Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Orders of the Day — European Communities Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1972.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham 12:00 am, 13th July 1972

In attributing to my hon. Friend that this was as evil as Munich I was characteristically guilty of kindly understatement. I should tell him bluntly that, had he not been one of the most heroic and noble fighters all his life, particularly at that time, against the vile threats of Fascism and Nazism, I should have found it difficult to swallow that he equates our entry into Europe with what happened at Munich. I cannot see any striking similarity. Had it not been for my hon. Friend's record, I should have been inclined to ask him whether he was mocking the hundreds of thousands of Socialists, Communists, Liberals and Jews who were handed over in the Munich settlement to the torments and brutalities of the Nazis. Is he serious in wanting to compare what we are doing today and in the weeks and months ahead—[Interruption.] My hon. Friend's intervention, as I understood it—I checked it before continuing—was that Munich was not enough to express the horror of the surrender we are making, but we had to go further back to the Treaty of Utrecht. If I have done him an injustice I should be delighted to hear.

To those who think that what we are doing is in some way comparable with Munich, I should point out that Munich ought to remind us of what happens when we are foolish enough to believe that our fate can be kept isolated from the evils of the fate of other people. That is the lesson that ought to be learned.

I do not accuse my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale or my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney of any lack of international sentiment; but, in the course of the two million words that have been uttered in these debates, as we are told by the Solicitor-General, there are some which I find particularly shameful coming from some of my hon. Friends on this side of the House in that they indicate a spirit and attitude towards the peoples of Europe——