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Rhodesia

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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11.

asked the Lord Privy Seal when last he met the Governor of Rhodesia; and if he will make a statement.

15.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

17.

asked the Lord Privy Seal when the elections in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia will be held.

18.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the progress of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia towards independence; and if he will make a statement.

19.

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he hopes to be able to hold a general election in Southern Rhodesia; and if he will name the date on which it is to be held.

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman).

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the proportional allocation of seats in the common-roll constituencies at the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia will be calculated in accordance with Hare or Droop quotas.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what arrangements the Governor is making to assist the return to Southern Rhodesia of refugees from Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana so that they can participate in the election campaigning and vote.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has undertaken to co-ordinate all arrangements for the return of refugees to Rhodesia from Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana in co-operation with the Governor and his staff.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many refugees are still in Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana; and how many he expects to have returned to Southern Rhodesia by 31 January and 29 February respectively.

Accurate figures for the number of refugees still in Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana are not available, but it is estimated that there are approximately 250,000. The rate at which they return to Rhodesia will depend upon the repatriation arrangements which are being co-ordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what arrangements the Governor is making to ensure an adequate supply of food and other basic necessities to returning refugees in a way which will prevent such supplies being used as a political weapon in the election campaign.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has agreed to undertake the co-ordination of all arrangements for refugees returning to Rhodesia.

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) what arrangements the Governor is making to ensure an adequate supply of food and other basic necessities to the inhabitants of rural areas, including protected villages, in a way which will prevent supplies being used as a political weapon in the election campaign;(2) what arrangements the Governor is making to ensure an adequate supply of food and other basic necessities to squatter camps in urban areas in a way which will prevent such supplies being used as a political weapon in the election campaign;(3) what is the tonnage of maize, wheat, rice, and oil seed stocks, respectively, presently held under the authority of the Governor; and what these represent in terms of weeks' supply.

I am consulting the Governor and will let the hon. Member have a reply in due course.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many Commonwealth observers, who are to adjudicate whether the elections have been free and fair, have been appointed to date; and when they took up their duties.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is making arrangements to send a team of observers to the Rhodesian elections made up of one from each of 11 Commonwealth countries. Each member will have two assistants and the team will be supported by a small number of staff from the Commonwealth Secretariat. Their function will be to observe the election. They are expected to arrive in Rhodesia towards the end of January. In addition, Australia and New Zealand will be sending separate teams of observers.

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many South African troops are deployed in Southern Rhodesia in the immediate vicinity of the Beitbridge.

A small contingent of South African forces have been deployed to guard the Beitbridge.

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) how many South African troops are on Southern Rhodesia territory, other than in the immediate vicinity of the Beitbridge;(2) How many South African nationals are serving in or with the Southern Rhodesia security forces, police or auxiliaries;(3) how many non-Southern Rhodesian citizens, other than South African Southern Rhodesia security forces, police nationals, are serving in or with the Southern Rhodesia security forces, or auxiliaries.

It was made clear at the Lancaster House conference that we should not conduct a purge of the forces of either side in Rhodesia. No information is available to us as to the proportion of non-Rhodesians in the Rhodesian forces or in the Patriotic Front forces.

asked the Lord Privy Seal why the Southern Rhodesian forces cannot defend the Southern Rhodesia side of Beitbridge.

Rhodesian forces are involved in the protection of Beitbridge. A South African contingent, with heavier weapons, is also present with the Governor's agreement. The Governor is keeping the need for its presence under review.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will instruct the Governor to ensure that no Southern Rhodesian security forces or armed auxiliaries operate in areas previously controlled by the Patriotic Front.

Under the terms of the ceasefire agreement the Governor has the power to use any forces which have accepted his authority to deal with any breaches of the ceasefire. It would be impossible therefore to give the blanket assurance which the hon. Member seeks.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a statement on progress in bringing the colony of Southern Rhodesia towards legal independence as Zimbabwe.

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman).