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Volume 894: debated on Wednesday 25 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government concerning the future of Namibia, in the light of the expiration of the deadline set by the Security Council for South African withdrawal from Namibia.

Our policy concerning the future of Namibia remains as I stated it in this House on 4th December last. Our position in the Security Council was explained in answer to my hon. Friend's Question on 18th June and again earlier this afternoon.

Will it continue to be the policy of Her Majesty's Government to give diplomatic aid and comfort to South Africa by vetoing in the Security Council and voting against in the General Assembly of the United Nations, resolutions designed to bring pressure on South Africa to give up Namibia?

That is clearly not the case. As I explained earlier, it depends on the nature of the resolution. We have made it quite clear to South Africa that we regard her occupation of Namibia as unlawful. We have indicated to South Africa that she should withdraw, and we are having very friendly conversations with SWAPO, and, indeed, are giving it aid. None of these matters can give very much comfort to South Africa, to use my hon. Friend's words, but whether we should declare that this is a threat to peace, with all the consequences that that entails under Chapter 7, is a different matter. Another resolution which could have been equally effective could have got past without a veto.

Arising from his meeting with the President of SWAPO on 11th June, will the Foreign Secretary say exactly what is the extent of the educational assistance being given to SWAPO and what is the Government's intention about such assistance in the future?

I should require notice to be able to give a detailed reply, but I am quite certain that we are giving £35,000 to assist young men, and perhaps women, from that country to come here to study. Subject to the approval of my right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development, I am willing to increase that sum in order that we may have a trained cadre of people available to help in Namibia when the time for the freedom of that country arrives.