Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:33 am on 3rd March 2000.

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Photo of Gerald Howarth Gerald Howarth Conservative, Aldershot 9:33 am, 3rd March 2000

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am sure that you, like all of us, will have seen on television the terrible humanitarian tragedy that is currently occurring in Mozambique. Perhaps you have seen the amazing pictures of the bravery and courage of the South African helicopter pilots, who have rescued an enormous number of people with only three helicopters. On the radio this morning, the Secretary of State for International Development suggested that there was a dispute between two Departments about the deployment of United Kingdom helicopters to that part of the world. People will have been appalled to hear that the dispatch of helicopters has been delayed as a result of such a dispute.

Given the gravity of the humanitarian crisis, have you, Madam Speaker, had any intimation from the Prime Minister to the effect that he wishes to make a statement in the House about the United Kingdom Government's response, and to explain the failure to act more swiftly?