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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 Clinton Davis Mr Clinton Davis , Hackney Central 12:00 am, 28th November 1973

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?