African National Congress

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons am 12:00 am ar 9 Ebrill 1986.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Robert Adley Mr Robert Adley , Christchurch 12:00, 9 Ebrill 1986

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the next meeting to take place between his officials and members of the African National Congress; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey

As foreshadowed to the House on 5 March, contacts between officials and the ANC are continuing as appropriate. The central purpose of such contact is to bring home to the ANC the importance of a suspension of violence on all sides in South Africa in order to promote constructive dialogue. We have not agreed to any ministerial contact.

Photo of Mr Robert Adley Mr Robert Adley , Christchurch

I welcome the decision of my right hon. and learned Friend's officials to meet the ANC. Can he confirm that the eminent persons group has also had meetings with the ANC? As the ANC represents the views of the large majority of non-white people in South Africa, notwithstanding the propaganda put out to the contrary by the South African Government, will my right hon. and learned Friend ensure that as much conversation and dialogue as possible take place so that we can try to find a solution in South Africa by peaceful means and avoid the violent means that will be inevitable if that is not achieved?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey

The Commonwealth eminent persons group met a wide range of people both inside and outside South Africa, including, of course, representatives or members of the ANC. That contact has been provided for because of the role that they occupy, or could occupy.