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Volume 892: debated on Monday 12 May 1975

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asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he has received any formal or informal communications from Mr. Vorster on the attitude of South Africa towards the British decision to subsidise an intensification of sanctions against Rhodesia;(2) whether he will invite Mr. Vorster to London before any funds are made available from British sources to Mozambique for the purpose of intensifying sanctions against Rhodesia.

I have no plans to invite Mr. Vorster to London and he has not been in touch with us on this point.

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he has had with British industrial, commercial and financial interests likely to be affected by his decision to intensify sanctions against Rhodesia.

None. We already apply sanctions strictly, and our sanctions legislation prohibits British companies from trading with Rhodesia.

asked the Prime Minister what time scale he now envisages for the operation of intensified sanctions against Rhodesia; and for how long he estimates the British finance involved in the guarantee for Mozambique will be required.

It has all along been, and remains, our aim to get sanctions working fully in the interest of bringing about a solution in Rhodesia as soon as possible. I cannot be more specific. It is in this context that we are ready to contribute to an international effort to help Mozambique in applying sanctions. It is not a matter of guarantees but of aid.

asked the Prime Minister whether the decision to intensify sanctions against Rhodesia by subsidising Mozambique had the unanimous approval of all Commonwealth Premiers present at the Kingston conference.

Yes. The Commonwealth Heads of Government emphasised in their communiquéé the importance of taking immediate practical steps to assist an independent Mozambique in applying sanctions.

asked the Prime Minister whether he discussed with President Ford the question of alternative sources of supply of chrome and other strategic minerals imported by the United States of America from Rhodesia via Mozambique.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs expressed publicly in Washington our hope that the Byrd Amendment, under which chrome and other strategic materials may be imported into the United States from Rhodesia will be repealed. President Ford well understands the importance I place on this.