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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

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.