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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 Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton 12:00 am, 28th November 1973

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.