HC Deb 04 May 1959 vol 605 cc28-9
43. Mr. Healey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representation he has made to the Iraqi Government concerning its official ban on imports of Imperial Chemical Industries products into Iraq.

Mr. Profumo

We were aware that the Iraq Government were contemplating this move, and representations were made to the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs before the ban was imposed. Since his return to Bagdad from his recent visit here, Her Majesty's Ambassador has raised the matter again with the Iraqi Foreign Minister.

Mr. Healey

In view of the fact that the Iraqi Government try to justify this on the grounds that also exports goods to Israel, will Her Majesty's Government withdraw authorisation for the export of arms to Iraq from British firms that are also exporting arms to Israel, as this export of arms is, in any case, quite contrary to British interests?

Mr. Profumo

I understand that Imperial Chemical Industries (Export) Limited—the company in Iraq—is not involved in Israel in any way and is quite separate from the I.C.I. sales company to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

Mr. Bevan

That is not the question my hon. Friend asked. What he asked was whether, in view of the fact that we have supplied arms to Iraq and Iran, and to Israel, we cannot expect those nations to impose the same ban upon the import of arms from us as they do on peaceful merchandise?

Mr. Profumo

No, I think that that is a very much wider question, and I should like notice of it.