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I beg to move,
That this House deeply deplores the armed overthrow of democracy in Chile, and condemns the continuing murder, torture and imprisonments carried out by the military junta ; regrets the hasty recognition of the new régime by Her Majesty's Government; and, bearing in mind the strength of feeling in Great Britain, now condemns the refusal of the Government to offer refuge in its Embassy in Santiago to those in danger of their lives, in sharp and deplorable contrast to other Western European embassies, and calls on the Foreign Secretary to issue fresh instructions to our Ambassador, to press for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to executions, to prevent any sale of arms from Great Britain to the junta, to ensure that refuge in Great Britain is provided for Chileans who seek it, and to withhold future aid and credits from the present Chilean régime; and to use his influence to ensure that World Bank and IMF assistance is also withheld.
It is now 11 weeks since the day of the military coup in Chile, since President Salvador Allende was murdered, since the death of democracy in Chile, since the murders and tortures and imprisonments and terror in Chile began.
I want first to deal with the background facts of the Chilean situation. I know that it is not our normal practice to comment unduly on the internal affairs of another country. But it is impossible to understand the feelings of Opposition Members and, I believe, of many people in the country about the matters which we raise in our motion without a little understanding of the background in Chile.
As we know and regret, Latin America is a very troubled continent of military dictatorships. It is a continent of acute contrasts of wealth and desperate poverty. In a way, one sees the contrasts more clearly in Latin America because development has taken place to a limited extent. These countries are not as poor as those of Asia or Africa. Many of the ordinary people, workers and peasants, in the countries of Latin America could have a reasonable subsistence standard of living if the existing national incomes of those countries were spread more evenly.
Chile is like the rest of Latin America in having these contrasts of wealth and poverty, though it is unlike them in having had traditionally for 140 years the longest established democracy in Latin America which has only briefly been disturbed during the whole of that period. As those of us who know Chile a little are aware, among those traditions are three which were savaged by the coup of 11th September.
The first was the Chilean tradition of non-violence. I remember being told by many friends in Santiago that the rate of violent crime in Santiago was very low, that theirs was not a country of violent people, that there was an attitude towards violence which deeply deplored it, and that they were extremely proud of this but took it for granted. That tradition has been savaged.
The second tradition was that the armed forces in Chile were always correctly neutral and could be relied upon to protect the constitutionally elected Government of the day and to uphold its rule of law. That tradition too has been savaged.
There was a third tradition which was a tradition of very close attachment to Britain and the British people. I believe that the Minister of State knows Chile, but it may seem strange to those who are less familiar with the country that, for all sorts of historical reasons, Chileans feel themselves almost closer to the British people than to any other people in Europe. Naturally they share with Spain a language and the background of Spanish imperialism, but with that exception Britain is the country to which they feel closest. In the past 11 weeks, as a result of the behaviour of the British Government, I am afraid that that tradition of closeness between the people of Chile and the people of Britain has also been savaged.
I should like to consider how that has occurred. The democratic Government which was elected in Chile three years ago was a Socialist Government. One woud not expect right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Conservative side to approve or admire the basis upon which it was moving forward in Chile any more than one would expect them to approve or admire the policies put forward by the Opposition on matters facing our own country.
The Popular Unity Government was quite unique in Socialist terms. It was much more than a mere alliance of parties. It was an integrated movement in which a number of Socialist parties were taking part in government. They included Socialists, Communists and Radicals. I remind the House that the Radical Party of Chile is one of the oldest democratic parties in the country. It has direct and close links with the British Labour Party and, therefore, with the British Labour movement. It is a co-affiliate of ours in the Socialist International, which is the body which brings together the democratic Socialist parties of Europe and of the rest of the world.
Our links with the Radical Party are so close that the Socialist International and some of us from the national executive of the British Labour Party went last February to Chile, where we held a special meeting in Santiago of the Bureau of the Socialist International, and we published statements there to offer very deliberate assistance to Popular Unity during the period of the elections which were just beginning. That is the depth of our links with the Radical Party, which was one of the elements, and, although small, nevertheless an important element, in the Popular Unity Government.
It was a Government in which, oddly enough, the Communists were the moderate realists and the Socialists were, I suppose, the idealists in a hurry. It was a Government with a programme which had very much in common with that of the Christian Democrats : the nationalisation of copper and land reform. All these were matters on which there was a shared view between the Christian Democrats—certainly the Left element of them—and the Popular Unity coalition. The programme included proposals to move towards bringing into national ownership the basic resources on which the country depended for its wealth, and land reform changing the distribution and pattern of ownership of land so that the poor might benefit and the rich become a little less rich. Those are aims which again are shared with most countries and most political parties in Latin America, whether they be Socialist or Conservative.
These are the pragmatic necessities if the Latin American people are to move forward. There was nothing distinctive about those policies of the Popular Unity Government, even though they caused tremendous opposition from outside the country, especially from the United States.
The real crime of Popular Unity in the eyes of the Right was that it planned and carried out a redistribution of income and wealth. That was its crime. That was why there was the polarisation in political terms in Chile over the past two years. That is why there has also been to some extent an equivalent polarisation in Britain in terms of reactions to the coup in Chile. That is why The Times failed to condemn the coup when it first occurred, although it has had second thoughts and now has different things to say. The Washington Post in commenting on the coup expressed itself in terms of such condemnation that it has been called by one of the newspapers of the junta in Santiago "the Washington Pravda". The Times has expressed itself in reaction to the coup in such a way that it could be perfectly truly called "the London Mercurio".
The real crime of Popular Unity was that the poor were becoming less poor and the rich were becoming less rich. It was daring to succeed within a democratic framework in moving forward in this direction. It was building up electoral support, as it did in the elections of last March, much to the surprise of the Right. This was all against a background of the most acute economic problems—I mince no words here—created mainly by the deliberate actions of the United States, by the deliberate actions of American firms, by the actions of the World Bank and to some extent by the actions of other countries, including Britain, as I hope to show presently.
That was the background of a democratically elected Government operating within the constitution against the economic troubles and the strikes by the middle class during the summer, the attempted coup, finally the successful coup on 11 th September, and the consequences of violence, death, arrest and torture.
Let us clearly establish the facts regarding what has happened in Chile according to the best reports we can discover. These are rarely from the British Press but are usually from Le Monde and other foreign papers which have been much fuller than any British newspaper in their reporting of events in Chile. Therefore, let us establish what the situation has been since 11th September, because it is against the background of these facts that we must make our judgment whether the British Government have behaved in a tolerable or an intolerable way.
There are a number of estimates, which vary slightly, of the numbers of people who have been killed or imprisoned. United Nations and other estimates put the figure at 30,000 people killed or imprisoned. A working party of Chilean and foreign lawyers recently estimated that there are now 20,000 people in prison.
In terms of deaths, hon. Members will probably know that Newsweek, which could hardly be said to be a radical revolutionary newspaper, states that in one mortuary in Santiago alone in the first 10 days after the coup its reporters counted 2,776 bodies of people killed by the junta. The junta itself admits that 3,500 people are still in detention in prison. Le Monde reports that last Friday alone 100 more people were arrested.
Amnesty International has had an investigating team in Chile in the last few weeks. I understand that it will be presenting its report before very long. No doubt a copy will go to the British Government, so they will be able to see the current estimate of that respected body. Some estimates were up to 30,000 people murdered and imprisoned and of 20,000 still held in prison.
Amongst those are many individuals who have been brought to the attention of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself and of those in this country who are concerned about the position of men and women in Chile. I cannot mention more than a fraction of the numbers of people within our own personal knowledge. There are too many. I will mention just a few.
Claudio Jimieno and Jaimé Banios, a sociologist and an economist, were both captured in the Moneda on the day the coup took place. Nothing has been heard of them since. They were professional advisers to President Allende. One is still a registered student at the London School of Economics according to the Senate of London University. We do not know what has happened to them. They are but two amongst the hundreds and thousands who have simply disappeared and whose wives and relatives do not know what has happened to them.
One man, about whose death we know all too much, was Victor Jara, a folk singer who was very popular in Chile. His wife, who is English, was able to return to this country a few weeks ago. Victor Jara was a known Socialist and many of his songs were Socialist songs. He was captured during the first day or two of the coup and taken to the National Stadium, which was then full of other people, workers and political activists of various kinds. In the National Stadium he sang with his guitar to the other prisoners. First the junta broke his hands, then his back, and then shot him dead. His wife saw his body.
Last week, again according to Le Monde, Calama David Miranda, who was the Secretary-General of the Federation of Mineworkers, was shot in prison, having been sentenced to several years' imprisonment. Apparently a sentence of imprisonment is no protection of one's life in Chile. The soldiers went into the prison and shot him there.
Luis Corvalan on whose behalf the Secretary-General of the Chilean Communist Party, the British Labour Party and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition sent messages when he was in danger of being shot, at the time of our conference, has been in prison ever since and is expected to come before a military tribunal at any time. We do not know what will happen to him.
Ministers in the Allende Government, whom I know, are in refuge in embassies. Nobody knows what will happen to them. The leaders of the Radical Party—our own colleagues and friends—are imprisoned in Dawson Island. Every person who was my friend in Chile is now either dead or imprisoned. That is an indication of the scale of the situation.
I do not want to go into detail about the torture that has taken place. Le Monde carries first-hand accounts and innumerable witnesses can testify to the beatings, the electrical torture and all the horrors that we have ever read about torture. I merely refer hon. Members to Le Monde of 16th October which refers to a team of three—the Secretary-General of the International Movement of Catholic Jurists, the Secretary-General of the International Federation for the Rights of Man and the Secretary of the International Association of Democratic Jurists—which has returned from Chile and said that in its views the practices of torture and executions are so systematic that they approach the United Nations definition of genocide. That is the view of three distinguished lawyers. The evidence is too widespread to go into in any detail.
That is the factual background to the Chilean situation against which we must exercise our judgment of the way the British Government have conducted their affairs in and towards Chile in the last few months.
I turn now to the question of aid and credits, to which we refer in our motion. We ask the Government to withhold future aid and credits from the present Chilean regime and we ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to use his influence to ensure that World Bank and International Monetary Fund assistance is also withheld.
I should like primarily to refer to credits, but first I will say a brief word about aid. We give a little aid to Chile—mainly to Chilean students in Britain. However, we also give a little technical aid in Chile. I hope that through our aid programme we shall continue to support Chilean students in Britain even though the military regime may not want us to do so.
I have two letters, which I will give to the Minister of State at the end of the debate, concerning two Chilean students whose support from Chile has now been withdrawn and who will therefore need to be supported by aid from elsewhere. In my view, aid to them would be a correct use of British aid funds.
The question is essentially one of credit and of our attitude to Chilean debt. Much will be made of the Chilean debt situation. I have no doubt that the Minister has a thick dossier on the problems that Chile has been facing in making interest payments on and paying off the capital debt that has been incurred there. We should clearly understand that in this respect Chile is no different from other Latin American countries. They have all been relying on foreign help—mainly United States and World Bank help—to finance their capital and interest on debt repayments.
They all borrowed very heavily when rates of interest were high during the 'fifties and early 'sixties, and now that the debts have to be paid most Latin American countries are finding that anything between 15 per cent. and 25 per cent. of their foreign exchange earnings is needed to deal with their debt position. Chile was no exception. What Chile had to face was that the previous Frei Government had contracted a number of large short-term debts and, as she was unable under Allende to borrow the money, it is by definition a fact that the debt problem was one which President Allende inherited from previous Governments.
What was our rôle in providing credit? Needing, as it desperately did, more credit and financial help, Chile was told in November 1971 that the one meaningful form of credit that Britain offered—Export Credits Guarantee Department medium-term credit—was to be stopped and that there was to be extended credit up to £250,000 only. In May 1972 that was further restricted and the ECGD guarantee was limited to short-term cover. It was part of what has been called in the United States the invisible blockade of the Chilean economy. The United States stopped all development aid in 1970 and there was no help from the World Bank throughout the period of the Popular Unity Government.
Next, there were western attitudes on debt renegotiation. The Paris Club talks that were scheduled for the spring were postponed. It was the case that unless the Paris Club talks were held in the spring and the debt was successfully renegotiated, as it had been the previous year when the Chileans had paid everything that was due from them, 40 per cent. of the foreign exchange earnings of Chile would go in debt servicing. Against that background, the Paris Club talks were postponed and there was no medium-term credit from Britain.
Moreover, the background included ITT, the copper situation as between the United States and Chile, and the continuation of American supplies of arms—not aid—particularly to the Chilean Navy. Joint American-Chilean naval exercises were taking place on the clay of the coup. There is a first-hand account that there were 10 or 12 United States ships at Quito on 10th September, the day before the coup. Admissions have been made—one reads this not in British papers but in Le Monde—before the Committee on Inter-American Affairs of the House of Representatives in Washington by the Director of the CIA and one of his officials. They implicitly
admit the participation of their agency in the plan of economic sabotage in Chile under the popular junta, a plan destined to incite the military to intervene directly to put an end to chaos".
The CIA has admitted its involvement, so we do not need to speculate any further. The admission has been made before a Committee of the House of Representatives.
What are the British Government proposing to do now? An IMF mission arrived in Chile earlier this month. It is assumed that it will give either the red or the green light to the provision of credit. We do not know what the colour will be. The Paris Club talks are to be resumed within a few days, and it is said that a strong delegation is coming to Paris from the military régime in Chile. It is understood that it will seek from the IMF a standby credit of 75 million dollars.
The Government's argument for stopping medium-term credit and World Bank assistance was the deteriorating state of the Chilean economy, but the economic situation there has deteriorated very much more rapidly since the day of the coup. The junta has announced price rises of between 300 per cent. and 1,000 per cent. The price of bread is four times what it was in September. I remember being told in July by a senator in Chile that in a situation of Poplar Unity "the poor understand best", and I think that the poor are having to understand the junta best, because with the increased prices they are in a terrible situation.
If the Government's argument for not providing aid to Popular Unity was that the economy was in a difficult and deteriorating situation, they can hardly argue now, whatever the IMF says, that the economic situation in Chile is improving so rapidly that they are correct to provide credits. Therefore, if the Government now propose to restore credit, following the reports of the IMF and the Paris Club talks, and if they decide to be more generous about rescheduling debts now that they are dealing with a military régime than they were when dealing with Popular Unity, that will clearly be an act of political support for the junta, and nothing else.
We demand that credit be withheld and that Britain ensures that no help is provided from other agencies. We are powerful enough in the World Bank set-up to do that, particularly as we are one of the largest contributors to the IDA and a major subscriber to the bank. Britain should ensure that World Bank and IMF assistance is not resumed.
The right hon. Lady's analysis has left us breathless. If what has happened in Chile is the result of massive tension and poverty, how can the tension possibly be reduced by any policy which, at this critical stage, reduces that country's access to foreign resources?
The difficulty here—and it arises in other situations—is that the announced policies of the junta are to make the poor poorer, so there is no chance of any credit or aid that flows into Chile being of any benefit to the poor. Any help that is provided will benefit those who resisted Popular Unity. Under the military junta there is no possibility of the help flowing to the people who matter in Chile. That is the justification for arguing that credit can only be a gesture of political support.
I add one further point for the record. I have not previously referred to this in the House. This is another aspect of the Government's complicity in what is called the invisible blockade.
Has my right hon. Friend taken cognisance of the remarks of the hon. Member for Portsmouth, Langstone (Mr. Ian Lloyd)? The essence of what he said is that if underdeveloped countries are the subject of a savage, disgusting military coup they will get all the aid they want.
We shall study the hon. Gentleman's remarks in HANSARD, but I have dealt with one of the points made by him.
This is another aspect of what I believe to have been the Government's complicity in the invisible blockade. I have with me some notes which I made last February during a discussion lasting an hour and a half with Senor Almeyda, the Foreign Minister of Popular Unity, at La Moneda, which has now been destroyed. On my return to the United Kingdom I conveyed to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the Foreign Minister's request that the British Government should seek to mediate in the dispute about copper compensation between the American and the Chilean Governments.
A number of possibilities for a compromise solution were opening up at that time, but the problem was that the atmosphere between the Americans and the Chileans was so acute that the discussions could not be held. Almeyda, the Foreign Minister, told me that the one country they thought might possibly assist in mediation was Britain and I was requested to ask the Foreign Secretary whether he would do that. I asked the right hon. Gentleman but as far as I know he did not mediate. I should, however, be happy to hear to the contrary.
The Prime Minister told me in a letter :
I share your hope that constitutional government will soon be restored in Chile, but that is a task we must leave to the Chileans themselves.
We say that there should be no help from us for the unconstitutional régime
I now turn to the question of recognition and refugees. It is this area in which our feelings run deepest. We must bear in mind that Britain was the first, in company with Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Guatemala, to recognise the military régime. Our excuse was that we sought to protect British nationals in Chile. At almost the same time the French recognised the régime and said that their recognition was to protect both foreign and Chilean refugees.
It was disgraceful to rush so headlong into that recognition with a totally inadequate expression of regret about the coup or about the death of President Allende, apart from a formal unpublished message from the Queen two weeks later. There was no condemnation of the coup by the Government and there has since been no expression of concern about the savagery of the junta. This has deeply offended and outraged not only the Labour and trade union movement but also many people outside. It has offended all sense of decency in Britain.
I have listened to the right hon. Lady with a good deal of sympathy. I do not share the conventional view of diplomatic recognition in which, I think, nobody outside the Foreign Offices of the world believes. Can she say what is the difference between the application of the criteria of recognition in the case of the present Government towards the military revolutionary Government in Chile and in the case of the last Labour Government in their recognition, six years ago, of the military revolutionary Government in Greece?
I wish to draw a contrast between other Governments which have recognised the regime, and are now using their recognition to assist those who desperately need help, and the attitude of our Government.
The most immediate and distressing humanitarian problem is that of refugees. Even The Times has recently had the grace to speak of the bloodiest of recent coups. It is the bloodiest of recent Fascist regimes. The junta itself is frank One or two of its generals have said that the regime is determined that every Socialist in Chile shall be eliminated. The generals are clear about that. This above all else is the aspect of the Government's policy which affronts us. We regard the Government's refusal to provide shelter in Santiago for refugees as naked inhumanity. It represents a closed mind and a closed door to any kind of humanitarian decency that we condemn. It is this above all on which we shall vote tonight to express that condemnation.
We stand almost alone in the world, and alone among the countries of Western Europe, in refusing refuge in our Embassy in Santiago to those people in danger, not simply of their liberty but of their lives. We stand in contrast to Sweden, whose ambassador, with his record of helping those who fled from Nazism in the last war, has behaved with heroic courage in Santiago. Our Government's attitude is in contrast also to that of Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and now Norway, France, West Germany—Le Monde reports that various people have sought refuge in the West German embassy—and Austria. All those countries have refugees. They are all trying and many are succeeding in getting refugees out of the country with safe conduct passes. That is apart from the Latin American embassies which are crowded with refugees from other Latin American countries as well as with Chilean refugees.
One of the problems of refugees is illustrated by the lists of Governments in Europe which have offered between 50 and 300 places for foreign refugees. Britain is not yet included in the list. Latin America has nine transit camps run by the World Council of Churches and the United Nations. The people in those camps must be taken from them by 31st December or their lives will be worth nothing. The problem is to find places for 13,000 foreign refugees who need asylum. In contrast to other Western European Governments, we have offered nothing. Will the British Government now offer places on a scale to match those offered by other countries? Will they press the United Nations to grant the same facilities to Chilean refugees as were granted in the case of the Sudan? In the case of Chilean refugees, will our embassy in Santiago open its doors to them?
We are asking tonight that fresh instructions be sent to our ambassador to ensure that we can express our humanity in the same way as other people in Western Europe who can observe their embassies exercising humanity in their name.
I turn now to the position of Chilean refugees arriving here. There is now a promise as a result of a meeting between some of us and the Foreign Secretary that consideration will be given to foreign refugees who arrive here without proper papers. The Foreign Secretary was kind enough to give that assurance.
I have what is probably the first test case following the discussion we had with the Foreign Secretary two weeks ago, the case of a young man called Juan Tomic who arrived without proper papers. Immigration officers permitted him to stay for a month in exercise of what the Foreign Secretary promised. I sent details of the case to the Home Secretary about 10 days ago but I have not yet had a reply. It is worth noting that the month which the young man is being allowed will soon be up. It is interesting to note who he is. He is one of the sons of Radimiro Tomic, the Christian Democrat candidate in the last presidential elections. I hope that this young man will be allowed to stay as well as others like him, but we are waiting to hear about this.
We have other points to make which I have no time to mention. We believe that there should be no arms supplied from Britain for Chile, either on a Government aid or credit basis or through private sales. We do not believe that any of the ships being built should go there, although my understanding is that the trade union movement is taking effective steps here.
On all these questions we condemn the Government. We believe that we do so in the name of the majority of British people. We hope for a change of mind by the Government. I find it difficult to believe that only my hon. Friends will support the motion in the Lobby to-night. It seems to me that this above all issues is one for parliamentarians. It is an issue for democrats, an issue for all those, of whatever party, who have any kind of human compassion and sense of justice.
The motion before the House stands not only in the name of the right hon. Member for Lanark (Mrs. Hart) but in the names of the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Short) who is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), the Shadow Foreign Secretary and one of his deputies, the hon. and learned Member for Barons Court (Mr. Richard) as well as in the names of two distinguished back-bench Members. It is therefore brought forward with the full authority of right hon. Gentlemen who aspire to form the next Government and to conduct Britain's foreign policy. It is accordingly an important document and the right hon. Lady's speech was an important speech. I propose therefore to treat both the motion and the speech as such.
The motion calls upon us to do three things. It calls upon the House to criticise Her Majesty's Government for certain actions they undertook at the time of the coup and have undertaken since. It takes sides, categorically, against the present Chilean régime and is thus, by implication, in favour of its predecessor. It also urges that certain consequential measures should be taken in favour of those who supported President Allende and against the present régime. I want to deal with each of those three points in turn.
It begins by criticising what is called the
hasty recognition of the new regime by Her Majesty's Government.
The criteria for recognition in the postwar world were laid down, for the Foreign Office, by Mr. Ernest Bevin. The essential criterion was that the Government to be recognised was in effective control of the country in question and likely to remain so for some time. In the 11 days between the coup and our recognition
of the new régime it became quite clear to us that the new régime was in effective control of Chile.
We were by no means alone in taking this view. The right hon. Lady mentioned some of the countries that have taken the same step as we have taken, some before us. A total of 20 Governments recognised before us, including two Social Democratic Governments, Austria and West Germany.
It maintained its relationship. The option was open to it, as it was to the seven Communist countries, to break off relations, although five Communist countries broke off relations only after we had recognised. They did not make up their minds before hand. China has maintained diplomatic relations with the new régime throughout.
Was this recognition hasty? The grounds for recognition are clear—that the country was under the control of the new régime. Was it hasty? Here we can look at precedents. In 1966 there was a coup in the Argentine when General Ongania overthrew the democratically elected Government of President Illia. The Labour Government of the day recognised the régime 10 days later—1 day quicker than we recognised the new Chilean régime. In 1968 there was a coup in Peru when the military overthrew President Belaúnde. Recognition then came from the Labour Government 14 days later. I can see that it could be arguable that the violent nature of the coup in Chile makes the situation different from that of the Argentine and Peru.
Here again there is a precedent. There was a violent coup in Cuba. It, too, was marked by mass executions and imprisonments. The Conservative Government of the day recognised the Castro Government six days after it had been established, not in any sense approving of it, but because we recognised that it was in effective control.
Other considerations affected the timing of our recognition in Chile. There are 4,000 British subjects living in Chile. It was important that we should be able to protect them. We have substantial economic interests in the country, both in trade and investment. One-third of our copper imports comes from Chile. Hon. and right hon. Members will have very much in mind at present the impact which the shortage of oil has upon our affairs and upon those of the rest of the Western world. We cannot overlook the importance of these matters when other vital raw materials are concerned.
We are also concerned with the future of the Andean Pact and the European Community's relations with it. Chile is an important member of the Andean Pact. The charge of hasty recognition clearly does not stand and is refuted by the terms of the motion. The motion calls upon us to make representations to the Chilean régime and to give asylum. I do not know how we can be expected to make representations if we do not have diplomatic relations and I do not see how we can be expected to give asylum if we do not have an embassy. The motion seems to be self-contradictory.
On a question of fact, were any representations made to the Government from the 4,000 British subjects in Chile or their representatives? Were they in favour of recognition? Did the British community in Chile ask for this?
The British community in Chile is a fairly widespread body and after the coup we thought it our duty to make sure that we were in a position to protect these people if they should need protection. That is the kind of responsibility which a Government have to undertake. The Opposition cannot have it both ways. They cannot expect us to make representations and at the same time to break off relations because that would make it impossible to make representations.
It is a little ironic that the Communist countries, having broken off relations with Chile, are now in a position of having a limited ability either to make representations or to give asylum to those who might be ideologically connected with them. One wonders whether this is a recognition on their part of some kind of Monroe Doctrine in Latin America.
I do not want to follow the right hon. Gentleman into what is a curiously linguistic analysis of a serious situation. If he wants to stick to the motion he will see that the point is first made that we regret the recognition. That is followed by the acceptance that the Government have unfortunately recognised the régime by saying,
now condemns the refusal of the Government to offer refuge".
The motion is perfectly consistent.
The hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. To deplore recognition and at the same time to call for representations and other action seems totally inconsistent. The Communist countries which have broken off relations are not now in a position to make representations on behalf of their friends. That seems to be ironic, and, from their point of view, unfortunate.
Perhaps I can help my right hon. Friend to return to the substance of the matter by asking whether the Government gave thought to withdrawing the ambassador but not severing diplomatic relations.
No. We decided, as this was an entirely Chilean matter, that there was no objective to be served in withdrawing the ambassador and that the protection of British subjects and British interests as well as such representations as we decided to make would be better furthered by keeping the ambassador at his post. I cannot therefore regret the recognition of the new régime.
I come to the point about asylum. Differing interpretations have been placed by different countries on the Vienna Convention, which governs diplomatic relations, and on how far embassies should or should not be used as places of sanctuary for people in danger. The British view on this matter has always been very strict. Our ambassadors have discretion to give asylum to people who are victims of hot pursuit, whether by mobs or even by the police authorities of the country in question. But otherwise it has been our strict rule, applied without exception since the war, as far as I know, that our missions should not be used as sanctuaries.
The reason for this is quite easy to explain. Embassies exist to establish and maintain relations between Governments. Therefore, by definition, as their job is to maintain relations between Governments, they are not places where opponents of the Government with whom we are trying to establish or maintain relations should take refuge.
I am sorry to say that, in the circumstances of the modern world, if we were to change this policy our embassies would very soon be congested. I like to think that the right hon. Lady would not wish us to differentiate between refusing asylum to refugees from a Left-wing Government or a Right-wing Government. I like to think that she is even handed in all this. I am surprised that the point has not been raised in relation to other coups we have known, such as the Castro coup in Cuba. I do not remember any expression of opinion from the Labour Party then.
This rule has been a cause of considerable heartburning, particularly at the time of the persecution of non-Communists which took place when Communist Governments were set up in Eastern Europe. I have sometimes thought that the rule has been too inflexible. But it was applied in relation to Chile with total impartiality, as it has been in every case elsewhere of which I know, irrespective of the ideology of the Government in question.
Will the Minister give us two facts? First, what was the date of election of the former President of Cuba, Batista? That might help us in coming to the perspective of his argument. Secondly, will he tell us of any incidents of genocide committed by the revolutionary Cuban régime when it took over which compare even slightly with the excesses of the junta in Chile this autumn?
On the first question, I should not like to think that the hon. Gentleman was suggesting that it would be appropriate to give refuge to Left-wing refugees in Chile and inappropriate for Right-wing refugees in Havana. That was the clear implication. Where numbers of people executed and imprisoned are concerned, it is extremely difficult to arrive at accurate statistics. I should have thought that they were not all that different in the two cases.
I dare say that it would have been appropriate to have given refuge to Marshal Stalin, in view of his good services in the war.
We are next asked
to press for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to executions.
Mr. Seconde, our ambassador, has made a number of representations. It is only right to tell the House about these. Immediately after our recognition, Mr. Seconde expressed formal concern to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the treatment of political prisoners or political detainees. On 6th November he made further representations to the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In recent weeks, both the ambassador and his staff have been taking every opportunity open to them to make it clear in official quarters at various levels that Her Majesty's Government and British public opinion are seriously concerned by allegations of ill treatment of prisoners. Yesterday, the ambassador joined other diplomatic colleagues in Santiago in making representations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago about safe conduct for refugees, following an incident involving a Uruguayan national and the Swedish embassy.
I have set out Mr. Seconde's representations in some detail in the hope that they will refute the scandalous and unfair attack made upon him in the New Statesman a few days ago.
No doubt there will be individual cases in the future on which we shall want to make representations again. We shall continue to remind the Chilean authorities of the unfortunate effects on British opinion of any illegal acts undertaken by them. But to press for the immediate release of all political prisoners seems to be rather a different question.
The great majority of us in the House would resent similar statistics from other countries about the people who are either serving prison sentences or are detained because of membership of the IRA. We would not welcome it. Indeed, we do not welcome it. We resent it when people in other countries say to us that we should release people who have been convicted for one reason or another on political charges.
I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman two questions, one of which is for information and answer at the end of the debate. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned negotiations and representations about safe conduct. There has been a report that the junta is no longer allowing safe conduct from foreign embassies to the airport. What is happening about that? Was it a false report?
The other question is on a major point. When the right hon. Gentleman says that representations were made against any illegal acts of the regime, is he implying that what it has been doing and it itself are legal?
The process of law is still continuing. The coup itself may or may not be regarded as illegal, but the processes of Chilean law continue in accordance with Chilean statutes. As to the right hon. Lady's point about safe conduct, the last news that I had from Santiago this afternoon was that safe conduct had been or was being given to the Uruguyan lady in question, who had been the subject of the incident concerning the Swedish ambassador. That is why I say that we cannot press for the release of all political prisoners automatically and immediately in Chile when we do not do it in other countries. It is the same regarding an end to executions. I do not remember protests being made about the executions carried out in Cuba. Alas, there are many political prisoners in many countries, and all too many political executions. There are reports in the papers this morning that 54 people face political execution in Zanzibar.
It is not possible for the Government of the United Kingdom to intervene everywhere all over the world. We do our best to protect human rights in the Council of Europe and through the United Nations, but it would be unrealistic to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries as suggested in the motion and it would also very often be, in our experience, counterproductive. I would go further and say that I think it would be invidious to intervene in Chile and not in other countries where there are more political prisoners and where there have been even more political executions.
The motion asks us to provide refuge for Chileans who seek it. No visas are required for Chileans to visit this country, but settlement in this country is severely restricted. At a time when we are excluding a number of Commonwealth citizens and when we have undertaken the obligation to accept free movement of labour within the European Community, I do not think that we could undertake to give priority to Chileans who wish to come and settle here.
Applications, when they are made, will be processed in the ordinary way and will take full account of security considerations. Normal appeal procedures will be observed, as the right hon. Lady said. So far, eight Chileans sponsored by Professor Stafford Beer have been allowed to come and settle here and have skilled jobs to which they can go.
The right hon. Lady also mentioned, though it is not in the motion, the problem of the non-Chileans, of the many refugees—I think that there are 12,000 or more—who took refuge in Chile under President Allende's regime and who are not allowed to remain there much longer by the present regime. The Chilean Government have made it plain that they are not seeking to repatriate these people to their country of origin. There is an Inter-American Convention on Asylum which in our view should allow most of these people to re-settle in Latin America, and those who are for reasons of their political affiliations in danger could easily go to countries with which they have an ideological affinity.
We are prepared to examine individual cases put to us by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We worked very closely with him when we had the problem of the Uganda refugees.
I do not think that there can be any question of our granting a quota. We have in mind that a number of the people concerned belong to extremist groups such as the Tupamaros who were responsible for the kidnapping of Sir Geoffrey Jackson.
We are asked by the motion to prevent the sale of arms to Chile. There are important naval contracts for the sale of arms to Chile worth about £71 million. Most of them were signed in the time of President Frei. There are important aircraft contracts, some signed in the time of President Frei and some of them signed in the time of President Allende. No military aid is or has been given to Chile. The Government have arranged insurance cover through ECGD. This was arranged before medium- and long-term cover was suspended, which it still is.
On what principle are we asked to suspend the sale of arms to Chile? There is no civil war in Chile. There is no war between Chile and her neighbours ; nor is there a threat of war between Chile and her neighbours. There is no hostility on the part of Chile to Britain or to Britain's allies. I can see no reason why we should suspend these sales of arms and why we should suspend the contracts into which we have entered.
What would happen to the ships and the aircraft if we were to suspend the sale of arms? Is it suggested that the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force should take them up? If so, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force will need a good deal more than the new estimates propounded by the Labour Party at the Blackpool Conference when it called for a cut of £1,000 in the Defence Estimates.
What about the jobs of the people concerned? I suggest that the right hon. Lady goes to Kingston-upon-Thames, Clydeside and Tyneside and has a talk with the trade unions and workers concerned. If she did that I think she would get a very different answer from the one put forward in the motion.
I think that the hon. Gentleman has made an interesting point, and I am very glad to take it up with him. We suspended the sale of arms to Israel and to the Arab countries because they were fighting one another. There is no civil war, no war between countries and no threat of war between countries where Chile is concerned. It would be absolutely absurd to suspend shipments.
Indeed, when I looked into the matter the only logical reason that I can find for embargoing the sale of arms to Chile is that the Opposition are anxious to encourage internal resistance or foreign intervention. This I would not like to believe was for a moment in the right hon. Lady's mind or in the minds of any of her colleagues.
The right hon. Gentleman says, "What would the workers say?" Did not he and the Foreign Secretary for 20 years support the Battle Act which prevented us from selling pharmaceutical products, steel, lorries and such like to Russia, China or any Communist country? If at that time he had asked the workers concerned whether we should have supplied pharmaceutical products, steel and lorries to Russia, China and other Communist countries they would have said, "Yes, of course".
I was saying a little earlier that the Chilean régime not only is not involved in civil war and is not threaten-in any of its neighbours but is in no way hostile to us or any of our allies. The same did not apply in the case the right hon. Gentleman has just raised.
I am glad that the right hon. Lady at least said that she wanted aid to continue for the students who were here and who were sent here in the time of the Allende régime. This seems to me to be humanitarian on her part. It comes a little odd for the Shadow Minister of Development, to call for a stop on aid to what is by general agreement an underdeveloped country.
At any rate, I should have thought that very strange until I studied some of the right hon. Lady's works. In her book "Aid and Liberation" she expresses disapproval in principle of the use of aid to apply political influence. But when interviewed on the subject by The Times she qualified the statement in her book by saying,
There is nothing wrong with political strings if they are the right ones. What matters is that the political judgment you use is right.
What the right hon. Lady is saying, therefore, in effect, is, "Give aid to left-wing Governments. Do not give it to non-left-wing Governments."
The right hon. Gentleman brings me to my feet to ask whether he read my book thoroughly. If he did he would have found that I also went on to say that there are cases where human beings are so outraged by what a country does that it is only correct to suspend or to cut off aid. I cited the case of Bangladesh, when both the right hon. Gentleman's Government and the Labour Party were so outraged by what was going on there that we thought it right to suspend aid.
At any rate, the quotation from what the right hon. Lady said to The Times makes it clear that she thinks that political considerations should play an important part in the giving or withholding of aid. In the context of the motion it would seem that the right hon. Lady is anxious to give aid to a Marxist Government but not to a Government which is not Marxist.
The facts about aid are fairly simple. There is still £100,000 to go from a loan of £750,000 for a steel works. The aid budget for 1973–74 allows for another £370,000 for technical assistance in agriculture, technical education and mining. We have no intention of cutting back this aid. If we did so we would only hurt the Chilean people, regardless of the ideology of their Government.
The right hon. Lady talked about the invisible blockade of the Chilean economy. This is nonsense. In 1970, when President Allende came to power, there were no restrictions whatsoever on ECGD cover, nor was any imposed until in 1971 the Chilean balance of payments obliged the ECGD to reduce the ceiling for extended cover to £250,000. The balance of payments became worse still, inflation was running at the rate of 350 per cent.—which is a little more than we have here!—and only short-term credit was allowed. This remains the position. It will be reviewed in the light of the report of the mission of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, but we do not expect to receive that report until early next year. Decisions will be taken on economic and not on political grounds. In the early part of her speech, the right hon. Lady said—
The right hon. Gentleman has obviously gone through the Opposition motion very carefully, but he omitted at the outset to make any reference to its first two lines. May I ask him specifically whether Her Majesty's Government deplore the overthrow of democracy in Chile, and condemn the atrocities and murders which are taking place?
There is a simple answer and it is perfectly straightforward. Naturally we regret that a country which has enjoyed many generations of constitutional government should see that constitutional government overthrown. Naturally, also, we deplore and regret bloodshed and forced imprisonment wherever these occur
The right hon. Lady had a good deal to say in the early part of her speech about the Chilean revolution and about the coup d'état which is the cause of this debate. She told us her views on the motivation of the Allende regime and gave her evaluation of the different forces at work in Chile. She spoke at some length of the consequences of the coup in terms of imprisonment and casualties, and I acknowledged both her close interest in the subject and the access which she has had to first-hand sources of information about recent events in Chile. From what I know of these debates in the House, other hon. Members will no doubt traverse the same ground, some in support of what she said and some, perhaps, taking issue with her.
In my present job, I have had access to a good deal of information on the Chilean situation, both during the Allende regime and since. I had the privilege of a talk with President Allende in Buenos Aires not very long ago, when he was there for the inauguration of President Cámpora. I also had talks with our own representatives in Santiago, who came to meet me at the conference of ambassadors in Lima, and with Latin American statesmen, particularly Peruvian and Argentinian statesmen, who were in a good position to form a judgment.
It may be helpful to the House if I reserve my comments on the Chilean situation until the end of the debate when, if I may, I will try to answer points raised both by the right hon. Lady and by others. Meanwhile, I would only say that the Government recognise the events that have taken place in Chile as essentially a Chilean dispute settled by Chileans. I know that there have been allegations, which may well have some foundation, of both American and Cuban intervention, but the matter was essentially an internal affair. We are all members of one another, and it is natural that hon. Members in this House should have strong sympathies in a matter of this kind and should wish to express those sympathies. But the Government do not regard it as their duty to pass judgment on what is an internal Chilean conflict.
Our duty is to ensure the protection of British subjects and the promotion of British interests, and to work for peace in the area. This involves developing normal friendly relations with the Chilean Government of the day, whatever its political colour. This we have done.
I believe that the official Opposition, if they purport to be an alternative Government of this country, should do the same. I deeply regret that they have chosen instead to take up a strongly partisan attitude against the new Chilean Government, by implication in support of the old. This is a quarrel of limited concern to the people of this country.
I suppose that we ought to thank the Minister of State for taking the motion seriously. I wish that I could do the same about his speech. I thought it was a disgraceful, superficial speech. I suppose I could pay him the compliment of saying that he seemed to bring to foreign affairs that singular expertise which he displayed during the passage of the Housing Finance Bill. The fact is that we are taking sides on this matter and we are proud to do so. The Government purport to be even-handed—I have heard that expression used before—but they are even-handed in favour of the régime, because that is really what it comes to.
Apparently, the right hon. Gentleman did not listen to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Lanark (Mrs. Hart). This is not an essentially internal affair. This matter goes to the root of the future of parliamentary democracy, not only in Latin America but elsewhere throughout the world, and if the right hon. Gentleman fails to understand that he understands nothing at all. He said that we ought to have normal, friendly relations with the grotesque régime in Chile, and I suppose he would have said the same about Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
The fact is that on 11th September 1973 Chile was garotted. It was a victim robbed of its constitutionalism and of its democracy. The attempts to establish fundamental changes in Chilean society by peaceful means, to correct the gross inequalities which had arisen and to diminish the powers of the multinational companies that were perpetuating those inequalities were thwarted not by the masses of the Chilean people but by those whose economic interests sought to prevent the changes which Allende was seeking to make and which were so desperately needed.
I had the privilege to go to Chile in 1972 with my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) and the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) and we met President Allende. We had great differences of opinion, and certainly I would not accept everything for which Allende stood or which his philosophy represented. But I was convinced—and I thought that the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester was also convinced—about his passionate belief in the democratic process. Instead of that, however, a cruel despotism has now descended on Chile. Even the Minister cannot deny that. Thousands have died. In a matter of two weeks there were 3,000 corpses put into one mortuary in Santiago alone, as my right hon. Friend pointed out.
That is a measure of what has happened. All the vulgar, ugly and obscene displays of Fascism have been revealed in all their horror in Chile over the last 10 weeks or so. All opposition to the junta has been hunted down. There have been xenophobic attacks on foreigners. In La Prensa, the Christian Democrat daily which circulates in Santiago, there has been published a vicious anti-Semitic article. The sort of article which we have always associated with Nazi Germany appears again, blaming the Jews because they are responsible for the Communists.
It is perfectly true that, right at the beginning of the Allende régime, a number of wealthy Jews left Chile because they were afraid that they might be affected materially. But there was no evidence to suggest that Allende ever brought to bear upon the Chilean scene a word of anti-Semitism, and the hon. Gentleman knows that. Indeed, he had the very closest relations with the Israeli Ambassador, with whom I and my hon. Friend the Member for Walton discussed this matter at length. There were substantial numbers of Israelis working on agrarian reform. There was inscribed on the walls in certain villages by the Fascist Party there "Israelis go home". I suppose it is a change from "Yanks go home."
Not only did we have that xenophobia. Of course, the hon. Gentleman needs no lessons about that. We have had summary executions, brutal interrogations, torture of the most extreme kind such as electric rods on the genitals, denunciations, rewards for denunciations, the suppression of trade unions, the loss of the right to strike, and the free Press and Parliament totally subverted. Of course, the hon. Gentleman does not complain about that. During the time that Allende was there, not one journalist or opposition spokesman was shot while resisting arrest. Quite a few have been shot during the last few weeks. The universities have been raided, and there has been book-burning with all the other things that we associate with that sort of régime.
The Times has said that this represents the bloodiest political upheaval which Latin America has seen since the Mexican revolution. Why? It is said that it is to save the nation. From what?
The hon. Gentleman says "Allende"—a president who presided over a country enjoying universal suffrage, who increased his popular vote at the election in 1963 from 36 per cent. to 44 per cent. The hon. Gentleman does not now seek to intervene. Allende was a president who was pledged to carry through a fundamental programme of social and economic reform, who was determined to eradicate from Chilean society that poverty, degradation and humiliation which had been the lot of the Chilean masses for years. He nationalised the copper mines—a terrible offence—which happened to be aided and abetted by all the other parties in the Chilean Parliament; that measure went through unanimously. He nationalised other industries. Was this a reason for the bloody upheaval? He restored the land to the landless. Was this a reason for the upheaval?
Of course, in doing that Allende brought upon himself the unyielding enmity of the Americans, the ITT and other multinational companies, and, of course, all those who were prepared to go along with American policy, like our own British Government. The right hon. Gentleman pooh-poohed the whole idea of the invisible blockade. But aid and credit was blocked. The loan re-scheduling which Allende yearned to achieve was stopped. There is ample evidence to show that, even as Allende was on the brink of coming to power, the Americans had stopped the loan and the aid in the pipelines to Chile. It has to be remembered that much of Chile's immediate difficulties resulted from the borrowings of the Frei régime and those amounted to one-quarter of Chile's export earnings. The reality is that ITT and Kennecott yearned for their revenge. They decided to sabotage the Chilean economy, and they were assisted in that enterprise by those who now seek to sustain the junta to preserve their own economic life. In those circumstances it is hardly surprising that the Chilean economy should come under great strain. It is a great pity that the USSR and China were not more forthcoming in their aid and that they were prepared to allow Chile to decay.
I want to examine the rôle of our own Government. We have heard tonight the clucking noises of distaste for the worst excesses of the régime. They made representations—and a fat lot of good that seems to have done. In the main, however, having aided and abetted the United States and the multi-nationals in the destruction of the Chilean experiment, the Government have taken on a posture of almost complete rigidity. They have abandoned humanity. The right hon. Gentleman says that we cannot take people into our embassy in Santiago because that would create a terrible precedent. It is time that the Foreign Office got its priorities right and changed these ridiculous precepts.
I went to see the Foreign Secretary with some of my right hon. and hon. Friends. He said "What would happen if a number of Jews in Moscow were to seek refuge in our embassy?" We all said "Of course, the right thing to do is to admit them." The right hon. Gentleman says that that is totally impracticable. Over 2,000 Chileans have sought asylum in embassies in Santiago. A number of other nationals have done so as well. The United Nations has been anxious to place refugees. Most Latin American embassies opened their doors. Most European countries within the Nine opened their doors too and responded to that request for the placement of refugees—the Papal Nuncio, Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, France and, above all, Sweden, whose ambassador has led the situation heroically and deserves to be commended for what he has done. I wish that our ambassador had half the guts that that man has shown. The right hon. Gentleman says that it is all unrealistic. How did these people manage to do it if it is so unrealistic? We have had paraded before us yet again tonight the same miserable arguments which indicate this terrible rigidity of mind on the part of the Government.
Does the hon. Gentleman think it is fair to say what he said about our ambassador, who is, after all, only obeying instructions from Her Majesty's Government, whether he agrees with those instructions or not?
I was led to understand by the right hon. Gentleman that the ambassador had a certain discretion. If he fails to exercise that discretion, he needs to be condemned. I am happy to shift the blame from the ambassador to the Government. The hon. and gallant Gentleman is quite right; that is where it really belongs. That is where the burden really falls. What we have had from a succession of answers to questions and from the right hon. Gentleman's speech today hardly indicates a real change. It is bitterly reminiscent of the attitude displayed during the 1930s. I was reading the reports of some of those debates the other day. When we knew what was happening in the concentration camps, the Government were saying "We shall have to examine the cases individually." I think that a terrible burden falls upon the shoulders of those who held office in a previous Conservative Government in taking that attitude. A terrible burden may well fall upon the present Government's shoulders too when the history of this situation comes to be written.
Britain is standing alone. But the refugees will not go away. I suppose that one of the very few points of resemblance between the British Foreign Office and Greta Garbo has been their profound desire to be alone and the manner in which that desire has been frustrated by constant intrusion. The refugees will not go away.
I want to relate the story of a young British refugee. It is the story of Michael Gatehouse. At the time of the coup he was working in the Forestry Institute in Santiago. He was arrested 10 days later, pushed around at the police station, refused permission to contact Her Majesty's Ambassador and kept standing with his hands above his head from ten o'clock in the morning till four o'clock in the afternoon ; they burned his books in front of him and they stole his personal belongings. He was transferred to the national stadium where he resided, if one may put it that way, for seven days. He was interrogated and threatened, and still he was not allowed to see the British Ambassador, the man with such enormous influence, or the consul.
What protest has been made about Michael Gatehouse? What happened to him is not remarkable by contrast to the treatment of Chileans and Latin Americans who were in the same gaol. While Mr. Gatehouse was there he learned the true meaning of the Chilean junta. He heard of the killings and he knew of the tortures. He saw Sergir Moraes, a Brazilian, tortured. He was tied by his wrists and ankles and a black bag was put over his head. He was pummelled about the ears until his hearing was impaired. There is now no news of that man.
On his release Mr. Gatehouse asked the embassy to investigate this case. What did our man in Santiago do? The first secretary said he would investigate it, but nothing more has been heard. However, that same first secretary—I presume that he was acting under orders, because I must not blame him and I do not seek to do so—allowed his garden to be searched for political refugees who were seeking refuge in the adjoining Costa Rican embassy. He allowed the police into his premises and he padlocked his gates 24 hours a day to prevent the possibility of refugees getting in. Michael Gatehouse learned to his horror first-hand the stories of the tortures and yet our attitude is rigid and unbending. Jeremy Bentham once said :
I am apt to doubt the virtue of an obtrusive puritan and rigourist".
I doubt the virtue of this Government.
I do not propose to talk about recognition at any length, but what has been said about recognition by the Minister was a load of codswallop. Recognition would have had some merit had we taken the sort of stand that the Swedes and others took. It had no merit in the way in which the British Government reacted. What has happened is that British Leyland, presumably with the authority of the Government, has given four cars to the junta as a gift.
It has not been publicised so much in the Press as was the original announcement that British Leyland was to promote this gift, but as the result of representations from the trade unions and others the gift of cars was stopped and instead a collection is being made for children of those who have suffered in the coup.
It is a good thing British Leyland has seen sense, even if the Government have not. The Government are still to provide Hawker Hunters—the same aircraft as bombed the palace. Two hundred servicemen are being trained here and Chilean destroyers are being refitted. The Minister says that we were doing it for Allende, but that argument must be knocked on the head. The two situations cannot be equated. Allende was democratically elected and in his place there is now a hideous junta which is not beginning to show any signs of decency. There is a difference.
Has not the hon. Member touched upon the whole point of this debate? Allende was democratically elected but he did not conduct himself democratically. [Interruption.]
The hon. and gallant Gentleman was with me in the office of the deputy editor of El Mercurio and we were told how that journal was displaying propaganda which would have made the Daily Telegraph look like Chicks Own. At the end of our discussion I saw the hon. and gallant Gentleman go to the deputy editor and, quite rightly, thank him for interviewing us. And then he said "Carry on with the good work". This is a measure of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. Nevertheless, notwithstanding that I have attacked him, I enjoyed his company while we were there.
To give aid to the new régime is not to do what the Chilean people want. The whole argument is absurd. Why did the Government cut off credits to Allende if they are now obviously anxious to give aid to this lot? My right hon. Friend the Member for Lanark clearly summarised our attitude about this. Her speech represented a united view of the British Labour movement. She needs to be applauded.
It is a pity that the Government cannot speak with more authority. They fail to recognise the fact that Allende articulated for the hungry masses, not merely of Chile but of the Third World as a whole. He spoke of a fundamental change of the parliamentary process. His was the voice of those masses. It is a voice which has been silenced to some extent but it will not remain silent. If we fail to hear the cries for help from those masses, others will hear them and it will be the worse for the long-term interests of this country.
The right hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Hart) rightly said that we must form our judgment on this from the facts as we know them. This is the essence of the issue between the two sides of the House. She quoted extensively from reports by Communist and Left-wing correspondents who have been expelled from Chile in recent weeks. Those reports did not correspond with reports from other correspondents throughout the world, nor do they correspond with the evidence of those who have come back from Chile since 11th September. Thus we must try to discover the facts and pass our judgment.
The hon. Member for Hackney, Central (Mr. Clinton Davis) traced it back to the time when Senor Allende came to power. He had 36 per cent. of the votes of the country behind him and then in order to be elected president he signed a document—the Statute of Constitutional Guarantees. In that document he guaranteed the freedom of the mass media and of speech and security for the medium-sized and small agricultural and industrial firms. All went well for a few months until Senor Altamirano, who is Secretary-General of the Socialist extreme wing of the Government, took power. From that time newsprint was refused to the opposition Press ; State advertising was restricted to Government newspapers ; and opposition television stations were periodically shut down.
In February 1972 the Government announced their intention to take over 91 key firms which accounted for 50 per cent. of Chile's output. I can see that, with the exception of the right hon. Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice), right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Labour benches must have felt a certain sympathy with that move. However, at the same time small farms and small firms were being requisitioned either by the Government or by the guerillas and the MIF, particularly around Osorno, without compensation. As a result, by August of this year inflation was running at 320 per cent. per annum, food was scarce and a black market was prevalent. It was clear that the country was then running into a state of economic collapse.
On 23rd August the Chilean Congress passed the following resolution :
The Government is not merely responsible for isolated violations of the law and the Constitution, it has made them into a permanent system of conduct.
Congress was saying that democracy had disappeared. The resolution said that Señor Allende, and particularly Señor Altamirano, had destroyed democracy in Chile.
The right hon. Gentleman is being less than fair to the House with his selective account of events in the past year. Does he not agree that there were further elections this year in which Señor Allende's coalition increased its share of the vote to more than 40 per cent.?
In those elections he received fewer votes than in the municipal elections the previous year. He increased his share of the vote from 36 per cent. to 43 per cent., but he had dropped from 49 per cent. in the municipal elections. That was long before the events I am describing.
The hon. Gentleman will have an opportunity to challenge anything I say when he makes his own speech. I want briefly to present the facts as I have been given them both by correspondents I have read and by those who were in Chile at the time.
On 7th August a plot to assassinate all the senior naval officers in Valparaiso and to start a mutiny was uncovered. Señor Altamirano, the Secretary-General of the Socialist Party, admitted that he was involved in that plot.
During that time the lorry owners, mostly one-man businesses, had been on strike since July for the second time during Señnor Allende's period in office. The police were being replaced by the Grupo de Amigos Personales, the President's own bodyguard, and the powers of the police were being curtailed.
I am surprised that no one has mentioned that in September, three days before the coup, there was a three-day general strike declared by the workers of Chile. Things had come to such a pass that something had to happen.
Then there was the military intervention on 11th September. After that was found the celebrated Plan Z. My information comes from those who were in Chile at the time. The plan, found in one of the safes in the Moneda, was to exterminate all the senior military officers and all the political leaders. Those are the facts as given by people in Chile.
The hon. Gentleman may care to read the correspondents. James Nelson Goodsell, of the Christian Science Monitor had the information just after the coup. I have spoken to people who were in Chile then who are convinced that there was a plot to exterminate people. It was to have been carried out on 17th September, Chile's Independence Day, by an army of 13,000 Cuban, North Korean and Chilean extremists. When the Moneda was taken, an arsenal of weapons was found.
Before we judge the military junta we should bear those facts in mind and consider how we in this country would have acted if we had been faced by a Communist tyranny. I realise that many Labour Members have a certain sympathy for that point of view. But let the House remember that the Chilean armed forces have had a record of keeping out of politics, except for one time in 1924. Unlike other Latin American countries, they have scrupulously kept out of politics.
I deplore the fact that there is not now democracy in Chile. Our Government's rôle should be to encourage Chile to return to democracy as soon as possible, and I do not believe that the motion would help that in any way.
We have heard many quotations from some correspondents in Chile. I end by quoting a Chilean correspondent of La Tercera, who wrote :
That group of unscrupulous caudillos that governed us for three years left the country in the greatest state of ruin in our history. Agricultural and livestock production was practically destroyed, as the enormous sums allocated for the importation of food prove. A similar thing occurred with industry, mining, and all the country's sources of wealth.
That is the heritage left to us by Salvador Allende Gossens and his henchmen, who were controlled by international communism and, in addition, had endeavoured to destroy this highly industrious nation both physically and morally.
Thanks to the patriotic, heroic, and unselfish intervention of our armed forces, an end to this infernal situation, which had seemed irreversible to us, was achieved.
That is the view of Roberto Campo.
It is difficult to follow some of the speeches from the Government benches. One thing is very clear from them—that many Conservative Members are democrats as long as they are winning. If they and their friends in various parts of the world are losing by democratic decisions, it appears that they are happy to turn to violence and to support the military overthrow of democratic régimes.
We are discussing the military overthrow of a democratically-elected government. President Allende would obviously not be supported by the votes of Conservative Members. But he was democratically elected to his position and could never have been accepted as President without the support of Congress and the Senate. That man and his Government have been murdered, overthrown by force. Do not Conservative Members realise the enormity of what they are defending? Has it not dawned on them that we are talking about the destruction of democracy? Of course some Conservative hon. Members say "No". That only confirms what I said earlier—namely, that Conservative hon. Members are democrats as long as they are winning.
I ask some of the younger Conservative hon. Members, who I believe are democrats, to search their consciences and to look closely at what has happened in Chile. All right, it was a Marxist Government, but it was led by a Marxist who happened to be a Freemason. That is a remarkable Marxist. The Popular Unity Government had in it a strong Catholic organisation known as MAPU. It was supported by masses of Catholic workers throughout Chile.
For the first time in the history of the Chilean people, those who were living in the slums were beginning to eat properly. The middle classes were saying "The country is going to ruin. There is no food." There was no food in certain places because for the first time the workers were getting food. The Allende Government immediately raised the rates of pay and helped to better the conditions of the working class people in Chile. That was not undemocratic. Such action was initiated by democratic decisions.
I wish to take up some of the matters which were raised by the Minister in what was the most disgraceful and odious speech I have ever heard in this House. The right hon. Gentleman talked about asylum as though we had no traditional attitudes to the giving of asylum. We have always boasted that political refugees, no matter who they are, are welcome to our shores as long as they are political refugees. If we look back in history we can see a long list of political refugees. Do the right hon. Gentleman's words mean that the Government have now changed our traditions? If so, they are turning their back on something which has made me feel proud as an Englishman. Is that what the Government are doing? It would seem so.
The Chilean Popular Unity Government apparently was a Government of which the British Government did not approve. Reference has been made to Greece. The argument was used that the Labour Government recognised the Greek Colonels. I say, "Shame on the Labour Government for doing so." I said so at the time. Nowadays we too hastily use the argument that certain people are effectively in control. When democracy is destroyed in any part of the world it is a blow against democracy in Britain. Democracy is indivisible. Our task is to fight for democratic government in every part of the world, whether it is in the Soviet Union, Chile, Greece or elsewhere.
The right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) said that only the Left-wing or Communist people who have come out of Chile are writing and telling us what had happened. Newsweek, I suppose, is run by Communists. I am sure it is! An article which appeared in Newsweek on 8th October said :
The military junta will not admit that there have been mass executions since the overthrow of Salvador Allende's Marxist Government. 'We have executed perhaps eight people since then for shooting at troops,' Colonel Pedro Ewing told newsmen.
The article continues :
But that simply is not true. Last week I slipped through the side door into the Santiago city morgue, flashing my junta press pass with all the impatient authority of a high official. One hundred and fifty dead bodies were laid out on the ground floor, awaiting identification by family members. Upstairs I passed through a swing door and there in a dimly lit corridor lay at least 50 more bodies squeezed one against another, their heads proped up against the wall. They were all naked.
Is a Communist writing for Newsweek? I urge all hon. Members to read the article to which I have referred—namely, "Slaughterhouse in Santiago".
I suppose that I should have foreseen the sort of speech which the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) would make. The source from which he quotes is an unusual one even for him. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it would be more authentic to take the report of the International Red Cross, which says :
Representatives of this organisation have visited persons detained in different parts of the national territory, and have publicly declared that their conditions are completely adequate.
Yes. In a personal conversation with me the hon. and gallant Gentleman said that what had happened in Chile was absolutely right. I was deeply shocked. Although I have disagreed with the views which the hon. and gallant Member expresses, I have held him in high respect. I lost that respect when he told me that he thought what had happened in Chile was justified. Is the murder of a president, the destruction of a government and the hunting down of people justified?
If Conservative hon. Members think that there has been a Communist plot, they should look at the background paper sent to all hon. Members this morning from the Catholic Institute for International Relations. Let them read that paper. Let them read the detailed information which it gives. I have not sufficient time to read it to them but I draw attention to it because it is a particularly interesting document.
I do not want to say very much more because I feel emotional about Chile.
I met, as did the hon. and gallant Gentleman, good and decent democrats in all walks of life and of all political parties in Chile. They were people who were dedicated to the democratic process. They believed passionately in democracy. Chile was called the England of Latin America. They based their democratic concepts on British concepts. Many of those people may be dead, imprisoned or hunted out of their country. They may be hiding. Who knows what has happened to Oscar Weiss? Even members of the National Party have been arrested under the junta. The Trade Union Congress of Chile has been destroyed and its leaders imprisoned, some shot. Can we possibly accept all this?
I feel emotional about this because I believe in democracy and in Parliament, and when democracy is destroyed in any part of the world for any reason I feel very emotional about it. In Liverpool, most of the dockers in my constituency are very good Catholics. They have refused to handle material for Chile. I say that that is magnificent. I hope that other workers in this country will follow suit, because we have a tradition among our workers of putting principle before expediency. There was a time when the workers of Lancashire starved rather than have the cotton imported from the Southern States of the United States. That is also our tradition, also part of our history.
There are only two comments I want to make about the speech of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). One is intended to be a sincere compliment. Having debated with him before, I fully accept that he believes passionately in the causes which he advances and that he feels deeply that whatever past Labour Governments may or may not have done does not tie him in the views he expresses. Whatever past Labour Governments may or may not have done or whatever a future Labour Government may do—although if he is a member of such he may find himself in some difficulties then—up to now he has always been able to say, when we point to double standards, that he did not agree with some of those past decisions.
Secondly, I hope that on reflection he will regret having disclosed to the House what he says was said to him in a private conversation. I have been in this House for a considerable time and have at times been tempted to yield to the temptation to repeat what hon. Members opposite have said to me about their party policies and their leadership, but I would thereby have caused a great deal of embarrassment to many of those whom I regard as my friends. I hope, therefore, that on reflection the hon. Gentleman will feel that my rebuke is justified. If we start revealing private conversations in this House, there is no limit to the difficulty of maintaining standards here.
I have not been to Chile and it is not my purpose to argue the merits of what some may or may not have written about events there, and whether the truth of their statements may or may not be proved. Other hon. Members may well know more about the subject of what happened out there than I do. I want to get the debate back into the perspective of what this country should have done and what we ought to be doing today.
Over and over again in the last two or three years, we have seen the most blatant and extravagant and disgraceful of double standards. Tonight, it has been said that any laws which the present Chilean Government may have brought in or which are being enforced are not legal because the regime came to power through a coup and therefore such laws should be disregarded.
I should like to be told of a single Communist Government in Eastern Europe or elsewhere who have come to power other than by a coup. It is a fact that the Czechoslovak Government came to power not only by a coup but by a coup enforced by the bayonets of a foreign Power. Yet there is not a whimper when it comes to the question of recognition being used as a weapon by which we show our approval or disapproval in that context. There has never been a suggestion from the Labour benches—not even from the hon. Member for Walton—that we should withdraw recognition from Czechoslovakia, which is not only a dictatorship but a dictatorship imposed by an alien Power.
Recently the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition went to Prague as a guest of the Czechoslovakian Government—Labour Members will have to listen to this. The right hon. Gentleman indicated quite clearly that he thought that if we were to induce a more reasonable frame of mind within those countries with whose governments we may disagree then we should maintain contacts with them.
Yes, the right hon. Gentleman was right. There has never been any criticism about the fact that we should try to improve our contacts with all countries whether or not we approve of their regimes. I have been consistent in this view, whether it involves a Communist country, or South Africa or anywhere else. Right hon. and hon. Members on the Labour benches maintain a deliberate and perverse double standard on all these facts.
Let me move to Labour's record both in government and in Opposition. We recently had a debate in this House in which—unless there has been a change in the Shadow Cabinet allocation of responsibilities of which I am not aware—the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) spoke on behalf of the Labour Party. He sought to reprove the Conservative Government for not extending recognition to North Vietnam. There is one big difference in that situation : that is a Communist Government. I should like to read a few sentences from the right hon. Gentleman's speech. In regard to his criticism that the present Government had not extended recognition to North Vietnam, the right hon. Gentleman said :
What is the reason for the delay? Is recognition supposed to be some sort of prize for good behaviour? … I hope that is not the position.
Later in the same speech the right hon. Gentleman, again referring to North Vietnam, said :
I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he wants to exercise influence or not. If Her Majesty's Government want to exercise influence they should recognise the accredited Government there, and when they do so perhaps they will be able to talk to the Prime Minister of North Vietnam and other leaders. That in no sense implies any moral approbation of the régime, but it implies the reality of the situation …".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th June 1973 ; Vol. 858, c. 1744–5.]
May I pose in rhetorical terms the question whether that speech could not equally apply to the influence we may or may not exercise in Chile. The only difference is the colour of the political flag they fly. There is no Labour Member now present who can deny that fact.
I have been too long in the House to be caught by a remark like that. I said that I posed it as a rhetorical question. If the hon. Member looks up the word in the Oxford Dictionary, he will see that it means that I do not expect an answer. That is why I prefaced my question with that adjective.
According to the Opposition motion, we rushed too hastily into recognition of the new Chilean Government. But it must surely be said that by the time we extended recognition on 22nd September, 20 other countries had already recognised the Chilean Government, including some Socialist governments, including West Germany and Austria. We have a situation in which the Opposition say we were hasty in recognising Chile. By some strange reasoning it is a bad thing to recognise a government of the Chilean type because apparently we do not wish to exercise the influence which we would have if we did recognise it. But, in the Opposition's view, when one is dealing with a Communist régime, recognition is openly and repeatedly advocated. In other words, they believe that recognition is a necessary prelude to influence only when we are dealing with the Communist world.
I now wish to say a few words about arms and trade. I have seen this day coming. I have looked forward to the day when we could recall the past few weeks when we heard advanced from the Opposition benches arguments to the effect that it was not a matter of favouring any particular country but that the sanctity of arms contracts, once made must be honoured, otherwise Britain's word would never be believed again. That was said only a short while ago, and I am sorry that the hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) is not present to hear me repeat them. I have not let him know of my intention to refer to what he said. However, I intend no criticism.
Only a few days ago the hon. Gentleman spoke lustily at Question Time about the fact that if Britain were to break arms contracts her word would never be believed again in any part of the world. Apparently when we are discussing Chile and arms contracts which have been made, we must cancel them. The word "sanctity" is then removed from the vocabulary of Opposition hon. Members. These are the facts, and the Opposition cannot deny that this is what has been happening. Can they tell me how they manage to select one form of sanctity and not another? I shall be happy to listen elsewhere to any arguments they may advance—
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for an hon. Member constantly to challenge other hon. Members and to deny them any right of reply to his points? May it be recorded in the OFFICIAL REPORT that a number of Opposition Members have sought to answer the hon. Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett)?
By some strange thinking I had an idea that that would be a bogus point of order, and this conclusion has now been justified. If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite want to explain their double standards, they are welcome to do so at leisure on some other occa-sison.
I move now to the suggestion of trade and aid boycotts. Recently I seem to have heard it suggested that because the Arab States disagree with the policies of other countries, justified or unjustified, it is blackmail for them to use economic weapons to further their ends. Apparently it is permissible to call that blackmail. But apparently we think that because we disapprove of the policies of another Government we have the right to exercise economic, trading and financial boycotts. Whatever the Opposition may think about my speech, there are people outside this country who notice this dichotomy of thinking and actually see for themselves that Britain stands on a pedestal saying, "If we do not like this or that country's policies, we have the right to use every economic weapon at our disposal to overturn those policies, but, if anyone else does it, it becomes political blackmail which it is impossible for Britain to accept."
I come, then, to the record of the Labour Government. When at an earlier stage the Argentine forsook the form of democracy that it then had and endured a military coup, the Labour Government of the day used almost the same language, saying that the policies of Argentina were for Argentina to work out for herself and that if that country were not hostile to us there was no reason for not maintaining arms deliveries to it, and the Labour Government continued arms deliveries. It may be that the sprinkling of right hon. and hon. Members at present on the Opposition benches believed that their own Government were wicked and wrong in the past and that they would all ensure that this never happened again. However we can deal only with the record of a Government. We cannot deal with the records of individual hon. Members, whether they sit above or below the Gangway.
My last word is to my own Government. I understand from what my right hon. Friend the Minister of State said that eight Chileans are coming to this country. I am not clear whether they are coming as refugees, and I have done my best to find out. The most recent information that I have, which I ask my right hon. Friend to confirm, is that the eight persons concerned are not coming here as refugees but are coming here because they possess skills and training which will be of real use to this country. I have tried to discover what those skills are which should lead us to allow eight Chileans with special skills to come here at a time when we are exercising rigorous control over Commonwealth immigration. I understand that they are coming as economic and business consultancy managers. I should not think that the Chilean Government's record on economic matters over the last year or two justified our bringing in Chilean business consultants to help us with our admittedly difficult economic position. If we need the advice and assistance of business consultants from Chile, then, in view of their past contribution to the economy of that country, I would say, "Come back Balogh and Kaldor, all is forgiven."
Sitting there in a flatulent pose, I suppose he is pleased with anything. The sense of the hon. Gentleman's speech was completely nauseating. The whole business, from his point of view, revolved around the exposure of what he called double standards. In international diplomacy double standards are practised by all Governments.
I am concerned about any British Government, but what concerns me more tonight is the absence of any kind of moral standards by Her Majesty's Government and, indeed, by the hon. Member for Torquay. It was obvious from what he said that he was not in the least interested in proposing or opposing any argument tonight. Indeed, the hon. Gentleman was confessing that he has no objection to the brutal suppression of democratic and civil rights in Chile or anywhere else.
What the hon. Gentleman finds offensive about our motion is that we are seeking to uphold established democratic rights against the fist of the Chilean military junta. I was not surprised at what the hon. Gentleman said. He is a man with some military background and, like people of other backgrounds, it tends to formulate certain political attitudes, if not the psychology of attitudes, towards different subjects.
I was rather more surprised at the speech by the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton), a man old enough to be my grandfather and of whom I had always thought as essentially a man of gentility. I was absolutely amazed—there is no political purpose in saying this—at the brutality and deliberate perversion of reports coming out of Chile by a right hon. Member of his stature for whom I have previously felt respect.
Let us cut away the arguments about the balance between Left and Right commentators making their reports on the Chilean situation just before and since the coup and during October and the beginning of this month and say that they neutralise one another. But the evidence and the reports coming out of Chile by what the right hon. Gentleman dismisses as subversive Left-wing fellow-travelling Communists vastly outweigh the numbers coming out which are favourable or even neutral in their approach to the régime.
People like Hugh O'Shaughnessy and several other British journalists, who in the past three years have written regular columns which, in a proper democratic way, have been critical of certain aspects of the Allende régime, are not parrot journalists sponsored by the Popular Unity Government. These people have been reporting affairs in Chile as they would have reported affairs in France, the Federal Republic of Germany or any other country that could be described as being governed by an elected representative, democratic Government. The credentials of these men were established in the years before the coup and their feelings as expressed in their reports since the coup deserve more respect because of that.
The right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton said that we had been told only half the story and that there remained to be told the story of the Right, and he quoted from it. I do not think that it holds any more water than the story from the Left, but if we concede the argument about reports and forget about them I think that we are entitled to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman's logic, to his sense of history and to his own two eyes.
Can the right hon. Gentleman really imagine the tank battalions of the Chilean Army, the jet fighters and fighter bombers of the Chilean Air Force, the battleships of the Chilean Navy and the armed police of Chile going to the aid of the poor downtrodden peasants and proletariat of Chile? It is a lot of nonsense to say that these forces of reaction were doing anything but going to the aid of the established forces of the rich and the wealthy whose wealth Allende was hoping to usurp in the cause of redistributing wealth and bringing economic justice and order to the country.
Those men did not drive their tanks, fire their guns and rockets, or drop their bombs in the cause of saving the Chilean economy from destruction, or in the cause of saving Chilean democracy from destruction. They did it for the reason for which any usurping Fascist power or any usurping militaristic power has done it at any time at any place in history, whether we are talking about the Norman barons, Soviet tanks in Central Europe, the invasion of the Sudetenland, or the invasion of Chilean civil rights in September of this year. They are classic examples of what happens when tyranny is exerting itself.
There was an elected democratic Government in Chile. There was a free Press there. There were no political prisoners in the gaols. There was no restriction on the freedom of journalism or the Press. That was the situation in Chile, but that situation no longer exists because thousands of people have been incarcerated, killed, bullied, beaten or driven out of the country. Thousands have fled for their lives.
What the Government have to decide is where they stand when force usurps a democratically elected Government. That is the question, and they must make up their minds instead of indulging in semantics. I note that all Conservative Members who have spoken today, and especially the Minister, have chosen the semantic way out of the problem in a manner that would do discredit to a junior school debate. They have relied entirely on any apparent or alleged weakness in the drafting of a critical motion to get out of the tight corner in which a Tory politician can find himself when he has to state where he stands when democracy and the freedom of people are threatened.
The Minister made it clear where he stands. He is prepared to mouth certain meaningless criticisms of the military junta. Many of the Minister's hon. Friends are prepared to stammer in support of the right hon. Gentleman, but they have not answered the crucial question to the satisfaction of the British people, and they certainly have not answered it to the satisfaction of the Chilean people.
I join my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) in appealing not so much to the older Conservative Members—though I suspect that there may be one or two who have experience of Spain, Abyssinia and Manchuria—as to the younger ones. My experience of those areas in the 1930s is nil, but I read about them in my school history books, just as no doubt many hon. Gentleman opposite did. There may be some hon. Gentlemen opposite who during their political lifetime have seen the crumbling of popularly elected Governments or the supersession of feudal Governments by modern Fascist Governments and have regretted that they did not take action at the time. Older hon. Gentlemen might wish to take meaningful action against the junta in Chile.
Younger Members have observed the embarrassment with which anyone who has supported dual standards or who has been compromising or restrictive in his criticism of anti-democratic forces presents himself to the House. I hope that when I have been a Member for a few more years I shall be able to say—and I hope that young Conservative Members will be able to join me—that we have never had to be ashamed of the stand we have taken on behalf of democracy.
I had prepared notes for my speech, but I have been so appalled by the attitude of Conservative Members that something more than a rehearsed speech is called for. If hon. Members wish to call it emotion, they can do so. I call it history and a sense of decency. I therefore join my hon. Friend the Member for Walton in throwing away notes and saying that we must vote with our stomachs and hearts in saying whose side we are on. Are we on the side of brutality and the suppression of civil rights, or are we on the side of maintaining our own parliamentary traditions and freedom of speech?
The Minister said that we have rules which govern our attitude towards the question of asylum. If they do not permit us to stand up for democracy and to protect democrats anywhere in the world, on either side of the Iron Curtain or in any hemisphere, they must be changed, because we shall gain respect in the world of today and of the future by standing up for our principles. We can take Sweden as an example.
As the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton said, if this is the first intervention by Chilean militarism in the political affairs of that country, there is an easy answer for it. The army, navy and air force of Chile are involved in controlling politics in that country because for the first time in its history Chile has just had a Socialist Government. That Government gave rise to the first militarist repression. The answer goes far beyond us with our temperate attitudes.
We may argue that there is still time for debate and for initiatives to be taken by democratic Governments throughout the world. But the junta has taught people in Chile and the rest of the Third World that they will not beat forces of that kind with ballot boxes. They will not be able to build a guard against militarism with piles of ballot papers. The language which the militarists, ITT and the multinational corporation understand is not the language of democracy and peace. People will have to learn the lesson of Chile in the hardest possible way.
The Government could possibly delay, even counteract, the development of a violent retort to the counter-revolution in Chile by standing up and being counted on the side of democracy, giving those who still wish to argue their way back to democratic power in Chile the heart, strength and backing to do it. If they do not do that, the blood which will be shed now and in future in Chile will be partly on their heads.
I agree with my right hon. Friend the Minister of State and with the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) that this is an exceedingly serious debate. I shall endeavour to give what I regard as the true facts of the situation and I shall also meet the constitutional arguments put forward by the Opposition. I hope my arguments will carry conviction.
I have had the good fortune of visiting Latin America frequently in recent years. There is no doubt that it is a continent where violence is endemic. Coups are almost regular there. I agree entirely with the statement of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of the northern parts of Latin America, that Latin America is almost ungovernable. I remember attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in 1968 in Lima, Peru. The Parliament was in being, at that time, but two weeks later President Belaúnde left in his pyjamas because there was a Left-wing military coup. At that time, as far as I remember, there were no protests whatever in this House and, as has been said, recognition followed swiftly. I can only conclude that in the event of Left-wing military coups everything is satisfactory as far as the Opposition are concerned.
I was in Chile last year. I know the country only slightly, but I know most of the other countries of Latin America rather better. Chile has a magnificent record of parliamentary democracy. There have been only two other periods when the military took over prior to the takeover on 11th September this year. It is a country unique in Latin America in that it has a strong middle class. It also has non-political armed forces, in contradistinction to many other countries in Latin America. I do not criticise those other countries. Bolivar was right. In many circumstances these countries are becoming ungovernable by democratic means and military governments are perfectly satisfactory. There are many operating perfectly satisfactorily today.
Chile has had a strong connection with our country, dating back to the days of San Martine and Admiral Cochrane. There has been tremendous affiliation between the Chilean Navy and the Royal Navy. Chile is a pleasant country. The middle ground around Santiago is in a temperate part of the world. But Chile is also a country of contrast. It is against this background that I pitch my remarks tonight.
There has been a history of penetration by Communists into South America, particularly since the time of the Spanish Civil War. Cuba has had a Marxist Government for several years but it was not until 1970—I agree with the Opposition about this—that President Allende came to power, on a minority vote, but in a perfectly constitutional manner. However, President Allende was asked to give, and gave, certain important constitutional guarantees. This is the heart of my argument. I regard this question of the constitutional aspect of the Government as being absolutely crucial. The constitutional guarantees, although they were given, were not adhered to. Two particular aspects of the guarantees were flouted by President Allende and decisions of Congress were ignored.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton)
referred to this, but as it is so important I prefer to go into it in rather more detail. I am now talking about the Constitution. Congress decided on 23rd August, by 81 votes to 47, to pass a very important and very critical resolution. I apologise for giving a long quotation, but it puts the case. It says :
The Government of the Republic, since its inception has been engaged in the conquest of total power with the obvious intention of subjecting all persons to the strictest State economic and political control, in order to achieve in this manner the installation of a totalitarian system absolutely opposed to the representative, democratic system established by the Constitution … To accomplish this objective, the Government has not violated the law and the Constitution in isolated instances ; rather, these violations have become permanent policy, to the extent of ignoring and systematically attacking the characteristics of the other branches of the government, and of continually violating the guarantees".
At this juncture, there was this decision of Congress by 81 votes to 47 votes and there was no doubt that President Allende was acting totally unconstitutionally.
The President also gave an undertaking of independence to the Judiciary. Things got worse. The head of the Supreme Court wrote to the President on 26th May about
A crisis in the legal system about which this tribunal cannot be silent.
He went on in a letter of 26th June later made public to say,
The country faces a peremptory and imminent breakdown in the legal system.
This was a most serious state of affairs. This is the back-cloth to the coup which took place on 11th September. All respecters of the Constitution were getting extremely anxious and it was against this background that they recognised that there was this enormous influx of Marxists from other countries.
The hon. Gentleman said he did not know much about Chile. Is he aware that one of the proposals in the Unidad Popular programme dealt with the establishment of what we would call local magistrates' courts? This called for the training as magistrates of ordinary citizens who would therefore be able to play their part in the legal system. Some members of the Supreme Court almost went hysterical. This, they thought, was the worst possible thing that could happen. When we pointed out that this is what happens in this country they did not understand what we were talking about.
The Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of what should or should not happen under the constitution.
I had the opportunity of studying the Allende régime to a small extent. I went to a farm near Valparaiso which was in a perfectly shocking state. There was no doubt that agricultural production was dropping on almost every farm throughout Chile because the whole agricultural reform programme was failing. It was for that reason that Chile became a net importer of food under the Allende régime when, prior to that, it has been an exporter of food on a considerable scale. [HON. MEMBERS : "Oh."] I know that the Opposition do not like this but they must listen.
I saw that great port of Valparaiso, built by the first Lord Cowdray when Britain did so much public works construction in Latin-America. I went on the harbour in 1972, and there was hardly a crane operating. There were grain ships anchored off the harbour. There was a scarcity of grain but the ships were incapable of being unloaded and had been there for 30 days. Most of the people in Chile were going short of food. That gives some idea of the shambles developing at that time under the Allende régime.
In the centre of Santiago hardly a day passed without riots of some nature being put down by tear gas by the Government of the day. One almost needed a gas mask in the centre of Santiago. Any Right-wing demonstrations were put down by extremely strong-arm tactics.
Even if there were severe economic troubles, as we are experiencing, for example, or if there were very difficult legal questions perturbing the United States, which general would the hon. Gentleman nominate to take over this country or the United States? In view of the use of force by the Crown, in the use of tear gas in part of the United Kingdom, which admiral does the hon. Gentleman consider should drive out the present Prime Minister, and which general would he suggest to drive out the United States Congress, imitating the vulgar behaviour of those who did this in Chile?
I knew that it was a mistake to give way to the hon. Gentleman, purely because that was exactly my next point.
The situation was escalating towards civil war. I do not rely for my information on the Press. In those circumstances, it became known to those in the armed forces, and generally known afterwards, that there was something called the Z plan. That was referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton).
No, I have given way several times already. I have spoken to a number of gentlemen who were mentioned in this plan. They and their families were listed for execution under the plan. Many high and other ranking officers would have been shot under the plan. The date for it to be pulled off was 16th September.
Some six days in advance of that plan the military, who have always been strictly non-political, took very swift, decisive and fairly violent action. But there was no doubt that their action was fully justified. I claim support and justification of that statement from the Right Rev. David Pytches, the Bishop of Chile, who gave a very sensible and balanced interview on our radio on 28th October.
I said that the action was fairly violent. I have spoken to people who got caught in the crossfire. Many figures have been thrown around the Chamber tonight about the number of casualties. I have the official figures of casualties. I know that the Opposition do not like the facts.
Up to 23rd November, 1,078 people were killed, including 60 military personnel.
Returning to my friend who was caught in the crossfire, naturally, any sensible person in such a position when a military coup is occurring lies on the ground. My friend did so, with many others. When the shooting finished at the end of the day, they walked away. That is exactly what happened to an enormous number of people. I am surprised that some of the correspondents mistook some of the people who were lying on the ground for dead, when they had not been harmed at all.
If we have to have a debate on what I call a friendly country, a debate which I deplore, the House should be much more concerned, as I am, with the future of that country. We should be concerned for the people of Chile.
I believe that the motion is quite disgraceful in that part of it which begs Her Majesty's Government to withhold aid, as well as to influence World Bank and IMF assistance. It is that foreign aid and assistance, and the re-negotiation of the enormous foreign debts, that is absolutely imperative if the economy of Chile is to get back on to the rails again. If this motion is passed tonight—and I sincerely hope that it will not—the whole economy of Chile will not have a chance of returning to normal.
I must ask my right hon. Friend whether he will consider as soon as possible giving extended ECGD cover, because it is most important that the trade between our two countries is rapidly increased. I can give good reports to the House about the way business is returning to normal, and 70 to 80 per cent. of the people of Chile are now fully behind the present Government. Our aim should be to give maximum encouragement to our good friends in Chile who, at the moment, are in a pretty tight corner.
I entirely support my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in his action in giving speedy recognition to the Government of Chile. I believe that that was only in accordance with normal practice and was entirely justified. I also believe that the continuation of the sale of arms is entirely justified. In the first part of my speech, I referred to the very long connection between the Chilean Navy and the Royal Navy and, as my right hon. Friend said, if the workers in the shipyards in many parts of the country realised that those orders for submarines and frigates and for the repair of naval vessels might be cancelled, there would be enormous dismay and lobbies coming up to Westminster. Fortunately that will not happen and we shall continue supplying arms to an essentially friendly country.
I look forward to the time when Chile, with that wonderful record of parliamentary democracy, will be able to resume its position. That frequently happens in Latin America after military coups and I can see no reason why history should not repeat itself. I deplore the fact that the Opposition are playing politics, with a callous disregard for the real welfare and advancement of the people of Chile.
What a tatty speech that was! I do not think there is anything that the Conservative Party any longer holds sacred, except perhaps the preservation of its own skin. There was not a word of indignation in the speech of the hon. Member for the City of Chester (Mr. Temple) about the fact that 20,000 people have been killed in Chile, and not a word of disgust about the fact that 10,000 people are still imprisoned without trial. On the contrary, the hon. Gentleman appeared to be almost rejoicing in the brutality and savagery of the coup. He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.
There was a time when the Tory Party paid tribute to democracy, and there are very many people in it who still do. But not one Conservative Member has denied that a democratically elected Government was overthrown by a brutal coup. I thought hon. Gentlemen opposite would have been delighted that, in a part of South America which is known not for electing Governments but for having Governments imposed upon it, there was in existence a Government which the people of Chile had elected and re-elected. Tory Members do not seem to worry one jot about that. It may well be true that the Chilean Government was not the best Government in the world, but neither is our Government here. Bad as the present Government are, I have never heard it suggested that they should be overthrown by the Armed Forces.
I was delighted to hear the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) refer to the fact that in Chile under Allende there had been a strike. I have news for the right hon. Gentleman. There will not be any more strikes under the present Government, because they will not be allowed. That is the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship. The Minister made a cheap point about how we would feel in this country if there were criticisms by another nation of our treatment, for instance of IRA internees. In this House, to our credit, we have spent a great deal of time debating how we should give the fairest possible trial to people accused of crimes in that very sad country in these disturbed times. We do not shoot people, murder them and imprison them without trial. That is the difference. The Minister well knew that he was making a false point.
One of the people in the Conservative Party for whom I had much admiration before the war was a man who recognised, a long time before other people, the horrors of what was happening in Nazi Germany, and to his credit he spoke up about them. I refer to Leopold Amery. I am very sorry that his son, whom I like and respect personally, and who is a most courteous man, did not recognise that in Chile a decent, democratically elected Government who were trying their best to distribute wealth in favour of the peasants, workers and poor people had been ousted by a ruthless, corrupt dictatorship which in every sense including book burning, was reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
Having listened to the entire debate, I have been struck by two things. The first is the remarkable euphemistic and evasive apologia for Allende, a man who brought his country to absolute ruin, chaos and abject poverty to a degree that the Lord Balogh, who was referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett) and who was a former adviser to the Labour Government when writing in the Evening Standard during the time of the Blackpool Labour Party Conference this year referred to the Allende regime as a warning to the faithful and pointed out the dangers of his canonisation.
The other matter which is so remarkable is that Labour Members regard themselves as the custodians of parliamentary government. This is extraordinary. At the Blackpool conference
this year, in their "Labour programme for Britain 1973," they supported a resolution saying :
Labour therefore supports the liberation movements in all the territories of Southern Africa in their just struggle".
The liberation struggle in Southern Africa was for the same ends as Tupomaros, Allende and other revolutionaries fought. It is for that reason that, together with so many other people in this country, I am apprehensive about the possibility—
No. I am sorry, but my time is so short. I am apprehensive about the Chilean and other South American refugees coming to this country. Those who seek to come to this country as political refugees are not Chileans but originate from other South American States. They could all go to Cuba but none of them is acceptable in his own country. In the present climate of revolutionary activity in Britain today, it would be courting disaster to bring more people here who might constitute a security risk. Therefore I appeal to my right hon. Friend to think twice before he introduces any of these revolutionaries into this country.
I believe that Chile is rapidly becoming the whipping boy of the Left, with the Morning Star as the mouthpiece of the campaign in which the right hon. Member for Lanark (Mrs. Hart) has played a most distinctive part and has performed at Trafalgar Square with Mr. Gollan, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, pleading the case of the Communists in Chile. It is becoming a joint platform of the extreme Left for reasons best known to themselves.
As for Mrs. Allende, until she went to Mexico she maintained that her late husband had committed suicide. It was only after her visit to Mexico that she changed her tune.
I cannot give way. I must be brief. It is most significant that no one has mentioned that two months before the coup the Supreme Court of Justice in Chile declared the rule of law no longer to exist and the Chamber of Deputies declared the same and urged the military to restore it. They had no alternative unless there was to be another Cuba. If they had not acted they would have had their throats cut. There would have been a night of the long knives and the murder of the naval officers at the Valparaiso garrison.
What of British opinion in Chile? I have been privileged to meet several people from Chile who have visited this country since the coup. I also read in The Guardian a letter from the head of the British community of Valparaiso. It seems that both the British community there and most certainly the British Chamber of Commerce in Santiago are wholly sympathetic to the disappearance of the Marxist Government. What is not altogether surprising is that the Liberal Provost of Greenock went to the Ministry of Defence last week pleading for more orders for naval craft for Chile in order to keep the people of Greenock employed.
The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) referred to the dockers coming out over shipments to Valparaiso. Would he support an embargo on goods going to Red China where more than 20 million people have been massacred? Would he support an embargo on goods to West Africa where many more people were killed in the fighting between the Biafrans and the Nigerians? This is just another manifestation of double standards. The hon. Member and his hon. Friends take the attitude they do merely because Chile is white and capitalist. Why otherwise should this venom be directed against Chile?
I accept that in every revolution there must be cruelty and barbarism. I cannot countenance everything that has happened. But what was done anticipated a far worse holocaust, which would have occurred if the Cubans and the local Marxist mercenaries from Uruguay, Argentine, Bolivia and Colombia had been able to take over. That has been shown by the arms and the detailed alphabetical lists of people marked for assassination.
I plead with my right hon. Friend that the people of this country should be protected, that none of those who have been actively engaged in Marxist activity, particularly those known to be Tupamaros—there was a camp for them in the north of Chile—should be allowed to enter this country.
I am sorry, no. I am about to conclude.
It was revealed in the House last week that 50 students were coming from Chile to this country. Yesterday we learned, in an answer to a Question of mine, that the figure had been increased to 70 in the last quarter of the year. Other Chileans have been coming into this country as students. Who will pay their maintenance? What are they supposed to do here? What security have we for their behaviour? [Interruption.] They should go to Cuba. Cuba is the only country anxious to take them, they are in political liaison with Cuba, and that is their natural home.
With permission, I should like to make a brief reply to the debate.
I have been a Member of the House for 14 years and I have never heard such Fascism crawling out from under the stones of this place as I have heard tonight. If I were in the Minister's position, I should not welcome the support from his hon. Friends. We have had the Portuguese lobby and the Rhodesian lobby. Now we have a new lobby—the Chilean Embassy lobby, the new Chilean Embassy lobby.
It is remarkable—the right hon. Gentleman should consider his attitude in this light—that not one of his right hon. or hon. Friends has in any way represented even part of the point of view he presented earlier. We have not heard condemnations of the coup. We have not heard condemnations of the murders and brutalities. There has not been even a word of regret that a country with a 140-year tradition of democracy has been destroyed. Therefore, I sympathise with the right hon. Gentleman over the support he has had from his right hon. and hon. Friends.
We have heard a unanimity of briefing from Miss Lucia Santa Cruz before she returned to Chile, a unanimity of briefing provided by El Mercurio, which has a managing director who is now the Minister of Economics in the junta.
I know perfectly well that when the Minister gives us his analysis of what led up to the coup in July we shall have from him also the El Mercurio representation we heard all the time in the embassy drawing rooms in Santiago. Those drawing rooms, certainly in the British Embassy, hardly knew a single Socialist of the Allende Government. When I was there and our former ambassador, for whom I have no word of disrespect, came with me to meet Ministers and officials in the Allende Government, he expressed his gratitude because it was the first time, after a year, that he had been able to meet members of the Popular Unity Government.
That is the background of the kind of information we have. There is a terrible polarisation now represented in what is being said in Britain. It is not that there are or have been in Chile two sets of judgments on the same facts ; it is that there have always been two sets of facts, the real ones and those of the Right wing, which is what we have heard poured out tonight.
When Conservative Members talk of the letters they have received from friends in Chile giving them the true position, do they know that the junta has asked its friends in Chile—this is reported in most of the foreign Press—to write to their friends in Britain, and has given them the material to do it. That was why we have had unanimity of facts. It was remarkable. There was no variation in the so-called facts. We saw the usual Fascist propaganda machine begin to operate. Unfortunately, we are now hearing it represented in this House.
Unless the Minister has something new to say to us, it will not seem that the Government have taken one step forward. So far the Government have merely confirmed the attitudes which we deplore and condemn. On the future extension of credit the Minister justifies the Government's attitude. On refugees he seeks justification. On precedent he talks of the different interpretations of the Vienna Convention.
Of all the countries concerned, including Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, I take it that we are to assume that Britain is the only country with the correct interpretation. Are we to understand that Britain is the only country which is right and that our fellow members of the EEC and the other countries of Western Europe are wrong? Are only we right in denying refuge, humanity and decency to those in Chile who face death, torture and brutality?
We have heard about the "Z plan" and about constitutionality. Conservative Members may not be aware of one of the latest acts of the military regime—namely, the abandonment of the last vestige of democracy in Chile. It has abandoned the constitutional council. Is that an act of constitutionality? Is it an act of constitutionality to suspend the constitution and to say that it cannot be restored in less than eight months?
If Conservative Members are right and the Allende Government represented a minority vote, like many Governments elsewhere which have been democratically elected, does that mean that Allende was unpopular and that the Right-wing friends of Conservative Members were the popular leaders? Can they explain why the junta does not dare to return to constitutionality and democracy? If that was the position, they have nothing to fear and no need to murder people or lock them up and torture them.
We have heard tonight that the coup is justified, that murders are justified and that brutality, torture and the overthrow of democracy are justified. I am not talking about the Minister's speech. We were shocked enough by what the right hon. Gentleman had to say, but by comparison with his right hon. and hon. Friends he shines out like an angel of virtue. When I make my criticisms I am not talking about the Minister.
We have heard some Conservative Members express views that would justify at any time the overthrow of democracy in this country. They have said that, if Governments get into economic difficulty and if Governments do not do what they believe is right, it is right and justifiable to overthrow them by military force and to commit acts of depravity such as those which have been committed in Chile. That is the view of some Conservative hon. Members. [HON. MEMBERS : "Where are the Liberals?"] It is remarkable that no Liberal Members have been present during the whole of the debate.
I remind the House of what Salvador Allende believed that he and his Government stood for. I quote from the last speech he made when the bombs were
dropping on the Monade Palace from, of course, Hawker Siddeley aircraft. [HON. MEMBERS : "HOW many?"] Enough to destroy it. Salvador Allende said :
History is ours. It is the people who make it … I am speaking first to the modest woman of our land, to the peasant woman who believed in us, to the work-woman who was working more, to the mother who knew that we cared about her children. I am speaking to the members of the liberal professions who behaved as patriots … I am speaking to the young people, to those who sang, to those who gave their joy and their spirit of struggle. I am speaking to the man of Chile, to the worker, to the peasant, to the intellectual, to those who will be persecuted… Workers of my country : I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other Chileans will come. In these dark and bitter moments, where treachery claims to impose itself, you must know that sooner or later, and very soon, large avenues will open again for men worthy of building a new society.
We on this side believe in democracy. We happen to be Socialists who believe in democracy. We are prepared to ally ourselves in our faith in democracy with Conservatives who believe in democracy. But we are not prepared to ally ourselves with those Conservatives who have spoken for their party tonight.
By leave of the House, Mr. Speaker, I will try to reply to the speeches made in what I think will be regarded as a memorable debate in which deep feelings have been expressed on both sides of the House.
The right hon. Member for Lanark (Mrs. Hart) asked about the case of Mr. Tomic. I have been in touch with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. He is more than willing to consider the case sympathetically and sees no reason to think that there is any obstacle to granting permanent settlement to him.
My hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref) asked about the Chilean students. During September, 22 were admitted to the United Kingdom. They will have satisfied immigration officers of their acceptability and their means of support. The figures for October are not yet available.
The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) asked about Mr. Oscar Weiss, editor of La Naciòn. Our ambassador asked the Chilean Government about him at our request. He is detained in the Military Academy at Santiago and is to be tried by civil court. The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured us that he is well.
The right hon. Lady asked about two grants to students which she thought had been withdrawn. We will inquire into these cases and write to her as soon as we have more information about them.
The hon. Member for Hackney, Central (Mr. Clinton Davis) asked me about the case of a Mr. Gatehouse who was detained. It was after representations by our embassy about him that he was released. It is fair to add that if we had not maintained diplomatic relations, he would not have been released.
My hon. Friend the Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett) asked about the status of seven Chileans and the one Bolivian who came here as a result of sponsorship by Professor Stafford Beer of Manchester University. They are not refugees. They have simply qualified to come here in the ordinary way. They would have been allowed in equally before the revolution. They are academics qualified in business management and they wanted to come here because their jobs came to an end when Professor Beer's job came to an end. They have no history of political activity and they have been accepted as perfectly respectable immigrants. Four have come here so far, one has gone to Canada and the others are awaiting passage here.
The right hon. Lady suggested that our embassy in Santiago was out of touch. It is often the case with Left-wing Governments that it is only when distinguished visitors from either party, like the right hon. Lady or myself, go out that contact is easily made.
The hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock) made a speech which, although I did not altogether agree with it, I admired for its forcefulness and oratory. He took me to task for having concentrated earlier today on the motion.
I thought that it would be better, knowing the way this House never fails to produce a large number of people on both sides with a good deal of knowledge, to let them all express their view on what was happening in Chile before I tried to contribute my inevitably modest but reasonably well-informed contribution from the Foreign Office. It might be helpful if I say something about the way in which we in the Foreign Office saw the matter.
This summer when I went out to Lima to meet our ambassadors from the Andean Pact countries—I also went to Buenos Aires for the inauguration of President Campora and during that visit I had the opportunity to talk to President Allende in Buenos Aires—it was pretty clear to me that events in Chile were moving towards crisis. Some of the symptoms of the crisis were described by my hon. Friend the Member for the City of Chester (Mr. Temple).
There was an unprecedented rate of inflation but, as the hon. Member for Walton said, for the first time in Chilean history the poorer people had been eating and wages had been raised. This was quite true of the first year of the Allende Government, but unfortunately the advantages gained in the early period under his régime had been largely wiped out by the summer of this year. The Government was a minority Government, constitutionally elected—indeed, the Conservatives have been in power in a similar situation so I do not complain about that—but it was in a head-on collision with Congress and was in default of the guarantees given by the President when he was first elected.
Furthermore, there were serious shortages of food. The queues were measured by own our representatives in Santiago as of a hundred yards in length and more. A number of Ministers were the subject of impeachment procedures. I have no doubt that some Labour Members might wish to adopt a similar procedure in respect of me, but in Chile no doubt this avoided a reshuffle—which can happen on all sides of the House at any time.
Law and order had fallen into a pretty serious condition. There were, as my hon. Friend the Member for the City of Chester said, a number of riots and disturbances in the towns and in the countryside. Property had been taken over and broken up without compensation and without the approval of the Government. The law courts brought in verdicts which were not always upheld by the executive. The President was protected by a Cuban guard. Arms were coming into the country in quite large quantities to arm para-military forces, some of which were foreign, though admittedly a large number were Cuban. They may well have been maintained and raised for defensive purposes.
I am not trying to pass judgment, but that is as we saw the situation in the Foreign Office. It was also the situation seen by people in Peruvian Government circles, who are not Right-wing, and people in Peronista circles in Argentina. Some people thought that there would be a complete takeover by the two Marxist forces in President Allende's Government, the Communists and the Socialists. This was encouraged, as I understand it, by President Allende's own party, by the MIR and by President Castro. There were others who thought that a military coup would take place, but the armed forces were reluctant. It is interesting to remember that the leaders of the armed forces served in the Allende Government and that the present Foreign Minister, Admiral Huerta, was a Minister of State in that Government for some time.
The most hopeful exercise was that there might be a compromise with the Christian Democrat Opposition. Interestingly enough, this was advocated by the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Senor Corvalan, perhaps because he realised the dangers of pressing matters too far in one of the American continents. But the compromise attempt failed. From that moment in the late summer there was almost public discussion to the effect that civil war was looming, and people were asking themselves who would strike first.
I am reporting only what we saw and what every observer on the scene will confirm. The question was who would strike first. The military side struck first and, because of that, a heavy responsibility lies upon them for the bloodshed and repression which resulted from their action. But we have to remember that they knew that the forces opposed to them were also very well armed, and they would have claimed in exoneration if not in justification that if they had not struck hard there could well have been civil war.
The right hon. Member for Lanark and the hon. Member for Walton went into some detail about the casualties that resulted. The hon. Gentleman also went into great detail about the Newsweek report. I have to say to him that the report which he gave the House has been dismissed by the New York Times. A report after a thorough investigation by one of that newspaper's staff seems to me a good deal more reliable than the comments of the anonymous daughter of a mortuary attendant, on which the Newsweek articles were originally based.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that what he is giving the House is precisely El Mercurio's version of events and precisely the junta's version, and that the House would like to hear some difference between his account and that of the junta if he is to be more convincing? Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the efforts to reach a compromise between the Allende Government and the Christian Democrats were continuing the day before the coup, that 14 leading Christian Democrats had agreed to a compromise, and that that is one reason why the coup occurred next day?
It is not for me to pass judgment on the internal manoeuvres which preceded the coup.
I hope that what I have said will convince the House that it would be a mistake—[Interruption.] I am asking right hon. and hon. Members to accept that the analysis that I have given shows that it would be a mistake either to compare Senor Allende with the Leader of the Liberal Party in this House or to regard him as a Communist conspirator, and that equally it would be a mistake to regard the military simply as Fascists, bearing in mind the co-operation which they gave Senor Allende.
I think that this House would be very well advised to remember the precept of Lord Acton, the historian, who said that most conflicts were not conflicts between right and wrong but between right and right.
The events in Chile raise important issues in a context of a wider character which affects the whole question of coexistence and détente.
The hon. Member for Walton said that democracy was indivisible. Alas, this is not absolutely clear. The Marxists have accepted that they can come to power by constitutional means—this is a step forward—but their theorists still proclaim from Moscow and elsewhere that, once established, the process of a Marxist State is irreversible and that this is the justification of the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat.
It was the doctrine laid down by Lenin when he said :
No Marxist, without renouncing the principles of Marxism and of Socialism generally, can deny that the interests of Socialism are higher than the interests of the right of nations to self-determination.
It is a long time since Lenin, but this was repeated in Moscow in 1971 by Academician Kovalev, who said :
To permit a free play of all political forces in the Soviet countries under today's conditions would mean the suicide of Socialism.
Senor Corvalan, the Secretary-General of the Chilean Communist Party, on 13th January 1971 made the following statement :
The Chilean people must now consolidate their victory and advance further so that the whole of the political and state apparatus will come into their hands. The situation is certainly not yet irreversible but it is up to us to make it irreversible.
We here accept the idea that the parties in the House of Commons alternate in government. The hon. Member for Walton said that we were democrats only when we were winning. This is not true. We have accepted changes of power—Socialists or Conservatives coming into power—in 1945, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1964, 1966 and 1970. But the Marxist parties do not accept this process. In a country where it is known that a Government, once in power, will never give way again, we must not be surprised if the military draw their own conclusions.
There is a final reason why I condemn the motion. The proper business of the Government is to protect British interests and promote British business. These matters, not the sharpening of disputes, are our duty. The Opposition have sought to import the Chilean dispute into British public life, into the House, the country and the trade unions. Students of foreign affairs know that when Governments are in trouble they often seek to divert attention from their problems by raising external issues. This is also true of Oppositions.
Question put accordingly,
That this House deeply deplores the armed overthrow of democracy in Chile, and condemns the continuing murder, torture and imprisonments carried out by the military junta; regrets the hasty recognition of the new regime by Her Majesty's Government; and, bearing in mind the strength of feeling in Great Britain, now condemns the refusal of the Government to offer refuge in its Embassy in Santiago to those in danger of their lives, in sharp and deplorable contrast to other Western European embassies, and calls on the Foreign Secretary to issue fresh instructions to our Ambassador, to press for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to executions, to prevent any sale of arms from Great Britain to the junta, to ensure that refuge in Great Britain is provided for Chileans who seek it, and to withhold future aid and credits from the present Chilean régime; and to use his influence to ensure that World Bank and IMF assistance is also withheld.The House divided : Ayes 262, Noes 280.
|Division No. 14.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Beith, A. J.||Buchan, Norman|
|Albu, Austen||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Bidwell, Sydney||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Bishop, E. S.||Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Ashley, Jack||Booth, Albert||Cant, R. B.|
|Ashton, Joe||Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Bradley, Tom||Clark, David (Colne Valley)|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Brown, Robert C. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne, W.)||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)|
|Baxter, William||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Cohen, Stanley|
|Beaney, Alan||Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Coleman, Donald|
|Concannon, J. 0.||Janner, Greville||Pardoe, John|
|Conian, Bernard||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Cronin, John||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Pendry, Tom|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||John, Brynmor||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Prescott, John|
|Dalyell, Tam||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Davidson, Arthur||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Radice, Giles|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Judd, Frank||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Kaufman, Gerald||Richard, Ivor|
|Deakins, Eric||Kelley, Richard||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Kerr. Russell||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Delargy, Hugh||Kinnock, Neil||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dempsey, James||Lambie, David||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Brc'n&R'dnor)|
|Doig, Peter||Lamborn, Harry||Roper, John|
|Dormand, J. D.||Latham, Arthur||Rose, Paul B.|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lawson, George||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Leadbitter, Ted||Rowlands, Ted|
|Driberg, Tom||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Sandelson, Neville|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Leonard, Dick||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Dunn, James A.||Lestor, Miss Joan||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lewis Ron (Carlisle)||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Eadle, Alex||Lipton, Marcus||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton. N. E.)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lomas, Kenneth||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Loughlin, Charles||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Sillars, James|
|Ellis, Tom||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Silverman, Julius|
|English, Michael||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, Fred||McBride, Neil||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Ewing, Harry||MacDonald, Mrs. Margo||Spearing, Nigel|
|Faulds, Andrew||McElhone, Frank||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McGuire, Michael||Stallard A. W.|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Machin, George||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Foot, Michael||Mackie, John||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Forrester, John||Maclennan, Robert||Stott, Roger|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Strang, Gavin|
|Freeson, Reginald||McNamara, J. Kevin||Strauss Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mallalieu, J P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Swain Thomas|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Marks, Kenneth||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Marquand, David||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Marsden, F.||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Gourlay, Harry||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Tinn, James|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mayhew, Christopher||Tomney, Frank|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Meacher, Michael||Tope, Graham|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Torney, Tom|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Mendelson, John||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mikardo, Ian||Urwin, T. W.|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Millan Bruce||Varley, Eric G.|
|Hamling, William||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Milne, Edward||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hardy, Peter||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Wallace, George|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Molloy, William||Watkins, David|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Weitzman, David|
|Hattersley, Roy||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Hatton, F.||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Whitlock, William|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Moyle, Roland||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Hilton, W. S.||Murray, Ronald King||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Oakes, Gordon||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Horam, John||Ogden, Eric||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||O'Halloran, Michael||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||O'Malley, Brian||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Oram, Bert||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Orme, Stanley||Woof, Robert|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES :|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Paget, R. T.||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Hunter, Adam||Palmer, Arthur||Mr. John Golding|
|Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Adley, Robert||Atkins, Humphrey||Bell, Ronald|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Benyon, W.|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Biffen, John|
|Astor, John||Batsford, Brian||Biggs-Davison, John|
|Blaker, Peter||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Neave, Airey|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Body, Richard||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Noble, Rt. Hn Michael|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Normanton, Tom|
|Bowden, Andrew||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Nott, John|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Onslow, Cranley|
|Bray, Ronald||Haselhurst, Alan||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Havers, Sir Michael||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hawkins, Paul||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hayhoe, Barney||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Percival, Ian|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Heseltine, Michael||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Hicks, Robert||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Buck, Antony||Higgins, Terence L.||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Hiley, Joseph||Pounder, Rafton|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn)||Hill, S. James A. (Southampton, Test)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Holland, Philip||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Holt, Miss Mary||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hordern, Peter||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Channon, Paul||Hornby, Richard||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hornsby-Smith. Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia||Raison, Timothy|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Howell, David (Guildford)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Churchill, W. S.||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Redmond, Robert|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Hunt, John||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Cockeram, Eric||Iremonger, T. L.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Cooke, Robert||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Cordle, John||James, David||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick||Jenkin, Rt. Hn. Patrick (Woodford)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Cormack, Patrick||Jessel, Toby||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Costain, A. P.||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Critchley, Julian||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jopling, Michael||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Rost, Peter|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmld. MaJ.-Gen. Jack||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Royle, Anthony|
|Dean, Paul||Kershaw, Anthony||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kimball, Marcus||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kinsey, J. R.||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Drayson, Burnaby||Kirk, Peter||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kitson, Timothy||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Eden, Rt. Hn Sir John||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Shersby, Michael|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Lamont, Norman||Simeons, Charles|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Lane, David||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'le-upon-Tyne. N.)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Emery, Peter||Le Marchant, Spencer||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Soref, Harold|
|Farr, John||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'field)||Speed, Keith|
|Fell, Anthony||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Spence, John|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Longden, Sir Gilbert||Sproat, lain|
|Fidler, Michael||Loveridge, John||Stainton, Keith|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Luce, R. N.||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.)||MacArthur, Ian||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||McCrindle, R. A.||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||McMaster, Stanley||Sutcliffe, John|
|Fortescue, Tim||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Foster, Sir John||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Fowler, Norman||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Fox, Marcus||Madel, David||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Maginnis, John E.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Fry Peter||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Temple, John M.|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.||Marten, Neil||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Gardner, Edward||Mather, Carol||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Maude, Angus||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Mawby, Ray||Tilney, Sir John|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Trew, Peter|
|Goodhart, Philip||Miscampbell, Norman||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Goodhew, Victor||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W)||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Gorst, John||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Gower, Raymond||Moate, Roger||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Molyneaux, James||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Gray, Hamish||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Waddington, David|
|Green, Alan||Monro, Hector||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Grieve, Percy||Montgomery, Fergus||Wall, Patrick|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||More, Jasper||Walters, Dennis|
|Grylls, Michael||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Gummer, J. Selwyn||Morrison, Charles||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Gurden, Harold||Mudd, David||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick||TELLERS FOR THE NOES :|
|Wiggin, Jerry||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.||Mr. Walter Clegg and|
|Wilkinson, John||Younger, Hn. George||Mr. Bernard Weatherill|