HC Deb 09 July 1959 vol 608 cc1556-7
39. Mr. Brockway

asked the President of the Board of Trade when permits were granted for the export of eighty Saracen armoured vehicles to the Union of South Africa.

Sir D. Eccles

No permits were required for the export of military vehicles to South Africa.

Mr. Brockway

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware how shocked many of us have been by the fact that armoured vehicles provided from this country have been used by the Union of South Africa against the African people struggling for equality? In future, will he take steps to prevent such arms being exported to South Africa for this purpose?

Sir D. Eccles

That is not a question for me. If he wishes to pursue it, perhaps the hon. Member will do so with the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.

Mr. Hamilton

Before he allows the export of these machines, does the right hon. Gentleman take into account the use to which they are likely to be put? Is he aware that the vast majority of progressive opinion in this country deeply deplores the use to which these vehicles are so obviously to be put? Will he take some steps to stop any further consignments to South Africa?

Sir D, Eccles

There is no question of allowing or not allowing these vehicles to go, because no export permits were required and, therefore, the Board of Trade does not come into the matter.