I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. But since the main purpose of any such visit, or proposed visit, would be to buy arms, may we have a categorical assurance that no such visit will take place in the foreseeable future by any member of the armed forces of Argentina, bearing in mind the possibility that those arms will be used to escalate the level of violence throughout South America and to increase and continue the reign of terror and the mass violation of human rights in Argentina itself?
I cannot give such a categorical assurance, because there is no general ban on the sale of arms to Argentina. Individual sales are dealt with under the criteria—be they political, security or financial—that we apply to sales of this kind.
What are the different human rights considerations in the mind of Her Majesty's Government which allow them to decide that it is possible to sell arms to Argentina but not to Chile?
During the last election the Labour Party made a firm political commitment that it would operate an arms embargo on Chile in the light of all the circumstances of the way in which the junta came to power and the way in which it has behaved in an abominable sense since.
Is not this attitude typical of the unconstructive attitude of Her Majesty's Government in foreign affairs? Would it not be very much better to negotiate arms deals with the Argentine—because it has to get arms from somewhere—to the benefit of British employment and technology, and at the same time incorporate appropriate negotiations to secure the safety of the Falkland Islands?