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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

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.