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West Germany And Rhodesia

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1965

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Q10.

asked the Prime Minister what representations he has made to the West German Government about the discussions that have been held between representatives of the illegal government in Rhodesia and West German industrialists for the supply of arms to the value of £5,000,000 for the Smith government.

Is the Prime Minister aware that this report has been given considerable publicity in the Tanzanian Press and elsewhere, and that in fact representatives of the illegal Smith régime visited West Germany to bring forward this arms deal? Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is urgently necessary to keep an eye on this, because arms are as important as oil in this context?

I must confess that I am not as regular a reader of the Tanzanian Press as is my hon. Friend, and I have not seen this suggestion. We have no evidence at all of any such suggestion. In fact, we have every reason to believe that it is not true, in view of the attitude of the West German Government, but if, either from her past Press cuttings, or from future ones, my hon. Friend has any information on this, I should be glad to look at it, and I hope to relieve her of the particular nightmare which seems to be worrying her.

What representations have been made to the Government of Ghana who are still buying Rhodesian tobacco?

We have made representations to everyone who is buying Rhodesian tobacco. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary yesterday mentioned one or two African countries who have been extremely vociferous in their call for stricter action against Rhodesia but who have not yet got round to taking the necessary measures—I have no doubt that they will do so—in support of the action that we have taken.