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Dr Hastings Banda

Volume 893: debated on Tuesday 17 June 1975

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asked the Prime Minister if he will seek an official meeting with Dr. Hastings Banda in the near future.

I have no plans at present to meet President Banda, though, as the House knows, I met him in April, when he was visiting this country.

Is the Prime Minister aware that that reply will be greeted with some regret? If he met Dr. Banda he would receive sound advice on the question of Rhodesia. Is the Prime Minister also aware that that advice would be to drop the monstrous idea of subsidising, the Marxist régime in Mozambique, so as to persuade it to close the railway link, and so try to subjugate all the people of Rhodesia, black and white alike?

I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman. Nor do I agree with his attribution of such views to President Banda. President Banda, and Malawi, provided the occasion for the meeting of the African Presidents with Mr. Vorster, all of whom are now trying to find an early solution to the problem of Rhodesia.

President Banda is not associated with the reactionary doctrine put forward by the hon. Gentleman.

We have made it clear that if Mozambique falls into line with the United Nations' decision on sanctions, which I think is supported by the Opposition Front Bench—it has been supported by the Opposition from time to time, and it may still be supported by them today—it is right, as we have said, for us to help the economy of Mozambique in consequence.