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Volume 897: debated on Monday 4 August 1975

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asked the Minister for Overseas Development whether he has now had discussions with the Government of Mozambique about aid to that country; and if he will make a statement.

No discussions have taken place since my predecessor met with President Samora Machel in Dar es Salaam earlier in the year. The new Mozambique Government will obviously need time to take stock of the country's economic situation, but I hope that they will be in a position to begin detailed negotiations in the near future.

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there are two questions concerning this matter? The first is the question of any bilateral aid we may give and the second is the question of any aid that may be given in the context of the imposition of sanctions. Will he give the House an assurance that if we give aid in the latter context it will be only as part of a general arrangement involving other countries and under the United Nations?

Certainly there are two aspects to this matter. On sanctions, Mozambique as a member of the United Nations will, we assume, carry out United Nations policy in this respect. Any aid that we give would not, of course, be conditional upon that but would be in support of Mozambique in its problems as a country applying sanctions along the lines which were described, for instance, in the communiqué on the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference at Kingston. We hope that other donor countries in the United Nations will also provide aid.

Is not the Mozambique economy deeply dependent upon port and rail traffic with and miners' remittances from Malawi, Swaziland, Rhodesia and South Africa? As the Government are rightly anxious to help the development of this territory, should they not do everything to encourage co-operation and conciliation—not confrontation—between the different parts of Southern Africa?

Of course we would encourage co-operation in general terms, but in the case of Rhodesia it is our policy and United Nations policy that sanctions should be applied.