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Orders of the Day — Chile

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1973.

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Photo of Mr Julian Amery Mr Julian Amery , Brighton, Pavilion 12:00 am, 28th November 1973

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.