Iraqi Refugees

Part of Constitutional Reform – in the House of Commons at 7:11 pm on 3rd July 1991.

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Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 7:11 pm, 3rd July 1991

I am not aware of that. I thought that it was prospective rather than actual. I am grateful for the correction and if I am wrong, I apologise. I shall write to the hon. Gentleman so that there is no room for error.

The right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale made an interesting point about a standing United Nations force. His remarks implied that a standing United Nations force would have powers not only to act under the authority of the permanent five but also to intervene in the internal affairs of a nation. It is an interesting concept, which is bound to be discussed from time to time, but I would be cautious about it for two reasons. First, there are substantial problems in adjusting the charter. The charter would have to be adjusted to give the Security Council the authority to act as the right hon. Gentleman suggested. Secondly, the deep-seated prejudices of permanent members of the Security Council would have to be adjusted. Those nations include China as regards Tibet, and the Soviet Union as regards the constituent republics. One cannot overlook those factors.