In his explanation of our vote in favour of the Security Council resolution of 18th June, the United Kingdom representative referred to paragraph 12 of the Resolution which deals with the supply of arms to South Africa. He repeated that Her Majesty's Government's policy remains as previously stated, that is not to export to South Africa arms which would enable the policy of apartheid to be enforced. As regards Saracen armoured cars, I have nothing to add to what was said by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 19th December.
Is not the attitude of Great Britain in this matter one of pure casuistry? Did not the resolution of 18th June, for which we voted, call on member States to stop the export not only of arms but of materials for the manufacture and maintenance of arms in South Africa? And did we not, as the Foreign Secretary said, pledge that we would stop the export of arms which would enable apartheid to be enforced? Are we not exporting spare parts for Saracen armoured cars at this moment? Are we not, therefore, showing a complete reluctance to do anything practical against apartheid?
Does not the export of spare parts for Saracens show that the Government are sending munitions which could be used for the suppression of civil disorder in South Africa? Have the Government abandoned altogether their position that we send such arms as we send to South Africa under the Simonstown Agreement, and do they now rest solely on Article 51 of the United Nations Charter? If they do, it is very hard to square that policy with our vote at the United Nations.
There was an explanation of our vote at the United Nations on which I have given a full Answer in reply to the original Question. As for the Saracens, we do not intend to make any new contracts. We are simply fulfilling the existing contracts. As I added, all applications for spares are carefully scrutinised in the light of our policy.