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Ivory Coast Minister's Visit

Volume 376: debated on Friday 29 October 1976

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My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make a Statement on the recent visit to this country of H. E. Monsieur Lamine Fadika, Minister of Marine Affairs, Ivory Coast.

My Lords, there were cordial discussions on a range of matters with my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for shipping matters and with officials. The Delegation also visited a number of outside bodies. I have placed copies of the text of a Communiquéagreed at the end of the talks in the Library of both Houses.

My Lords, I am most grateful to the noble Lord for his remarks, and particularly for the statement; and may I echo his words, how welcome it was to have M. Fadika over here. But bearing in mind the requirements of the Ivorian National Shipping Line (SITRAM), and the fact that the Minister is very conscious of this country's great maritime tradition and vocation, will Her Majesty's Government do their utmost in the fields of promotion and credit terms in co-operation with the private sector and private interests so that these requirements of that organisation are met in this country to the benefit of the British shipbuilding industry?

Yes, my Lords. When the noble Lord consults the Communiqué, as I hope he will, he will see that there was an agreement to set up a suitable frame-work for continuing the discussions which were held recently, and that will be a continuing opportunity of examining the problems to which the noble Lord calls attention.