European Security and Co-Operation Conference

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th July 1975.

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Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Stretford 12:00 am, 15th July 1975

It is particularly important that we should not tolerate a situation in which interference is totally one sided. This is the reality of the situation today in Portugal.

An interest, which goes much deeper than that of a passive observer is being taken by the East in this affair. The countries of the West are standing aside and not even exerting themselves in a proper democratic way in order to help the domestic parties that are struggling for survival in Portugal. I shall cite but one example. I have been advised by no fewer than two heads of the democratic parties in Portugal that the Portuguese Service of the BBC is at present putting out broadcasts with a distinct pro-Communist bias, especially in the news programme at 11 o'clock at night. This is listened to by a large number of Portuguese because their own Press is totally controlled by the Communists—not only the eight principal daily pewspapers, but also the television and radio networks. This is their only means of getting truthful outside information which they cannot otherwise obtain. This is one way in which the West could be helping. I am not suggesting that the CIA should intervene in Portugal but, equally, I do not believe that it is for the KGB or anyone else to interfere in the internal affairs of a NATO member State.