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Central Africa (Defence Arrangements)

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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45.

asked the Minister what consultations he has had with the Prime Minister of the Federation of Central Africa regarding joint arrangements for defence in Africa.

Consultations with the Federal authorities are naturally close and continuous.

Is the Prime Minister aware that the Federal Defence Ministry has announced joint military exercises with the South African Air Forces? Is not that a very serious step to take with what is now a foreign country without full consultation with Her Majesty's Government? Would not the Prime Minister try to use his persuasive powers with Sir Roy Welensky, and tell him that this kind of policy will isolate him still further from world opinion?

That is another question, but, with regard to our own arrangements with the Federal Government, we naturally have close consultation, and I should like to express my gratitude to the Federal Government for their help in a recent crisis in which we now find ourselves.

Would the right hon. Gentleman answer the specific point of whether Her Majesty's Government were consulted about these new defence arrangements between the Federal Government and the South African Government?