Armed Forces: Cluster Bombs

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:12 am on 12 October 2006.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 11:12, 12 October 2006

My Lords, the sub-munitions that we are discussing are about the size of a child's hand and look rather like a toy. We delivered ordnance containing 98,000 of these in the Basra area during our campaign to capture that city during the recent war. I understand that the Government claim a failure rate of 2 per cent; observers seeing the same elements deployed in the Lebanon have observed 10 per cent; and the United Nations claims a failure rate of 40 per cent. How effective and complete has been our effort to clear Basra of these lethal, child-killing weapons?