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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:34 pm on 16th April 1986.

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Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey 9:34 pm, 16th April 1986

Those British interests included our right and duty to secure the defence of our people against terrorism. They also included the defence of our people against Libyan state-directed terrorism. To answer the question of the hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke), the action had to be proportionate to the threat. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence explained in his interview on Monday, it was a difficult question. [Interruption.] Opposition Members may laugh, but it would have been profoundly serious if this question had not been seriously considered, and in earnest. And it was.