Iraqi Refugees

Part of Constitutional Reform – in the House of Commons at 4:50 pm on 3rd July 1991.

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Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford 4:50 pm, 3rd July 1991

I hope that the hon. Gentleman gets a chance to develop that thought during the debate because he refers to an important and difficult balance. All humanitarian instincts point us towards doing everything possible to avoid the prospects that he has described, but there is the equally terrible thought that, if Saddam Hussein is let off the hook and is allowed to use his resources, from selling oil, for example, to rearm and re-equip, he will carry on killing. One must balance one against the other. I do not pretend that the Committee has found the answer to the question of how to ensure that humanitarian considerations prevail without also ensuring that new resources fall into the hands of that man, who is still in office and apparently in total control of inner Iraq and ready to spend more money on more weapons to carry out more killings, more persecution and more harassment. That is the difficulty. We must watch the practices and policies of the Government of Iraq—that is the policy of the United Nations—when undertaking any review of the present sanctions and embargo provisions.