The Gulf

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:16 pm on 15th January 1991.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Neil Kinnock Mr Neil Kinnock Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 4:16 pm, 15th January 1991

I would not dream of lecturing my hon. Friend, who is a dear friend, but I can offer him some friendly instruction. There was no question of connivance or contrivance of any description whatever between those on the Front Benches on the motion. Moreover, although it would be desirable, helpful and useful to have a substantive motion to discuss, I do not think that there is any conscious citizen in the United Kingdom, watching our proceedings and concerned about the prospects in the Gulf, who does not understand what the issues at stake really are and how hon. Members will act in the debate and vote. To think otherwise would be to misunderstand the level of comprehension of the people of our country.

A subject that exercises many hon. Members' minds is the prolonged agonised condition of the middle east. There is a great need to control and remove weapons of mass destruction throughout the middle east—in every country. There is a great need to end the misery of the Palestinians —the injustice that they suffer—and the insecurity of the Israelis. There is a great need to promote economic development and uproot the poverty that fosters extremism and fundamentalism. There is a great need, in short, for a middle east security strategy to address all these issues. But without a United Nations which has the necessary influence and power, such an enterprise—which I know is sought by the Foreign Secretary and many others, right across the Labour party and elsewhere—will never be undertaken, let alone achieved. That is why the full authority of the United Nations must now be upheld and that must be done by supporting the resolutions on the Gulf crisis—from 660 through to 678.