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Lords Chamber

Volume 387: debated on Monday 14 November 1977

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House Of Lords

Monday, 14th November, 1977.

The House met at half-past two of the clock: The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

Prayers—Read by the Lord Bishop of Norwich.

Royal Commission On Criminal Procedure

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

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is holding up the appointment of the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, announced by the Prime Minister on 23rd June.

My Lords, I am sorry that it has not yet been possible to announce the name of a chairman for this important inquiry, but I am sure that my noble and learned friend will recognise the importance, even at the cost of delay, of making the right appointment. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister hopes to make an announcement as soon as possible.

My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for that Answer, may I ask him whether, if it has taken five months and there is not, even yet, a chairman, there must not have been an exceptionally large number of refusals; and, at this rate, how long is it thought it will take to obtain a full complement of the Royal Commission?

My Lords, we hope to make progress on this matter as speedily as possible. There is no disposition on my part to quarrel with my noble and learned friend on the desirability of speed in this matter.

My Lords, would my noble friend not agree that it must be a considerable disincentive to people to take on onerous, unpaid work of this kind that there are so many reports—the Report on Privacy, the Faulks Report on Defamation, the Phillimore Report on Contempt of Court, the Butler Report on Mentally Abnormal Prisoners—as to which the Government have not yet expressed any opinion one way or the other? Must it not make people feel that it is not worth while doing this sort of public work if their reports lie mouldering on Government shelves?

My Lords, I think my noble and learned friend would recognise that his supplementary question raises rather wider issues. What I am endeavouring to point out is that we want to make progress on this matter as speedily as we can.

Bail Act 1976: Implementation

2.38 p.m.

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

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government why no part of the Bail Act 1976 has yet been brought into force and when it will be.

My Lords, the Bail Act cannot be brought into force until rules of court have been made prescribing the procedure to be followed in the High Court, the Crown Court, magistrates' courts and juvenile courts. Work on these is well advanced, and the respective Rules Committees will be consulted shortly. Some time must also be allowed for the courts to make the necessary preparations. The Act is likely to be brought into force early next year, but until the Rules Committees' views are known it is not possible to give a firm date.

My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for that Answer, may I ask him whether I am right in saying that the only reference in the whole Act, including the Schedules, to rules to be made is in Section 8, which says that rules will be made as to the form which recognisances are to take? Secondly, is it really satisfactory that an Act which Parliament passed in 1976 should not in any way be brought into force until 1978 simply because the Executive so decree?

My Lords, the fact is that there is a very substantial amount of work to be done here. There are four separate sets of rules of court to be made—those dealing with the Supreme Court, the Crown Court, magistrates' courts and juvenile courts—and these matters are being considered by three separate Rules Committees. Certainly, again, there is no disposition on our part to differ from my noble and learned friend on the importance of this matter, but I think one has to recognise that, once an Act of this sort has been passed, a very substantial amount of administrative work has to be done thereafter.

Consumers And The Nationalised Industries

2.40 p.m.

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 it remains their intention to make a Statement on the recommendations contained in the Report of the National Consumer Council entitled Consumers and the Nationalised Industries and if so when this is expected.

My Lords, the Government's response to the National Consumer Council's report will be published in the White Paper on Nationalised Industries, which will also he a response to the National Economic Development Office's report on the role of nationalised industries in the economy. This White Paper is still under consideration. However, I can assure my noble friend that our long period of consultation has not been time wasted, and wherever possible we have gone ahead without legislation. Thus, I am sure that my noble friend will welcome, as do the Government, the Civil Aviation Authority's appointment of a new independent chairman, Sir Archibald Hope, to the Airline Users' Committee.

My Lords, as the Minister will be aware, I gave him that information some little time ago, and I am very pleased with the result of four years' hard work. But, if I may revert to the original Question on the Order Paper, while realising that my noble friend wishes to make progress in this matter every bit as much as I do, does he recall that this report was originally published in August of last year, and that, when I asked him a Question about this on 21st March, he told me that this process of consultation necessarily takes time? It has taken a good deal longer. Could he give the House any indication as to when we may see the fruition of all this consultation which has taken place?

My Lords, I fully understand my noble friend's anxiety to see this White Paper, and I appreciated, just before the Summer Recess, that she recognised that the discussions are complex and, therefore, that some delay is necessary. It was under her prompting, to a large extent, that we went ahead in the way that I indicated in my original Answer. However, on this question of the publication of the White Paper, while I should not like to give a specific date, 1 would assure her that progress has been definite and I would hope that in the not too distant future her patience will be rewarded.

My Lords, may I ask one other question. I hope it will be rewarded. Does my noble friend recall that in the gracious Speech the Government said that,

"… they remain committed to bringing forward at the earliest opportunity a number of further highly desirable measures of reform "?
If it should so happen that this House is not unduly burdened with work before we receive some more from another place, would he use his best endeavours to see whether or not what we are discussing today could perhaps start in your Lordships' House?

My Lords, these are not matters primarily for me, but I am sure that those who have this responsibility will have noted what my noble friend has said.

My Lords, may I ask my noble friend whether he can state what rights or privileges or powers are available to commuters associated with travelling when British Rail decides to raise prices? Have they any rights at all? Are they considered at all?

Yes, my Lords; there are the various consultative bodies and consumer advisory bodies in association with transport; and it is certainly the case that the views expressed by these committees are duly considered.

Spanish Airspace Restrictions

2.44 p.m.

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 have now received any indication from the Spanish Government of an intention to remove the restrictions on the use of Spanish airspace by British aircraft arriving at or departing from Gibraltar airport.

My Lords, I regret that the Spanish Government has given us no such indication.

My Lords, does the noble Lord recall that he told the House as long ago as 17th May, that frequent representations on this point were being made to the Spanish Government? Have we not now reached a stage at which it is necessary to say to the Spanish Government, with some bluntness, that no progress can be made with bringing them into the Western European community or other organisations until they cease this uncivilised and aggressive behaviour?

My Lords, I certainly recall the earlier exchange to which the noble Lord has referred. I said then that Her Majesty's Government share the indignation which he has again expressed this afternoon and that all endeavours are being made to have the restrictions removed. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has had two meetings, one in Madrid and one in London, since the exchange to which the noble Lord referred. It is our wish and purpose to work not only for the removal of the particular restriction to which the noble Lord referred but for the removal of all the Spanish Government restrictions as a whole. I am glad to see that we have the noble Lord's support in this matter.

My Lords, is my noble friend aware that one would wish to support the noble Lord, Lord 'Boyd-Carpenter, and that one is grateful to hear that, in the discussions, not only this very vital point is being made but that we shall insist upon the removal of the inhibitions and limitations which the Spanish Government have placed for many years upon the people of Gibraltar before they can expect any support from us?

My Lords, the message has been conveyed in vigorous terms and I am sure that my noble friend appreciates that fact. But my right honourable friend has indicated that it is his view that it would not be wise at this stage to link British support for the Spanish application to join the EEC with progress over the question of Gibraltar. The two matters are being pursued separately. This does not detract from the vigour with which we are pursuing the point raised in the Question.

My Lords, is the noble Lord not aware that the particular restriction to which my noble friend referred raises questions of air safety which ought to be dealt with as soon as possible?

My Lords, I am aware of that. At the exchange last May, to which the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, referred, we agreed on that subject.

My Lords, dealing with this particular question, has not the time come to say to the Spaniards that, if our aeroplanes cannot receive reasonable co-operation from them, there will be no more package holidays from us?

My Lords, I think that I would have greater faith in the diplomacy of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State than in that of my noble friend.

My Lords, will the noble Lord perhaps consult his colleagues of a former era who gave a guarantee to the Dutch that we would allow them special landing rights in Hong Kong if they would allow us into Europe, a commission which I had to fulfil very unwillingly?—because that was what his former colleagues were prepared to argue with the Dutch. If they could do that where there arose no question of safety, surely the Spanish situation is very much easier!

My Lords, I will look into that suggestion, but I expect that one would find that the cases were very different.

Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Bill Hl

My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to consolidate, with certain exceptions, the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973, the Northern Ireland (Young Persons) Act 1974 and the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1975. I beg to move that this Bill be read a first time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 1a —( The Lord Chancellor).

On Question, Bill read 1a , and to be printed.

Practice And Procedure

My Lords, I beg to move the first Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That, as proposed in the First Report from the Committee of Selection, the Lords following be named of the Select Committee to consider the Practice and Procedure of the House and to make recommendations for the more effective performance of its functions:

  • Amulree, L.
  • Atholl, D.
  • Burton of Coventry, B.
  • Champion, L.
  • Crowther-Hunt, L.
  • Denham, L.
  • Fulton, L.
  • Hawke, L.
  • Home of the Hirsel, L.
  • Hood, V.
  • Northfield, L.
  • O'Hagan, L.
  • Shackleton, L.
  • Shepherd, L. (Chairman)
  • Windlesham, L.

That the Committee have leave to adjourn from place to place and to report from time to time;

That the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee from time to time be printed and, if the Committee think fit, be delivered out;

That the Committee have power to appoint Sub-Committees and to refer to such Sub-Committees any of the matters referred to the Committee;

That the Committee have power to co-opt any Lord for the purpose of serving on a Sub-Committee;

That the Committee, or any Sub-Committee appointed by them, have leave to confer and to meet concurrently with any Committee of the Commons on Procedure or any Sub-Committee of that Committee together with any such persons as that Committee or any Sub-Committee of that Committee may select to attend for the purpose of deliberating and examining witnesses, and have leave to agree with the Commons in the appointment of a Chairman for any such meeting;

That the Committee have power to appoint Specialist Advisers.

That the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on Practice and Procedure in the last Session of Parliament, and any Sub-Committee of that Committee, and the memoranda submitted to that Committee, be referred to the Committee.

That the Committee do meet at Four o'clock to-morrow.—( Lord Aberdare.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

European Communities Committee

My Lords, I beg to move the second Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, that a Select Committee be appointed to consider Community proposals, whether in draft or otherwise, to obtain all necessary information about them, and to make reports on those which, in the opinion of the Committee, raise important questions of policy or principle and on other questions to which the Committee consider that the special attention of the House should be drawn;

That, as proposed by the Committee of Selection, the Lords following be named of the Committee:

  • Ashby, L.
  • Brimelow, L.
  • Cobbold, L.
  • Fraser of Tullybelton, L.
  • Greenwood of Rossendale, L. (Chairman)
  • Hinton of Bankside, L.
  • Inglewood, L.
  • Jacques, L.
  • Kennet, L.
  • Lauderdale, E.
  • Lovell-Davis, L.
  • O'Hagan, L.
  • Phillips, B.
  • Raglan, L.
  • Robson of Kiddington, B.
  • Seear, B.
  • Sherfield, L.
  • Tranmire, L.
  • Trevelyan, L.
  • Vernon, L.
  • Vickers, B.
  • White, B.
  • Wynne-Jones, L.

That the Committee have power to appoint Sub-Committees and to refer to such Sub-Committees any of the matters within the terms of reference of the Committee; that two be the quorum of such Sub-Committees and that they have power to appoint their own Chairmen;

That the Committee have power to co-opt any Lord for the purpose of serving on a Sub-Committee;

That the Committee and any Sub-Committees have power to adjourn from place to place;

That the Committee have leave to report from time to time;

That the Reports of the Select Committee from time to time shall be printed, notwithstanding any adjournment of the House;

That the Committee have power to appoint Specialist Advisers;

That the Committee or any Sub-Committee appointed by them have leave to confer and to meet concurrently with any Committee of the Commons on European Secondary Legislation &c. or any Sub-Committee of that Committee for the purpose of deliberating and of examining witnesses; and have leave to agree with the Commons in the appointment of a Chairman for any such meeting; and

That any Lord requested by the Committee on European Secondary Legislation &c. of the House of Commons to attend as a witness before them or before any Sub-Committee appointed by them shall have the leave of this House so to attend, if his Lordship thinks fit.—( Lord Aberdare).

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1977

2.50 p.m.

rose to move, That the draft Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1977, laid before the House on 3rd November, be approved. The noble Lord said: My Lords, the order extends for a further 12 months Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965, which gives Her Majesty in Council power to take whatever measures are necessary to deal with the situation in Southern Rhodesia resulting from the illegal declaration of independence in 1965.

When I asked noble Lords to renew Section 2 last year the Rhodesian Conference in Geneva was well under way. At that time there were grounds for cautious optimism. In the event, that optimism proved misplaced and 12 months later the House is once again being asked to renew the order. I do not intend here to go into the reasons why Geneva, like so many previous initiatives by successive Governments, failed. But, with your Lordships' permission, I should like to outline briefly the developments since last addressed the House on this subject, in order to put into its proper context what the House is being asked to agree today. I naturally cannot hope to cover all aspects of the problem which are of concern to your Lordships, but in my reply at the end of the debate I shall attempt to answer the main points which will have been raised.

In August my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs visited Africa, where he was joined by the distinguished United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Andrew Young. They explained our settlement proposals to the Parties concerned. It is the Government's belief that the weight of American support is crucial to a negotiated settlement. They therefore welcomed Mr. Young's presence as valuable proof of the support given to our proposals by the American Administration.

In Africa Dr. Owen and Mr. Young met and explained our settlement proposals to all the principal Rhodesian Parties and to certain of the Heads of Government of the front-line States and of South Africa. These were then published as Cmnd. 6919 of 1st September. The main elements in the proposals are: first, the transfer of power by the illegal régime and a return to legality; secondly, an orderly and peaceful transition to independence in the course of 1978; thirdly, free and impartial elections on the basis of universal adult suffrage; fourthly, the establishment by the British Government of a transitional administration with the task of conducting the elections for an independent government; fifthly, a United Nations presence, including a United Nations force, during the transition period; sixthly, an independence Constitution; seventhly, a development fund to revive the economy of the country.

Simultaneously, following discussions with the Parties a statement was issued on the issue of law and order, both during the run up to and after independence; and the noble Lord, Field Marshal Lord Carver, was named as Resident Commissioner-designate. Lord Carver's appointment has been widely welcomed. The task he has accepted is a daunting one; but I think I speak for the House today when I say that he is a man eminently well suited for it.

When my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs launched his initiative in April this year he made it clear that he could not hope to satisfy all the Parties in all respects. What he said he would do, and what I believe he has done, is to present a fair and reasonable framework for an internationally acceptable solution. This opinion appears to be generally shared by the international community. The first essential step was taken when the UN Security Council approved the appointment by the Secretary-General of a representative to participate in the military discussions as proposed in paragraph 11( c) of the White Paper, by 13 votes to nil, with only the Soviet Union abstaining and the People's Republic of China not participating. The 13 votes represented support from members of the Commonwealth, the Organisation of African Unity, the non-aligned, the West and the Eastern bloc. I am sure that noble Lords will agree that this was a somewhat unusual but very welcome demonstration of international support, albeit on the limited step proposed and without prejudice to the package as a whole.

This support was doubly welcome because we believe—and this is a view shared by many including the Government of the Republic of South Africa—that a stable and independent Zimbabwe cannot be achieved except on the basis of a solution which is internationally acceptable. The UN representative appointed was Lieutenant General Prem Chand, whom many noble Lords will recall from his distinguished service in Cyprus. We are indeed fortunate in having a man of his wisdom and experience involved in our efforts to tackle what is perhaps the most difficult problem we face today: namely, the arrangements for the maintenance of peace and security in Rhodesia. It is essential that there should be agreement between those who control forces on the ground on practical arrangements to secure, and to police, a cease-fire throughout the six-month transition period leading up to independence.

The initial meetings with the Parties have thrown up a number of major difficulties. Again, this was to be expected. We are only at the start of a negotiating process during which a number of sensitive and important issues will have to be resolved. We shall not ask the Parties involved, or the UN, to endorse the settlement as a whole until the military details have been agreed by the principal Parties. It is too early to say whether we shall succeed, but I should like to remind the House of the assurance given recently by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State. He said that he would ask neither Parliament nor the UN to endorse our proposals until he had satisfied himself, so far as was possible, that during the transition period law and order would be maintained and free and fair elections could be held to determine the leadership of an independent Zimbabwe.

The armed conflict will not end until the Parties are satisfied as to the future. Those nationalists who are committed to the armed struggle cannot be expected to lay down their arms until it is clear that the process of transition to majority rule is irreversible. Under our proposals that will be when Rhodesia returns to legality with the establishment of the transitional administration. The white Rhodesians, for their part, as their representatives have made quite clear, are also unwilling to give up power until the main provisions for the independence Constitution have been agreed and are seen to be proof against further amendment.

It is for these reasons that constitutional talks have been conducted in parallel with discussions with the Parties on military arrangements and arrangements for the maintenance of law and order. The constitutional talks have been conducted by a team of British Government officials under Mr. John Graham, a Deputy Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This team has just returned from its visit to Salisbury where it met representatives of a number of Rhodesian groups in addition to the principal Parties. While my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs does not envisage any major revision to substance or structure of the proposals, there are a number of points still to be settled and it will be his intention to publish before transfer day the agreed proposals for a settlement in their final form as a further White Paper.

Over the years, the renewal of Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 has been largely for the purpose of extending authority to maintain sanctions legislation against Southern Rhodesia. That, again, is an objective today. But this order also promises to fulfil another function, and one that I am sure noble Lords of all persuasions will find more satisfying. Once agreement can be reached on the terms of a settlement it is proposed that an Order in Council should be introduced under Section 2 of the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965, establishing the transitional Administration. The Transitional Constitution Order, as it would be termed, would provide for the appointment of a Resident Commissioner and the necessary provisions relating to fundamental rights, the judiciary, the public service, the validation of existing laws and an amnesty. It would not replace the Independence Act, the Bill for which would be introduced as soon as possible thereafter, but it would in other words provide for the return to legality of Rhodesia; though a fresh Bill would need to be enacted later to provide for the independence of the country.

Underlying all that I have said today about a settlement is the urgent need to work towards the eradication of the mutual mistrust and suspicion that exists between the two sides. The great fund of goodwill between the races which has been a feature of Rhodesia has been slowly dissipated over the years. But much remains at the personal level. This suggests there is still hope that the slide to racial confrontation can be halted even at this late stage and that the continuing reserve of goodwill can provide the foundation for a lasting settlement. It is in everyone's interest that such a settlement should be achieved and it is everyone's duty to work to this end. But as the noble Lord, Lord Home, so forcefully said in our debate last Thursday, in the last resort it is the Rhodesians themselves who must decide, not only whom they want as their leaders but also the more fundamental question of what type of society they want. Do they want to inherit a legacy of racial strife and bitterness which will be the inevitable consequence of a military solution? Or do they want a society in which all, regardless of race, creed or belief can work together to create a free and prosperous Zimbabwe? A political settlement cannot guarantee this, but I suggest it offers the only hope.

That is something that the people of Rhodesia, and they alone, can decide. But we cannot stand idly by. Our task, and that of the international community, must be to create the conditions which will provide Rhodesians with a meaningful choice. Unless the parties can be encouraged to talk to each other and thus establish trust between themselves, a political settlement may not prove possible.

Meanwhile, pending the achievement of such a settlement, for which there is " a good chance", to quote my right honourable friend the Secretary of State, we remain bound by the relevant Security Council Resolutions to maintain sanctions in force against Rhodesia. It would be irresponsible to attempt unilaterally to lift them now. Sanctions symbolise our determination to bring independence to Rhodesia through majority rule based firmly on the principle of universal adult suffrage. If we disowned this symbol, it would finally put paid to our hopes of a political settlement; for the nationalists would regard it as a betrayal of their cause and be tempted to lend all their efforts towards the achievement of a solution through violence alone, the end of which no man could foresee and the consequences of which would embroil not only Rhodesia but very possibly a far wider area. My Lords. I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order 1977, laid before the House on 3rd November, be approved.—( Lord Goronwy-Roberts.)

3.6 p.m.

My Lords, our purpose this afternoon is to renew or reject the Rhodesian sanctions order and, if I may, I shall come to that a little later on. It is very difficult to divorce the problem of Rhodesia from the problems of South-West Africa, Namibia and South Africa itself. These three problems are themselves part of the changing balance of power in Africa as a whole. There is no doubt that in the last few years there has been a radical shift in Africa against the interests of the West. A number of countries have openly declared themselves Marxist: Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia and others; and the political philosophy of quite a few of the other countries in Southern Africa, though not openly Marxist, is not very far removed in content.

There is equally no doubt that the Soviet Union has been fishing in troubled waters. Money and arms have been, and are being, provided to the guerrillas in Rhodesia and outside Rhodesia and in Namibia and outside Namibia. I do not believe that the purpose of this intervention is to further the cause either of free government, of democracy or of peace in Southern Africa. If I may say so, for the Foreign Secretary to say in public, as he did in Moscow a week or two ago, that, over the Rhodesian problems, the intentions of the British and Soviet Governments are the same, is to carry the politeness of diplomatic language to a point where it calls into question the credibility of the speaker.

Leaving aside the importance of the Cape route to the survival of the West, the African continent—and more particularly Southern Africa—abounds in the minerals without which the industrialised countries of the world cannot survive. We have a deep and personal interest in what happens in South Africa. It has always seemed to me that the longer a settlement is delayed in Namibia and Rhodesia the more trouble there will be in those two countries and the bigger the bills that will be presented to any African who emerges as leader from those guerrilla wars rather than from a negotiated and agreed settlement.

But we have another interest in Rhodesia. We have a residual responsibility for what happens; and not just a residual responsibility but a deep concern for the welfare of a quarter of a million white people who have made that country what it is today. The sanctions order which we are debating this afternoon gives us the opportunity to debate and also the opportunity to hear, as we have, what the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, had to say about the present state of the Anglo-American proposals. We are grateful to him for his careful and detailed speech.

One point is abundantly clear. No agreement will be possible unless Mr. Smith finds the proposed Constitution acceptable, is prepared to accept the arrangements for the transition period and is satisfied with the arrangements made about future security. Mr. Smith cannot be forced to accept the Anglo-American proposals. Neither will any agreement reached with Mr. Smith be either lasting or internationally accepted unless the Africans concerned also accept those proposals and take part in a properly and fairly supervised general election. The Government are, of course, quite right in trying to take the front-line Presidents along with them, for unless there were general agreement with President Maatel and with President Kaunda it would not be possible to arrange a ceasefire—a prerequisite, surely, for any general election—since the guerrilla forces are based and housed and fed in the countries of those two Presidents.

But it should not be thought or accepted by the Government—nor, I think, is it—that the front-line Presidents have any further right than that in the negotiations for a constitutional settlement in Rhodesia. They are naturally concerned as to what may happen in a country which is not only a neighbour, but is of great importance in their economic life—but that does not justify interference in the internal affairs of that country. It has always seemed to me that one of the greatest disadvantages that there has been in settling the Rhodesian problem has been the lack of unity on the part of the black Africans. The greatest advance towards a solution would be an agreement among the Africans as to who should be their leader, and the acceptance of free elections to discover whether that was the wish of the Rhodesian people. It follows from this that, unless the Government can get the agreement of those concerned, no settlement can be imposed either upon black or upon white.

It may be that in these last few days, or last few weeks perhaps, we have been rather disheartened; and, certainly, we understand the difficulties which Lord Carver has had to face in these last few weeks. It certainly seemed at one time as if the Anglo-American proposals had rather more support than now seems likely. It may be—and I do not say this in a recriminatory spirit—that the Government have, perhaps, let things go along at rather too leisurely a pace, allowing people to get ideas and get set in their ways. But nothing ought to be said in this House this afternoon which could make the role of our negotiators any more difficult than it is.

Having said that, however, it would be hypocritical not to say that I myself have some doubts about certain aspects of the Anglo-American proposals. There are those of us—and I am one of them— who believe that the proposals on security, as they now stand, are not such as are likely to he acceptable to Mr. Smith's government, having regard to what Mr. Smith will agree to if he agrees to the rest of the Anglo-American proposals. In particular, they would not be acceptable to Mr. Smith if they are as outlined by Mr. Amery in the speech that he made in another place last Friday. But, of course, it is for Mr. Smith to decide whether or not he can accept those proposals.

However, I must say that it would seem to me wise for the Government to consider some kind of amendment, and public amendment, of those proposals. It may be, too, that there are some doubts about the role of the Resident Commissioner during the transition period. But I am certain that it would not be wise for the Government to seek to impose on Mr. Smith a solution which seems to be favoured by the Patriotic Front, and which would allow a take-over of power by that body long before an election took place, with no certainty whatever that any election would ever take place, and certainly not the kind of election that we should consider to be just and fair.

The most important thing, perhaps, that the Government must insist upon is that the African people, and the people of Rhodesia as a whole, should be allowed to choose their own leaders and their own Government. If there are any Africans who seek power, but who do not think that they have the necessary public support to achieve it through a free election, then they must be told firmly that there is no way in which the British Government will accept such a solution. If the Patriotic Front do not have the backing of the Rhodesian people, the Front must not be forced upon them.

I have not been in Rhodesia or Southern Africa since March, hut at that time I had the opportunity to talk to all the front-line Presidents, Mr. Vorster, Mr. Smith and almost all the African leaders in Rhodesia, and I came away believing, as I still believe, that there is a genuine wish for settlement of this very long-standing problem. I think that the leaders of these countries all want it, probably all for different reasons. President Machel's economy is in great difficulty, because of the closure of the Rhodesian border. The training and feeding of the guerrillas is an added difficulty for him and, not least, the successful inroads across the Rhodesian border which call into question his Government's ability to defend itself. President Kaunda is, perhaps, in an even greater difficulty. One has only to look at the problem of his communications, and his own economic problems which have been exacerbated by UDI. Certainly, Sir Seretse Khama wants a solution. His is a country which has unwittingly chosen some very difficult neighbours. Who at this moment would care to have a country whose only neighbours are South Africa, Rhodesia, Zambia and Namibia?

I believe that Mr. Vorster wishes for a solution. He has enough problems of his own, as well as the South-West African problem. To say that the black leaders in Rhodesia want a settlement is to state the obvious. And I believe, too, that Mr. Smith wants a settlement, because he has his difficulties—not primarily I think of security, so much as of economic difficulty largely caused by the world recession and by the strains on his economy which the continual call-up poses for those who are most vital to its success. There are pressures on everybody to settle, and there are pressures on us to do what we can to reach a settlement before the consequences become graver both for us and for Rhodesia. Having said that, I will say no more about the Anglo-American proposals, because they are the only proposals that there are, for good or for ill, and until such time as they are either accepted or rejected, or, as I hope, amended in some respects, I do not think it would be at all helpful to say much more about them.

There will be some who will say, in all contexts, that the time has now come to remove sanctions; that they have not been successful and that they are grossly unfair to Mr. Smith. It is well-known that we on these Benches do not think that sanctions are a sensible weapon to use, and we have made it plain many times. If I may say so, I do not happen to think that it was very sensible of Her Majesty's Government to support in the United Nations those sanctions against the provision of arms to South Africa. Of course it will not make any difference, but it seems to me that we are on a slippery slope. There will be greater and greater pressure for economic sanctions, and the consequences that they could bring upon all of us are very grave indeed. I do not think that you influence people by using that kind of weapon. You are much more likely to drive them into a corner and stiffen their resistance, and I think that British and American policy—particularly American policy—in South Africa is doing precisely that at this moment. But the fact is that these sanctions have been operating for a number of years. They are, as I say, due to the mistaken policy of a Labour Government and they are mandatory upon us in this country.

It is one of the anomalies, among others, of our Constitution that this House has an absolute veto over statutory orders. If we decide to vote against the order, then the order will fall to the ground—that is, if we win. If your Lordships decided to throw out this order this afternoon, the Government would have no alternative but to accept that or to bring in another one in approximately the same terms. The Parliament Act does not apply. We would, I think, be putting ourselves in much the same position as we on this side of the House did in the late 1960s, although I may remind your Lordships that at that time it was made perfectly clear that any subsequent order would not be opposed by the Conservatives and that what we were seeking to do was to show our disapproval of the whole policy of sanctions.

But having said that, is this really the right moment to alter the background against which these negotiations are taking place? What would the African leaders and world opinion think if the British Government, in the middle of these negotiations, sought positively to alter Mr. Smith's economic position for the better? And what would Mr. Smith think? Would not Mr. Smith think that he had to a very large extent been vindicated and that he had the support of the British people over UDI? Is it really sensible to suppose that, at a time when the United Nations are turning the screw upon South Africa in a way which fills me with alarm, the British Government could credibly come to the Security Council and say, just at the moment when the negotiations over Rhodesia were at a critical stage, that they recommended the removal of economic sanctions against Mr. Smith?

I have a great deal of sympathy with what my noble friend Lord Salisbury and others who feel like him say about the situation in Rhodesia. I do not like sanctions. I happen to believe that there is in some quarters—and of course I do not mean the noble Lord opposite—a vindictiveness against Mr. Smith and the white Rhodesians which is very much to be regretted. However, I cannot believe that it would be wise to oppose this order and, if noble Lords will look at the present situation, I hope very much that they will take the same view.

3.22 p.m.

My Lords, whatever view we may take about this unhappy country—whether we believe that it was the white settlers who gave Rhodesia shape and form and even provided the natives with a much higher standard of living than otherwise they would have had, or whether, following on Cecil Rhodes, the settlers are thought to be exploiters of a lovely land and misguided in their intention to hang on to their privileged position for so long as possible —we can surely all agree that the moment when a small white minority must hand over power to the representatives of a black majority cannot now be far away.

One-quarter of a million whites, surrounded on three sides by independent and, indeed, hostile countries, with no prospect of physical or even much economic support from the South (for like the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, I cannot imagine that we shall not pass the order which is before us this afternoon) cannot for long maintain their rule over 5 million blacks. Even Mr. Smith, to whose political ability we must surely all pay reluctant tribute, has agreed that black majority rule must soon come about. All he is, very understandably, trying to do, presumably, is so to play his cards that the white community will be able to stay in the country on reasonably acceptable terms.

That would obviously be much the best solution, but it is very difficult to see how it could be guaranteed—and I repeat "guaranteed". Any successor régime will, always provided that it is in full command of the army and the police, decide on its own what role the settlers will play, and if it is not in such command it will very probably not be accepted by the powerful forces now operating both inside and outside the country. Therefore no terms agreed in advance are likely to last for very long. When the transfer of authority takes place, clearly there will be a struggle for power and if a civil war is averted we shall count ourselves lucky.

Nor is it at all likely that a general election, on the basis of one man, one vote, will result in a democratic régime in which the whites will be represented in the proportion of one to 20. Unless there were some form of proportional representation, and short of some highly unlikely entrenched clauses, the whites would have no representation at all in the Parliament. If we cannot achieve proportional representation in our advanced democracy, what chance is there of getting it operated by the Mashona and the Matabele? Could there even be any significant electoral roll in a country in which the tribal system, apart from the whites, is obviously the only political reality?

Perhaps all this is too pessimistic. I hope it is. So let us assume that Field Marshal Lord Carver and his United Nations associate manage to get the rival factions, or some of them, to form an interim Government which will adopt an interim Constitution, thus at least enabling a constituent assembly, presumably elected on the basis of one man, one vote, to be held that will result in some form of recognisable democracy.

What prospect would even this hold out to the white settlers? It does not look as though their position would be very enviable. They are many times more numerous and own much more of the available good land than the small white community in Kenya which has more or less made its peace with the successor régime. If, therefore, they are to stay on, it will in the long run have to be after submitting to a great reduction in both their status and their holdings—to put it frankly, no, or very few, black servants; no particular privileges. In such circum- stances, I imagine that at least some of them will prefer to leave.

Therefore would not it be good—I make this as a personal suggestion, because I do not know whether I have any backing for it—for the Government even now to make it clear that they would, if necessary, be prepared to receive a considerable number of ex-British subjects, or people of British origin? And might not it make the settlers less desperate if they felt that there was a possibility of a reasonable existence, outside Rhodesia if they had to leave?

Such events are not necessarily for tomorrow. Indeed, it is conceivable that they may never take place. Rather than face them, Mr. Smith and his friends, protected by a small and very efficient armed force, may prefer to hang on in the faint hope of some major happening in the foreign field which will change the present balance of power and oblige a reluctant West to abandon sanctions and even consider them as some form of ally. Possibly that is what Mr. Smith hopes for. Everything is possible in politics and it is no doubt unwise to assume that anything is inevitable, or that there is such a thing as a "wave of the future"—much beloved by our school of historical determinists.

Even so, we cannot discount all reasonable prediction which tells, us that white supremacy in Rhodesia is drawing to its close and that how it will end will depend less upon our own efforts and those of the United States than on purely internal developments which we shall be unable to control. Thus it seems reasonable to consider all possible contingency plans rather than to work on the rather improbable assumption that all will go well in the transitional period leading to total black supremacy—the Mugabe lion lying down with the Muzorewa lamb and a retired Mr. Smith peacefully managing his large and profitable farm.

This does not mean that we should despair of arriving at a reasonable political solution in Rhodesia. If the Afro-Asian bloc in the United Nations should one day come to the conclusion that the emergence in black Africa of Marxist or totalitarian régimes under the influence of Russia was a greater menace than white supremacy, the United Nations might well play a constructive role. But here I am afraid everything is vitiated by apartheid, and the latest developments in South Africa, to say the least, are not encouraging. Hence I feel that, so far as we can see ahead, which can only be for a year or two, the United Nations will continue to be dominated by racial feelings, resulting in frenzied denunciations of Western imperialism. This is sad, because, if there were a new spirit abroad in what surely will be called Zimbabwe in the fairly near future, the combination of black vigour and white techniques might well make that country with its great resources one of the most prosperous in Africa. So, let us constantly hope for the best, while preparing, as we must, for the worst.

In sum, my Lords—and this is my last word—we have an obligation to do what we can to ensure a peaceful transition of power, but since we cannot enforce it there are obvious limitations on our action. We, on these Benches, think that the Government are doing what they can and our sympathies must be with them in a terribly difficult and quite possibly a hopeless task. But no one in their senses can he particularly optimistic. Anyhow, I think we ought now to be clear about what we should propose to do if there were some really serious political development. Would not the Government agree?

3.32 p.m.

My Lords, it may seem strange to your Lordships that I should make my first speech in your Lordships' House on so controversial a subject. I welcome the constraints imposed upon me and I shall most certainly try to abide by them. Tolerance and moderation must be the key when the major problem is the total distrust which exists on all sides. I must declare an interest in Rhodesia, which has meant that I have been visiting that country for more than 20 years, and earlier this year I was fortunate enough to meet a considerable number of the leading politicians of all races in Rhodesia.

It is quite clear that Her Majesty's Government, together with numerous people in all walks of life in this country, have little confidence in the Rhodesian Government. Indeed, Mr. Smith is reported as saying one thing one day and something else the next, which must make us all wonder. On the other hand, I was in touch with Rhodesia only last week in order to bring myself up to date. I was told that distrust was rampant and I was asked to probe into Britain's real intentions and to cast light on what the Rhodesians believe to be the ambiguities and subterfuges artfully concealed by the White Paper. I say that simply to stress that this mutual distrust must stop if statesmanship is to prevail. The Rhodesian Front is the de facto Government of Rhodesia and its agreement is needed to effect any peaceful change in the Constitution, and especially without a mass European exodus and resultant economic chaos. One underestimates the Rhodesians if one thinks that this can be done by force alone. This is a proud people whom you ask to surrender. Confidence and, above all, trust, surely is the ingredient required. What really matters is not the constitutional niceties of institutions after majority rule but the spirit in which any agreement is implemented. We all know from industry and commerce the enormous difficulties of achieving any agreement without mutual trust.

I do not think that we in this country have any idea of the suspicions and misgivings of the Europeans in Rhodesia. Our erstwhile allies are a disillusioned and a bitter people. No doubt mistakes have been made on all sides but I sincerely believe that we must be the ones to endeavour to put them right. The Rhodesian people are now in the same mood of bewildered resentment as were Kipling's Ulstermen in 1912. With your permission, my Lords, I will refresh your memories:
"The dark eleventh hour
Drives on and sees us sold
To every evil power
We fought against of old
Rebellion, rapine, hate,
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate
By England's act and deed.
"The faith in which we stand,
The laws we made and guard,
Our honour, lives and land,
Are given for reward
To murder done by night,
To treason taught by day,
To folly, sloth and strife—
And we are cast away".
It is a sorry state of affairs. We must see to it that a just, honourable and peaceful settlement is achieved as soon as possible and the indiscriminate killing and wounding, and particularly of women and children, is stopped. The Europeans who live in Rhodesia want a settlement; Mr. Smith has accepted the Kissinger proposals and has obtained a new mandate from his electorate to negotiate a transfer of power. They are all prepared to accept free and impartial elections on the basis of universal adult suffrage, provided the elections are free and impartial. I wish the noble and gallant Field Marshal Lord Carver well. I believe there is hope, but today we are being asked to continue sanctions in order to maintain pressure on Rhodesia in the interests of a negotiated settlement. Surely we can only do so if we know what sort of settlement is envisaged. I trust that the noble Lord the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will give us more idea in his summing up.

At the same time, I should like to put the following points to him: a permanent British presence in Rhodesia must be established if we are to understand, let alone obtain some trust with the Rhodesian government and the Rhodesian people as a whole. We must fully understand the terrible force of intimidation in Africa. We must satisfy the Rhodesian people, black and white, that we can find an answer to intimidation and establish law and order.

Majority rule is the aim. I understand that the internal element of the nationalists represents some 80 per cent. of the proposed new electorate. I should be most interested to hear a Foreign Office estimate but in any case we cannot countenance any discussions which exclude Bishop Muzorewa and the Reverend Sithole. Great pressure has been put on Mr. Smith; not so much has been applied to the Patriotic Front. If, as I am told, the Front represents only 20 per cent. of the electorate it is no wonder that it will not agree. It will never win a free and impartial election. We must travel no further east to satisfy its demands.

My Lords, there is a verse in the porch of the Cathedral of St. Mary and All Saints in Salisbury which runs thus:
"When as a child I laughed and wept,
Time crept.
When as a youth I dreamed and talked,
Time walked.
When I became a full grown man,
Time ran.
And later, when I older grew,
Time flew".
"Soon I shall find, when travelling on,
Time gone.
May Christ have saved my soul by then,
Amen".
Time has run through the last twelve years. There have been numerous opportunities for promoting unity, peace and concord. Time is now flying and all too soon will be gone. If under Divine guidance good use of it is made by practising Christians, black and white, there may yet be some hope of achieving a genuinley multiracial society in the future state of Zimbabwe which would deservedly become the wonder and envy of the rest of the world. My Lords, I thank you for your indulgence.

3.41 p.m.

My Lords, it is my privilege to be the first to have the opportunity of congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Forester, on his wholly admirable speech. It gives me particular pleasure to have this opportunity, in view of my long and close association with his father on the subject under discussion. I think he was courageous to choose this subject for his maiden speech, and he showed a very real sense of appreciation of the customs of this House in the way that he kept within our normal rules on the first occasion on which he addressed us. I, therefore, hope that it will not be long before we have the opportunity of hearing the noble Lord again, perhaps on other subjects as well as this one.

I, too, must declare an interest in the subject under discussion. I regret that I seem to address your Lordships rather frequently on this subject; I must ask you to be kind enough to bear with me if some of the remarks I make this afternoon I have already made to your Lordships in the past. I should like first to remind your Lordships, as indeed did the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, of the object of sanctions. They were to secure the return of Rhodesia to legality. I do not think there is any argument about that. But I would differ from the noble Lord as to their having further objects. I can find no trace in the original debate of that being so.

It, therefore, seems to me that once Mr. Smith had indicated the willingness of his Government to accept Dr. Kissinger's proposals the object of sanctions had been achieved and they ought to have been removed. This happened before we discussed this subject last year, but at the urgent request of the noble Lord, in view of the conference then going on in Geneva, I did not press the Amendment that I moved on that occasion. I feel that that reason is no longer with us. The fact that other countries also associated with the Kissinger proposals eventually decided that they were unacceptable, as indeed did the Patriotic Front in Rhodesia, does not to my mind give us any reason for saying that the object of sanctions has not been achieved.

I ask myself why then do Her Majesty's Government wish to retain sanctions. It can only be to impose further changes on the Constitution, and this was confirmed by something that was said by the Foreign Secretary in the debate in another place last week:
"The justification for sanctions will fall away once it is clear that the process of transition to majority rule and independence is irreversible".—[Official Report, Commons, 11/11/77; col. 1020.]
This is where I differ from what both the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, has said and also what the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has said. I believe the position was more accurately expressed by Mr. Maudling in last year's sanctions debate in another place when, speaking on behalf of the Opposition, he said:
"The Government should take note that if the conference fails …"
—that is the Geneva Conference—
"… after Mr. Smith has accepted the Kissinger package because other elements at the Conference want to go further, we would have no justification for continuing sanctions against him, or, even less, continuing to give aid to Mozambique".—[Official Report, Commons, 20/10/76; col. 1487].
This I regard as a true interpretation of the position and I very much regret that the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has not seen fit to follow that proposition.

The other question I should like to raise on this particular point is that, since Her Majesty's Government were prepared to accept Dr. Kissinger's proposals, why then do they now insist on further steps being taken, as proposed in the White Paper? The proposals are in fact, as I understand it, very similar to those proposed by Mr. Mugabe in the course of the Geneva Conference. It seems to me, therefore, that the only reason for producing them was that, having failed to get the Kissinger proposals through, these new ones were produced to placate the Patriotic Front. This is appeasement, and I cannot see it being any more likely to succeed now than it did in the days of Ethelred or in 1938 when Mr. Chamberlain used similar tactics to try to deal with Hitler.

I do wonder what Her Majesty's Government seek to achieve. I was very glad to hear the proposition in the White Paper reiterated by the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, earlier on. If they are able to do this, as has been mentioned by earlier speakers, we are, of course, going a long way towards achieving a satisfactory settlement. But I cannot but feel that they are setting about it in a very odd way. They seem to spend most of their time discussing the problem with the Patriotic Front leaders, who, as the noble Lord, Lord Forester, has already pointed out, represent only a minority of the potential electorate of the country. Were they to come to power, we should be faced with the position of exchanging one minority, a white one, for another one, an African minority. This does not seem to me to be in line either with what the noble Lord has said or with the terms expressed in the White Paper.

I think we should also consider what the aims of Mr. Nkomo are. He has made a number of utterances which I for one find profoundly disturbing. He has said that he wishes to establish a Marxist State. He has said that when he comes to power he will chase Mashona dogs and slaughter them just as they did in the days before the white man came. These are serious propositions, and I cannot but feel that none of your Lordships would wish to support a man whose aims are such as he has expressed. Whether your Lordships on the other side wish to see a Marxist State there I do not know, but I feel sure that noble Lords on this side would not have that as their aim.

So what is to happen? The noble Lord, Lord Forester, has suggested that more attention should be paid to the thoughts and wishes of the majority, and I go along wholeheartedly with what he has said. Surely they are the people, the main body of Rhodesia, who ought to have a say in their future.

I do not wish to say anything about the terms of the proposed settlement because the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, has covered that matter thoroughly and I entirely agree with his remarks on that subject. However, I do not agree with the conclusions he reached from his diagnosis. He has recommended us not to vote against sanctions on this occasion as, indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Home of the Hirsel, did on Thursday. All I can say is that there was nothing in their remarks which, to my mind, justified the course of action they recommended.

It is true that negotiations are in progress, but they have been in progress for years. We have always had this proposition put to us and I cannot see that by retaining sanctions there has been any significant improvement in the chances of achieving a settlement. Indeed, the situation is rather the contrary, because it seems that the more extreme Rhodesians—the supporters of the Patriotic Front—continue to ask for more and more and turn down any terms. Ultimately it is surely clear that the only terms they will accept are their own—namely, a complete surrender to control by a minority group in that country, which is a negation of what the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, has propounded as our objective.

Surely it is perfectly possible to get a settlement from within if there is no interference from outside. Four years ago Mr. Smith and Bishop Muzorewa reached agreement, but the Patriotic Front refused to accept it. Let us go back to Rhodesia. Let us see whether we cannot get a consensus of the majority to a settlement, and work from there. In my view, Her Majesty's Government have failed to make their case for the retention of sanctions. I do not believe that sanctions will help to achieve a reasonable settlement. For those reasons, and also because Mr. Smith has, by accepting the terms previously offered him, signified Rhodesia's willingness to return to legality, I believe that sanctions should be dropped and I hope that your Lordships will vote accordingly tonight.

3.53 p.m.

My Lords, I should like to join my noble friend Lord Salisbury in congratulating Lord Forester upon his maiden speech. It is always a great pleasure to the House to hear someone who has taken a deep interest in a particular subject or situation, speak on it to your Lordships. The noble Lord, Lord Forester said a number of fairly controversial things in a delightfully uncontroversial manner and we shall look forward to hearing him on many occasions in the future.

When, 10 years ago I visited Rhodesia as the Government's Special Representative I reported to the Prime Minister that I thought that the prospects of a successful political negotiation with the Smith régime, although very small at that time, would become less rather than greater with the passage of time. I have seen no reason to vary that view in the years since 1967, nor to alter the opinion that I expressed two or three years ago that a settlement would come about only when the Rhodesian army, police and civil service, took power decisively into their own hands. I believe that there is, at present, no chance of a negotiated settlement within the present political dimension. Yet I regard Mr. Smith and the political coterie around him as being as irrelevant to a viable settlement, in spite of their recent overwhelming electoral victory, as Sir Roy Welensky was to the ultimate outcome of the Federal problem, in spite of his equally overwhelming electoral victory in 1963.

History in Rhodesia, against the accepted patterns of human experience, seems always to repeat itself. Time and time again British Governments of both political Parties have tried to rescue the European population of Rhodesia from the fate which anyone with a knowledge and understanding of the character of the world and of Africa in the second half of the 20th century realised lay ahead of them. Invariably those efforts have been rejected. It has been as if a weak and tiring swimmer, far out of his depth and being swept along by dangerous currents, obstinately refuses to catch hold of the successive lifebelts thrown at him, because he does not like the colour of the lifebelt or the face of the man who throws it.

It would be justified if Her Majesty's Government were to feel, in the face of such obstinancy, the continuous misrepresentation of our motives, the abuse of this country to which the régime in Salisbury has subjected us, and the suicidal tendencies of a handful of whites between the Zambesi and the Limpopo, that we should wash our hands of the whole affair.

At this stage perhaps I may interpolate a statement of belief that there are and have been certain elements in this country who must shoulder some real responsibility for encouraging the European populations over this long period in intransigence and therefore of producing the circumstances which face those who live in Rhodesia with the impending tragedy of today.

My noble friend Lord Salisbury has told us that he intends to divide the House against the Motion. I have no doubt that his motives are entirely honourable. I am well aware of the emotional involvement of the head of a family which has made an important contribution to the 19th century development of British influence in Central Africa and whose services to the State over four centuries outshine perhaps any other than those of the Monarch. Yet I know that it was the aura of his great house at Hatfield and of his friendship with the noble Marquess's father that misled Sir Roy Welensky into believing that there were political supporters in Britain who could manipulate and influence the policies of the United Kingdom Government. It was that belief that made Sir Roy Welensky a victim to a whole series of tragic misjudgments. I remind my noble friend Lord Salisbury that today Sir Roy Welensky is a passionate opponent of the Smith régime and a political outcast in Salisbury.

I also know that a whole series of minor, and in some cases exhausted, stars in our political firmament visited Salisbury in the Summer Recess and encouraged Mr. Smith to continue his intransigence, and some of them quite clearly contributed to the debate in the other place last Friday, briefed only too obviously by the Smith régime.

My Lords, during my last weeks as High Commissioner, many years ago, I went to Gwelo in the Rhodesian Midlands and tried to explain the then policy of Her Majesty's Government. At the end a member of the audience came to me and said: "All you say, High Commissioner, may be true but you must remember that we are little people living in a little, remote town. All that we are concerned with is to make the best of our lives". They are the folk who have been misled by the Rhodesian Front Government for so many years and who cannot know that the Peers and Members of Parliament who go out to Salisbury and say acceptable things or who make empty political gestures in Parliament have not the power to influence by one iota the steady march of events in Central Africa to the impending disaster which we all know lies ahead. Yet it is not Parliamentarians here at Westminster who suffer; it will be the little man in Gwelo and his family, and the black and white folk like him who in Rhodesia or in the Zimbabwe of the future wish only to have a reasonable life.

With your Lordships' permission, I should like to offer some observations on the situation which we have now reached as a result of the Anglo-American plan and the visit of the noble Lord, Lord Carver, to Africa. The fact that Britain and the United States have agreed to a set of proposals, the fact that the United Nations have accepted a peace-keeping role during the transition to independence and have appointed a distinguished representative, and the fact that Her Majesty's Government have offered the services of a man by far the best qualified for the job in the person of Lord Carver, represents the most hopeful development which has occurred in the recent history of Rhodesia. The problem now is to ensure that the future political shape of Zimbabwe is one which reflects the wishes of the majority of the people who are, after all, in essence African. That shape must not be imposed from outside either by international power groups or at the muzzle of a gun.

It would be fatal for the future peace and progress of that country if the claims of the guerrillas and the deep tribal divisions which exist in Rhodesia were ignored. It is the task of reconciling these with the machinery which provides the African masses of Rhodesia with a genuine chance of choosing a Government for independent Zimbabwe which faces us with our most daunting problem.

The time is past when the transition from the Smith-governed Rhodesia to African-governed Zimbabwe can be achieved without tension, damage to the present economic and social structure of the country and, frankly, loss of life. The responsibility for this rests fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the present régime in Salisbury, but our problem is —and we hope to achieve this—to be able to keep that damage to life and property to a minimum. I suggest that now the best way to do this, though it would not perhaps have been necessary or even desirable five or more years ago, is to recognise that at this moment of time the divisions in Rhodesia are irreconcilable and we should act accordingly.

From the ethnic, economic, political and transportation points of view Rhodesia can be divided into two: on the one hand, North and South Mashonaland, Manicaland, parts of the Midlands and Victoria; on the other hand, North and South Matabeleland, with the remainder of the Midlands and Victoria. Each possesses a major city—Salisbury in the North and Bulawayo in the South. Each has an independent railway system and each possesses important mineral and agricultural resources. One, Mashonaland in the North, would have a population of 3½ million, which is not far short of that of Zambia; the other, Matabeland in the South, would have a population of about 1·7 million, which is nearly three times as numerous as its neighbour, Botswana. Ethnically, the one in the North, is Mashona-based, and that in the South is Matabele-based.

As your Lordships know, there is a definite tribal correlation between both the African Nationalist Parties and the guerrilla forces. The result is that there are irreconcilable attitudes and aspirations among the rank and file and ambitions among their leaders. If the Matabele leader, Mr. Nkomo, was installed during the transition to independence, there would be—and Bishop Muzorewa indicated this within the last few days—a violent reaction from the Mashona. If Bishop Muzorewa was installed over the whole of Rhodesia, there would be a violent reaction from the Matabele-based forces which Mr. Nkomo has assembled in Zambia. Your Lordships will realise that Mr. Nkomo's position in Zambia might introduce into the problem a new and sinister dimension, on account of the international associations which Mr. Nkomo has cultivated for many years past.

I may, of course, be wrong, as one has so often been wrong in the past, but my view is that if during the transition period each side was confident that it had a reasonable chance of gaining at least half the loaf, there might he less anxiety as to which, if either, was to govern the whole as a result of a later decision through the ballot box on a future Government of independent Zimbabwe.

Tensions based on tribal affiliations have already led to the eruption of violence in the guerrilla camps in both Zambia and Mozambique. Control of security during the transition period would be much easier if the two parts of Rhodesia were separated. I am tempted to lengthen an already too long speech by going into details and to suggest that President Kaunda might be happy to see the Wankie Collieries and the railway to the South African ports under the control of his protégé, Mr. Nkomo. As The Guardian said this last week, the position of Mr. Mugabi is as irrelevant to the situation —and here I add my own view—as that of Mr. Smith and Mr. van der Byl.

In the pattern that I see in my mind's eye, it would be right that the Resident Commissioner as Controller of the Security Forces and the headquarters of the United Nations Force should be placed at somewhere like Gwelo which, in fact, is exactly halfway between North and South.

I believe that unless something of this sort is imported into the Anglo-American plan, there is, to put it at its highest, relatively little chance of success. As we know—and I think that this is the general view of the House this afternoon— the chances are small enough anyhow.

I suggest that it would be a responsibility of the Resident Commissioner to appoint as head of the interim administrations in each of the two divisions of Rhodesia, the man whom he thinks most likely to command majority support from within them respectively. For the sake of argument, let us say that it might be Mr. Nkomo in Matabeleland and Bishop Muzorewa in Mashonaland. The Resident Commissioner would have the support of the United Nations peacekeeping force, the British South Africa police divided between the two divisions of the country, the African units of the present Rhodesian Army, with whom would be integrated over a period of, say six months elements from the ZANU and ZAPU guerrilla forces. The Resident Commissioner would be responsible for internal security.

At the end of the six months period separate elections for the separate constituent assemblies would be held in each of the two divisions. From those elected, and based on appropriate proportions of the Parties elected to each of the assemblies, would be chosen two delegations to meet under neutral chairmanship to work out a constitution for independent Zimbabwe in which the integrity of the courts, a Bill of Rights and the appropriate safeguards for life and property would have an integral part.

If this negotiation was successful, an independent Zimbabwe would result. If not, frankly, the result would be that the two parts of Rhodesia, under whatever names were chosen, would be recognised as independent with constitutions framed to include the safeguards which I have already mentioned by the constituent assemblies already elected in each of the two divisions.

My Lords, there are many other details and aspects about which I have not thought. Perhaps I might conclude simply by saying that my guess is that although a period of danger and turmoil is inevitable, the authorities of a united or a divided Zimbabwe, where the wishes of the African masses have been recognised, will be realistic and responsible enough to make it possible at any rate for a substantial number of Europeans who have made their homes in Rhodesia to continue to play their part in the future. I recognise that such a solution, if it is a solution, would be a gamble; but, on the present basis where, in my view, rightly or wrongly, success is impossible, it would at any rate be worth taking a gamble in the interests of both black and white in Rhodesia. Their welfare and future are, after all, to some extent still the responsibility of this country.

4.11 p.m.

My Lords, I have the honour to be the first from this side of the House to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Forester, on his maiden speech. I think all of us, whatever our opinions, were moved. It was a speech with knowledge, it was a speech with intense sincerity, and it was a speech which showed sensitivity to human accord and beauty. I am quiet sure that on all sides of the House we wish not only to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Forester, but sincerely to hope that he will soon and often be speaking to us again.

I have listened with great interest, as I always do, to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Alport. He addresses us on this subject with almost unique authority and experience. As I listen to his speeches I always have the feeling that he is seeking for a constructive solution. Today he has put before us original and constructive ideas. He has suggested, because of tribal and even economic differences in Zimbabwe, that during the transitional arrangements, and perhaps even after, that territory should be divided. I hope that Her Majesty's Government will consider what he has said regarding the transitional arrangements, but I think he would be the first to recognise dangers in them. We have had many disastrous experiences of the division of territories: India and Pakistan; Eastern and Western Germany, Indo-China, Ireland and many other examples could be given. Her Majesty's Government will have to look very carefully indeed at proposals which not only might operate during the transititional period but, because of the intensity of feeling that would he aroused, might find expression when Zimbabwe obtains its independence.

I hope we all took notice of Lord Alport's warning of the disaster which may take take place in Southern Africa and indeed extend elsewhere in the world unless a settlement is reached at an early point. The noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, has invited us to reject this Motion this evening. I wonder, when he urges that, whether he is taking fully into account the situation in Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe. Mr. Ian Smith's Government is still in rebellion against this country and against our Government. It is an illegal government. It is still practising in Zimbabwe a racial discrimination nation which I hope all of us regard as utterly inadmissible. It has not yet accepted the five points about which both the Government and the Opposition are agreed. Therefore, Southern Rhodesia, under Mr. Ian Smith, is an administration which is in revolt against our Government, is practising activities which are repugnant to us all, and has declined to accept the points of agreement between the Opposition and the Government Parties. In that situation I do not see how for a moment we can accept tonight that sanctions should be withdrawn.

I am one of those who have tremendous appreciation of Dr. Owen, our Foreign Secretary, in the initiative which he has taken. My only regret is that that initiative was not taken earlier. Quite clearly there are great difficulties if a settlement is to be reached, but there are two fundamental points which seem to me to make it unthinkable that in the negotiations regarding the transition to independence incidental issues should be allowed to supersede the agreements already gained. First, there is the extraordinary admission by Mr. Ian Smith that he accepts majority rule. It would have been unthinkable that he should have said that only two years ago. Secondly, there is, on the black African side, a recognition that when independence is gained continual European residents there will be welcomed and will be treated justly. You have in those two acceptances—first the right of the majority to rule and, secondly, the right of the minority to live under fair conditions—the essentials of any absolute agreement.

I have certain criticisms to make of the Anglo-American proposals. I am not going to voice them because in this situation a wrong word may easily prejudice one side or another and make a settlement more difficult. I make only two suggestions. The first concerns the difficulty about Security Forces during the transition. The conflict is between those who say that the present white officered Security Forces should remain, and those who say the armed forces should be the guerrillas. Could not this be overcome by giving supervisory control to the United Nations? The second suggestion I want to make is this. If an election for a new administration in Southern Rhodesia is to be successful, it must be one in which all the people can participate. Therefore, it is important that a cease-fire, enabling those in the guerrilla forces to return to the territory, should precede any general election.

I conclude with a point which is really the reason for my putting my name down to speak in this debate. Perhaps the greatest tragedy in the situation is the division among the African peoples and between the African leaders. Some of them are friends of mine. Over the years we have spoken together on platforms in favour of independence in colonial territories. They have each suffered imprisonment for long years because of their belief in the right of the people of Zimbabwe to govern themselves. That was the principle which motivated them. I appeal to them now to put that principle before everything else, before any personal ambitions and before any distinct ideologies as to what should happen after Zimbabwe achieves independence—that can be settled later. The immediate issue is to secure independence with democracy. It is for that they have suffered and it is for that they have fought. I appeal to them now to find a basis of unity so that the ideal which has been theirs may be realised by their contribution.

4.22 p.m.

My Lords, I wish at the outset to associate myself with the well-merited congratulations, which have been given to the noble Lord, Lord Forester, for his maiden speech to which we all enjoyed listening from the first word to the concluding sentence, and we very much hope to her him on many further occasions.

I think that in all parts of the House we are on a common front about the wish, to use the words of the noble Lord Lord Goronwy-Roberts, for a fair and reasonable settlement for all parties. But though we are on common ground on that, I question whether the approach and language of Dr. Owen, the Foreign Secretary, has at all times been helpful towards the end of a just settlement. Dr. Owen has used the unfortunate and provoking term "surrender by Mr. Smith" and I submit that that is scarcely conducive to the compromise solution which Lord Goronwy-Roberts has said on many occasions we shall finally have to come to in this matter.

The Foreign Secretary has declared to the white community—I used his words—that he can "guarantee nothing after settlement". If that means anything to me, and perhaps other noble Lords will feel the same, it means that in the terms of settlement he cannot or will not insist on safeguards, political and economic, for the white community. I trust my interpretation is wrong and perhaps when he replies the Minister will say whether I am right in my interpretation of the expression used by Dr. Owen.

Let us remember that the white community including the white community with whom the noble Lord, Lord Alport, differs so much today, pioneered Rhodesia's development; maybe many of them pioneered in their own interests, but in doing so they have created, for coloured and white, social and economic standards far higher than those existing in countries now attacking Rhodesia. I feel that some expression of sympathetic understanding of the changes which the white community now faces would not be amiss instead of the constant criticism of their viewpoint. Dr. Owen holds great office early in his political career, but the word "surrender" savours to me too much of arrogance and a determination to put those of the white community who are so bold as to differ from his position and policy in the position of a minority whom he prefers to regard as of second rate importance.

To many in Rhodesia—and most of us have close communications with friends in that country —I regret that Dr. Owen's image is that of an inverted racialist who has, by his silence, failed to condemn, except in general terms, the murder of innocents by invading guerrillas on Rhodesian territory, the ruthless massacre of Africans, the burning down of their villages and the unspeakable torture and mutilation of their captives. I have not heard anything except that, in general terms, atrocities are bound to happen in war; I have heard no words of sympathy or regret with regard to those excesses which are carried out on Rhodesian territory by the invading guerrilla forces. In another place, Dr. Owen said that he hoped for a settlement in 1978 and that to lift sanctions now would "boost"—I use his word—the Smith regime and be misunderstood by the United Nations. But Mr. Smith has, with other whites, now accepted the inevitability of majority rule. On Friday, Dr. Owen said in the other place:
"Who can doubt that there is now, among all shades of opinion in Rhodesia, particularly among white Rhodesians, a readiness to accept that there must be majority rule in that country?"—[Official Report, Commons, 11/11/77; col. 1021].
That, in Dr. Owen's mind, means a definite acceptance by Mr. Smith of majority rule. No doubt the Foreign Secretary thinks it a great step forward, as I too think it is, but does not that declaration remove the reason for the continuation of sanctions?—unless sanctions are to be kept on for a reason different to that originally intended and are to be kept as a measure of punishment for those who disagree with the Government's policy. With the measure of white minority support, I believe that Dr. Owen's main problems might be lessened as regards the difficulty of solution. The first problem is that he is trying to do the almost impossible, of reconciling two opposing armies in bitter conflict, and, secondly, ensuring the acceptance of an electoral result for national leaders differing in their policies and their tribal support, and each opposing the other. My fears, and that of others inside this House I believe and outside, is that inevitably, by the passage of events, the Foreign Secretary is being driven down the road towards giving the green light to the Patriotic Front for their declared aim of a red Marxist State, and that is why I for one cannot accept the Motion which is on the Order Paper.

4.31 p.m.

My Lords, I am in general agreement with the views just expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye. I should like to join him in offering congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Forester. I felt that he spoke with great dignity and sense on an occasion which he must have found very painful, for this is a very sad occasion. The only other speech to which I should like to refer is that of the noble Lord, Lord Alport, whom I am sorry to see does not appear to be in his place. Apparently his proposal was that we should not only surrender to the assassins but that we should partition the country among them. He also animadverted on the contribution made in Rhodesia by the noble house of Salisbury. I remember that in a previous debate I animadverted on his own contribution in this province, and I recall that on that occasion some of your Lordships felt that I was rather rougher than the conventions of this House like. I am bound to say that on re-reading my observations I find myself astonished by my moderation.

We are dealing with a renewal of sanctions after 12 years. We can begin to look at their effects. Economically they have been highly beneficial to Rhodesia. They forced upon Rhodesia the necessity of diversifying her product, of moving out of the position of something of a one crop economy; and they enabled her during those years more than to double her gross national product. I only wish that our own country could have been a quarter as successful.

Secondly, they served her very well by welding what was a fairly diverse group of immigrants into a nation and creating a national spirit. But where they did great damage was to the cause of political advance. Under the pressure of sanctions it was very difficult to make those social and racial advances which were called for by the needs of that society. I remember that immediately after sanctions had been imposed I went to visit Mr. Smith, accompanied by Godfrey Nicholson, and we also stayed with Mr. Van der Byl, and we discussed this problem at length. At no point was it the Smith policy, or the policy of ally, except perhaps some very extreme members of his Party, that Rhodesia should be permanently a racial State. The Rhodes statement "equality for all civilised men" was fully recognised. It was simply a question of how soon could the African population be educated and join in the civilised society.

Mr. Smith's estimate then was that if there were educational and other qualifications within 10 years there would be more black voters than white voters. I remember that I made the suggestion then that while Rhodesia paid for African elementary education—it was, in fact, the second largest item in her Budget—we, instead of imposing sanctions, should make a contribution which would pay for secondary African education, and thereby advance the rate at which the Africans would come on to the electoral register, which by agreement between ourselves and Rhodesia would be controlled by an external committee or commission, not under the control of Governments, so that entry on to the register could not be altered at will. He said that he would be perfectly in agreement with that, but would not wish to create, as had happened in India, a group of what I know was called the "failed BAs"—the educated Indian with no job to which to go. If that was worked, he would like a joint commission of the two countries to expand the economy and provide jobs suitable for educated men as those educated men came forward.

When I came back I discussed that at length with Sir Harold Wilson, and at that time he said that he felt that it was a very sensible suggestion which could well he looked into, but UDI would have to be revoked first. But even if Mr. Smith had wanted to revoke UDI, he could have found no majority to do so. One could not step hack at that point. But all this time the opportunity was there. It has been there all along. Rhodesia today is not suffering from sanctions. She is suffering from the collapse of her ex-Portuguese neighbours, and the fact that Russia has been allowed to step into the Portuguese shoes. In Angola and Mozambique American policy collapsed. Rhodesia is therefore faced—and has met heroically—a problem of intervention from abroad across her frontiers by Communist-trained troops. That has meant that one-third of her total man hours are devoted to defence. It is an heroic and formidable burden to carry, but I do not think that it is a burden which we should seek to increase. The defence of her country, the lives of her citizens, and the security of her territory is a duty of any Government. Sanctions are no longer economic; they are military. They are an attempt to burden Rhodesia in her attempt to defend herself. It seems to me that in these new circumstances, however justifiable they may have been, they are utterly unjustifiable today. I certainly have no doubt at all that it would be my duty to join the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, in his Lobby.

The policy of this country towards Rhodesia, which was always ill-advised—and the event has shown it to be ill-advised —has become preposterous. The first responsibility of all Governments, everywhere, and at all times, is to defend their citizens. We are asking Smith to hand over to us his power while refusing to accept his responsibility. We say that he should hand over to Lord Carver, or whoever it may be—a British Commissioner—and that we are providing him with no means at all of defending the country. Instead, we are suggesting that security should be left to a mixed force, partly the Rhodesian Defence Force and partly, I understand, five battalions of guerrillas. Does he understand at all what those guerrillas are or what their training is? Their training is simply hit-and-run assassination. The one thing they are trained to do when they see security forces is to "lie doggo" till the troops actually trip over them, and then to let off their guns. Of course, that is dangerous for the troops, but it is absolutely fatal to the guerrilla who is tripped over; he is always killed. But it is this level of primitiveness—five battalions of guerrillas in the Defence Force—to which, suddenly, the Rhodesians are expected to entrust their security. Surely, my Lords, it is totally preposterous.

My Lords, I would make this general proposition. I am deeply interested in the history of human societies. It is a subject on which I have worked and written. I can think of no occasion at all in history where you will find that a satisfactory and workable Government has emerged from guerrilla forces. We found that with La Résistance in Europe. None of the postwar Governments could get on until they had disposed of their resistance leaders. It is a sad thing to say, but it happened. The Communists had much the same experience. Both Tito and Castro, in Cuba, had to get rid of their guerrilla commanders, and the heroes were disposed of one after another. Revolution always has to dispose of its heroes when it passes into the civilian stage and becomes Government. That is the sad experience which we have seen all through. Kenya is a success because we beat Mau Mau. Princess Elizabeth Avenue may now be Kemathi Avenue but, oh dear!, is President Kenyatta thankful that we hanged Kemathi for him; he would certainly have had to do so otherwise. Again, things went exactly the same way in Malaya. You get a satisfactory State only at the point at which the guerrillas have been destroyed. Nobody can rule Rhodesia until the resistance is defeated. If you tried to hand over you would have a war between the Matabele of Nkomo and the Mashona of Mugabe as your immediate result, and everybody who has the experience knows this perfectly well.

Now, what is Britain's role in this? We have not got a foreign policy. The noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, spoke to us at great length. His speech could have been summarised in this way: "As we have no power we cannot have a foreign policy of our own. We have tried Europe's, but we are a hit disillusioned with that, so we are tagging on to the Americans'". The trouble is that the Americans are in a phase in which they cannot have a foreign policy, either. The American Constitution was designed to prevent America having a foreign policy, to prevent her becoming involved in "entangling alliances". Congress, Senate and the President were balanced so as to prevent these entangling alliances. Great Presidents, strong Presidents—men like Roosevelt—succeeded in escaping that situation, and in building up the authority of the presidency. Now, as a result of Nixon and the disastrous war in Vietnam, it has reverted to the old position. The unfortunate President Carter cannot dispose of a single ship or a single man. He is as impotent in Southern Africa as we are, because we cannot dispose of a ship or a man in Africa, either. It is the talk of impotence. He has repudiated the agreement made by Kissinger, and he has seen the loss to the forces of order of both the ex-Portuguese colonies. His concern is for his negro vote.

My Lords, looking forward, what can one see? Whenever I have been to Rhodesia—while back in another place and here—I have always urged the Rhodesians to come to agreement with Her Majesty's Government. I can see no point at this stage in continuing that. If I were Mr. Smith I would say, both to the English and to the Americans: "You have proved yourselves in this Continent to be an irrelevant nuisance; we just do not want to see you any more. You are impotent and you can do nothing; leave us to deal with our problems". I would conduct the elections which would elect an African majority, and I would invite journalists from the leading world newspapers—The Times, the New York Herald, Figaro and maybe the great German paper—to come, with full opportunity to report that election.

Meanwhile, I would seek to use my power to the best of my ability by taking the offensive. So far as Mozambique is concerned, you have a tyranny by the Northern tribe of the M'Konde, who are in fact the Frelimo, bitterly oppressing the South. Mozambique could be cut in half by a drive to Biera, and then you would find the whole Southern country rise against the Frelimo, where the hatred is tremendous and it is extremely weak. As far as Kaunda is concerned, if he saw things like that happen and was told that either he disanned his guerrillas or the Rhodesian forces would come and do so, his hold is already insecure and he would be thinking in other terms. You would then have the kind of conditions in which the new Government would begin to have a chance, because I cannot see any chance for any Government in Rhodesia—black, white or of any colour—unless they come into power with a smell of victory, with an achievement, with something which will enable Bishop Muzorewa, or whoever may he the new Prime Minister, when he forms his Cabinet, to be able to look to a successful army; to be able to look at the countries which are supporting the forces who are seeking to invade him and see that they have bloody noses, and to have confidence in the defence forces of the country and in the organisation which he is taking over. Those are the kind of conditions which alone, to my mind, provide a hope for the Rhodesians.

4.49 p.m.

My Lords, I have had the pleasure of following the noble Lord, Lord Paget, before. It is an experience which in some ways I deplore, because it is difficult to follow one who speaks with such knowledge, such force and such wisdom. On the other hand, it is a great pleasure because it provides a great stimulus and I am not at all averse to a little stimulation. I shall not follow the noble Lord explicitly, but he may care to know that what I have to say has really almost entirely been said very much better by him, though I shall say it none-the-less. I shall say it with a slight look over my shoulder at my noble friend Lord Forester, who I hope will not think that the tributes that are paid to him on his speech are merely matters of form in your Lordships' House. He made a very good speech—one of great sincerity—and I, for one, wish very firmly to pay my tribute to him.

My Lords, if we are not again to debate the renewal of sanctions—and I take it that we are not—it may be opportune, but not necessarily agreeable, to glance back over the chapter that is now coming to a close. So many things have been said and so many things have happened, or not happened, in the last 12 years, that the true story long ago began to pass into legend. Indeed, the "legendising" process may be said to have begun at the very moment of UDI when the British Government began referring to the Rhodesian Government as the "Smith régime". This rather silly appellation gave the impression, as, no doubt, was intended, that the Rhodesian government had in some unexplained way, overnight, become a body of unconstitutional disreputable upstarts. It was, however, and still is the government of Rhodesia, elected according to law with as much constitutional propriety as that enjoyed by "the Wilson régime" of the time or the "Callaghan régime" of now.

The Declaration of Independence was certainly unilateral. It may or may not have been illegal; I am not sure about that. It was made in deliberate breach of a sacred oath of allegiance freely sworn by those who made it. The fact remains that independence was declared and not only declared but promptly confirmed by the British Government by cutting off connection with Rhodesia and its people, innocent or otherwise, and withdrawing all support. You cannot make anyone much more independent of you than that. This independence has continued for 12 years; de facto independence, of course, but by all precedents, it should by now be recognised de jure, as the colonial Power has been unable to bring it to an end.

My Lords, that brings me to the next piece of legend-making: the notion that Her Majesty's Government remain responsible for Rhodesia. This responsibility was abdicated by the British Govern ment when they handed it over to the United Nations; and yet, by a sudden and startling reversal of logic, they saddled themselves, and us, with a spurious kind of de jure but certainly not de facto responsibility. In those days we used to hear much talk in this House and elsewhere of the "just and honourable settlement". How long is it since we heard those words? When, I wonder, did they first begin to be replaced by "a settlement acceptable to all parties"? We heard so much of justice and honour in those days that I confess I began to grow a little tired of those words, thinking that perhaps they had come to represent little more than a rubber stamp. I do not think they had. At any rate, they were good words and I miss them now.

My Lords, who are these parties to whom a settlement must he acceptable? At first, they were Her Majesty's Government, on the one hand, and various parties in Rhodesia, black or white, on the other—not that the black Rhodesians were heard. On July 8th last, in Lord Chalfont's debate on Southern Africa, the noble Lord, Lord Caradon, told how he, as British Ambassador to the United Nations, flew home:
"… to argue with my Government. The deliberate decision was taken at that time that the Africans should not be brought into consultation. Mr. Nkomo was one of them. That was 14 years ago, and what a different situation we should have if it had been decided then to bring the Africans into consultation!"—[Official Report, 8/7/77; col. 623.]
Later, the United Nations refused to allow the Rhodesian government itself to state its case. And who are the interested parties now by whom the tune is being called?—the so-called front-line Presidents, the Patriotic Front. Note, my Lords, what I have pointed out before: the military, hostile implications of the word "front-line". By the principles of the United Nations themselves, these Presidents and the countries that they represent should have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of a neighbouring country. If their own interests are threatened, that of course, is a different matter; but in no way has Rhodesia ever threatened their interests. Only the sanctions of the United Nations have done that.

My Lords, let me go back a step, if I may, and glance at another piece of legend-making: "NIBMAR"—No In- dependence Before Majority African Rule. That was a pure racist slogan, of course, but let that pass. More important now is what became of it. It expanded immediately to include the notion of "One Man, One Vote", something that we ourselves achieved less than 50 years ago and which the black peoples of Rhodesia are expected to learn, master and be ready to apply in six months. Majority rule of this kind is something that neither we nor any other developed nation has ever achieved or even attempted. The nearest we have come to it—and I suspect the nearest we shall ever try to come to it—is rule by the majority in an elected Parliament. Is that what we wish to see in Rhodesia? If not, how did the word "black" ever get into NIBMAR, insisting as it does that an elected majority should be allowed to rule only if it should turn out to be black. Your Lordships will see what I mean about racism.

So we now have a surrounding array of hostile neighbours all piously insisting on Rhodesia having a system of government which not one of them would tolerate in his own country. Above all, there is Mozambique! Does anyone really suppose that that appalling country is motivated by a desire to see a peaceful independent democracy in Rhodesia? Yet we actually send money to Mozambique while, in President Machel, we are conferring with the front-man of Soviet Russia.

How has it all come about? It has come about as a direct and inevitable result of the "Wilson Trap", the trap into which we were placed, and deliberately placed, by the Prime Minister who handed over to the United Nations. The end product of that action is the situation in which we, and Rhodesia, find ourselves today; or, perhaps more accurately, in which Rhodesia and her neighbours are about to find themselves while we look on. The logic of it was clear from the beginning—and I am not speaking from hindsight for I said so at the beginning.

The logic of economic sanctions is this. You apply a sanction against a country; that country makes an effort to overcome the sanction and the sanction fails. You step it up; and the other side goes a step higher; and so on and so on until the two sides are climbing the opposite sides of a ladder. The winner in this contest is the one who is prepared to go one step higher than the other; and the topmost rung of this ladder is war. In case that truth is not thought self-evident, I will quote, not for the first time, from the General Assembly Resolution on which this debate is ultimately based. I refer to Resolution No. 2262 of 8th November 1967 which, in its preamble, says that the General Assembly—as endorsed six months later by the Security Council—
"… affirms its conviction … that sanctions, in order to achieve their objective, will have to be comprehensive and mandatory and backed by force".
My Lords, it was made explicitly clear from the beginning that Rhodesia was prepared in the last resort to fight and that we were not; so that sanctions were foredoomed to failure—as they always have been, at least since the fiasco of trying to use them to stop Mussolini's war in Abyssinia. And, in passing, I hope, with my noble friend Lord Carrington, that we are not to see the supreme lunacy of using them against South Africa. As it has turned out, even the Foreign Secretary, speaking on Friday last in another place, could find nothing more powerful to say in defence of sanctions than that they had been "not negligible" in their effect—by which he meant, of course, only that they had been not negligible in their effect on the Rhodesian economy.

My Lords, in the first of these debates, in June 1968, I said that the end of this process would be turning on the taps of the bloodbath and that
"British colonial policy in Africa will have ended by turning her most successful colony into a second Congo".—[Official Report, 17/6/68; col. 499].
So, apparently, it is turning out. I plead error of judgment in thinking that the process would go rather more quickly than it has: an error notably less, I think, than that of that wise, far-seeing and humble statesman who affected to think—and possibly even did think, for all I know—that lie could settle the whole affair in weeks rather than months.

So now we are faced with an imbroglio of questions. Can there be an internal settlement? Does anyone suppose that the Patriotic Front—how on earth have they been allowed to get away with that name, my Lords?—would allow such a thing? The key question, whatever happens, is the question of law and order. Who will keep the peace and against whom? Every formula that I have heard suggested so far is a prescription for bloodshed, and that is something on which I need hardly enlarge in your Lordships' House. But I will invite your Lordships' attention to another part of the speech of the Foreign Secretary in last Friday's debate at column 1020 of the Commons Hansard:
"… the wish now for a negotiated settlement and the widespread acceptance in Rhodesia by people of all races of the need for majority rule has come about because of other pressures, and the most important is the one that I regret most, namely, the fact that people have felt driven to take up arms".
That is true and the Foreign Secretary does well to regret it.

But is it true that those who have felt driven to take up arms have done so in order to bring about an orderly transition to rule by a freely elected majority? No, my Lords, they have not. They have done it not in the interests of a negotiated settlement, but against the black Rhodesians and for their own ends; and their action flows inexorably from the policy of the British Government and the United Nations, and perhaps above all, from the hatred and detestation of Rhodesia that was expressed and fanned by the Foreign Secretary after UDI.

The war that we are seeing unfolding is a war against and for the possession of Rhodesia, the country which, if there is any substance in our claim to be still responsible, we should protect, Even convicted murderers in our own country and in our own gaols enjoy the protection of the law against murderous assaults, do they not? Instead of that, we negotiate with the enemy, even to the extent of seriously suggesting that that enemy shall replace large portions of the Rhodesian army against whom it has been fighting. Add to that the fact that ZANU and ZAPU are deterred from flying at each other's throats only so long as they have a common cause which will expire with the settlement, and stir Mozambique into the stew, and there is a prescription for the horrifying destruction of a nation, and the sole beneficiary will be Soviet Russia. Very well, my Lords, we shall have done what we could, and in the end we—or somebody—will have achieved a settlement. Perhaps I should apologise for having been so tactless as to mention that long-ago talk of justice and honour.

What we ought to be doing—whatever we might or might not be doing about economic sanctions—is insisting on an internal settlement and supplying the Rhodesian security forces with the arms and equipment necessary for their own defence. Unfortunately, that is impossible, for we are gripped in the iron jaws of the Wilson "trap". Of course we could break out of it; we could accept Mr. Smith's declaration of intention to hand over to majority rule and declare Rhodesia independent. True, he might break his word, but only if he were hell-bent on bringing his country to a shambles. We could do that, but we shall not because to do so in the face of world opinion and of the consequences that might flow from such an action, would need, among other things, the courage of an Ian Smith.

I suppose I cannot seriously advocate that we should do it; I say only that is what ought we to do, and also that we ought to be calling for an extension of sanctions (if such there must be) against the countries from which guerrillas operate against the perfectly peaceable country for whose wellbeing we still claim to be responsible. Those guerrillas are referred to in the White Paper in capital letters as the "Armies of Liberation". How do you like that, my Lords? I can do nothing but vote against this order because I am sick of the whole horrifying process. When I say, "sick" I do not mean tired.

5.5 p.m.

My Lords, Her Majesty's Government are working for a negotiated settlement. They are a Government elected by a majority of all the voters of this country and sustained in office on their policy. There is no sense in which they share the illegality of the régime which has been implied by an earlier speaker in this debate. There is war in Rhodesia. If it escalates into a trans-African race war, no one will win it. Not only will all Africa lose but international society will be weakened and interracial understanding could be destroyed with all the dreadful consequences that that would imply for the world. How do we stop the shooting? How do we help—with other well disposed nations—to find a formula that will bring the illegal régime and the irregular forces out of confrontation and into co-operation? Any speech that has not addressed itself to these questions has been irrelevant. It is a deserved tribute to your Lordships' House that so many have avoided that trap.

The noble and gallant Lord, Lord Carver, is currently engaged on precisely this exercise. Liberation forces exist; they will not go away. Indeed, they believe that, "All the tides of history are moving with them". These are indigenous native Rhodesians—Zimbabweans. So are the white Rhodesians; so are those who have been born and brought up in that country. I repudiate the attack made by the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, on my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who has time and time again condemned violence against white Rhodesians and condemned all violence in Rhodesia. Only last week in the debate in the other place he said (at column 1026 of the Commons Hansard):
"I make no secret of the fact that attrocities have been committed on both sides. The honourable Member mast accept the evidence that when people get into this type of guerrilla warfare—and fortunately we have not yet had serious urban guerrilla warfare—the struggle and terror is greater, and savage and horrible things are done".
He has indeed condemned violence.

I welcome the fact that so much of the official reaction to the policy of the Government from the other side of the House has been so positive. I am saddened that some of it from this side of the House, in my general direction at any rate, has been otherwise. The noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, suggested that even if our policy were successful we would only be exchanging one minority for another. I believe that this House realises that it is tempting to ignore the liberation forces. It has resisted, generally speaking, that temptation because it believes, as the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, said earlier from the Opposition Front Bench, that it would be folly to do so. Some noble Lords seem genuinely to believe still that a credible internal solution can be reached, that Mr. Ian Smith, the tribal chiefs, the political clerics, Bishop Muzorewa and the Reverend Sithole, might glue together some compromise government.

I submit, as carefully as possible, that even if that could be done at this late hour, it would be creating an instability, building in an instability. The noble Lord, Lord Alport, saw Mr. Ian Smith as "irrelevant" to a solution, if I understood him rightly. The noble Lord, Lord Paget of Northampton, gave us a curious lesson in what I thought was the pseudo-history of the area and, indeed, of all democratic progress. It is not possible, nor has it ever been possible during the current stage of negotiations, "to put a gun-boat at either end of Rhodesia". We would be creating precisely that situation if we followed that policy, though that created the Angolan vacuum into which all sorts of interested parties moved.

Of course, it might be possible to bring back individuals who are currently exiled from the area who could contribute to some sort of internal settlement. There are few liberation leaders in history—and I shall not indulge in pseudo-historical exercises here—who could carry their own followers with them in such an arrangement. If there is to be a future for Zimbabwe, all parties must co-operate to build trust in the new system. The United Kingdom Government are neither the dupe of, nor a contributor to, a Marxist plot to destroy Rhodesia. They are leading an international initiative to help that country through its present dangers towards credible and internationally legitimate government, and I take pride in supporting them in this debate and in the Lobby.

5.11 p.m.

My Lords, after listening to the elegant and appropriate speech which the noble Lord who has just sat down made on our behalf on the recent Motion regarding the gracious Speech, I hope he will not expect me to comment on his contribution today, even though his speech was so interesting. I should like to recall, as others have done, the admiration we feel for the maiden speech which my noble friend made this afternoon. It was an important contribution to this debate, coming from one who is succeeding his father and whose family, for two generations, have been associated intimately with Rhodesia. That contribution today therefore represents something hopeful and fresh from someone who is fresh from Rhodesia.

The position overall seems to be that the British Government lean on the five so-called front-line Presidents for advice. They are Marxist inclined; they are receiving money and aid from Britain, but, being slanted to Russia, they turn to her for guidance and encouragement—and incidentally, none of those five countries has a genuine constitutional Government. One would think that if some talent could convert that situation into figures, the resulting algebraic calculation would be that there would be civil war between the blacks—that is, I assume, between the Matabele and the Mashona, and that will reduce the existing healthy situation in Rhodesia to something akin to a backward desert.

I have never had any financial or other interest in Rhodesia but, like many others, I have a passionate interest in maintaining British territory. During this afternoon suddenly there came to my mind a story concerning that part of the world, and I hope I shall not be considered frivolous if I tell the story to your Lordships because it is very appropriate. A friend of mine, a career officer in the British Army, decided to go to Rhodesia and join the Rhodesian Army; he is dead now. His wife followed him, and she told me he was present at a dinner in Salisbury which was given for Sir Harold Wilson when he was out there negotiating. At that dinner encouragement was given to everyone to do the best he could in Rhodesia, among the whites, to make the best of relation ships and also to make the blacks understand what constitutional government would be like, as it was expected to come. So my friend's wife told me that the next morning she decided to start and do her duty. She started with her houseboy and began to explain what constitutional government was and how there were two Parties which changed from office in accordance with the wishes of the community. She said that after a Government had been removed by constitutional means, the Opposition continued to help. The boy promptly said:
"But, surely, if they lost they should be killed".
My Lords, the present Motion requires that we should show ourselves in favour of what has been so frequently opposed. Indeed, I suppose that this Motion has been repeated, with external effect, more times than any other Motion. I voted against the first sanctions order and I have opposed each one consistently ever since. I suppose to be consistent, when I feel as strongly as I have done on previous occasions, that I must continue my feeling of opposition. I suppose that affirmation is inevitable because the Government, of course, are likely to obtain a wide range of support.

However, the debate on this Motion is useful because it has shown clearly the complexities of the situation. For myself, naturally I waited with great interest to hear what my noble Leader was going to recommend to his followers; and I try to be a staunch follower of conservatism. Against that, I listened, as did everybody else, with the greatest interest to the reasoning expressed by the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury. He reminded us of what a large number of us on this side of the House subscribed to last year and suggested that, while we refrained from dividing the House last year as that was to be the last time, the House certainly should divide today.

An internal settlement is the proper solution. Why consult these front-line Marxist Presidents? My noble friend and Leader gave an impressive picture of the danger of Russian pressure throughout that area of Southern Africa. On the last occasion when we had a discussion in this House on Southern Africa, before the Recess, the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, whom we respect as an extremely knowledgeable person on defence questions generally, made a most strong speech emphasising the danger to the Southern African situation that came from the pressure of Russia—and, incidentally, many of us in this House last week listened with great interest to the speech given in the Palace of Westminster by the Commander of the Northern flank of NATO. He omitted nothing in emphasising what Russian pressure is today.

The noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, conveyed the impression to me and many others that action of any kind in regard to Southern Africa should be dominated by the intention to thwart Russian expansion there. However, in addressing the Young Fabian Society, the Foreign Secretary emphasised that that was a most dangerous philosophy. As I believe my noble Leader said, the Foreign Secretary followed that with a speech in Moscow in which he said that it seemed that Russia's aims and our aims in Southern Africa are not greatly dissimilar. It is very puzzling to us all that he should say that and when, as my noble friend Lord Cork has just said, he made disparaging remarks against the Prime Minister of a constitutionally elected Government, it was not very tactful for the Foreign Secretary to do.

It is curious that in this matter we lean so much for advice on the State Department of the United States, which, historically, has not been well informed on Southern Africa. But the United States is important at this moment, because there must be certain assistance in regard to the guarantees and the action for reconstruction, which must follow from the peaceful solution for which we all hope. But why is this passion for human rights concentrated on Southern Africa? Why not Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lebanon and Uganda? There are no gushing statements of commendation of those countries.

But, of course, the President of the United States has to repay the black majority vote by which he was elected. The governors of the cotton fields and the peanut fields of Georgia go to the footlights of the international stage in Washington. The President has this love affair with idealism, but he is already beginning to find that his promises are difficult to fulfil, still more the expectations of his supporters. The polls in the United States seem to suggest that the popularity which he expected does not exist.

Of course, many of us in this House have a personal knowledge of American politics, which I can claim. I spent a good deal of my early life in the States. My business training was American. I travelled North and South, East and West, and I think that I gained a fair idea of American politics. I remember meeting President Taft and Woodrow Wilson, and I can recall the campaign of Teddy Roosevelt. I was at Madison Square Garden for his rally on the eve of the poll, and I remember his concluding words—the hero of Manila and the cavalry leaders—"We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord."

To return to legality for Rhodesia, we have just heard a very strong speech by my noble friend Lord Cork on the status of the present Government. Surely, the return to legality of the United States was made possible by legislation in the British Parliament. I think, as my noble friend Lord Cork said, that this continual reference to the illegal government is bunk. Surely we can have respect for a constitutional government in what we all admit is British territory. I suppose that that could be achieved now by legislation in Parliament, if only the Government would see fit.

President Carter has continually given encouragement to the main theme of his idealism. As my noble friend Lord Salisbury emphasised, the Rhodesian Government accepted the Kissinger terms for black rule, which has been the reasoning of the Conservative Party at these annual performances over the years. That was the main point which the Rhodesian Government should adopt. There is now an allegation of treason, and it is difficult to eradicate. Surely our self-interest should dominate. Again, legislation could restore the legality which, in my view, is very desirable.

Surely today we ought to remember the hyperfolly of proposing the integration of the opposing forces in Southern Africa. I, like others in this House, was mobilised on 4th August 1914 and I, like Ethers, remember the casualties on the Somme and at Passchendaele—40,000 in the initial stages. People have forgotten these casualties and the bitterness which that fighting produced. And what is the proposal of the present Government? It is that the two sides should be integrated, with the prospect of a peacekeeping force. It was suggested after Passchendaele that the Germans and the English should create a joint force. Today for the Government to suggest that the troops should be drawn out of Northern Ireland and that a rump should be left there to integrate with the IRA, and for the Government to expect this body to keep order with which the community would be satisfied, I believe to be the greatest folly.

It is emphasised that there must be international assent, which I suppose means in the United Nations. But what about the hypocrisy and the double talk in the United Nations, which provides a platform for dissidents, envy and the self-interest of people who hope that their views will prevail? I believe that it is right to assist the moderates, black and white. In that way the ultimate solution rests with the West. My concluding words are that we should aim to counter Russian pressure in South Africa and that that aim should dominate.

5.33 p.m.

My Lords, I should like to apologise to the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts. British Rail deposited me three-quarters of an hour late and, to add insult to injury, deposited me at the wrong station, so I am afraid that I could not hear the noble Lord's speech. However, I shall certainly read it in Hansard. I should also like to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Forester, on his very good maiden speech. I was very impressed by it.

Although this debate is on sanctions, they are not the real issue at stake. I agree with the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, that as Mr. Smith has agreed under the Kissinger proposals to black majority rule, there does not appear to be much object in continuing with sanctions. If this order should be put to the vote, although I should not like to vote against my noble leader Lord Carrington, I should be very tempted to vote that sanctions should be removed, for I see very little point in maintaining them. However, sanctions are not strictly relevant because they do not appear to be doing to the Rhodesian economy much damage. The great issue is what terms can be devised to bring majority rule to Rhodesia. We can only hope that when majority rule comes to Rhodesia another bloody sacrifice will not be offered to the fetish of Liberal ideology about which I was speaking on Thursday, which will happen, if it is backed by the autocracy of Russian arms.

The issue seems to me to be very clear: First that sanctions do not appear to be very effective according to what one reads in the Press, and that Mr. Smith has agreed to majority rule. Secondly, the Rhodesian population of 6½ million blacks and whites are, on the whole, moderate and anti-Marxist. However, since two-thirds of the black Africans are under 20 they could be steered in either direction, either towards Marxism or away from it, depending upon what government was in power. Thirdly, Rhodesia has highly efficient armed forces and very efficient police. Both forces consist of over 80 per cent. black Africans and they are loyal to the government. This is a point which very many people in this country do not appear to understand.

As we have heard today, the leader with the greatest support at the present time in Rhodesia is the anti-Russian, pro-Western, Bishop Muzorewa. He is a Mashona, like the Reverend Sithole, who is now anti-terrorist. However, an election free from intimidation will not be easy to hold, although in such an election these two men would be the kernel, the basis of any new Rhodesian government. However, there are, as we have heard, the five so-called front line States: Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Botswana together with the terrorist leaders, Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo who is a Matabele. I have never quite understood why the Foreign Secretary and the British and American Governments appear to stand in so much awe of the front-line Presidents and the Patriotic Front.

As we have heard today, the Patriotic Front of Mr. Nkomo and Mr. Mugabe represent only 20 per cent. of the Rhodesian electorate. Therefore, why are we in so much fear of the front-line Presidents? Angola is held down by the Cuban mercenaries of the Russians. She is also torn by internal fighting with the UNITA forces. There is another Marxist Government in Mozambique which is supported by Russian arms. The economy of Mozambique appears to be in complete ruins. I have flown over part of the country. The economy of Tanzania is also in ruins, despite massive support from the West, particularly from Sweden. And in spite of having inherited from colonial days one of the richest diamond mines in Africa, Tanzania is broke. Also, Tanzania has no common frontier with Rhodesia, so why she counts as a frontline State I cannot imagine.

Next we come to Zambia. When handed over, we left £60 million in the Zambian exchequer. Also, we left behind one of the world's richest copper mines. Zambia is now deeply in debt. She was for years largely fed by Rhodesia and was very dependent upon the Rhodesian economy. Botswana is a very different story. Botswana has a very respectable Government but she is a poor, weak country, although this is not her fault. Botswana has a very poor terrain. Botswana is one of the front-line countries and has every right to be so because she has quite a long common frontier with Rhodesia.

The question has been asked today: What right have these four dictatorships—Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia—to advise on universal franchise for elections in Rhodesia? It is a system that they do not practise themselves and two of them, Zambia and Tanzania, were given this democratic system by us but they very quickly abolished it. What right have they to victimise and to criticise Rhodesia, a country which infringes civil liberties far less than they do and which gives the Africans a far higher standard of living than is enjoyed in the front-line Presidents' countries?

Rhodesia has a great problem with its escalating population. I believe it is the fastest growing population in Africa and that is largely owing to the very good administration. I beg Dr. Owen to get his priorities right. One expects a Foreign Secretary to get his priorities right, otherwise he should not be a Foreign Secretary. To disband the Rhodesian security forces and hand over to the guerrillas during the transition period—I do not like to say this again as it has been said many times today—would be utter madness and would lead to complete and utter chaos. It would mean handing the country over to the guerrillas—to the Marxists—and there would certainly be no election so it would destroy the whole object of the operation, which is to bring Rhodesia to democratic rule.

As has also been mentioned today I would beg Dr. Owen to try to achieve a democratic internal settlement. It is true that it may not last, but it has a far better chance than any previous democratic experiment in Africa because, in my opinion, the existence of an armed external threat is surely driving white and black internal leaders into each other's arms. The terrorist threat is creating conditions for genuine multiracial co-operation in the self-interest of both black and white in Rhodesia. I always used to consider that Joshua Nkomo was largely to the Right, but he has now gone in with the Communists. However, he is an ambitious man and if he were to see which way the tide was turning I think he might desert the Communists and stand for election along with Bishop Muzorewa and the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, but of course he would have to sever connections with the terrorists.

I feel that no African State exists with such a real chance of racial co-operation and I cannot understand why the West does not back such a settlement. Presumably they are frightened of the frontline Presidents, but I cannot understand why that should be so. It appears to me to be a very craven and foolish attitude. I presume that under universal franchise the United Nations would agree to their observers being present during the elections. Once such a Government has been established, with black majority rule and free elections, the Communist world would not have an excuse to attack it. I do not see how they could find an excuse.

I suppose America is frightened of being embroiled in a situation like Vietnam, but here again there is no comparison. The Rhodesian armed forces are well able to take care of themselves regarding any threat from the guerrillas. If the Russians were so foolish as to attack Rhodesia they would get a bloody nose, but I do not think they would attack Zimbabwe because whatever else the Russians might be they are not foolish. On Thursday, I was begging the Foreign Secretary to do certain things, and I know he will not take the slightest notice, but it is quite certain that unless Dr. Owen and the West keep the security forces intact in Rhodesia there will soon be nothing left to hand over to a black majority Government. Mr. Smith agreed to black majority rule; not to hand over to a Communist minority conquest.

5.48 p.m.

My Lords, I apologise for intervening at this moment. My name is not on the list of speakers, due to a slight mistake on the part of the Whips' Office. They have kindly put that right and the noble Lord, Lord Gridley, has given way. At the outset I should declare my interests, which will be known to many noble Lords who will remember that a number of years ago I used to speak regularly on problems in Africa in general and Central Africa in particular. But since those days many noble Lords have arrived in your Lordships' House and they will be wholly unaware of my personal involvement in Rhodesia. I bought a farm there in 1951 which I still own, 26 years later, which is farmed in partnership with and by my Rhodesian nephew, so I can claim that I am not even an absentee owner. It is a family business. I lived in that country for six years, I became a citizen of Southern Rhodesia, though not of the Federation, and I was the chairman of a branch of the old United Rhodesia Party when Mr. Garfield Todd was Leader.

When I took leave of Mr. Garfield Todd in the Prime Minister's house in 1957 I asked him: "Is it your policy that there should be an African majority Government on a non-racial basis"—they preferred that word in those days to the term" multiracial"—"in about 20 years and certainly no longer than 30 years, because I believe that is what you are aiming at". Mr. Garfield Todd said, "Yes, you are absolutely right. That should be so and I hope to bring it about in an evolutionary, peaceful and constructive manner so that all interests in this country will be safeguarded".

That was 20 years ago. Things went wrong. Here we are, in a very different state of affairs, when what I expected to happen and Mr. Todd aimed at bringing about is about to happen in a much less satisfactory manner. But I just recount this story so that there should be no noble Lord on the opposite Benches who can be in any doubt as to my own attitude, not only now but then, as to the inevitability, and much more the desirability, of a black Rhodesian Government in that country.

At this stage I should like to ask the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, one question, perhaps two. He may think he has answered it already, and one or two speakers appear to think that he has but I am afraid I am not altogether happy about it. The question is this: Is it really the aim of Her Majesty's Govern- ment to bring about a democratic solution in Rhodesia which will produce a stable Government in the interests of all the inhabitants of that country? And that question is very relevant not only to this debate but particularly to the latest Anglo-American proposals, which I shall come to presently.

Since the great break-through of the Kissinger proposals in which Mr. Smith so amazingly accepted the principle of majority rule, having said it would never come in his lifetime, we have seen, starting with the Geneva Conference and from then on, nothing more nor less than a power struggle among four African leaders. In this respect what the noble Lord, Lord Alport, said is quite right. What Mr. Smith may say or do is at least comparatively irrelevant. The problem is to get agreement among these four leaders. They broke up that conference really, and deliberately so. Mr. Nkomo, having previously been considered the most moderate of the leaders, had negotiated privately with Mr. Smith, failed, and had lost face, and he had little alternative but to ally himself with the most militant leader at that conference, and did so and formed the Patriotic Front, thereafter rapidly taking precautions by raising his own guerrilla forces so that when and if the Patriotic Front should come to power he would be in a position to defend himself, because this, alas, is the stuff of African politics. The Patriotic Front made the running in that conference, and ever since then it seems that Her Majesty's Government have been somewhat over-obsessed with the potential armed power of the Patriotic Front and not quite so interested in the potentialities of Bishop Muzorewa and Mr. Sithole. This impression has been given not only to Mr. Smith but also, of course, to those two gentlemen as well; they have said as much. When we come to the Anglo-American proposals they seem very much biased in favour of the Patriotic Front. I think most noble Lords have concentrated on the key to the proposals, which is the question affecting the security forces.

There have been many mistakes made over the past 15 or 16 years, not only UDI itself, but before that. Mr. Nkomo himself, you remember, signed the so-called Sandys Constitution, in, I think, 1962, and was forced to renege on his signature by outside interference. He must be regretting that decision now, because if he had stuck to his signature probably tomorrow or the day after he could have walked into the Prime Minister's office without opposition, in absolute peace and full power, with the consent of the people. It was a ghastly mistake. The noble Lord, Lord Alport, has referred to the dreadful misjudgments made by Rhodesians themselves, their Government and their people. But would not let noble Lords on either side of the House forget the mistakes we have made in Westminster and Whitehall, mistakes of psychological approach, mistakes of practical tactics. We are all to blame for the terrible tragedy which has been unfolding.

My Lords, to put in this White Paper and in these proposals—and the Foreign Secretary repeated it emphatically in his speech the other day—that the security forces must be based on the liberation forces is, I think, a mistake of almost colossal proportions, because it will make any agreement not only with Mr. Smith but with Bishop Muzorewa and Mr. Sithole absolutely impossible. The noble Lord, Lord Parry, made a most eloquent speech, but I thought he argued, perhaps too confidently, that this was the right solution, that we cannot ignore the liberation forces or the front-line Presidents or international opinion, and therefore we must go ahead on this line.

I should like to put the opposite argument in detail and in practical terms, because it is really basic to the whole possibility of agreeing. What do the Government really think will happen if, during Lord Carver's six months régime, the liberation forces come into the Rhodesian security forces and form an equal part of them? I gather this is the idea, more or less. Elections are held and Bishop Muzorewa and Mr. Sithole are returned, as seems to be the general expectation; then Lord Carver departs. Are those security forces really going to be loyal to the elected leaders when their own leaders, Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo are moving freely in the country? No, my Lords; that is not Africa, I am sorry to say. It would mean immediate risings, rioting, civil war, and the Bishop and the reverend gentleman would be turned out, and all Lord Carver's good work would be wasted. You would have a Marxist- controlled undemocratic State and never another general election. Have the Government really not worked that out or thought about it? How do they think this newly-formed force based on liberation forces is going to be controlled by leaders who are not their leaders?

I think the other way is better. The two African leaders, the Bishop and the Reverend Sithole—leave out Mr. Smith if you like, as Lord Alport said—are going to get the most votes; 85 per cent. I am told, even better than the noble Lord, Lord Forester, thought. I much appreciated the noble Lord's maiden speech and I add my congratulations. How ale the liberation forces going to react? If the present security forces are possibly somewhat diluted and a minority of liberation forces are brought in, not so many as could really make trouble after a fair election, then I think the proposals might work. I am trying to be helpful to the Government. I hope they will work this out a little more carefully than they have clone.

Apparently the fear of the Foreign Secretary is that this would bring about civil war, because Mugabe and Nkomo and their followers Would not accept it and the guerrillas would not lay down their arms. What is likely to be the position? There would he a democratically-elected stable Government. What are these front-line Presidents, President Kaunda, Seretse Khama, and President Nyerere, going to do. They are all good people. I know them. They are competent and have full control of their countries, and they want to see peace. I do not think they are going to be too terribly worried if the Patriotic Front does not happen to form the Government in Rhodesia. They would say: "Thank God we have peace and now we can get on with our business. Our economy will improve and we shall not have any more trouble".

However, the other two Presidents may take a different view. Angola is in a state of civil war and chaotic. President Machel of Mozambique does not have a very stable Government and the country is in economic chaos. He would have difficulty in continuing the guerrilla war. Indeed, if 85 per cent. of the people vote for their leaders to form a government, they will not welcome guerrilla fighters any more in Rhodesia. It will be extre- mely difficult for the guerrillas. They will be much more likely to fade out and the security forces will be absolutely loyal to that new Government. I know that the present security forces have already told the Bishop and the Reverend Sithole that they will be loyal to it as at present formed, without any dilution.

I think that that is the better way. I hope that the Government will look at the situation and not be afraid of what the Patriotic Front can do or of what the front-line Presidents will say, because I am sure that the three who are Commonwealth members will support a peaceful solution, and to hell with the other two—if I may say so—who are not our friends. That is the courageous attitude to take. I believe that that is morally right and that it is the only chance to bring about a democratic solution in favour of all the Rhodesian inhabitants, which is what I care about more than anything in the world.

I turn to the question of sanctions, which is the subject of this debate. I have never voted for sanctions and I have never voted against them. After the declaration of UDI I could not justify to myself morally the fact of that UDI. I had at least mentally to approve the application or the inevitability of applying sanctions, but I would not vote for them against the wellbeing of my friends, black and white. I have always taken that view and shall take it again tonight. However, I follow my noble Leader in his arguments because, apart from the practical fact that I do not think that the further application of sanctions for a few months pending negotiations will make the slightest difference, I appreciate the extraordinary difficulty the Government have in negotiating and reaching agreement with four different Africans who will not agree anyhow, unless we are extraordinarily clever or lucky, or extraordinarily bold and courageous. For example, we might call the bluff with one or two of them. I think that that is an impossible position in which to put the Government and it would not be in the best interests of reaching a peaceful settlement.

Therefore, although I agree with an enormous number of the remarks made by my noble friends Lord Salisbury and Lord Barnby, and the noble Lord, Lord Paget of Northampton, who was right in saying that it was the collapse of the Portuguese colonies which brought the crunch, not the sanctions, I cannot support the Amendment to the Motion, and neither shall I vote for it.

6.4 p.m.

My Lords, we have heard a remarkable speech by my noble friend Lord Hastings. I am glad that I am not in the shoes of the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, who, I am sure, will read very carefully what my noble friend has had to say. Indeed, my noble friend Lord Hastings has put me in some difficulty, because in a sense he has stolen my thunder. I wish to look at the situation as a result of our taking sanctions against Rhodesia and to draw conclusions from the way in which the Rhodesians acted under sanctions. However, I shall be brief because my noble friend Lord Hastings has more or less cut the ground from under my feet.

First of all, we must realise that we are beginning the 14th year in which we have been called upon to continue these sanctions. I say to the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, if, in fact, the Legislature of this country, in its wisdom, conceived it necessary that sanctions should operate only for 12 months, it must have had very sound reasons for saying that Parliament—this House and the other place—should be extremely careful before giving an extension to sanctions. That must be so. Therefore, I believe that we, the Opposition, have an obligation to say that the noble Lord must give us sound reasons why, in his opinion, the Government feel it necessary to continue sanctions; especially in view of the fact that this is, I think, the 14th year in which sanctions have operated. I am not trying to be clever or argumentative about that matter, but as a Back Bencher I believe that sometimes we should be jealous of what is the proper procedure in such circumstances when, in a statutory way, they should operate for only 12 months.

There is one matter about which I shall ask my noble friend Lord Hastings later, but I should like to ask the question of the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, now. I ask it in a constructive sense because if some of us raise questions that bother us it may be useful for the Government to consider why we have raised such questions. We were told years ago when sanctions were to be introduced against Rhodesia that they would result in the toppling of Mr. Smith and his administration within a matter of weeks. They have continued and the facts are precisely the opposite to what we intended. Mr. Smith diversified his administration and he apparently was able to strengthen his economy. If there was any grave dissatisfaction with the existing government or what Mr. Smith was doing in Rhodesia, I find it difficult to understand how it was possible for him to succeed; unless, of course, sanctions were not working, which might be one explanation. Nevertheless, the country seemed to get behind him and enabled him to carry on.

The other matter that I should like to raise—I should really like to ask the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, about it and I shall certainly ask my noble friend Lord Hastings—is this. Over here, especially after the guerrilla attacks against Rhodesia, I have been amazed to read of the qualities of patriotism and loyalty exhibited by all races towards Rhodesia. If our quarrel with Rhodesia is a paramount argument about self-determination and independence for a black government in Rhodesia, why are all races—whites and blacks—at present prepared to join together and die for their cause, in which I assume they must believe? Perhaps the noble Lord could answer that question. Can the Government continue justifying the continuance of sanctions when the facts are that blacks in Rhodesia, far from rebelling against Mr. Smith and what he may represent, are fighting alongside whites as members of the Rhodesian security forces, and are prepared to fight and die for their cause? Does the noble Lord have any opinion about that?

I have raised the matter in that way because in our negotiations I feel that some consideration must be taken of the existing facts in that country. I am sometimes anxious that at present the Government are taking a rather hard line about their negotiations. We hear awful charges of illegality. Of course there was illegality. I realise that, but it has gone on for years and years. The Government must look at the facts as they see them. I am trying to understand why certain people act as they do. Finally, can we justify the charge that under Mr. Smith there is any exhibition of racialism existing in Rhodesia, if the blacks in the security forces in Rhodesia—and I say this deliberately—are prepared to attack and kill people in the black guerrilla forces? I find all those things very difficult to understand, but perhaps the noble Lord can explain them.

I am asking many questions of the Government, and, if there is a Division this evening, how I vote will depend on their replies to some of the questions and comments that have been raised in the debate. I am confused about the Patriotic Front. The Foreign Secretary has referred to these people and so has my noble friend Lord Hastings. I should like to know who the members of the Patriotic Front are and what they represent. Are they under Marxist domination? I find it hard to believe that any of them completely understand what is meant by the word "liberation" or, in view of all that I have said, that they understand why they are called upon to fight against Rhodesia.

In the context of what I have said about Rhodesia and the people of that country, may it not be seriously misleading to refer to these people as "freedom fighters" or members of the Patriotic Front? It is important for the British people and public, in a democracy, to have the facts of the case; moreover, it is most important for them to have the truth. In the political sense—and we have heard political speeches on these lines over the years—can we have less of the cry of, "One man, one vote"?—because in itself that would not solve anything. I agree with the idea of one man, one vote, but it must have a good Government to support it. That is the whole essence of the matter when we are considering any constitutional solution to the Rhodesian problem.

If one carries out some research into the subject, one will find that over many years Foreign Secretaries, Colonial Secretaries and British Parliaments have always had an abiding responsibility to the peoples of the indigenous territories. In that context is it important for us to ensure that the people of Rhodesia should be happy, and that that is brought about by good and stable government. That is really all I have to say. I realise that I have covered some of the matters raised by my noble friend Lord Hastings. I hope that the Government will be able to answer some of the points raised in the debate tonight.

Finally, I listened with great respect to the speech made by my noble friend Lord Carrington at the outset of the debate. It is extremely unfortunate that we took these sanctions to the United Nations. Rhodesia has always been our responsibility and the actions that we can take now are circumscribed by the act that was taken. If I remember the situation correctly, on that occasion my noble friend Lord Carrington made an able speech against the proposition that we should take sanctions to the United Nations. I believe that the House owes him a debt of gratitude. Time has proved that, in his wisdom, my noble friend was absolutely right. I shall be very interested to hear what the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts, says in reply to this debate.

6.15 p.m.

My Lords, I join other noble Lords in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Forester, on his maiden speech. I thought that he succeeded in sounding the deeper undertones of this debate; that is, that we are all troubled by what lies in store for Rhodesia from now on. The noble Lord, Lord Carrington, expressed the same sentiments. We are all troubled by what is likely to come about. I had kinfolk in Rhodesia who gave their lives—some of the loveliest and the best—when we were in trouble, and they were white.

Throughout my life I have been deeply involved in the affairs of Africans on the Borders of Rhodesia and elsewhere. I owe my life to Africans because of something that happened in the 1920s-50 years ago. I am here in this House because an African in Africa said to me one day when he heard that I was taking no part in your Lordships' debates—and I thought that I had a good excuse because I lived a long way off and was poor—"Sir, Allah made you a senator in a great country. You have a duty. Before you return to your contry, will you be kind enough to promise me that you will go and speak in your senate and say what you believe to be just"? That is why I have taken any part at all in the last 14 years or so.

Finally, in my maiden speech I chose to espouse a cause which is not generally popular in Africa. In your Lordships House I opposed the plan of Her Majesty's Government to impose black colonialism on a part of Africa. This was so well received in that part of Africa that I am a freeman of an African town and those who gave me this key on that occasion were all black—no white man was involved at all.

Therefore, my object tonight is to say what is best for both. I have been asked to make my speech short and I shall do so. The speech made by the noble Lord, Lord Alport, was in two parts, towards one half of which I was deeply sympathetic; namely, the tribal divisions of Rhodesia. One of the gravest risks is that of civil war between Africans. That has happened again and again all over Africa and, to a large extent, we seem to be indifferent to it. I say that because Her Majesty's Governments, both Conservative and Labour, have sustained the logistics of such a war in support of black imperialism for four years, paying for the logistics and providing the field commanders— the army, the air force and the navy. Not a word of this reached the newspapers of this country.

In the past, my speeches in this connection have not been well received. I remember in 1962–14 years ago—only three Peers remained to listen to what I had to say. It is purely by chance that one of those three happens to be sitting beside me this evening—he is the noble Lord, Lord Somers. I do not know whether there is any kind of hidden link between his presence and what I now say about sanctions on Rhodesia as to how I cast my vote tonight.

I remember that we were invited to approve sanctions on the ground that Smith was a man of straw with no support, and that in order to establish legality it was proper that we should apply sanctions and that he would be toppled in weeks, not months. Soon afterwards it transpired that this was far from the case, and therefore the basis on which we were invited to agree to sanctions has fundamentally altered almost from the beginning.

I want to say one or two words about legality. I am not impressed by the extraordinary and venomous use of the term "illegal Smith régime". I could produce 40 or more cases where we have, within a matter of clays, recognised illegal régimes. Take, for example, when Milton Obote upset the Kabaka in Uganda; it was weeks, not months, until we recognised his legality. When Idi Amin upset Milton Obote it was days not weeks and we agreed. Should it happen that Idi Amin were to be upset, I am not at all certain that we should make any effort for his reinstatement. We are not consistent in this matter of legality, nor in the matter of black colonialism, of which all my lifetime a dreadful example has been before us in Ethiopia, where some of the evils are coming home to roost.

We have picked on Smith and his colleagues in order to insult them with sanctions in a way we do not do to anybody else. The noble Lord, Lord Carrington, said that it would be a great mistake at this juncture to change the background. My feeling is the opposite. This is the moment of decision when they have seen what is before them, a rather grim prospect—and in that I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Gladwyn—and we bring them neither comfort nor encouragement. Some of them will be getting out. It would be just as well if they would be able to sell their estates and farms for a good price instead of being hounded by economic sanctions.

Do we really believe that justice is achieved—and this is what my African friend asked me to come here to say—or satisfied by placing Smith and his white men under duress in these negotiations? If I were them I would say anything, and then afterwards say, "force majeure. I was not a free man". If there is a Division tonight, I shall certainly go into the Division Lobby against the renewal of the sanctions order.

6.22 p.m.

My Lords, the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, and I are in total agreement on the quality of Lord Forester's speech. It came from the heart; it was restrained; it was good, and I think that most of us in your Lordships' House, if not everybody, would agree on its central themes of moderation and co-operation.

Recently some of the old have died, some the middle-aged have become old, some of the young have become middle- aged—and the first sign of it is when one's bank manager and the Foreign Secretary are younger than oneself. That has all happened since UDI 12 years ago. This Rhodesia/Zimbabwe problem is a long problem. It gets more intractable and hard as time goes on, even though the settler population has finally agreed to majority rule, albeit in the last few months. The concessions have been too little and too late. Mr. Smith must regret that he did not accept the conditions which Sir Harold Wilson gave him on "Tiger" and "Fearless". He has now agreed to that horrible word NIBMAR, which he said he never would.

My Lords, on Rhodesia practically everything has been said, not only today but in the last 12 years. Unlike the Foreign Secretary, I suspect that next year the introduction I have just made will be said in exactly the same words, only I shall use the words "13 years" as opposed to "12 years". We must keep our eyes fixed on the interests of all classes and colours of Rhodesians. Chancellor Bacon said:
"Youth and discretion are ill-wed companions".
I suspect that in certain aspects the young Dr. Owen and the equally young Mr. Andrew Young are showing signs of this —I am not sure whether "bastardy" is the word, but I will use it because I think it suits—by giving too much weight to the guerrilla armies of Dr. Nkomo and Mr. Mugabe. They do not, I think it has been shown, represent all of African opinion in Rhodesia. What has not been driven home hard enough is that Mr. Smith cannot win in the long run, and he cannot lose in the short run. All that is going to happen is that many people are going to get slaughtered unless some sense is driven into people's heads. Regrettably, Mr. Smith will not give, nor do Her Majesty's Government give, the impression of aid to the moderates which they deserve.

The aim I spoke of must be to make sure that the contribution of the European settlers shall not be destroyed but will be available to all. Marxism will not help any Matabele nor any Mashona to increase or broaden his standard of life, or his standard of living. Marxism will not advance his freedom; and Russian Marxism imposed by a collection of over-promoted Cuban muzhik mercenaries will do even worse. It will stifle it under a blanket of oppression and incompetent tyranny. We must explain, we must proselytise to all in Rhodesia that multiracialism is going to be better for the welfare of all classes, of all creeds, of all colours than is Marxism or, equally, white supremacy. We must ignore Zambia's call for no election before independence because that will be the handing over of one tyranny to another. The difficulty comes with these various armies and all these guns knocking about in Rhodesia; there are too many of them.

It must be possible, and it can only be possible, to integrate these armies. I know that people have said, and Members of your Lordships' House have today said, that this is like amalgamating the Waffen SS with the Grenadier Guards, but for the peace of Rhodesia and the benefit of the Rhodesian people, of all classes and creeds and colours, we must amalgamate the Waffen SS and the Grenadier Guards. I would suggest to your Lordships that there is a precedent. It is a fairly esoteric precedent; it is that post 1857 reorganisation of the Indian Army when you had dogra companies, Sikh companies, Punjabi Mussulmen companies and ultimately any race officers. That is a possibility—difficult, but what about Rhodesia is not difficult? What about Rhodesia is not depressing in a way beyond measure, because no side can see beyond their own immediate narrow and selfish interest.

Sanctions had very little economic effect. I think it has been established that the economy of Rhodesia has done better with sanctions than ours has done. Perhaps Mr. Smith ought to go to the United Nations and impose sanctions on Her Majesty's Government, and then perhaps our economy might advance. I hope your Lordships will excuse me for being marginally flippant. Even so, the psychological effect has been very great on the world at large, and it will be dotty of us to take our foot off the accelerator.

Accelerator. The noble Lord, Lord Paget, is very used to the accelerator because we know that he tears across Leicestershire. The accelerator here refers to that of the carriage that may possibly get us to the top of multiracial co-operation. If we do not do that, then that ghastly carriage will crash into an abyss; and if we will follow the advice of the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, whose long-term aim I sincerely believe is the same as mine, it will be just handing over all the peoples of Rhodesia to Armageddon and an infinitely worst tyranny than they are under now.

6.31 p.m.

My Lords, first I must congratulate most warmly my noble friend Lord Forester on a maiden speech which, for the conditions of its delivery, the moderation of its tone and the sensitivity which it displayed, was unique in my experience in either House. I had not intended to speak in this debate and I do so briefly now only because of some comments of the noble Lord, Lord Alport, which I thought to be both self-righteous and unjust. He claimed for himself that because he had supported sanctions, he was by that very fact shortening the life of the Smith régime. He accused others of us, like myself, because we had opposed sanctions, of seeking to prolong the life of the Smith régime. In the very first debate, which the noble and learned Lord, Lord Gardiner, will well remember, in the small hours of the morning some 12 years ago, I said I believed that sanctions against Rhodesia would be self-defeating and would prolong, not shorten, the illegal rebellion.

One question struck me very much in today's debate, and particularly in the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Goronwy-Roberts: Why do sanctions have such different effects on different peoples? To impose sanctions on South Africa is unthinkable because they stiffen resistance and encourage the laager mentality, but to impose sanctions on Rhodesia weakens and softens them. That is a contradiction which I find very difficult to understand.

I would ask the noble Lord what is really the moral justification for sanctions. We know the legalistic justification, that Rhodesia has been a threat to peace. But Rhodesia has been exactly the same threat to peace in the last 12 years as Czechoslovakia was a threat to peace in 1937 to 1939. It was a territory that somebody else wanted to grab. If it were necessary to impose sanctions on Rhodesia, being a threat to peace, why in Heaven's name, as my noble friend Lord Cork and Orrery indicated, are we not imposing sanctions on those who are actually breaking the peace, namely, those who are supporting, financing and training the guerrilla fighters or freedom fighters, call them what you will?

We are told that to vote against this order tonight might have a disastrous effect on the Anglo-American peace proposals. I believe that exactly the opposite would be the result. I believe the effect, if there were effect, would be beneficial because it is clear to me that these proposals as they stand are simply another base for further retreats by the Western World before the pressure of the armed terrorists in Africa. I believe too that if we vote against this order—those of us who believe it to be wrong and ill-conceived—that will in effect put the Government in a stronger bargaining position rather than in a weaker one because they will be able to say, "We have opinion at home to think of just as much as you. Mr. Young, or you, Dr. Nkomo, have to think of it in your own countries".

I have become very tired—not so much today because there was relatively little of it—with discussions in the Press and elsewhere of our relations with Rhodesia and the implication, which is always there, that if we take any stand of our own we shall forfeit the respect of world opinion. I wonder whether we do not give too much thought to the respect of world opinion. I wonder whether we would not do better to think of our own self-respect, because the more we give way the less respect we engender outside of this country.

A final comment. The British people are strange and sometimes unbelievable in their frivolity; they fill their minds with Miss Worlds, Eurovision song contests and goodness knows what else, and turn their backs on genocide in Cambodia. But one day, if they discover that, as a result of mistaken policies of successive Governments in this country, there is massacre, chaos and revolution in Rhodesia, I believe they will suddenly wake out of their slumber and vent their feelings on those who have brought them to that pass. That is one reason why I will again tonight vote against this order because I am not prepared to take that responsibility on my shoulders.

6.39 p.m.

My Lords, my first duty in replying to the debate is the very pleasant one of joining others who have warmly congratulated the noble Lord, Lord Forester, on a most excellent maiden speech. Indeed, it was not all that maidenly throughout because from time to time he exercised his right, even on the first occasion speaking in this House, to criticise very forthrightly, and I shall pick up a few of the points he made, which I think would be a better compliment to his performance than if I were to leave it, as maiden speeches normally are, without further comment.

Lord Forester asked a number of important questions. For example, he asked what was the best safeguard for minorities after the transfer to independence. There is no absolute safeguard, and my right honourable friend has been absolutely frank about that. There are examples in Africa of how successor States have made it possible, in varying degrees, for indigenous minorities to continue under the new régime and to make their contribution. But I join with the noble Lord, Lord Forester, in saying that the real guarantee is the creation of trust and of a community of interest between the various sections of society. This is precisely the object of the White Paper, and of the efforts which have been going on for so long to effect a peaceful transition to majority rule on the basis of the persisting rights and opportunities of all the people of Rhodesia.

This brings me to the answer to the question put to me by the noble Lord, Lord Gridley, and by the noble Lord, Lord Hastings: Are we working for peaceful transition to a state of independence where all the peoples of Rhodesia will have equal rights and opportunities? The answer is unreservedly, yes. It must be qualified by the obvious remark that it is a problem of the most extraordinary complexity, not made any easier by the fact that there have been 12 lost years. I do not say this in recrimination. I join with the noble Earl, Lord Onslow, who made, I thought, a remarkably fine speech, one in which in thought and eloquence would, I believe, commend itself to this House on reading as well as on audition. I join with him in saying that there have been lost opportunities on all sides, but not least by those in charge of government, of administration, in Rhodesia. If the last 12 years had been used to build up, to evolve, a basis for a non-rational State—I borrow the term from one of the noble Lords opposite; it is a better one—a multiracial State, then we would not be tonight considering very seriously the implications of a step which some noble Lords are considering; namely, to take this country out of the comity of nations, to renege on our international obligation to continue to impose sanctions until there is a peaceful, equitable, and durable solution to the Rhodesian problem.

This brings me to a number of points raised by a number of noble Lords about the Secretary of State's recent speeches. I know that no noble Lord would wish to be deliberately unfair to the Secretary of State, a brilliant young man who is making a tremendous contribution on the world stage, and whom some of us actively hoped would be given his chance to bring new ideas and a new spirit into international relations; and well he is succeeding. The noble Lords, Lord Carrington and Lord Barnby, joined in somewhat uneasy coalition for the moment in criticising one or two things which they thought my right honourable friend had said. For instance, the noble Lord, Lord Barnby, referred to the Secretary of State's speech in Moscow. He made no speech in Moscow. He gave an interview to the BBC—a somewhat more hazardous operation, perhaps—and I wish to quote from what he said then, because I know that noble Lords will wish to have this right:
"I want to now explain to them that our intentions are exactly the same as theirs —which is to have majority rule for the black Africans and to allow them to freely choose in an election who they would wish to be their President and their Government".
If we can join the Russians in that kind of high minded objective, I think that we are to be congratulated. After all, to paraphrase a famous remark, why should the Russians always have all the best tunes?

I turn from that point to a matter raised by the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, who showed an uncharacteristic lack of consideration for the right honourable gentleman the Secretary of State. He referred to what he called Dr. Owen's use of the term "surrender". I think that this has been explained, but perhaps I had better repeat it. It was a phrase used in the White Paper—"surrender of power"—to mean in effect, and very simply transfer of power. It just shows how very careful one must be, especially in drafting White Papers, and I assure the House that that is the sense in which that word was used. The House will have noticed that I used the word "transfer" today in my opening speech, and I do so again—

My Lords, would it not have been much better if the word had been used in the White Paper?

Yes, indeed it would; and the first to agree with that when his attention was drawn to it was my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

I pass now very quickly to other points made by the noble Lord the Leader of the Opposition, and, without intending to embarrass him, I should like to say how much I admired his speech. I thought that it was one of the best statements of criticism in principle, with a responsible acceptance of what was necessary at this point of circumstance. It was from this side of the House a statesmanlike statement. He was joined by a number of other speakers—I have referred to the speech made by the noble Earl, Lord Onslow—who powerfully supported him. Last week he was joined in prospect, as it were, by the noble Lord, Lord Home of the Hirsel, and if the House will bear with me, I should like to quote something which the noble Lord, Lord Home, said on Rhodesia in that truly remarkable speech last Thursday, as reported at column 318 of the Official Report:
"If I were present on Monday I would vote for the Rhodesian Order, and I will explain why. I do not know what will happen to sanctions in 1978—I hope we can get rid of them —but this I do know: that it is impossible to remove them in the middle of active negotiations for a constitutional settlement in Rhodesia. This is not the moment to do it".
He went on, in what I again call a remarkable speech, to prove the point to the hilt.

This is the answer to the question put to me tonight: why sanctions? It is not really the issue of sanctions. It is the issue of what message goes from this House, at this juncture, to all the people of Rhodesia. Are we going to say to them, alone in the comity of nations: We are opting out—it is true that the other place has voted by a very substantial majority to continue this policy, but we, the Upper Chamber of the British Parliament, are opting out; and we alone among all the countries who have set their hands to this difficult process of substituting economic pressure for the arbitrament of war? It is not an easy thing to do; we are at the beginning of a new way of exerting pressure on people who are in danger of breaking the peace, or who actually break the peace. It will be a long time before we can effectively substitute this technique for the old bloodstained techniques.

Why sanctions?—because it is an attempt to substitute something better for the old techniques of pressure. Why sanctions now? Why their continuation for another 12 months, then to look at the situation again? It is because the rest of the civilised world are continuing with them, and we do not want to take ourselves out of that comity. If we did, not only would we be reneging upon the great majority among the blacks and the whites in Rhodesia who are working for a peaceful and constructive settlement; we would also be reneging upon our friends and partners in the Nine—because they will not pull out of this, whatever we do tonight—and our friends and allies in NATO, including the United States of

CONTENTS

Airedale, L.Brockway, L.Douglass of Cleveland, L.
Alport, L.Burntwood, L.Evans of Hungershall, L.
Amherst, E.Byers, L.Fisher of Rednal, B.
Ampthill, L.Campbell of Eskan, L.Foot, L.
Annan, L.Castle, L.Gardiner, L.
Ardwick, L.Champion, L.Gladwyn, L.
Auckland, L.Collison, L.Glenamara, L.
Aylestone, L.Cooper of Stockton Heath, L.Gordon-Walker, L.
Bacon, B.Crathorne, L.Goronwy-Roberts, L.
Balogh, L.Crook, L.Greenwood of Rossendale, L.
Banks, L.Crowther-Hunt, L.Gregson, L.
Bernstein, L.Cudlipp, L.Haig, E.
Beswick, L.Davies of Penrhys, L.Hale, L.
Birk, B.de Clifford, L.Halsbury, E.
Blyton, L.Delacourt-Smith of Alteryn, B.Hamnett, L.
Boothby, L.Denbigh, E.Harris of Greenwich, L.
Bowden, L.Diamond, L.Henderson, L.
Brimelow, L.Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.Heycock, L.

America. What a basis on which to walk into that Lobby and cast that sort of vote!

The issue is one of great responsibility for every one of us. I have the deepest respect for those who have spoken with such sincerity. I have known them for so long and have talked about this matter with them so many times that nothing they say or do tonight will reduce my profound respect and admiration for them. But I ask every Member of this House tonight to ask himself: What will be the message which an adverse vote tonight will convey to Rhodesia and to the entire world? If by some macabre chance this order was voted down tonight, would it not be an incitement to the men of blood in every race in Rhodesia? But if, in the tradition of this House and in the tradition of this country, everybody having voiced his misgivings and made his suggestions, it were agreed, would it not be a message that the British, like everybody else, stand by this policy of working for a peaceful transfer to independence in Rhodesia and the creation of an independent State in which the black majority and the white and other coloured minorities will have equal rights and opportunities? My Lords, I hope there is no Division, but, if there is, then responsibility will command equal respect on both sides of the House.

6.53 p.m.

On Question, Whether the Motion shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 119; Not-Contents, 23.

Hirshfield, L.Onslow, E.Stedman, B.
Houghton of Sowerby, L.Oram, L.Stewart of Alvechurch, B.
Jacobson, L.Pannell, L.Stone, L.
Jacques, L.Parry, L.Stow Hill, L.
Janner, L.Peart, L. (L. Privy Seat.)Strabolgi, L. [Teller.]
Kaldor, L.Peddie, L.Tanlaw, L.
Leatherland, L.Phillips, B.Taylor of Mansfield, L.
Lee of Newton, L.Pitt of Hampstead, L.Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Llewelyn-Davies, L.Platt, L.Vickers, B.
Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, B. [Teller.]Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.Vivian, L.
Raglan, L.Wall, L.
Longford, E.Reigate, L.Wallace of Coslany, L.
Lovell-Davis, L.Ritchie-Calder, L.Walston, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.Robbins, L.Wedderburn of Charlton, L
McCarthy, L.Sainsbury, L.Weidenfeld, L.
McCluskey, L.Seear, B.Wigg, L.
Maelor, L.Sempill, Ly.Wigoder, L.
Melchett, L.Shackleton, L.Willis, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.Shepherd, L.Wilson of High Wray, L.
Morris, L.Shinwell, L.Winterbottom, L.
Murray of Gravesend, L.Snow, L.Wootton of Abinger, B.
Northfield, L.Soper, L.Wynne-Jones, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Ailsa, M.Gridley, L. [Teller.]Noel-Buxton, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L.Inglewood, L.Paget of Northampton, L.
Barnby, L.Kimberley, E.Salisbury, M. [Teller.]
Bledisloe, V.Lauderdale, E.Strathclyde, L.
Cobham, V.Lindsey and Abingdon, E.Swinfen, L.
Coleraine, L.Lytton, E.Torphichen, L.
Forester, L.Mersey, V.Verulam, E.
Gainford, L.Monson, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.