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African And Colonial Issues

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement about the changed instructions that have been given to United Kingdom delegates to the United Nations regarding the action to be taken when resolutions relating to African and colonial issues are under consideration.

I assume the hon. Gentleman is referring to the statement made by my noble Friend in another place on 26th June. As my noble Friend made clear, Her Majesty's Representative in the United Nations is being instructed to ignore any reference to General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) whenever this is referred to in a preambular clause of a draft resolution, and on every occasion to make clear that he does so. The United Kingdom vote will then be directed to the substance of the matter.

This is a very welcome and important statement. Does it mean that in future we shall not be placed in the humiliating position of being in a minority of two or three with the French and Portuguese on issues like Angola, South Africa, South-West Africa, Algeria and the Congo, and that we shall begin to vote according to the principles of democracy and liberty?

It is quite clear as to what this will mean. It will affect our voting on some of those issues, but we are not afraid of being in a minority when we believe that we are right.