them of education and of health facilities, and even of their human dignity? Can we talk about periods of calm and quiet in the context of this situation? Are we talking about Africa or are we talking about my constituency of West Bromwich or some place in the Scottish Highlands?
Africa is an immense continent, with problems of poverty and disease, of nations artificially created and people denied fundamental rights. People would certainly welcome an evolutionary move for change but believe that in the absence of any possibility of that there must inevitably be a move towards revolution. This Government, as with previous Governments, have to make sure that their relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. The question is on which side shall we be in the future, the White racialists in South Africa or the ultimate African majority? It is for these reasons that tonight we censure the Government, because of their persistent failure to read Africa as it really is.
§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
The hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley) spoke of arms for South Africa. He was a member of the previous Administration with some responsibility for the Royal Navy, and it was that Administration which handed over to the South African Navy increased responsibility for the protection of the Cape route. I wish that there could be less humbug in these discussions.
The hon. Gentleman spoke slightingly of the United States because of the chrome purchases when the reason why many Americans wanted to purchase chrome and other materials from Rhodesia was that they preferred buying them from Rhodesia to buying them from Communist countries or buying Rhodesian chrome through Communist countries. He asked whether there was a country in South-East Africa which is calm at the moment. The answer to that, from my recent observations, is that Rhodesia is calm.
§ Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)
Would my hon. Friend not agree that America allowed the breaking of the chrome sanctions at the very time when she was selling off massive sections of her stockpile of chome?
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
That may be so but I do not wish to enter into criticism of the Americans at this time.
To answer the concluding rhetorical question of the hon. Member for West Bromwich: "Where do we stand; are we on the side of the racists or on the side of peaceful evolution?". I would assure him at once that I am on the side of the latter.
The right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) complained that the Government Motion did not approve the Pearce Report. The right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) pointed out that the Opposition Amendment did not approve the report either. For my part I will be frank and say that I would rather reject the report. In Rhodesia the other day people made different complaints about it. Some were contradictory. Some said that there should not have been a judge to preside over the Commission because this was a political task. Others complained that the approach was not sufficiently judicial. 1816 I do not accept that. The more I read this race report the more unscientific I find it. A sample survey was thought of and abandoned and I find the report at times contradictory and confused.
This is not altogether the fault of the Commission. Its remit was to ascertain directly from all sections of the population of Rhodesia whether these proposals were acceptable. I am inclined to agree with the ANC when it said that no genuine and impartial distinction of opinion was possible in Rhodesia by any such Commission if only because of the character of the country and the different levels of development. The Batonka in the Zambesi Valley when asked their opinion were not aware that there was any dispute between the Rhodesians and the British. The Commissioners in Matabeleland North excluding Bulawayo and in Victoria Province including the Buhera district of Matabeleland said that they were quite unable to reach a conclusion. I only wish that we could have these Commissioners' reports in full but my right hon. Friend told me that this was not appropriate. In the conditions of Rhodesian life I think that African opinion as a whole must have found it difficult to believe that the Queen's Government could appear—it is not the case but I feel this is the way it must have appeared to most Africans—to have so little confidence in the terms agreed.
These terms were good terms. I would like to congratulate and commiserate with my right hon. Friend. The agreement that he reached with Mr. Ian Smith was something more than most of us expected could have been got out of Mr. Ian Smith. In Salisbury recently I found that conversation did not go particularly easily with Mr. Smith. I found him very disappointed. There is one fact worth mentioning about political life in Rhodesia and that is that the Rhodesian Front—and no doubt we shall see this in the Rhodesian Front congress in September—is one thing but the Rhodesian Front Government is something quite different.
On the whole Mr. Ian Smith and his cabinet colleagues have stood for moderation and have resisted moves towards apartheid. Even the Republican Constitution which we hoped would have been replaced by this new Constitution is 1817 not an apartheid constitution. It aims at parity not separation. It aims at bringing the two races, of course in unequal representation, together in the same Parliament. Mr. Smith decided to part company with Mr. Harper and Lord Graham. My right hon. Friend said that Rhodesia is not like South Africa. While I was there Mr. McLean, a Minister, made a speech, which was widely publicised, attacking the "hypocrisy" of those European employers who would not employ Africans for jobs which they could do at the wages they ought to get. Also, there was a symposium on civics at the Ranche House College which included both Bishop Muzorewa and, believe it or not, Mr. P. K. van der Byl. Mr. Smith as my right hon. Friend pointed out, has not resiled from the agreement which he made.
Nevertheless, every fiasco in Anglo-Rhodesian dealings does tend to move the political centre of the White Rhodesians further to the right, if that is the proper word. The people I found most saddened by the result of the Pearce Commission were those who are loosely called White Liberals. What Sir Humphrey Gibbs said in the short memorandum included in the Report, says nearly everything that needs to be said. I referred to Ranche House College. Mr. Ken Mewe, the Methodist principal there who is considered extremely subversive by some members of the Rhodesian Front—he belongs to PARD, People Against Racial Discrimination—wrote an article in the Rhodesian Herald urging what we urge in our Amendment. We urge that regardless of the failure of the fifth principle, the terms be implemented by the two Governments. Among Africans I was aware of the feeling "Yes, perhaps the same mistake has been made as was made in 1961."
Sir Robert Tredgold, among others, pointed out that under the justiciable Declaration of Rights such Measures as the Property Owners (Protection) Bill would be ruled out. I thought an African in Bulawayo who wrote to the African Times put it rather well when he asked:Which is better, a car that moves or one that stands still?The ANC campaign was against the terms, yes, but it was much more against the Rhodesian Front.
1818 I found amongst Africans a disturbing, almost pathetic, confidence that Her Majesty's Government have the power and the will to revise the proposals to make them more acceptable to them. I was surprised to find African leaders professing to think that, despite the failure of sanctions, Britain can impose her will on a country where self-government has existed since 1923 but has never been administered from the United Kingdom.
I regret to say this, but within the ANC there are those who wanted this compromise proposal to fail, because its rejection could mean that all roads will be closed for African nationalism other than that of revolution.
I think that the Commission underestimated the intimidation, and the effect of intimidation, which is an African reality. It is a reality here. Our experience in Northern Ireland should have given us a clearer understanding of what intimidation can mean. Despite the reports put out by the Rhodesian Government, the ANC denied that it had indulged in any intimidation, but certainly its cause profited by intimidation, and the normal political activity that was insisted upon was a doubtful blessing. Normal political activity, alas, in Rhodesia has often proved rather short-lived, leading to violence and then to repression. Normal political activity, as we have seen in the past in Rhodesia, has too often been the law of the bicycle and the petrol bomb.
Some people have said that even the choice of the title "ANC" filled Africans with fear. The hon. Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) thinks that is funny, but we are here safe from the evils which simple Africans, and even not so simple Africans, fear. The term "ANC" harked back to the African National Congress which Mr. Garfield Todd as version and the intimidation of Africans, version and the intimidation of Africans, just as did Sir Edgar Whitehead in 1959.
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon
What in fact was said was in the document produced by the Smith Government for the Pearce Commission, where it was speculated that the reason why the title "ANC" had been chosen was to give it this kind of aura. But no evidence was produced. I have never met an African anywhere in Rhodesia who took that attitude about the title.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
It is a reasonable supposition that these initials were deliberately chosen.
The report brings out how different sections of the community were put in fear. It speaks of traders and shopkeepers, men of intelligence and with a stake in the peaceful future of Rhodesia. I met prosperous, cultured, politically conscious Africans who told of the terror to which they had been subjected. It was not just that their cars had been attacked. Their wives had been rung up in the middle of the night in the most threatening way. Mr. Gondo, an M.P., was assaulted. Mr. P. M. Mkudu, a former M.P., lost his store and hotel. Mr. Ronnie Sadomba, M.P., left the Centre Party, which stood for accepting the terms; he recanted. Mr. Sadomba said in a speech at Hartley:Some people are already starting the thuggery business of the early 1960s.These are VIPs, people who are able to claim police protection. What was the position of the ordinary African in those circumstances?
The report says that there is no evidence—it is difficult to produce evidence of these things—that the ANC Executive organised violence, but in paragraph 379 agitators are accused of stirring up violent demonstrators. What agitators? We read of busloads being transported considerable distances in Matabeleland North:Large crowds, well organised and drilled…dominated by a few politically active cheer leaders.Yet the Pearce Commission tells us that intimidation was short-lived. How can the Commission be sure that it did not alter the verdict? It certainly altered the verdict of identifiable individuals.
Who said "Yes"? Ovewhelmingly, Europeans, Asians and Coloureds said "Yes". These people are fairly well educated. One can find a number of Africans who are better educated than a number of Europeans. One can find Europeans who do not qualify for the A roll, but on the whole that is the well educated section of the population who said "Yes". As for Africans who said "Yes", they amounted to about 9,000, about as many as the Africans qualifying for the A roll. Who can be surprised that unemployed school leavers were "invariably against the settle- 1820 ment"? Any of us would vote against almost anything put up by the authorities in such circumstances.
The tragedy is that this fiasco has put back the time when capital can come in and provide these people with jobs. People were voting "agin" the Government, rather like those Frenchmen who abstained in large numbers from the referendum on the enlargement of the Community. They were abstaining not because they disagreed with that but because they wanted to make a protest against M. Pompidou. This was the case in Rhodesia. Opportunity was given to the African people to express their discontents and their mistrust.
The Commission saw the dilemma. In paragraph 150 the Commission said that it regarded itself as precluded from allowing:the view of 10 wise men to overweigh the view of 10,000 foolish men.That gets to the bottom of it. If we accept this quantitative assessment—it is not a thorough quantitative assessment because it touched only a minute fraction of the population—counting the heads of the foolish and the heads of the wise, how in the name of fortune can we refuse logically, as both parties in the House refuse, a claim to "one man one vote"? If we consider of equal merit every single African opinion on an intricate constitution which the electorate in this country would not find easy to understand, how can we deny the right of "one man one vote" in parliamentary representation?
I conclude by referring to what the Commissioners in the city of Bulawayo said so well about the unsolved problem:African mistrust of Europeans and European fear of being overrun.I came to Rhodesia on this visit from Zaire. President Mobutu had recently sent a company of infantry to Burundi: we know, and the Rhodesians know, what has been happening in Burundi. The memories of the Congo refugees are still alive in European and African minds in Rhodesia.
Only the other day I received a letter from a relative who has been farming for years peacefully on good terms with all races in Tanzania. He says that the days of the European farmers are numbered. Not even in conservative Kenya 1821 has a future been assured for the children of the Europeans who came to settle and work the land and not merely to make money and quit.
We seem to be in the presence of three main choices: first, conflict and revolution; secondly, evacuation of the Europeans and Asians, or at least an acceptance that they have no permanent homeland; and, thirdly, the policy of evolutionary change as outlined by my right hon. Friend. To secure this I believe we should be prepared to implement these proposals, as we suggest in the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings). In any event, we must recognise two facts: first, that Rhodesia is an independent State; secondly, that the power resides in Salisbury and not in London.
§ 7.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
Some reply should be made to the speech of the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) and also to the speech made by his hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings). Neither hon. Gentleman was prepared to assert that the proposals were acceptable to Rhodesians as a whole and that the Pearce Commission had reached the wrong verdict. Nor did they deny the Pearce conclusion that these terms were not acceptable to Rhodesians as a whole.
The hon. Member for Chigwell argued that if the Commission had consulted the wisest people, or if the question asked had been "Should these terms be accepted by wise people?", the answer might have been "Yes". But the hon. Gentleman did not claim that the people of Rhodesia as a whole did other than reject these proposals.
§ Mr. Hastings
What I was seeking to say was that I cannot accept the clear-cut nature of the judgment. I felt that the evidence which was presented should have been heavily qualified, and it was not.
§ Mr. Stewart
It is true that the final conclusion is contained in a few paragraphs, but every aground quoted to us in this debate in questioning the validity of the conclusion comes from the Pearce Report itself. It went to enormous pains to set out the different views—in other words, that some of the Commis- 1822 sion's teams said one thing and some another. The principle on which the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire appeared to be working was that if there were a small number of teams of Commissioners who said that there was intimidation, one ought to believe them. The Pearce Commission quite rightly weighed up the matter as a whole.
As for the argument about qualitative judgment, let us remember what the Fifth Principle was. The right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary is deeply committed to it and we have been reminded that Mr. Ian Smith himself thought of it. The fifth principle does not say that the settlement shall be acceptable to those Rhodesians who are considered to be the wiser ones; in other words, by people who want certain proposals accepted. The fifth principle says that it must be acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
The difficulty of the Commission was that it was bound to treat an uninformed "No" or an uninformed "Yes" in the same way as it treated an informed "Yes" or an informed "No". One sees from the report that the Commission was aware of this problem. Secondly, it touched on a fraction of the population. After the fiasco of the public meetings, Lord Pearce appealed to the silent majority to come forward, but the silent majority did not come forward. The question in my mind is whether a lot of tribal areas did not accept the remarks of the Council of Chiefs because, to many Africans, the chiefs spoke for their tribesmen.
§ Mr. Stewart
It will be remembered that a number of chiefs when addressing the Commission privately expressed a different view from that which they had expressed previously when under the shadow of officialdom. We must bear in mind what the report says about the shadow of official pressure. I hope that the time I have spent in answering the various interventions will not be counted as an infraction of Mr. Speaker's request for short speeches.
I found the line of argument adopted by the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire fascinating. I particularly liked the passage which implied that if we want to find out what a man wants now, we 1823 must not ask him what he wants now. We must ask his employer what that employer thought the man wanted about a month earlier. I invite the hon. Gentleman to read his speech to see that I have not misrepresented him. Applying these principles in reverse, I should be happy to be allowed to prove conclusively that the 1970 General Election proved that the country wanted a Labour Government. Certainly everybody knows that that is what they want now.
We must turn to the serious issues involved, but I mention that aspect because it is a fixed point that the Africans as a whole, and the great majority of the Rhodesian people, have rejected the settlement, and it is no good trying to wriggle out of it. The practical reason why they rejected it was that to an African the heart of the matter is that he wants advance to complete equality of rights among human beings, irrespective of race or colour. That is what it is all about. He would want advance to be certain and unimpeded and not to be laboriously and unnecessarily delayed.
In the end what the African will say about any proposals is, "How much delay will these proposals mean in terms of gaining the goal?". Secondly, he will ask, "What faith have I that the road set out in these proposals will be travelled along at all?" He might be willing to accept a longer and more laborious road if he were certain that it would be pursued. But the trouble with the proposals with which the Pearce Commission was concerned was that the content of immediate advance and speed towards equality was so little that, when combined with general lack of confidence in the Smith regime, the African answer was almost bound to be "No". Many of us from the start were not in the least surprised at the result of the Pearce Report. But so many Members have pointed out that the vital question for us is: How do we go on from here?
I should like to say to the hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Hunt), whose speech I much admired, that we on this side find the Government's Motion totally unsatisfactory and that is why we feel it right to vote against it tonight. We cannot just leave the problem in suspense.
One group of people who gave evidence which much impressed the Commission 1824 was the group that represented economic and commercial interests. It is pointed out in paragraph 255 that there are enormous difficulties which the Rhodesian economy will face if sanctions as well as general economic and social ostracism in the world continue.
I understand it to be and I hope that it is the Government's policy that sanctions will continue if there is no settlement. For that reason, it is not entirely over-optimistic to suppose that there is a considerable body of white opinion in Rhodesia which will say, "Since we have not got a settlement on these terms, we ought to look for something which will be more acceptable to the Africans." I believe that that group exists. I believe that it has never been as resolute and as vocal as it might have been. People of that frame of mind should now speak up a little more.
Another reason why we cannot leave the situation as it is was spelt out by one witness who wrote to the Commission saying:It is widely proclaimed that no other better agreement between Britain and Rhodesia was possible and that therefore it should be accepted. However, it should be pointed out that neither the British Government nor that of Rhodesia has any right to decree that no further attempt be made to solve the problem on the basis of justice. If there is no justice in the Proposals, then let those responsible for the omission start again and see that it is put there. Without justice for all, there can be no real settlement and consequently no permanent peace.In other words, it is not for Mr. Ian Smith's régime or for the British Government to say, "We cannot find anything more acceptable to the African than that." The logic of the facts is that they must try.
What is the alternative? Recently I have come back from taking partin a programme on Italian television with one white Rhodesian and one black Rhodesian. We saw certain films depicting aspects of the Rhodesian situation. One was a film of guerrilla preparations. It is very easy and perfectly true to say that such preparations today are puny compared with the massive power that the Smith régime can assemble. But we have learned nothing from the history of the last 20 or 25 years if we do not know that movements like that grow if justice is denied. That is why we cannot leave the situation where it is.
1825 At this juncture, there is a possible way forward. I quite agree that it is easier to make a speech about it in this House than it is to put it into practice. But it is our business here to suggest what seems to be practicable. There is a suggestion for a conference of all races and groups in Rhodesia. The question has been raised, which groups? I believe that the Pearce Commission itself provided the answer to that. No one can dispute that the number of groups of people whom the Commission met—grouped together by many different criteria—gave a real impression of the groups that the people of Rhodesia are made up of and what they are like. Such a conference would be possible.
I am not sure whether it was the African National Council which first proposed it. But certainly the proposal has its strong backing and, compared with other proposals that it might have made, it is a reasonable and moderate one. It is interesting to notice that at the recent conference of the Organisation for African Unity it was this and certain other quite moderate proposals by the ANC which were approved, to the rejection of extreme proposals.
I digress for a moment to make one brief point. I am informed that at the recent OAU conference, although there were messages from various heads of Government there was none from Her Majesty's Government. I hope that I am misinformed on that and that there was such a message. If President Nixon could send one, I do not see why our Government should not send one. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman can tell me whether my information is correct.
§ Mr. Stewart
I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman cannot inform me now. It is not only leaders of the ANC who sometimes have gaps in their knowledge. I think that the Foreign Secretary deserved that one. It was a little unfortunate that he made that slighting reference to a member of the ANC when he had no word of criticism for Ian Smith or any of his colleagues. That was an example of the serious lack of balance in his speech.
We have the possibility, then, of moderate African opinion being able to assert 1826 itself. We even have the possibility of a conference of all parties and groups in Rhodesia. However we must be clear about one matter. It has to be admitted all round that the goal is the complete equality of human rights for people of all races and colours and not to give mere lip service to it with statements like, "It will not happen in our lifetime." No one is seriously suggesting that it happens this year or next. But it has to be within a measureable period, and progress to it has to be unimpeded. If that is generally accepted, there is room for a good deal of compromise about the when, the how, and the drafting of constitutions.
I cannot see that Ian Smith will accept what I have called that essential. His proclamations all the time show him to be immovable. That must mean in the end someone wiser—someone with the philosophy of the majority of hon. Members opposite, whose opinions we ought to count more than Mr. Ian Smith's. There must be a wiser spokesman for white Rhodesians and a wiser leader than they have now. To help bring about that result, it is essential to keep sanctions on resolutely.
That brings me to my last point, which is why we find the Motion unsatisfactory. Not only can it merely take note of the Pearce Report; it does not even mention sanctions, and it speaks no more of the Government's desire to achieve a settlement on the five principles. Instead of desire, there should be determination. What is more, I was a little alarmed at the Foreign Secretary's use of the expression "status quo" about sanctions. I do not dispute that Britain has a very good record in the observance of sanctions. We have been diligent in trying to prevent breaches by others.
But I commend to the Foreign Secretary the words of the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe), who pointed out that the time may be ripe now for a real diplomatic initiative with the African and Asian countries. They are now in the mood to stop trying to pass impossible Resolutions demanding that we solve the problem single-handed by military force. It could be pointed out to them that more to the point would be to direct their quite justified anger against countries which say that they are observing sanctions and are not doing so. I am 1827 not speaking of South Africa and Portugal, which present special problems.
The breaking of sanctions by a Government is not a sin of commission. It is a sin of omission in not taking sufficient precautions to see that their citizens do not break the law. Here we should not say just, "Maintain the status quo." There has to be a real diplomatic drive. It is that lack of drive, energy and zeal in the Motion and, I am afraid, in the tone of part of the Foreign Secretary's speech, which I find alarming. The right hon. Gentleman omitted any criticism of Ian Smith, yet he criticised all Africans for turning down the proposed settlement, and hecriticised a member of the ANC. The right hon. Gentleman said that there must be time for reflection, but he made no suggestion that it was Ian Smith and the white Rhodesians who have the most reflecting to do.
I was left with the impression from my recent conversation with the white Rhodesian and the black Rhodesian that the gulf is not in the last resort impassable. However, to bridge it, clearly it is essential that there should be no doubt about the resolution of the British Government to go on indefinitely, if necessary, not only with the maintenance of sanctions themselves but with the policy of rejecting every form of racialism in every international forum.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Nigel Fisher (Surbiton)
I agree with very much of what the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart) said. I hope that he will acquit me of any discourtesy in not following him in detail, because, like him, I have promised Mr. Speaker that I would be short.
The right hon. Gentleman and I have the same broad approach to these Commonwealth problems but in this case we started from a different premise because, unlike him, I voted for the settlement without, I confess, great enthusiasm but on a narrow balance as the most hopeful solution of a difficult problem and the only one that we were likely to get.
I still think that it would have been the best solution, but when I returned from a visit to Rhodesia with the hon. Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley) 1828 as long ago as early February I reported to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that the Pearce Commission would record a massive rejection of the settlement terms by the majority race. I was sure of that because the hon. Gentleman and I had seen with our own eyes and heard with our own ears the same evidence as Lord Pearce and his colleagues, and so it was not surprising that we came to the same conclusion.
When the Africans were given the power of the veto it was clear to anyone who knew Rhodesia and who visited the country at that time that they would use that power. Many reasons were given by the Africans for their decision. Some were directly related to the terms of the settlement, such as the fact that the franchise was too difficult for most Africans to achieve. Other reasons were based not on the terms of the settlement but on the African's opinion of the Smith régime. Some of my hon. Friends are rather critical of that as a reason, but that is not my view. If the majority of the people say "We do not trust Smith", that seems to me a valid reason for rejecting a settlement which depends upon his good faith. However, whatever the reasons, there was no doubt to any impartial observer that the rejection was genuine and numerically overwhelming.
Some hon. Members, including my hon. Friends the Members for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) and Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison), who were not in Rhodesia at that time believe that intimidation was an important factor. That was not my experience. There was intimidation, both ways, but its extent should not be exaggerated. There is no doubt that some Africans put pressure upon other Africans to say "No", and that some European firms and employers put pressure on their African staff to say "Yes" in such a way as to make the African fear that if he did not say "Yes" he would lose his job; but the extent and the degree of the intimidation was relatively small and did not prejudice the work of the Commission. The report is a very thorough and unequivocal document, and I am sure that it reflects faithfully the views of the majority of the Rhodesian people.
On the face of it, and of the acceptance by all parties in this House of the 1829 fifth principle, I am sure that my right hon. Friends are right to continue sanctions. Indeed, they have very little alternative; and I must say to some of my hon. Friends below the Gangway that it would really have been too cynical to say "We have got an answer that we did not want. Of course we never really meant the fifth principle. We know best what is best for you and we intend to do it no matter what you think". That sort of thing could perhaps have been said 20 years ago, although it would have been difficult to get away with it even then, but it is too paternalistic in 1972 when we have given the rest of Commonwealth Africa independence under black Governments.
In the aftermath of the Pearce Report there are no easy options for anyone. The Africans are quiet now, and Bishop Muzorewa is a moderate who does not want violence; but this Commission is the catalyst which has created African unity in Rhodesia, and I do not think that, having tasted political power for the first time, the Africans will for long be content with the status quo under the 1969 constitution.
I acknowledge that Mr. Smith's position is also very difficult. He has two major problems, the first of which is economic. He is acutely short of foreign exchange. He desperately needs a large injection of foreign capital, not only for development, but to renew and re-equip some of his obsolescent or semi-obsolescent services such as the railways. His second difficulty is political. It is the problem of the African population explosion and the high level of unemployment among the Africans. Either of those problems or a combination of the two could, and in the end probably will, lead to his defeat.
In theory I suppose Smith could disarm his critic is by implementing his side of the settlement despite the African rejection. If he had the statesmanship to do that there might be a hope of another negotiation, ideally on a tripartite basis, in a few years' time. Meanwhile, if he took that action, perhaps we could respond by giving our £5 million a year for African advancement which, although technically in breach of the sanctions policy would, in fact, be in tune with it and in line with its objectives.
1830 But I think that all that is really wishful thinking, because if Smith so much as attempted a policy of that sort he would at once be overthrown by his own party and replaced by someone further to the right like Mr. Partridge. That would be in the white Rhodesian tradition, where sooner or later every Prime Minister becomes too moderate for them.
To avoid that, Smith is much more likely—and there are signs that he is already taking this line—to lead the European backlash with harsher policies, greater discrimination and tighter security measures. Inevitably he will move further into the South African orbit; not that South Africa wants that. She would prefer to maintain a low profile, but in the end she must sustain the Rhodesia Front if she can.
My guess is that the Front can carry on for several years with its present policies—perhaps for three years; perhaps even for as long as 10—but in the end they will have to negotiate again if sanctions not only continue but can be made more effective. That is the crux.
Should sanctions, and can they, be made more effective? Up to now, as many hon. Members have said, we are about the only country in the world which has honestly observed sanctions 100 per cent. Most countries have cheated or evaded, to their own advantage, buying cheap in Rhodesia and selling dear to Rhodesia. France and Germany have been quoted as examples, and Japan has driven a coach and horses through the whole sanctions policy.
In those circumstances, what should be the policy of the British Government? Rightly, I believe, my right hon. Friend wishes to keep the door open and see how the situation develops in Rhodesia. He knows that Smith came to the conference table only because sanctions had hurt, but they had not hurt enough to induce the Rhodesia Front to give the Africans terms which they could accept. Logically, therefore, we should try to induce other nations to tighten their sanctions rather than weaken our own.
I acknowledge that in practice sanctions are more likely to be eroded than to be strengthened, but I do not think that we should encourage that in any way. We should reject it. I understand the sort of reasons that there must be, but 1831 I was surprised at, and did not like, the British abstention at the United Nations, and I agree with what the right hon. Member for Fulham said on these matters.
It is alleged by some people that we are losing commercially. In fact, we are losing about £30 million of exports a year to Rhodesia out of a total external trade of £19,000 million. It really is peanuts, and if we were to drop sanctions we should risk the loss of at least as much trade with the rest of Commonwealth Africa. Our exports to black Africa last year were worth over £560 million, and, as the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Bottomley) said, our investment in Nigeria alone is greater than it is in Rhodesia.
§ Mr. Ian Lloyd (Portsmouth, Langstone)
On this very point of the likely effect on British trade with the rest of black Africa, is there any evidence that Japan, which is known to be in breach of sanctions, is suffering in its trade? I gather that it is growing rapidly in the rest of black Africa. If not, is there any reason why we should be particularly discriminated against in this respect?
§ Mr. Fisher
I do not know whether other hon. Members can help me here. I must be honest and say that I do not know whether Japan's trade with black Africa is suffering because of her trade with Rhodesia. So I could not answer the question—
§ Mr. Richard Hornby (Tonbridge)
Surely it is one thing for Japan, a relative new comer to African markets, to break sanctions and quite another for a country with a colonial past and long traditions of friendship to think that it can go along with political practices which are out of sympathy with these countries and at the same time suffer no change to its considerable trading position.
§ Mr. Fisher
I thought that my hon. Friend was going to give the factual position which I could not supply, but, in fact, he made the very point which I was about to make in my next sentence. I was going to say that the standards by which Commonwealth Africa judges Britain are different from the standards 1832 by which she judges other countries which she regards as foreign countries. We have a special relationship. Perhaps one could call it a love-hate relationship, but there is a love element. We are not expected to do things which would be acceptable if done by other people.
We should not overlook in this context the importance of Nigeria, whose oil is a high card which she will play if need be. This is something of which we should be conscious if we are talking in these terms.
My conclusion is that sanctions should continue. At best it will be a long haul, with sporadic outbursts of violence ruthlessly suppressed. It will take quite a long time. Sanctions will either slowly work or slowly fail over the years according to the efficiency with which they are applied. After Pearce, I am sure that nothing in Rhodesia will ever be the same again, and I must honestly say that I am not optimistic about the prospects for a peaceful future so long as the Rhodesian Front remains in control of the country, because I believe that in the end people must be governed by consent, not by force—and there is no consent in Rhodesia today.
§ 8.13 p.m.
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon (York)
It pained me deeply that in November last year, the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) found himself able to support these proposals, and that we were divided on that issue although we had stood together on similar issues in the past. I am grateful, therefore, that he has come back into the fold and that we are now in union again. Perhaps that was because we shared to some extent the journey around Rhodesia at the same time as Lord Pearce.
It is impossible for anyone who was present on that occasion for however short a time to take any other view than that the Pearce Commission properly reflects the opinion of the vast majority of Rhodesians who were vociferously stating their views at that time. It was manifest to me, to the hon. Member for Surbiton and to my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley)—the only three Members who were present on that occasion—that the Africans were saying "No", that they knew that they were saying "No", that they had a clear 1833 understanding on a large scale of the proposals, even frequently on the minutiæ, and that they were sincerely saying "No".
As successive British Governments since 1963 have said that no settlement would be acceptable to this House unless it was also acceptable to the people of Rhodesia as a whole, it would have been hypocritical for any British Government then to have said, "We have put it to the test and the answer is 'No'. Nonetheless, we will ram it through". I am delighted that the Foreign Secretary did not succumb to what must have been, at one stage at any rate, a temptation to do that.
But it means, does it not, that he cannot go on to say, as he said today, "What they are saying 'No' to was Mr. Smith and not my proposals. My proposals still stand, and we must therefore wait a little time until they perceive how good those proposals are, at which point they will come around to the view that Lord Goodman and I took in November last year, that this was not perfection but was certainly the way forward for Rhodesia in the circumstances."
I do not think that, in November of last year that was correct. I certainly do not think that the Africans that I saw thought that it was correct. They knew why they did not like these proposals—because they gave no certainty of unimpeded progress towards majority rule, because the pace at which they could expect any acceleration towards majority rule was very slow. It was dependent, it is true, not on the erratic and capricious element of the proportion of income tax paid by the Africans, but it was to be an adjusted pay regulator, which would be affected by the amount of European immigration into Rhodesia and by the prospect of more Europeans coming on to the roll.
But, worst of all, it was founded upon the 1969 Constitution. In the past, I rejected both the "Tiger" and "Fearless" proposals, but at least they were founded upon the 1961 Constitution, which was not a racialist constitution. But the 1969 Constitution is apartheid, not only in its expression that there can never be other than parity between the two races, black and white, but in the way that it breaks down the races, providing that there should be eight elected seats for 1834 the Africans coming from the urban Africans and eight indirectly elected seats coming from the rural Africans, and that the seats should be divided between Mashonaland and Matabeleland.
Today, the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) intervened to ask who were the Africans—were they Mashona or Matabele? One thing that has come out of this whole exercise of Pearce is that the Africans are one. They are united as they have never been united before in their complete opposition to Smith and to these proposals. They have found the kind of unity which has been sadly lacking in all their administration in the past in Rhodesia, when there was this bitter dispute between ZANU and ZAPU.
One of the interesting stories that I heard was that during the Harare riots, when Africans had been milling about in the township, one young man had gone around shouting, "ZAPU!" and the whole group had turned on him and said, "We have finished with that; we are one." Everywhere I went, at every level of society, I found the same expression.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Is it not the case that the Commissioners met many more Africans who said "Yes" in Matabeleland than in Mashonaland? Does this not to some extent reflect the difference of view between different groups there?
§ Mr. Lyon
With respect, it is merely what one would expect, that there would be differences between different parts of the country. What no one has yet pointed out is that the two bands of Commissioners who took different judgments from the others came from the largely rural areas of Matabele North and Victoria, which are largely game reserves anyway and sparsely populated. Over the whole country, where 100,000 Africans were seen—not 9,000, as the hon. Gentleman suggested—the overwhelming opinion was "No". It was "No" in public and in private, and it was "No" at every level of education. The proportion varied between public and private. In public, only 1 per cent. were saying that they were in favour of the proposals; in private it was 15 per cent. Nonetheless, 85 per cent. of the electorate saying "No" is a fairly large majority by any standards.
1835 I was saying that the proposals themselves were unacceptable, and rightly unacceptable, because they were founded on the 1969 Constitution. But the other limb of the Foreign Secretary's argument for the proposals was to stop the rot towards apartheid of a South African style. My understanding, which I was glad to have confirmed by Mr. Pat Lewis, who was the chairman of the independent Constitution Commission between 1961 and 1969, was that there already is on the Rhodesian statute book—and it is not affected by these proposals—enough legislation, were it to be effectively enforced, to create the kind of apartheid that already exists in South Africa. Anyone who disputes that might care to look at an article by Dr. Claire Palley, who has considerable experience of Rhodesia, in "Race" in October, 1970, in which she sets out all the comparative legislation of Rhodesia and South Africa.
The two countries have almost identical bodies of legislation. The Rhodesians could, if they wished, enforce pass laws, with the whole business of influx control. They could create separate areas for Africans. It is true that they could not create an independent Bantustan. That might be considered to be an advantage for the Africans that they would not want to concede. But they can create Bantustans which are not independent within the existing legislation. They have the law and Order Maintenance Act, which is in every respect, taken with the right to create special security arrangements in times of emergency, as damning as the Terrorism Act or the Suppression of Communism Act. Already the legislation will give them apartheid if they want it.
The proposals that the Foreign Secretary was making in November will not stop it. Therefore, they need not worry about the blocking mechanism that was given by the necessity to get a majority vote of the Africans. The blocking mechanism would have had a different effect. I do not think that this was the Foreign Secretary's intention, but it would have had a different effect. When they got to parity in the proposed Constitution, they would then move on to another 60 seats. There would not be majority rule in our sense, which is that every man has his vote and the majority elect 1836 a Government. What it would mean is that one would be still classified by a group, but the black group, the African group, would have 60 seats as against 50 seats for the white group. But they would never be able to go beyond that to have proper majority rule as we understand it in this country. They would never be able to get beyond that because the blocking mechanism would then work for the European. It would be the European who, in the end, under this Constitution, would have required the blocking mechanism and would have used it. But everyone else, in the meantime, would have been subject to a State which would have been very similar to South Africa.
Therefore, we ought to have done with the Goodman proposals, as we have had done with "Fearless" and "Tiger". We had to put them behind us. There will be only one principle in any future negotiations with Smith, and that principle is that the Africans must be at the negotiating table. If the Africans are there, and if they negotiate as part of the total deal and agree with the proposals that have been hammered out, there is no need for the five principles. The five principles are designed to protect Africans in a situation where white governments are negotiating on their behalf. But if the Africans are there and are prepared to agree to the final proposals, the five principles are not needed.
It is true that one needs Africans there who are representative of African opinion as a whole and that it would be as well to take the proposals back and check with the people of Rhodesia as a whole. In that sense, perhaps, the fifth principle could remain. But as long as one was sure that the African leaders were truly representatives of those on behalf of whom they were negotiating, one should not need even that. But it would be as well to have it.
But that, and that alone, is what one needs for the future. It is not NIBMAR. Bishop Muzorewa told me that they might be prepared to negotiate something much less than NIBMAR provided that they were sure that within a reasonably foreseeable time they would have African majority rule and they could be sure that steps to that end would not be blocked by the whites whilst still in power. Therefore, it is not for us to ask that the Africans should have NIBMAR and 1837 nothing less. But if one insists on the Africans being present, that is the best guarantee.
The difficulty is that Smith will not concede that. But both Smith and the Africans are at an impasse. Smith cannot deliver the African opinion as he once thought he could. That is what Pearce has proved. But, equally, the Africans do not have the power to compel Smith to let them to the conference table. Therefore, we have to redress the balance. That is what sanctions should be about in the future.
We have to find ways of intensifying the pressure with sanctions. It undoubtedly exists, though not to the extent that we would wish. Unfortunately, the Foreign Secretary has started off badly by suggesting that Rhodesian exports have recovered to 97 per cent. of the pre-UDI total and, therefore, sanctions are not having much effect. He does not go on to say, as the Minister of State has conceded, that that 97 per cent. figure is cast in current prices and not in constant prices. If one allows for the inflation that has occurred since 1965, one finds that there has been a decrease of about 20 per cent. in Rhodesian exports.
The exporting side, trading, is the part that has been least hit by sanctions. What has been hit most by sanctions is overseas private investment and the foreign currency position. Taking all that together, it is no wonder that the effective life of a tractor in Rhodesia of about five years before UDI has lengthened to 15 years, and it is no wonder that they cannot replace the rolling stock on the railways and that they are still working with tired out Viscounts on Rhodesian Airways.
§ Mr. Lyon
There comes a time when these things will catch up with the economy. All the commercial interests to which one speaks in Rhodesia recognise that if sanctions go on for much longer they will be very severely hit.
Intensifying sanctions is not asking for the moon. The difficulty with the sanctions position at the United Nations since 1965 has been that the Afro-Asian countries have taken the view that Britain should use force; that if we did not use 1838 force, they would not support sanctions, because that was an unacceptable alternative which would fail anyway. But they have now come round to a much more realistic assessment of the situation. They know that force will not be used and they are looking for ways in which sanctions can be intensified.
One of the ways in which sanctions can be intensified is by checking upon Rhodesian exports, particularly of minerals, at the ports of entry into other countries. This would have to be done by some roving United Nations force of inspectors. The mineral deposits can be tested, and it is possible to determine the actual mine from which the ore came. It is not necessary to look at the ship's manifest. The test can be made and it is possible to be certain that the material came from Rhodesia. The sanctions against tobacco have been biting. If the sanctions against minerals were biting, too, this would have a profound effect upon Smith's capacity to go on and, therefore, to change his attitude to the question of African representation at the negotiating table.
For that reason, I hope that the Government will pay attention to that part of the Opposition's Amendment which calls for an intensification of sanctions and a resort to the United Nations.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)
I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has accepted the verdict of the Pearce Commission and has called for a reasonably long period for reflection and discussion by all communities in Rhodesia of the way ahead.
My right hon. Friend's initiative in reaching agreement and putting the proposals to the test of African opinion may yet be judged as the most promising step so far towards a better future for all communities in Rhodesia. This consultation of African opinion and the acceptance of their verdict has done great credit to Britain in Africa and far beyond. The Pearce Commission has opened up a window on African thinking in Rhodesia. It has shown that for the future there must be three and not only two parties consulting together before any new settlement is reached. The Africans must be consulted.
1839 The Commission's work was carried out in the face of many difficulties, but the Commissioners and their team of helpers had deep and varied experience of working in Africa. Indeed, the thoroughness of its work would, I believe, be generally accepted as a very impressive job by all people with any experience of administration in Africa.
I am sure that the Commission's conclusions are accepted by African opinion in Rhodesia and elsewhere in Africa. The Rhodesian Africans rejected these proposals for two basic reasons. First, they had not been consulted in advance over a policy which would affect their lives for many years ahead. They were not prepared to have their futures decided entirely by two other parties neither of them African.
Second, the Africans' experience of the recent régimes based on the Rhodesian Front gave them no grounds for expecting help towards a reasonably rapid political and economic advance. Indeed, in all their recent actions the authorities in Rhodesia had been moving purposefully in the opposite direction, towards apartheid. Since the agreement of last Autumn they had taken no action to help convince the African population that they had now changed their direction.
Yet if the Rhodesian authorities had had the good will and the political imagination they could then have done something to show that they believed in the spirit of the agreement. They could have taken symbolic but important action on three of the most sensitive problems—land tenure, secondary education, and racial discrimination. But they showed no such good will. They did nothing to show that they meant to change direction. They took no action to show that from then on they would be seeking greatly increased opportunities for Africans to participate in the economic and political future of Rhodesia.
Mr. Ian Smith has recently said in a debate in Salisbury that he is willing to implement the terms of the agreement but that the terms are not negotiable. He offered either the rejected terms or the 1969 Constitution. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said that the 1969 Constitution could lead only to confrontation and conflict. The alternative 1840 offered by Mr. Smith is the recent settlement that has already been rejected by the Africans.
That "either/or" attitude holds no hope for the future. There is a new situation and a new African determination, and there must be new thinking.
There will be no acceptance by Africans and no collaboration in any settlement until they are consulted in advance and until the Rhodesian Front give evidence that it has changed direction towards African advance. It will, as the Foreign Secretary said, require time for any such consultations in Rhodesia. It will also require time for Ian Smith, if he so decides, to convince the Africans that his Government is in earnest in making it possible for Africans to participate more fully in the economy and to have an increased share in making the political decisions in Rhodesia.
What could persuade the Rhodesian Front that for the long-term interests of those whom they represent, the best course lies in that direction and not in repeating that the terms of the rejected settlement are not for negotiation? What does the Rhodesian Front want? First, I suggest, it wants to have a stable and peaceful country in which it will hold a controlling power for as long as possible. Second, it wants to get rid of sanctions and to gain access to investment in the capital markets of the world. Third, it wants to win the willing collaboration of Africans in building up the economy of the country.
If Mr. Smith's answer is merely to insist on ruling firmly on the basis of the 1969 Constitution, his Government will not achieve these three objectives. It will achieve increasing apartheid, internal strife and a hopeless waste of African manpower in the economy.
Britain still has a major responsibility towards Rhodesian Africans. That was reaffirmed vividly by the visit of the Pearce Commission. Britain still has a major influence through sanctions. I welcome the statement by my right hon. Friend that these measures will continue. They could, if they are maintained, continue as a powerful incentive to Mr. Smith's régime to think again on the best way ahead. I hope that, in the interests of all communities in Rhodesia, Mr. Smith will consult Africans representative of all sections of African opinion and take 1841 steps that will show that his Government have changed direction and will work for a reasonably rapid advance of Africans in the economic and political life of Rhodesia. That could set the scene for a new settlement by which all communities could advance together.
§ 8.38 p.m.
§ Mr. Cledwyn Hughes (Anglesey)
For the sake of brevity, I hope that the hon. Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) will forgive me if I do not follow him in detail.
I agree with the content of the hon. Member's speech, which I thought was admirable. He speaks with great experience of Africa. I endorse the tribute he paid to Lord Pearce and his Commission for the way they carried out their work under difficult circumstances. No one can doubt that they did everything possible to satisfy themselves that the views of every section of the community representative of every race and creed were investigated.
Mr. Smith, predictably, has criticised the Report of the Pearce Commission. Amongst other things he called it "naïve" and "inept". No doubt he and his colleagues of the régime would have preferred a brisk guided tour of short duration with Rhodesian officials as guides. The Commission, to its great credit, resisted all suggestions to limit its operations. It was Mr. Smith who was naïve and inept to expect that a Commission led by Lord Pearce would connive at a pretence or accept arrangements which suited only the régime's purpose. The Commission had a duty to the people of Rhodesia as a whole if the fifth principle was to mean anything. It carried out that duty thoroughly and conscientiously.
It could be argued that the exercise was unnecessary for a number of reasons: for example, that the result was inevitable and could have been foreseen by people who knew the Rhodesian scene well. On reflection, I do not subscribe to that view.
I am glad that the Commission spent this time in Rhodesia for the reason that the Africans of Rhodesia, at last for and the first time, were given the opportunity to express their views. Those who have no vote, those who are in detention, those who are afraid and oppressed, have 1842 at last spoken, and no argument or propaganda can gainsay this. To try to argue, as Mr. Smith has done, that the majority of Africans are still for the proposals is so dangerously unreal as to make one despair.
One of the arguments advanced by the Foreign Secretary and others—the right hon. Gentleman referred to it again in his speech today—is that the settlement would have been more beneficial to the Africans than to anyone else because it is they who have suffered most from the effects of sanctions. This is perfectly true. But it is this very fact which gives the rejection by the Africans its force and nobility.
The report shows that the Africans recognised that there would have been economic benefits for them. There would have been £50 million from Her Majesty's Government and an additional £50 million from the Rhodesian Government. But they want more than this. In the words of the report, in paragraph 310, they rejected the proposalswhich they held did not accord them dignity, justice or fair opportunities, and which did not accord them the parity of recognition which was as important to them as parity of representation.They have rejected independence for their country, therefore, because they have no confidence that the proposals will give them personal freedom and independence.
Beyond this, as the report again makes clear, mistrust of the intentions and motives of the régime transcended all other considerations. If they had faith in therégime, many of the Africans might have opted for the proposals, inadequate as they are. The fact is that the record of Mr. Smith and his colleagues has given none of them, nor any of us, any cause for confidence.
Even the 1961 constitution was far too progressive for Mr. Smith. Throughout the negotiations of the last seven years, he and his colleagues, Mr. Lardner Burke and others, have at the end of the day left the impression that they were determined to maintain white domination in Rhodesia as far ahead as they could see. This was always the main difficulty. This is why safeguards of the most concrete kind with external sanctions were always important. This is why the talks on "Tiger" and "Fearless" ultimately broke down.
1843 I believe that the attempts to achieve a settlement made by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition were fully justified. No one could have worked harder or more patiently to find a solution. I played some part in these affairs at that time, and I well know the enormous obstacles and difficulties which stood in the way of achieving an honourable settlement.
Responsible Governments do not readily abandon the possibility of settling disputes honourably by negotiation. Therefore, Her Majesty's Government, in due course after taking office, were justified in making this latest approach. We failed in our time because Mr. Smith and his régime did not, and do not, intend to make clear progress to a free and multiracial society. This is the fundamental problem which we face—it is the fundamental problem which the Government now face—and it is the tragedy of the position because failure to make progress will in due course, as many hon. Members have said, have appalling consequences.
I think back and recall an occasion in October, 1965, when we had been discussing the five principles with Mr. Smith and a number of his Cabinet colleagues. This was before Mr. Smith made his illegal declaration of independence. It became clear as we were going through the principles one by one that we were far from agreement on each of them. In due course, after many days of talk, the discussion came to a fruitless conclusion, and Mr. Smith said "We have failed to agree on these principles. Can we now discuss ways and means of moving smoothly to independence?" In other words, it was not the substance of the negotiations or the principle involved but the obtaining of independence at any price which concerned him. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition gave a short, sharp reply to that proposal.
There is always an air of unreality when one talks to Mr. Smith about these principles. It is as if one is talking to someone from another planet.
But we must now think ahead. Is there still the possibility, as the Foreign Secretary hopes, of a settlement? Mr. Smith has said "If the British Government are not prepared to implement the agreement, it follows that we shall continue to govern in the terms of our existing constitu- 1844 tion"—that is, the 1969 constitution. This is a grim prospect. As the Foreign Secretary said in a speech on 26th January, the constitution has iniquitous elements.
Is it not intolerable to suggest or contemplate that Africans must move towards greater suffering and apartheid just because they have rejected the terms? The Government should ask Mr. Smith this question: If the proposals are thought to be right, why does not the régime implement them? I know that it was a package, but if they pause and contemplate the implications of the Pearce Report and decide voluntarily to implement the proposals they will gain great credit here and internationally. We do not regard them at matching the first four principles, but their implementation would show that there was some sincerity in the régime and they might well mitigate the undoubted distrust of the 5 million Africans in Rhodesia.
The white Rhodesians must therefore pause to consider the Pearce Report. In my view, it is mainly a message for them, and they will ignore it at their peril. But, meantime, sanctions must continue, and I hope that the Government will take the most active steps through the United Nations to ensure that they become more effective. Most hon. Members, with one or two predictable exceptions, have agreed that steps should be taken to strengthen them.
The Foreign Secretary said on 23rd May:We are the only country which has been keeping sanctions. Every month we draw the attention of the United Nations to breaches of sanctions, but no one takes the slightest notice."—[Official Report, 23rd May, 1972; Vol. 837, c. 1229.]It was clearly out duty to enforce sanctions. What the Foreign Secretary said was a serious admission. Many countries have criticised Britain for not taking more stringent action against Rhodesia in the United Nations and other organisations, but our country's record is honourable, and I deplore the "whited sepulchre" posture of some countries which criticise us.
I was looking this morning at the reports in the Library of the Committee on Sanctions set up by the Security Council, and they made very sad reading. There are wholesale contraventions. 1845 directly through Rhodesia and indirectly through South Africa and Mozambique. The chairman of the committee said in June last year—this is the latest report which is available—that he feared that the committee might give the impression that its membersdid not all have the same aim and that it was wavering in its commitments to enforce the sanctions.It is an extremely serious situation. The Government must study the position in the United Nations and the work of this committee very carefully and decide what further steps should be taken. I believe that our representative in the United Nations should take steps immediately to ascertain whether all the countries which voted for mandatory sanctions are now prepared to take action to implement them. It would be better for the reputation of the United Nations and the countries concerned if they either complied with them or made plain that they wished to abandon them.
This report is the latest chapter in a sad history. It is the story of men of British stock who have deliberately turned their backs on the best traditions of their old country and on the opportunity to create a truly multi-racial State in Africa. It may be that it is too late to turn the tide or, as the Foreign Secretary said, too late "to reverse the trend". But we must hope that it is not.
I am worried at the Government's Motion because it lacks determination, a positive approach and any firm indication that new and more effective steps will be taken to compel the régime to realise that we will not erode sanctions or drift into a de factorecognition of Rhodesia. That would be bad for this country, and we would not be forgiven for it. That is why we must vote against the Motion tonight.
§ 8.52 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Soref (Ormskirk)
I am sure the right hon. Member for Anglesey (Mr. Cledwyn Hughes) will forgive me if, because of the pressure of time, I do not refer to his speech. I should like to thank you for calling me Mr. Deputy Speaker because I have had a lifetime's association with Rhodesia and I last visited that country this year. I have listened to almost the entire debate and I have found it bedevilled by the introduction of so many abstractions and those 1846 who claim to be spokesmen for black Africans have projected their own ideological preconceptions into the situation.
When I visited Rhodesia during the Christmas Recess I discovered a fact which will interest those on the Opposition benches, that among the 20,000 or so British who have emigrated to Rhodesia since UDI is a very high percentage of tradesmen who have stronger views over Rhodesian politics even than Mr. Smith. In fact, a very high percentage of the Rhodesian Front support comes from former Labour supporters and trade unionists from this country who have emigrated to Rhodesia.
The other interesting fact concerned the attitude of the Asians, who have not been mentioned during the debate today. On previous visits to Rhodesia the many Asians I know there have expressed different views about the situation. But on this occasion the leaders of the Asian communities told me that the Asians and Pakistanis living in Rhodesia were in favour of the proposals because they were so disturbed at the racialism which existed to the north in the independent black States and they felt there was infinitely less racialism in Rhodesia than anywhere to the north.
There is no question of Indians losing their trading licenses, as they have in other countries. Rhodesian Indians are not having to emigrate to this country as they have to do from independent black African countries.
I found that a large number of Africans, particularly those who have trading stores, were intimidated to vote against the proposals. They told me in the African townships outside Salisbury that regardless of their own views and what they thought was in the interests of Africans, (they would be forced to contribute to the ANC. If they did not, their shops would be boycotted and they would be stoned. That is proved by the Pearce Report, which shows the degree to which intimidation took place.
Many hon. Members have referred to the necessity, or the desirability, of African participation in a future constitutional conference. I listened with particular care to the speech of the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who suggested that Mr. Kkomo should be amongst those present at any conference. But let it not be for- 1847 gotten that as recently as 1961 Mr. Joshua Nkomo said:I will not rest until the rivers of Ziambabwe run red with the blood of every white man, woman and child and every African who supports them.I referred to Mr. Nkomo as "Mr. Nkomo", but I notice that many hon. Members opposite refer to the Prime Minister of Rhodesia as "Smith". I do not think we shall get very far by being offensive to someone who is in control of a country which has shown considerable progress, although many people may not like it, during the past few years.
The ANC is a coalition of two terrorist organisations, ZAPU and ZANU. There were incursions by ZANU supporters from Zambia during the presence of the Pearce Commission to create yet more terrorism. There was a report just after I left Rhodesia which said thatThe activities of ZANU are illustrated by the statements made by three men who entered Rhodesia with arms of war and explosives. They stated that they had been sent into Rhodesia by ZANU in order to upset the work of the Pearce Commission and to show the Africans in Rhodesia that ZANU opposed the settlement proposals. One of them said that they were told 'when we get to Rhodesia we should try to disrupt the Pearce Commission by shooting the Europeans in the streets and place land mines'. Another said, 'We were to take them (the arms) to Rhodesia and use them to cause trouble and fear so that the Africans would not support the settlement proposals.' ".In the Pearce Report there are no fewer than 18 paragraphs giving evidence of the intimidation which took place during the Commission's presence there, which had a very serious effect. Paragraph 204 says that the ANC had been actively canvassing against the proposals before it arrived in nearly all the African areas which it visited, and ex-detainees were leading spokesmen of rejection. It is also significant that paragraph 248 says…a Commissioner noted that the majority of those present could, in his view, easily have been persuaded to vote either way. We think that these Africans were often looking for a lead and that the response of those who received a lead was determined by whether it came from the employer or from the anti-settlement groups.In fact, had the Commission arrived sooner and had Mr. Smith's Government gone out as missionaries to sell the proposals, the settlement might have been accepted. We do not know, but it is pos- 1848 sible, because the report maintains that a vacuum was created by the absence of any attempt by the Administration to mount such a campaign.
I should like to refer briefly to sanctions. Instead of arguing the matter in the abstract, let us remember that only last week there was the terrible mining disaster at Wankie. Are we to say that anything is achieved in terms of civilisation or of helping Africans by refusing to supply, or allow anyone else to supply, spare parts and mining equipment in order that the mines at Wankie which were affected can continue? Is it achieving anything if we create more unemployment in Rhodesia and, incidentally, interfere with the economy of the copper mines in Zambia, which are largely dependent upon Wankie coal and coke?
No practical alternative has been put forward in the debate to the existing situation in Rhodesia. When people in Rhodesia look north, regardless of race they see anarchy and chaos. We are told stories of the plight of Mr. Garfield Todd and Mr. Chinamano, whom I saw when I was in Salisbury. But what about the plight of Mr. Kapwepwe the former Vice President in Zambia, or of the 150 others recently detained there, indefinately without trial under President Kaunda's security powers, or of the 15,000 political detainees in Ceylon? The new Commonwealth has thousands of people who have been detained and imprisoned with no right of appeal, with their cases never heard. Yet not a word of condemnation is uttered. It seems that there are two standards, one of them for the people of Rhodesia, who have brought a high degree of civilisation to that country, and the other for those with lower standards who are exonerated.
Although there may be certain people who do not like the white man in Rhodesia, he has produced employment. He has produced something from the bush which he found when he originally arrived. He has provided a standard of living—something we do not often hear about—for the Rhodesian African. Rhodesian Africans do not try to emigrate. On the contrary, Africans from countries to the north desire to emigrate to Rhodesia because the standards of living and social welfare are better. If we criticise Rhodesia, we should at the 1849 same time recognise what that country has done for all its population.
At the same time, we should also recognise, as the report does, the danger of incursion by Communists from the north, not least by Frelimo, which I gather is supported by certain hon. Members opposite. Rhodesia has to defend itself against these things and it is largely because of this hostility that the Rhodesians are forced to become perhaps unduly chauvinistic. Hon. Members opposite have referred to the unsatisfactory economy of Rhodesia, butlet it not be forgotten that, during the first quarter of this year, its industrial output increased by 15.8 per cent. which was more than double the previous period. The net white immigration last year, which was the highest for 14 years, rose 22 per cent., and there were record maize and cotton crops.
We have been discussing UNCTAD in this House and the question of aid to every conceivable and inconceivable country. Is it not amazing that a small country like Rhodesia, despite sanctions, has an improving economy? We are doling out money to country after country, many of which enjoy every advantage and certainly suffer no sanctions, yet cannot make a go of it. Rhodesia, however, despite every hindrance put in its way by us and others, has gone ahead. When we consider the position in Rhodesia, we should realise that because of the small European minority it has become viable and through co-operation between all races. The army and the police are full of Africans. There is the utmost harmony in their activities. Obviously, more can be done. Rhodesia, like all other countries, can be criticised, but I, and the Rhodesians, feel that it is often unfairly criticised because of the double standards applied.
§ Mr. Ivor Richard (Barons Court)
This has been in many ways an interesting and perhaps significant debate. It has been a significant debate because we are not discussing solely the minutiae of the Pearce Report, although in a few moments I shall have one or two things to say about the details, particularly in answer to some of the criticisms that have been made both in Rhodesia and repeated in the House tonight. It is, however, much more significant in our 1850 opinion than merely the consideration of one report, even by a Commission headed by such a distinguished judge as Lord Pearce.
What we have to decide is what, if anything, should now happen, and in a way the Foreign Secretary is perhaps suggesting that the best posture for Britain at the moment is inactivity rather than action. What, if anything, should be done over our policy towards Rhodesia, especially as regards sanctions, the possibility of future negotiations, what participants there should or might be in any future negotiations which might or can take place, whether any negotiations can take place and, if so, on what lines they should be conducted?
I must say at the outset that one of the truest things that has been said during the debate, said by a number of people, is that British policy towards Rhodesia can never be quite the same after Pearce as it was before. This is one of the great climacterics for Southern Africa, comparable perhaps with the Jameson Raid and certainly with the Monckton Report, which had such a profound and lasting effect on British policy towards South Africa. Pearce marks a deep and fundamental change in the situation, primarily because the Rhodesian Africans have now felt their political strength. Until they were consulted, until the British Government accepted the fifth principle, and until we had this test of acceptability, the Africans in Rhodesia never had a chance to flex their political muscles, and never had a chance to feel their political strength.
I believe that the African National Council organisation which sprang up so quickly and successfully when the Pearce Commission was mooted and when it arrived in Rhodesia could and would be repeated, perhaps in another form and perhaps under other leaders, if a similar test of acceptability were ever to be pursued again. Once that strength has been recognised by the Africans in Rhodesia and once a veto has been given to them, it will be impossible in future for any British Government to deny them that veto and that political strength in one form or another.
It is only a small extension of the present position, when we are saying to the Africans "We give you a veto, a chance to decide whether you find the 1851 proposals acceptable" to say to them "You shall now have an initiating power and a right to be consulted when the proposals are drawn up".
The division in the House tonight is three-fold. We have had the Rhodesian Lobby on the other side in great evidence in the debate, and we always welcome them. [Interruption.] We should welcome them because they are at least an expression of Rhodesian opinion, and it is only right that when this House is considering the affairs of Rhodesia the Rhodesian Front voice should be heard, clearly and unmistakably, so that we recognise it for what it is. The Rhodesian Lobby in this House is saying in a simple and straightforward way "Let us not continue to pursue a policy towards Rhodesia based upon the desire to establish a multi-racial society there." It is saying, as was said very firmly, if I remember rightly, at the time of the secession of the Southern States of America in 1860, "Of course we think they are all mistaken, but let the erring sisters depart and in time they will return to us in peace." That seems to be the type of attitude which underlies some of the arguments we have heard from the Rhodesian lobby.
Secondly, we have the Government position which was expressed by the Foreign Secretary this afternoon. The Government position is "We tried on the best possible terms we could get from the Smith Government, to get those terms accepted by the Africans in Rhodesia, but, unforunately, they said 'No', and we have few new ideas about what to do except that we want time for reflection—not a time for us to reflect, not a time for the white Rhodesians to reflect, but a time of reflection so that the Africans can improve their comprehension." Those were the words used by the Foreign Secretary which shocked me at the time.
The third attitude in the House is the one expressed by both the Opposition parties. The Liberal Party and the Labour Party are totally united in a firm definite and strong opposition to any possible settlement in Rhodesia which would prove to be unacceptable to the majority of the Rhodesian people as a whole and which was not otherwise firmly
1852 In view of the criticisms which have been made of the Pearce Report in Rhodesia and by some hon. Members this evening it is, however, right for us to spend a few moments looking at the criticisms and at the report.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
In case the hon. and learned Gentleman should unwittingly mislead the House, I said that time should be given for all Rhodesians, and particularly the Africans, to look again at the terms of the settlement. That is rather different from what the hon. and learned Gentleman said.
§ Mr. Richard
I am reluctant to swap sentences with the right hon. Gentleman but I wrote down what he said:I accept what Lord Pearce found in general and I therefore ask for more time for Africans to comprehend.That is the actual phrase used by the right hon. Gentleman. He went on to say that the efforts must come from the Rhodesians themselves. When the speech is published I shall, however, read the Foreign Secretary's words with a great deal of interest and attention.
To return to the criticisms of the Pearce Report. If we are agreed that future British policy and proposals on Rhodesia will continue to be based on the necessity of prior acceptance by the majority of Rhodesians we had better draw what lessons can be drawn from the Pearce Commission.
The first criticisms are those which Mr. Smith made. He has been very helpful. On 6th June Mr. Smith made a speech in what purports to be the House of Assembly in Rhodesia. He started off by making a broadcast in which he criticised the British Government for what he called "bungling" the test of acceptability. On 6th June he said:I now wish to refer briefly to the understandings reached over the test of acceptability during the protracted discussions which led eventually to the summit meeting last November. The British attitude to the test was established at the very first meeting held on 3rd April 1971, and to indicate this attitude I can do no better than quote from the record of proceedings—'The British delegation pointed out that there had to be a fair test of acceptability but not one which was loaded against the prospect of acceptance of a settlement. The British Government saw a commission, suitably composed and given the right terms of reference and able to act with speed, as the best instrument for conducting the test of acceptability'.1853 He went on to say that the British delegates'…wished any such exercise to be done as quickly as possible and with as little upheaval as possible…and, above all, they would not wish any test of acceptability to be regarded as a whitewash but, on the other hand, they would wish to see that it came up with the right answer'.The impression given clearly to our delegates was that the exercise would be a quiet testing of responsible opinion and that the emphasis would be on ascertaining whether the proposals were acceptable in the light of the alternative of retaining the status quo. The British negotiators expressed the view that there would be little doubt of the result if the commission approached the inquiry with the object of determining whether the people preferred the settlement proposals to retaining the present position.Two points arise on that topic. If Mr. Smith is right, is it true the British Government said that the exercise would be a quiet test of responsible opinion? Was that the attitude with which we went into these negotiations? Was this how the Foreign Secretary at the time saw the fifth principle and the test of acceptability; namely, only as a quiet testing of responsible opinion?
Secondly, is it also true that the British negotiators expressed the view that there would be little doubt that the result of the Commission would be a "Yes" rather than "No"? Did we go into these negotiations and say "This is the way we think the Pearce Commission will be set up"? In other words, did we want to have a nice quiet test of opinion so as to get the answer we wanted?
§ Mr. Temple
Would the hon. and learned Gentleman have preferred a noisy test of irresponsible opinion?
§ Mr. Richard
No, I would have preferred to see a democratic public test of the voice of the people of Rhodesia as a whole. Indeed, I think that is what we got. But I am asking whether that was how we initially went into the negotiations and whether that was the understanding we gave to Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith's second criticism was that the Commission did not get on with its work quickly enough and rejected the advice of the experts. He seemed to be saying—and this was repeated by the hon. Member for mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings)—that a rushed job would have been much more likely to produce a "Yes" than a "No"—at a time when 1854 the population, by definition, would have been less informed because there would not have been the time for overt propaganda and publication of the proposals, at a time when the terms would have been less discussed because there would not have been the time for much discussion, and at a time when there would have been no opportunity for any normal political activity connected with the test of acceptability.
§ Mr. Hastings
I said precisely the opposite. I said that the time devoted to propaganda for a "Yes" was dated from some four weeks before the Commission arrived, whereas those who set out to sell the other point of view started only at the other end.
§ Mr. Richard
I do not think the hon. Gentleman understood my point. The criticism made in Salisbury—a criticism which I thought was being echoed by the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire—was that the Commission did not get on with its work quickly enough and that the exercise took too long. If the hon. Gentleman did not say that I withdraw it, but that was certainly one of Mr. Smith's complaints.
The third complaint is in some ways directed towards the Foreign Secretary. It was again made by Mr. Smith in his remarkable speech in Rhodesia a few days ago. He then complained about the British Government changing their mind and said that at some stage the British Government had a change of heart and, to quote his actual words, went on to say that they were.…planning for a negative verdict by the Commission.I find it extremely difficult to believe that the Foreign Secretary or the British Government at any stage believed that they controlled the Commission to such an extent that they started off by planning for a "Yes" verdict and then changed their mind and decided that, in British interests, it would be better to have a "No" verdict rather than a "Yes" one. Although the Foreign Secretary smiles, I am sure he will have read the speech and will have noted the points made by Mr. Smith.
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will also take on board the fact that it is necessary that those points should be answered. The only way they can be 1855 answered is for the Foreign Secretary to do what we did on a number of occasions in relation to Rhodesia, and that is to public a Blue Book on the details of the correspondence and the negotiations which took place between the British Government and the Rhodesian Government before the Commission was set up.
I must, however, deal with another of Mr. Smith's criticisms because it is rather more substantial. He said:On the same day that Lord Harlech made these remarks"—this was in February—I received a message from Sir Alec Douglas-Home asking if I would meet an emissary from London during my forthcoming visit to Cape Town. The necessary arrangements were made and I had two meetings in Cape Town at the beginning of March with Sir Philip Adams, who was Deputy Secretary in the British Cabinet Office and a member of Lord Goodman's negotiating team. The gist of the message he brought from Sir Alec was that although the British Government was hoping for a 'Yes', they considered it highly likely that the Pearce verdict would be 'No'. If this should happen the British Government would not feel able to implement the settlement—at any rate at this juncture.I asked the House to note that last passage.The British Government hoped, however, that the Rhodesian Government would not close the door to further discussions. This was another dear indication that the British had made up their minds.I must press the Foreign Secretary on this, and I hope that the Minister for Overseas Development will deal with it. First, were there meetings in Cape Town at the begining of March between Mr. Smith and Sir Philip Adams? If there were, what was the gist of the message conveyed to Mr. Smith by Sir Philip Adams acting on behalf of the British Government? Is it really true that Mr. Smith was told officially on behalf of the Government that if the Pearce Commission reported a "No" verdict, the British Government would not feel able to implement the settlement "at any rate at this juncture"? If the words "at this juncture" were used, or if that was the substance of the message conveyed by Sir Philip Adams to the Rhodesian Government, what on earth did the Foreign Secretary mean?
What is one to understand by the words "at any rate at this juncture"? 1856 The only inference that one can draw is that, if Mr. Smith's version is correct, in March Her Majesty's Government were Saying to the Rhodesian Government "We think that Pearce will come up with a 'No'. Therefore we shall need a nice, quiet time for reflection until things die down, and eventually we may be able to implement it despite the Pearce Commission's Report." I do not think that this is a point which can be ignored. If that was the message which went from the British Government to the Rhodesian Government, if the substance of it in effect was saying "Hang on. Not at this juncture, but perhaps later on", then the plea that the Foreign Secretary made today for time for reflection, for time for thoughts to crystallise and for time for the Africans to comprehend more becomes somewhat more sinister than perhaps otherwise it would appear. I hope that the Minister for Overseas Development will deal specifically with that point. I ask again: was that the gist of the message passed on by Sir Philip Adams to the Rhodesian Government?
I turn now to the detailed criticisms of the Pearce Report. I shall not go through them all, because I do not think that many of those hon. Members who have criticised the report, either on its methodology, on its personnel or on the detail of it, have made out a strong case.
The hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire criticised the fact that the Pearce Commission went for a quantitative rather than a qualitative test. I do not share that criticism. I do not even understand it. It seems to me that the quantitative test that the Commission went for was not as full and as comprehensive as that of an election, a referendum or a public opinion poll. Nevertheless it was a better test than a qualitative test in which the quality of the voice and the weight to be attached to the voice were to be decided by the Rhodesian Government. If one look sat what Lord Pearce says about the advice tendered to him by the so-called experts in Rhodesia one sees that they were telling him not to talk to ordinary Africans but to concentrate his attention on such people as the chiefs and those which the Rhodesian Government claimed to be representative bodies—[Interruption.] Apparently the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire disagrees, but that was one of Lord 1857 Pearce's criticisms. It appears in the report.
When one considers the people who presented the Pearce Report the criticisms made by the hon. Gentleman become ludicrous. He says that they could not assess whether intimidation was taking place, that they could not understand whether the Africans truly comprehended the proposals and that they could not do the job that they had been sent out to do. Let us look at the composition of the Commission, not merely the Big Four of Lord Pearce, Lord Harlech, Sir Morris Dorman and Sir Glyn Jones, but at the Commissioners, the teeth end of the Commission.
There was Mr. Blain, with 12 years of service in the Provincial Administration of Tanganyika; Mr. Blake, with 15 years service in the Sierre Leone Administrative Service; Mr. Blunden, with 21 years service in Northern Rhodesia and later Zambia; Mr. Burges, who had18 years service as a District Commissioner in Northern Rhodesia; Mr. Burkinshaw, who spent the earlier part of his service as a District Commissioner in Sierre Leone and the last five years as a Deputy Provincial Commissioner in Nyasaland; Mr. Butler, who spent 13 years in the Overseas Civil Service in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands and Swaziland; Mr. Cashmore, who was a District Officer in Kenya; Mr. Dawkins, who served in Sierre Leone from 1945 to 1962; Mr. Essex, who served in Sierre Leone, Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland; Mr. Frost, who served for 18 years in Northern Rhodesia; Miss Gwilliam, who served on a number of Commissions in Africa; Mr. Harrison, who served as a District Officer in Swaziland from 1949 to 1968; Mr. Hayley, who served in Northern Rhodesia; Mr. Large, who served for 15 years in Northern Rhodesia; Mr. Massingham, who served for five years in Sierre Leone; Mr. Patey, who served for 16 years in Swaziland; Mr. Rawlings, who served for 20 years in Zambia; Mr. Strong, who served for 17 years in Tanganyika; Mr. St. John Sugg, who retired in 1963 as Provincial Commissioner of the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia; and Mr. Whitfield, who served in Northern Nigeria from 1949 to 1959.
I find it utterly impossible to believe that a collection of people with that experience of Africa, with that experience 1858 of administration of the part of Africa about which we are talking and which the Pearce Commission was considering, had the wool pulled over their eyes as comprehensively as the hon. Gentleman seemed to be suggesting.
§ Mr. Hastings
I did not say that the wool was pulled over anybody's eyes, but the teams consisting of people with the experience to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has referred came to the conclusion that they could not produce a responsible assessment because of intimidation.
§ Mr. Richard
I have read the names of the Commissioners who carried out the assessments and I have given the experience which they had of the area, including that of the members of the two teams who worked out the method by which the intimidation was to be assessed. They were the people who assessed the intimidation, who viewed the comprehension of the Africans, and who finally came up with that conclusion. If the hon. Gentleman has forgotten the conclusion of the Pearce Report, I shall read it to him. It says in Paragraph 418:We ourselves have no doubt from all the facts and circumstances and our own observations that, in sprite of the incidents of intimidation, the Africans' rejection by a substantial majority was a genuine expression of opinion.That, with respect to the hon. Gentleman, is what the Pearce Commission reported, and it was men of that experience and that back round who came to that conclusion.
On the quesion of comprehension, I must say to the hon. Gentleman and partly also to the Foreign Secretary because in some way it was implied in a lot of what he said, that the degree of paternalism implicit in some of the criticisms of the Pearce Report is fantastic. If one goes back to a broadcast statement by the Rhodesian Government one finds this extraordinary phrase:It is therefore difficult to find any grounds from which an inference of comprehension on the part of tribesmen can be drawn. Indeed, they, in particular, were voting solidly against their own interests.In other words, "We, the Rhodesian Government have decided what is in the best interests of the Africans. The Africans have voted against what we consider to be in their best interests. Ergo, it follows that they cannot have 1859 comprehended the terms and have failed to understand the proposals that have been put to them…". It is a massive and total non-sequitur, and it is one which I trust the House will reject.
I come finally to a point which has been overlooked in much of the argument on the report. A fair amount of written evidence was given to the Commission. In paragraph 271, we find the reference to African written evidence. This is not a question of intimidation, of hands going up at a public meeting or of everyone standing around in the open air being intimidated by the African National Council. The paragraph says:In round figures, 51,000 Africans submitmitted written views to us, either through our office in Stability House or through the Commissioners in the field. Eleven thousand expressed their opinions in letters or memoranda to Stability House; over 10,000 signed petitions; and there were approximately 25,000 signed forms. The balance represents written evidence given to our Commissioners. Nine thousand Africans were in favour of the Proposals, 41,000 were opposed, and just under 1,500 'Don't know'.I find it almost beyond comprehension that any hon. Member who has taken the trouble to read the report and study the evidence could come to any conclusion other than that Lord Pearce's Commission did a difficult job extraordinarily well, and came to an honest, fair and unassailable conclusion.
In view of their overwhelming rejection of the proposed settlement, what is to happen?
A certain amount has been said about sanctions in this debate and whether they are effective or not can be gleaned just as easily as anywhere else from Pearce himself. If one reads what Pearce says about the reasons that the Europeans in Rhodesia gave him as to why they favoured the settlement and these proposals, one sees that they were primarily economic. They believed that the removal of sanctions would allow the Rhodesian economy to move ahead faster and in a better and more sensible way. If sanctions have been effective to that extent so far, it is obviously right not only that they should be maintained but that, if possible, they should be strengthened.
What we are looking for from the Government, and what we have been 1860 looking for in vain, is a determined diplomatic campaign by the Government, both at the United Nations and through all our allies, to make sanctions more effective. Perhaps we can tighten up the UN machinery on sanctions. Perhaps its main purpose here is collecting information and publicising breaches. There may be a need for a permanent secretariat in the Sanctions Committee of the UN whose job is just to consider whether more publicity can be given to sanctions breakers. There may also be a case for tightening up what I would call the social sanctions such as passport restrictions. If we are serious about this, it is something that should be considered.
Finally, it is impossible for us on this side to accept a situation in which Britain gives up her responsibilities towards the Rhodesian Africans. Quite apart from the morality of the policy of scuttle, what effect would that have on our posture throughout the rest of Africa and at the United Nations?
There is indeed only one honourable position for this country now to take up—we should state our position firmly and try to work towards it with all the diplomatic machinery that we have and all the other weapons at our disposal. What is the position at which we should be aiming? I echo the Foreign Secretary's remark that we believe in an evolution towards the establishment of a multi-racial society in Rhodesia. That is the object of our policy. Furthermore, we have to state very firmly and unmistakeably that we are not prepared as a nation to give the imprimatur of constitutional respectability to a régime whose policy is moving in the opposite direction.
If one puts the whole matter into any kind of historical perspective, one finds that this is the final act of our imperial extraction. On the whole, our passing from empire has been honourable. It has certainly been remarkable. We have been spared an Algeria and an Indochina. Someone once said that we have never had the advantage of having our colonies taken away from us by force. There may have been some advantage in that summary process, but on the whole the extractive process has gone well and honourably for us.
However, it would be the bitterest irony if the last act in the liquidation of 1861 the whole of the British Empire were to be the acquiescence by the House of Commons in the handing over of four million Africans to an entrenched white minority rule, which is what the whole problem is about.
It is, therefore, because of the lack of firmness and definiteness and the lack of resolution on the part of the Government and in the opening speech by the Foreign Secretary, both as to sanctions and the direction of future policy, that we shall divide the House this evening.
§ 9.35 p.m.
§ The Minister for Overseas Development (Mr. Richard Wood)
We have been discussing a Motion and an Amendment. The Motion commits the Government to continue the search for a settlement on the basis of the five principles. In order to assist that search, the Motion also proposes a pause, during which the arguments and conclusions of the Pearce Report may act as a catalyst on Rhodesian opinion. That opinion—we do not know—may or may not be changeable or amenable to change. If it is, there is a further chance of a settlement. If it is not, the outlook is extremely bleak; I think that we all recognise that.
The right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), in what I would call one of his tough guy speeches, thought that this approach was tepid. The right hon. Gentleman the leader of the Liberal Party, in rather more civilised phrases, was also critical of the Motion. But the Motion includes the objectives which most hon. Gentlemen who have spoken today seem to hold in common. The right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East and his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Barons Court (Mr. Richard) spoke with varying degrees of passion about their desire to see a multi-racial society in Rhodesia. But it surely is only after a pause for reflection that such a settlement could possibly be reached. The Opposition Amendment, which presumably is intended to warm up the tepidity of the Government's Motion, makes no mention whatsoever of such a pause.
The right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart) was critical that we only "take note" of the Pearce Report. But the Opposition Amend- 1862 ment does not even do that; it does not mention it. The right hon. Gentleman thought that the word "desire" was too weak. He wanted the strong word of determination. I know that he is a better master of English than I am and always will be, but I assure him that "desire" can be a very strong word indeed. I should like to make it perfectly clear that the "desire" of my right hon. Friends is almost overwhelming.
The right hon. Member for Fulham also, with slightly less relevance, raised the omission, which he attributed to my right hon. Friend, of not sending a message to the recent meeting of the OAU. I have made inquiries, as the right hon. Gentleman wanted me to do, and have found that it has never been the custom of either the present Government or the previous Government, when the right hon. Gentleman was Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, to send such messages. I believe that if the right hon. Gentleman had been aware of that, he might, perhaps, have pressed his point rather more gently than he did.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart
Time marches on, and some time ago it was not a widespread practice among other Governments to send messages. As a large number of other Governments had sent messages, I merely inquired whether we had done so, and I expressed mild surprise when the Foreign Secretary said that he did not know whether we had done so.
§ Mr. Wood
The answer is that we followed the practice of the right hon. Gentleman. Perhaps we should now begin to improve upon it.
Before discussing some of the implications of the Opposition's Amendment, I want to look back to one or two basic facts which are sometimes forgotten when our emotions become a little aroused in debates of this kind. When Rhodesia unilaterally declared its independence, the Labour Party—no one needs reminding of this—was in power. When the Labour Government imposed sanctions, they made it absolutely clear that they were not prepared to contemplate the use of force to restore Britain's authority.
We agreed with that decision, as the world knows. There is no difference between the two sides of the House on the use of armed force in resolving this matter. Therefore, if any solution can 1863 be achieved it must be a solution which is achieved by negotiation.
Right hon. Members opposite tried negotiation on two occasions without success. My right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, after many months of careful preparation, made a further attempt. That attempt came near to success; and I believe that it can still provide the basis for a settlement.
I stress again that, if success can be achieved, it must arise from negotiation, and it can arise in no other way. This must be so because, if Britain is unwilling to impose her will by military force, and successive Governments have made this plain, it can be resolved only in this way.
In seeking to achieve a negotiated settlement, Britain has taken the lead in exerting pressure on the Smith régime, and sanctions have been the main instrument of this pressure. I hope that I shall have time later to deal with the operation of sanctions.
My right hon. Friend pointed out that these pressures have been exerted for over six years now. He pointed out also that they have not achieved any decisive political change, but I myself have little doubt that they have played a part in leading up to the proposals for a settlement which were hammered out by my right hon. Friend with Mr. Smith, and this has been of value.
Those proposals, in my view, came within the first four of the five principles. The judgment of the Pearce Commission is that they did not come within the fifth principle.
I do not think that it has been sufficiently stressed today that the very existence of the proposals, the activities of the Pearce Commission, and the contents of the Pearce Report itself, have together created a new situation both within Rhodesia and in the minds of all who are concerned to secure a solution to the problem, although it has been pointed out today that things will never be the same again.
I believe that there is much to be learned from a close study of the Pearce Report, which obviously a great number of hon. Members have read thoroughly, and I hope that it will be read and re-read by all parties in Rhodesia and by all 1864 who genuinely want to bring about a satisfactory solution.
I want to make only one or two references to the report tonight. I draw attention, first, to paragraph 151, which discusses the validity of some of the reasons given for rejecting the proposals. It says:Undoubtedly many of those who said 'No' were expressing disapproval of Government policies or distrust of Government's intentions rather than disapproval of the Proposals themselves.My right hon. Friend mentioned this point. This theme runs right through the report. Elsewhere it is stated, rather more positively, that there were those who said that, if it had been Britain alone which was making the proposals and if they were to be carried out by Britain, it is likely that they would have been accepted.
Coming on to the paragraphs which give the reasons for African rejection, there is in paragraph 311 a direct quote from one African who said:We do not reject the Proposals, we reject the Government.The paragraph goes on immediately to say this:This was the dominant motivation of African rejection at all levels…It is perfectly possible that the Africans will continue absolutely to refuse to compromise with Mr. Smith. In that case, no settlement will be possible. I have quoted the words that I have because I believe that they show more clearly than any others in the report the extent of the barrier that still has to be broken down. But having done so, I hope that hon. Members will study not only paragraph 311 itself but the paragraphs which immediately follow it, because anyone who is looking for a way out of the present impasse can find much that is illuminating and much that, given good will on both sides, could lead to a solution which would be acceptable.
Again, although the Africans who accepted the proposals were very much in the minority, their viewpoint is extremely important and very illuminating. It is found in paragraphs 327 and 332. Paragraph 327 says:The Africans who accepted the Proposals saw in them a chance for some political progress to end the present deadlock with the Government.1865 At the same time, it is only fair to point out that even among those who accepted the terms there was little enthusiasm. Paragraph 331 says this. It said that they have serious reservations. The point is that even with these reservations they recognise that the proposals show a definite move forward.
One can recognise the impatience of Africans who want to move more quickly to early majority rule, but surely it is better to be seen to be making steady progress towards majority rule than to be in the present posititon where all prospect of it is obliterated. That was the tragedy of the 1961 constitution. It was African impatience with the terms of that constitutiton and the hostility to it which started in train the events which have led inexorably to the present position. The proposals for the settlement which the Pearce Commission was examining provide the basis still for a way forward. It will be a tragedy for the African population of Rhodesia if some advance on these lines cannot bemade.
There are a great many further quotatitons that could be given.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The right hon. Gentleman has addressed all his advice so far to the Africans as to what they should do and said that they should move because it is thought to be of some advantage to them. A settlement is also going to be a great advantage to the Europeans; there can be no doubt about that. What advice does the right hon. Gentleman propose to offer to Mr. Smith? Does he think Mr. Smith should be willing to move and have further negotiations, and perhaps give the Africans some further advantage?
§ Mr. Wood
I have not much time, and I was going to come to that point. Naturally, I am not going to try to give advice to a selected majority; I want to give advice everywhere I possibly can, and I only hope that that advice will be taken. I am trying to point out to those in Rhodesia, who will, I hope, study this debate, that the proposals for a settlement together with the detailed exposition of views of people of all races on those proposals could still provide a basis for progress. That is the whole purpose of the Government's Motion, which calls for a time for reflection.
1866 Again, if I may give one more word of advice to the Africans in Rhodesia, I would say that, above all, the need is to accept one supremely important fact, that Britain will not use force, as it has not done in the past, to resolve the problem of Rhodesia, and that they cannot expect some entirely new solution to emerge as a result of Britain's actions.
Again and again the report makes clear that Africans in many cases rejected the proposals because they thought that Britain could and would propose something better. In this I fear they were deluding themselves. There is no doubt that the proposals were the best that could be obtained by negotiation. Mr. Smith has made it clear that he can make no further concessions, but he has not withdrawn or modified the proposals. Therefore, the choice for the Africans lies between the status quo with Mr. Smith or a better situation also with Mr. Smith. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, South-East is now satisfied.
To Mr. Smith and his régime I would say that the need is to reflect that the present restrictions still remain. Sanctions still operate. Foreign exchange is short. The capital markets of the world are denied to him. The disability to which the right hon. Gentleman drew attention is with him. Above all, the legal independence which only Britain can grant is not available to him. Therefore, my reading of the report and the quotations I have made from it suggest that the negative answer seems to stem at least as much from a lack of trust as from a rejection of the terms agreed between Mr. Smith and my right hon. Friend.
The right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East asked whether this was the end of the road.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes rose—
§ Mr. Wood
I cannot give way again. I am short of time.
Britain alone can grant to Rhodesia its legal independence. This is one of the reasons why Britain would be wrong to wash her hands of the whole business. Other reasons were given by hon. Members.
A settlement within the framework of the five principles must obviously be 1867 founded on a compromise between the different racial groups in Rhodesia. If and when those racial groups see the necessity of compromise and are prepared to put it into practice, then, and only then, will exist the prospect of a settlement which Great Britain can endorse.
The right hon. Gentleman asked about the renegotiation of terms. We believe that the terms negotiated by my right hon. Friend were as good as could be obtained. They remain on the table. However, for our part they are not sacrosanct and they are not inviolable. The reality is that we see no prospect that Mr. Smith will be willing to reopen the terms.
I now turn to the terms of the Amendment. I must obviously speak with moderation, but certainly I have seen on the Order Paper Amendments which were better directed, more directly relevant, and possibly more grammatical.
The first suggestion is that any settlement must be within the five principles. As our position had already been clearly spelt out in our own Motion, this seemed a little unnecessary.
We are then told that we should intensify and strengthen the present policy of sanctions. If I have time I should like to show clearly that it is not for Britain to intensify and strengthen her policy on sanctions.
There is no mention in the Amendment of the need for a period of reflection, which we regard as essential, to allow time for possible further developments in Rhodesia. Instead, there is an attempt to define rigidly how these developments might occur. My right hon. Friend certainly hopes that any future developments will be multi-racial, but we think it would be folly to rule out the possibility of any other initiative which might be forthcoming.
It has already been said that the African majority took no part in the "Tiger" or the "Fearless" talks or, indeed, in the last November negotiations, although my right hon. Friend saw many Africans in Rhodesia.
To try to lay down here and now exactly how progress might be made in future will not influence the situation on the ground in Rhodesia. Neither the present nor the previous Government were or will necessarily be in a position to 1868 initiate discussions on this basis. We realise here, but it may not be so clearly recognised elsewhere, that the main purpose of the Amendment is to provide a peg on which to hang a Division, if one hangs Divisions on pegs.
The previous Government, like the present Government, from time to time found it very difficult—this is a serious point—to convince the Africans of the inability of Britain, without the use of force, to dictate the basis of any discussion or negotiation. I have tried tonight to emphasise this inability, but the official Opposition Amendment distorts the true position and brings back all the old doubts. If, by some mischance, the Opposition were wafted to this side of the House of Commons, they know there is nothing they could do to make sure that the talks they have in mind would take place in the atmosphere they desire.
I now turn to the issue of sanctions, which has been discussed by many hon. Members this afternoon. The Opposition's Amendment calls on us to intensify and strengthen this policy. My right hon. Friend has pointed out that this seems to suggest a misunderstanding of the position.
When in Opposition, while we supported the introduction of sanctions, we did not support the Labour Party in imposing mandator ysanctions under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter. But since we resumed office we have maintained these sanctions with complete integrity.
I do not entirely agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Nigel Fisher), because I do not think that we can lightly dismiss a trade loss of £40 million a year which has disappeared into a trickle of rather less than £700,000 a year, composed of humanitarian items such as medical supplies. It is not for Britain to intensify and strengthen her sanctions. The vacuum created by Britain has been filled all too readily by others. Rhodesia is importing as much now as before 1965. The difference is that the trade which belonged to this country has gone elsewhere. We have submitted to the United Nations Sanctions Committee about 170 notes giving evidence of suspected violation of sanctions. Examples could be repeated for ever, but the truth is that the cases which have led to effec- 1869 tive action by other countries could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Britain again and again is upbraided in the United Nations for not resolving the Rhodesia problem. It is not Britain that has failed; it is those nations which have not been able or willing to take sufficiently effective action against their own nationals, and it is the United Nations itself which has not pressed them sufficiently to do so. Therefore, if there is blame in this matter, let it lie squarely where it rightly belongs.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary made clear today that our application of sanctions continues. The right hon. Member for Fulham complained that there was nothing in the Motion on this point. I should have thought that it was wholly unnecessary to put in the Motion the continuation of sanctions which had been renewed last November. The question has been raised whether sanctions will be renewed in November when the present order lapses. It has been pointed out in the House that it was the Labour Government who choose to introduce this legislation in a form which required annual renewal by Parliament. Presumably they did so in order to enable them to take account of any developments which might arise. We take precisely the same view, and we shall give ample notification of our intention on this occasion just as we have done before.
My right hon. Friend made abundantly clear that we were reverting to the status quo and that the status quo included not only sanctions but the Beira patrol. That is the position. I see no reason or need to pronounce finally today on a matter which has no relevance until November.
To be frank with the House, I am getting a little tired of attempts which have been made not only today but on previous occasions to throw doubt on our intentions and integrity regarding Rhodesia. I have appreciated the contrasting—[Interruption.] I hope that the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East will allow the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) to hear what I propose to say to him. I appreciate the con-
§ trasting generosity expressed by the right hon. Member for Devon, North. It has been suggested on many occasions that the Pearce Commission would not be objective. Does the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East say that the Pearce Commission was not objective?
§ Mr. Callaghan
The right hon. Gentleman should say that to some of those on the benches behind him.
§ Mr. Wood
These smears and allegations have been proved to be completely unfounded on every occasion. The present Government will continue to act honourably and in accordance with what they believe to be right for the people of Rhodesia as a whole. The Labour Government tried and failed to solve the Rhodesian problem. I do not think that the Opposition therefore are particularly well fitted to decide what should happen or advise us of what we should do now.
This debate could have been a serious attempt to examine all the issues raised by the proposals which have been rejected and the issue raised by the examination of opinion on those proposals by Lord Pearce's Commission, to which my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has expressed the Government's gratitude. I glad to say that much of the debate has lived up to this need, but, whatever the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East says, I deeply regret the Opposition's decision to draw this great discussion down to the level of a party dispute.
§ Mr. Wood
It is not the first time, and I do not think that it will be the last, that the Opposition have failed to rise to the height of a great occasion. They have chosen the ground on which to fight. We accept the challenge, and I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to join me in opposing the Amendment in the Lobby.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 264, Noes 296.1875
|Division No. 221.]||AYES||[10.00 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Atkinson, Norman|
|Albu, Austen||Armstrong, Ernest||Bagier, Gordon A. T.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Ashley, Jack||Barnes, Michael|
|Allen, Scholefield||Ashton, Joe||Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Hardy, Peter||Murray, Ronald King|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony (Wedgwood)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Ogden, Eric|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Hattersley, Roy||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hilton, W. S.||O'Malley, Brian|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Hooson, Emlyn||Oram, Bert|
|Booth, Albert||Horam, John||Orbach, Maurice|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Orme, Stanley|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Huckfield, Leslie||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Padley, Walter|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Buchan, Norman||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hunter, Adam||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Cant, R. B.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Pendry, Tom|
|Carmichael, Neil||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Pentland, Norman|
|Carter, Ray (Birming'h, Northfield)||John, Brynmor||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.||Prescott, John|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Coleman, Donald||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Judd, Frank||Richard, Ivor|
|Cronln, John||Kaufman, Gerald||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Kelley, Richard||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Kerr, Russell||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Kinnock, Neil||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Lambie, David||Roper, John|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Lamborn, Harry||Rose, Paul B.|
|Davidson, Arthur||Lamond, James||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Latham, Arthur||Rowlands, Edward|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Lawson, George||Sandelson. Neville|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Leadbitter, Ted||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Deakins, Eric||Leonard, Dick||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Lestor, Miss Joan||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Dempsey, James||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Sillars, James|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Silverman, Julius|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lipton, Marcus||Skinner, Dennis|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lomas, Kenneth||Small, William|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Loughlin, Charles||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Dunnett, Jack||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stallard, A. W.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McBride, Neil||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McElhone, Frank||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Ellis, Tom||McGuire, Michael||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|English, Michael||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Evans, Fred||Mackie, John||Strang, Gavin|
|Ewing, Harry||Mackintosh, John P.||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Faulde, Andrew||Maclennan, Robert||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham, Ladywood)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Swain, Thomas|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Taverne, Dick|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield, E.)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Foley, Maurice||Marks, Kenneth||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Foot, Michael||Marquand, David||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Ford, Ben||Marsden, F.||Tinn, James|
|Forrester, John||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Tornney, Frank|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Torney, Tom|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mayhew, Christopher||Tuck, Raphael|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Meacher, Michael||Urwin, T. W.|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Varley, Eric G.|
|Glnsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Mendelson, John||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Golding, John||Mikardo, Ian||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Millan, Bruce||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Gourlay, Harry||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wallace, George|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Watkins, David|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Molloy, William||Weitzman, David|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Moyle, Roland||Whitlock, William|
|Hamling, William||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)||Woof, Robert||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)||Mr. James A. Dunn.|
|Adley, Robert||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Lane, David|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Fookes, Miss Janet||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Fortescue, Tim||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Foster, Sir John||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fowler, Norman||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fox, Marcus||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fry, Peter||Longden, Sir Gilbert|
|Batsford, Brian||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Loveridge, John|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Gardner, Edward||Luce, R. N.|
|Bell, Ronald||Gibson-Watt, David||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||MacArthur, Ian|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Benyon, W.||Glyn, Dr. Alan||McLaren, Martin|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Goodhart, Philip||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Biffen, John||Goodhew, Victor||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gorst, John||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Blaker, Peter||Gower, Raymond||Maddan, Martin|
|Boardman. Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Madel, David|
|Body, Richard||Gray, Hamish||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Boscawen, Robert||Green, Alan||Marten, Neil|
|Bossom, Sri Clive||Grieve, Percy||Mather, Carol|
|Bowden, Andrew||Grylls, Michael||Maude, Angus|
|Bralne, Sir Bernard||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Bray, Ronald||Gurden, Harold||Mawby, Ray|
|Brewis, John||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Moate, Roger|
|Buck, Antony||Haselhurst, Alan||Molyneaux, James|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Hastings, Stephen||Monks, Ernle|
|Burden, F. A.||Havers, Michael||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hawkins, Paul||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Hayhoe, Barney||More, Jasper|
|Carlisle, Mark||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Heseltine, Michael||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hicks, Robert||Morrison, Charles|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Higgins, Terence L.||Mudd, David|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hiley, Joseph||Murton, Oscar|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Neave, Airey|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Holland, Philip||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Ruchcliffe)||Holt, Miss Mary||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hordern, Peter||Normanton, Tom|
|Cooke, Robert||Hornby, Richard||Nott, John|
|Coombs, Derek||Hornsby-Smith. Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Onslow, Cranley|
|Cooper, A. E.||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Oppenheim. Mrs. Sally|
|Cordle, John||Howell, David (Guildford)||Osborn, John|
|Costain, A. P.||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Critchley. Julian||Hunt, John||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Crouch, David||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Crowder, F. P.||Iremonger, T. L.||Percival, Ian|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||James, David||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen .James||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Dean, Paul||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Jessel, Toby||Price, David (Eastielgh)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Dixon, Piers||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Jopling, Michael||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kaberry. Sir Donald||Raison, Timothy|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Remeden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Eden, Sir John||Kershaw, Anthony||Rawilson, Hn. Sir Peter|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Kimball, Marcus||Redmond, Robert|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Reed, Laurence (Bolton, E.)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Emery, Peter||Kinsey. J. R.||Rees, Davies, W. R.|
|Eyre, Reginald||Kirk, Peter||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Farr, John||Kitson, Timothy||Phys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Fell, Anthony||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Knox, David||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Fidler, Michael||Lambton, Lord||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Lamont, Norman||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N)|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Stokes, John||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Rost, peter||Sutcliffe, John||Wall, Patrick|
|Royle, Anthony||Tapsell, peter||Walters, Dennis|
|Russell, Sir Ronald||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|St. John-Stevas, Norman||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Scott, Nicholas||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Sharpies, Richard||Tebbit, Norman||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Temple, John M.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Wilkinson, John|
|Simeons, Charles||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Thomas, Rt. Hn. peter (Hendon, S.)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Tilney, John||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Soref, Harold||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Speed, Keith||Trew, Peter||Worsley, Marcus|
|Spence, John||Tugendhat, Christopher||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Sproat, lain||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin||Younger, Hn. George|
|Stainton, Keith||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||Vickers, Dame Joan||Mr. Bernard Weatherill and|
|Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Waddington, David||Mr. Walter Clegg.|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Main Question put and agreed to.
§ That this House takes note of the Report of the Commission on Rhodesian Opinion; believes that it is right that there should be1876
§ time for reflection on the implications of the Report; and supports the Government in its desire to achieve a settlement within the five principles.