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Volume 889: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals Her Majesty's Government intend to make in the Security Council to bring further pressure to bear on South Africa to withdraw from her unlawful ocupation of Namibia.

We supported the resolution passed by the Security Council on 17th December 1974 and look to the South African Government to respond positively.

As the South African Government are unlikely to respond positively, and as the Security Council's warning to the South African Government runs out on 31st May, will my right hon. Friend and his colleagues who normally answer on African matters bend their minds a little more thoroughly to this question, since it is abundantly clear that the OAU intends to go on campaigning for the destruction of raciliasm in Namibia and South Africa itself?

It is too early to say whether there will be a reaction from South Africa before the Security Council is convened again. Our hope is that pressures upon South Africa from ourselves and other countries, as well as from the Security Council, to the effect that South Africa's position in Namibia is unlawful and that she should withdraw, will be accepted by South Africa.

Will the right hon. Gentleman invite some of his hon. Friends to dust down their consciences? If there were such a thing as an hierarchy of unlawful occupations, would not South Africa's occupation of South-West Africa, or Namibia, be right at the bottom of the list and the illegal occupation of South Vietnam right at the top?

I am glad that I am not responsible for the consciences of hon. Gentlemen opposite. As for my hon. Friends, I am glad that they have shown a continuing concern for a situation in Southern Africa which has remained illegal, has been declared by the International Court of Justice to be illegal, and in our view is unlawful. It would be wrong to forget the situation there. The people of Namibia have a right to determine their own future. We, as part of the international community, have a right to stand up for them.