§ 3.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Hugh Gaitskell (Leeds, South)
For several weeks now public opinion in Britain has been deeply disturbed by reports of what has been happening in Angola. Churchmen, christians of all denominations, have been especially concerned, as is shown by the number of declarations and resolutions which have been carried and conveyed to the Government by the Methodist Church and the Baptist Church, and by the Council of Churches, which recently called on the Foreign Secretary.
In this House, over the last three months, we have put a large number of Questions to the Government, most of them, of course, concerned with the attitude and reaction of Her Majesty's Government to the news that was coming through from Angola. It is well known that the posture of Her Majesty's Government in this matter has been far from what we think it is desirable that it should be; and it is for that reason, in particular, that we wish to return to the subject this afternoon.
It is part of the Government's case that they do not know the facts. In a little while I will come to the question of the inquiry which is to be undertaken by the British Consul-General and other inquiries. For my part, I should have said that, in broad outline at any rate, the facts are not really in dispute.
First, it is not to be denied, I think, that Portugal is now the only remaining Western nation which refuses any advance or any hope of self-government to its colonies. Indeed, in their Colonial Act, the Portuguese specifically declare that it isthe duty of the Portuguese nation to fulfil their historic function of possessing and colonizing overseas dominions and of civilizing the native population inhabiting them.That quotation, I think, is enough to show how very far back in the nineteenth century the attitude of Portugal still is today. While the rest of Africa, in the North, in the West, and in the East, has been advancing swiftly towards self-government and independence, the Portuguese Government have remained sunk in the past.
The second point which I think will not be denied is that the overwhelming 1458 majority, perhaps 99 per cent., of the Africans in Angola not only have no hope whatever of proceeding to self-government, but they also have very little indeed in the way of civil rights. They are essentially classed as second-class citizens. They are subject to what is politely called contract labour. We used to call it forced labour, and I do not think that there is very much difference.
Thirdly, that on 15th March there was a revolt of the Africans in Angola—in the northern part particularly, although it stretched down into the colony—in the course of which several hundred Portuguese were massacred. Fourthly, that this was followed by immediate reprisals by civilians of an equally brutal and indiscriminate character. Fifthly, that there was then a military action initiated by the Portuguese Government and now continued, in the course of which it seems—here, one is not certain of the figures, but these are the figures given by the Baptist missionaries two months ago—that no fewer than 20,000 Africans have already been killed. I said that one could not be sure of these figures, but I think that we might as well take evidence from those who have been closest to this terrible event.
In addition—here I think that the figures are more reliable—it seems that by now about 100,000 Africans from Angola have crossed the border into exile into the Congo. We have read reports of the burning and bombing of villages and the indiscriminate shooting of Africans. It is even said—I say no more than that—that napalm bombs may have been used.
Reports of this kind of thing, as we all know, continue to come in almost every day. If the House has any doubt about this, doubt about what I have said so far, I can only offer hon. Members the mass of testimony, handed to me this morning by the Baptist Missionary Society, of conditions obtaining in Angola before March, and of what has been seen by Baptist missionaries themselves in the course of the last few months. It is not necessary for me to pass this testimony to the Lord Privy Seal because, I understand—I welcome it—that the Baptists are proposing to send him copies immediately. I hope that arrangements will be made for this testimony to be 1459 published. I have only looked through it, but I think that any hon. Member who reads it cannot but be sickened and nauseated by the stories of cruelty and inhumanity which occur in its pages. I cannot see any reason why Baptist missionaries should invent these stories. Again and again they have made plain their affection for the territory of Angola. They have been extremely careful in their dealings with the Portuguese Government, and my impression is that it was only when they were simply overwhelmed by what was happening that they decided that they must do their best to rouse the conscience of the world.
There is no doubt about the reaction in Britain, and indeed in other places, among most people. It has been concentrated, and rightly, on two things. First, on the exceptionally savage character of the repression. We all know that in past years, in British Colonies, there have been revolts and there has been terrorism. We know that at one time or another British Governments have done things about which some of us, at any rate, have not been at all happy. But I know of nothing done by any British Government, certainly in the last fifty years, which could conceivably compare with the kind of thing that we are told is now happening in Angola.
The second point on which criticism is concentrated is what lies behind this, the rigid refusal of the Portuguese dictatorship to concede any rights or any hope of advance to self-government to the African. One of my hon. Friends says, quite rightly, that it concedes no advance in Portugal, either. Perhaps I may be allowed to say—this is very much at the root of the whole trouble—that I have always believed that it is impossible for a democracy, over a period, to maintain itself in an imperialistic and colonialist position. We cannot deny to the people of other countries what is claimed for ourselves. Equally, where a dictatorship does not allow the Portuguese people themselves any rights, it is very much more difficult to imagine that it will concede such rights to colonies.
What is the Government's attitude in all this? I do not believe for one moment that the Lord Privy Seal and his colleague the Foreign Secretary are indifferent to what is going on. I do not believe for one moment that they do not regret 1460 what has happened as much as the rest of us, but I do accuse them of having so conducted their policy in these last three months as to have created an extremely bad impression upon the rest of the world.
I think that their policy has been foolish even if their fundamental emotions are themselves sound enough. For the British Government were not merely content throughout this period to remain silent, to do nothing, which in any case, in my view, would have been far from satisfactory, but they chose, in these months, to go out of their way to underline, by a number of different acts, their friendly relations with the Salazar régime. It is this which we on this side of the House find so extraordinary and of which we are particularly critical. I will mention seven different ways in which this has been done.
First, not once but, I think, at least five times—certainly on every occasion when the question of Angola has come up at the United Nations Security Council or Assembly—the British Government have ostentatiously abstained on motions critical of the Portuguese Government and done so at a time when the United States Government, represented by Mr. Adlai Stevenson, have on every occasion voted for those resolutions.
In the second place, there was the visit of H.M.S. "Leopard" to Angola right in the middle of the trouble. Thirdly, there was the so-called good will visit by the Foreign Secretary to Lisbon. Fourthly, there was the training exercise which we debated in this House not long ago, and which has been dropped. We are glad that it has been dropped, though, be it said, the reason for this, according to the Government, has nothing to do with what has happened in Angola but with what is happening in Kuwait. Then there was the sale of the two warships, which has not been stopped. There was the visit of units of the British Fleet to Lisbon only two or three weeks ago. And there was the refusal of the visa to Captain Galvao because—this was the reason given by the Government—they were afraid that he might make speeches here critical of the Portuguese Government.
Captain Galvao happens to have been the author of a famous report on the state of affairs in Angola and other Portuguese colonies in 1947. It was on that 1461 account that he suffered exile. It was, no doubt, to talk about that sort of thing that he wanted to come to Britain. The Government say that they do not know the facts. They might at least have tried to get a little of the background by allowing him to come here.
I find it impossible to believe that all these seven instances were all coincidences. It seems to me far more probable that at some point—it may well have been in the course of the last year and some months ago—at some level in the Foreign Office; it may have been a low level—it was suggested that we ought to make a friendly gesture to the Portuguese Government. So somebody rang up the Admiralty and asked, "What can you do to help?" Then somebody rang up the War Office and asked, "Can you do something in this field?" And, gradually, a plan was worked out.
I, personally, do not believe that there was anything to be said for such a plan in any event, because I do not think that we need go out of our way ostentatiously to be friendly to a dictatorship even if it is a member of N.A.T.O. But, of course, after all these events in Angola it would have been very much wiser to have abandoned this plan altogether.
The excuses and the explanations which have been put forward by the Government have been extremely flimsy and quite unconvincing. They told us—it bears out what I said just now—that the visits, in particular, were all arranged before and could not be changed. What utter nonsense! If the Government had wished to show their marked disapproval of what was happening in Angola they could not have found a better way than by cancelling the visits. That would have been an admirable demonstration of British opinion.
Then there was the sale of arms. They have at last suspended the sale of arms and ammunition to Angola and to other Portuguese colonies, but, of course, there is no restriction on the sale of arms and ammunition to Portugal and there is nothing in the way of the Portuguese Government buying the arms and ammunition—they would probably go to Portugal, anyhow—and then sending them on to Angola. I have never seen such a farce, really—to suspend or pre- 1462 vent arms and ammunition going to Angola when they can go freely to Portugal.
The British Government have never even considered what the Norwegian Government have done about this. There is no doubt about Mr. Lange's view. The Norwegian Government refused to sell ammunition to Portugal, and the interesting thing is that the feeling in Norway about the situation was inspired by the reports of our own missionaries. This is what The Times had to say about it:Recent articles in the British Press on British missionaries' accounts of conditions in Angola have stirred Norwegian public opinion, and denunciations of Portuguese action have been strong in all political quarters.I could have wished that the British Government had taken more notice of our own missionaries. They claim that the facts are not clear, but, as I said in reply to an interjection earlier, there really is no reason why we should doubt the accuracy and the truth of what those Baptist missionaries have told us.
The Foreign Secretary has now asked our Consul-General at Luanda to make a report to him. But why was this report not made earlier? What was to prevent the Consul-General from visiting the Northern Territories earlier? Has no information come in anyhow? And even if he now goes, I should like to ask, under what conditions exactly is he going? I understand that the only two people who will accompany him on our side are the military attaches from the Lisbon Embassy. They may—I do not know them—be impartial; they may be very concerned about it all; but I wonder just how far those people conducting the inquiry are to be free—for instance, to speak privately to Africans.
I wonder how far the Africans will feel sufficiently safe to speak to them at all; I wonder whether the Consul-General will be allowed to go over the border with the Congo and talk to the refugees who are pouring in on the other side. I wonder whether he will be allowed to speak to Mr. Roberto Holden, the leader of the United Angolan Peoples, the leader, in other words, of the nationalist revolt there.
And why, if this has been the problem, if the Government really had serious doubts about what was going on, did they not support the proposal for a 1463 United Nations inquiry? After all, when this was first brought up at the Security Council the United Kingdom abstained, and managed to prevent, with some other countries as well, though not the United States, the Security Council from taking any action. We abstained again when the matter came up to the United Nations Assembly, but, happily, this resolution in favour of an inquiry was carried by a large majority.
That brings me to the strange story of our behaviour in the United Nations. As I have said already, on a number of occasions, certainly at least five, we have just abstained. The Foreign Secretary the other day, speaking in another place, made it plain that the reason we abstained on all those resolutions, apparently, was that they were tied up in some way with the anti-colonialist resolution passed by the Assembly on 14th December last. I find that a very lame excuse. If this really was the reason why is it there was such a difference of opinion between Mr. Adlai Stevenson and the Foreign Secretary?
Most of us, after all, would agree that Mr. Stevenson is a reasonable, highly intelligent and humane man. Yet he found no difficulty whatever in voting for these resolutions. Surely, if there was objection on these grounds—and I will come to the detail of it in a moment—would it not have been possible for Her Majesty's Government, if they objected to certain words in these resolutions, to put down another resolution also critical of the Portuguese Government, although not perhaps in those particular terms? Or they could have done what I suggested to the Prime Minister some months ago it would be much wiser to do?—that is, when we have a long resolution, as in the case of the famous anti-colonial resolution of last December, and we do not like certain words in it, for our people to say that they agree with the spirit of the resolution, that they do not agree with the particular interpretation that may be placed on certain words, but that they will nevertheless vote for it. That is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
If we look at the actual words to which they objected, I think that the House will agree that what I have suggested would have been a much wiser 1464 course. The words in this very long resolution which they did not like, and I understand the reason, were these:that inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence and that immediate steps should be taken in trust and non-self-governing countries or all other territories, which have not yet attained independence to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories without any conditions or reservations.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
These are rather strong terms. But I would say to he noble Lord, if he is arguing on words with me, what does this ask for? It asks for immediate steps to be taken. Is there anything wrong about that? Why should not immediate steps be taken? It does not say that immediate transfer of power should take place. If we prefer not to argue it on legalistic lines, which I myself would regret, but to treat it in the context of the whole resolution, which I think is very much the wiser course, it leads to far less misundertanding if we vote for it and explain our reservations on these particular lines.
§ Mr. A. Fenner Brockway (Eton and Slough)
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Minister has stated in the House today that the Government are now to adopt another policy on these resolutions and are to ignore this one?
§ Mr. Gaitskell
I am coming to that. That has already been announced in another place by the Foreign Secretary, and I welcome it. It certainly goes some way along precisely the lines that I have indicated, although it is far from clear from what the Foreign Secretary said exactly what the Government are to do.
As I understand, these words, when they appear in the preamble to a motion are in future to be ignored. I am glad that the Foreign Secretary has at last reached this conclusion. Could not he have got his mind to work on it a little earlier and have prevented some of this damage being done? It is not as if this were a new problem. We had exchanges of views on this in the House last January and one would have supposed that by now the Foreign Secretary would have got around to it.
Two other excuses have been put forward by the Government. The first is 1465 that despite all these seven things they have done, they do not, of course, side with the Portuguese Government and no one need suppose that they do. I have already said that I do not think that Her Majesty's Government are in sympathy with the repressive measures taken in Angola, but they must surely understand just how what they have done has been misunderstood elsewhere in the world, certainly in Africa and Asia by a number of different leaders whom I could quote this afternoon. Because of these votes, because of the sale of weapons and because of the abstentions on resolutions it has been widely assumed that we, in some way or another, were especially friendly with the Portuguese Government at the present time. Is that surprising?
If, at the time of the Hungarian uprising, we had sent the right hon. Gentleman on a good will visit, or we had proposed to sell some arms, or we had refused a visit to Anna Kethly when she wanted to come here to tell us what was going on there, is it not obvious that the world would have thought that we were approving what had been done there? We could not have avoided such a conclusion.
The second argument being put forward is that Portugal is a member of N.A.T.O. and one of our allies and that we must be careful what we say about her political activities. What are the political objects of N.A.T.O. members? They are laid down in the Treaty:To safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.Unfortunately, it is precisely these principles which are being torn to shreds in Angola and Portugal today. If we have to choose between standing by the principles of the alliance, or being ostentatiously friendly with an ally which betrays these principles, can it be doubted that we must choose the former course?
I know that there are some people who despise the whole idea that the alliance should have political ideals. They regard it as just a matter of national self-interest and say that we need never be, and should never be, concerned with the type of government 1466 or the policies adopted by other members. I believe this to be a profoundly dangerous point of view. I have never supported the idea that N.A.T.O. should develop into an aggressive anti-Communist crusade, nor would I say that it is possible to insist that every member must have a complete Parliamentary democracy on British lines, but it would be a disastrous error to try to eliminate the moral and ideological element in the alliance. Whenever a member country departs from democracy, liberty and the rule of law it does the alliance grave harm. If this process went too far it would destroy the alliance altogether.
Precisely because most of us in the West are democracies, where the Governments are influenced and can be changed by the people, the attitude of the people matters, and the attitude of a people is affected by how its allies behave. It is affected by whether they think their cause is a just one, and whether they think that they have a way of life which is worth defending against the Communist threat. Is it not obvious that our major argument against that threat is that we continue to enjoy democracy and freedom and that we do not wish to give it up? Remove that argument by removing democracy and freedom and there is precious little left of our case.
All this is the more important today in view of the concentration of the cold war in uncommitted and underdeveloped territories. Most of these territories have recently been colonial areas, and, therefore, we are faced inevitably with certain serious disadvantages in trying to win the cold war. We suffer from the disadvantage that, for instance, most of the Western countries are very much richer than the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. We suffer from the disadventage that there is still a good deal of emotion which can easily be aroused against ex-colonial Powers.
In fact—and this is in a way the tragedy of the whole thing—Great Britain and the West generally, France certainly, has in all these ways a good record over the last fifteen years. Between them, Britain and France, I suppose, have given freedom and independence to about 800 million people during this period. On the other hand, 1467 the Soviet Union, by expanding Communist power over Eastern Europe, has, in fact, brought under its domain hundreds of millions of people in Europe.
We surely should be emphasising this. We should be trying to win over the people of these territories by making plain what we have done and what the Communists have not done. But we shall never make our case so long as we appear to condone or support an avowedly reactionary régime in Angola, whose activities have shocked the world and gravely embarrassed the Western alliance.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Edward Heath)
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has rightly described the situation in Angola today as extremely serious. He has said, again rightly, that events in Angola have caused the whole House and the people of this country, as I said at Question Time today and, as the right hon. Gentleman has also acknowledged, Her Majesty's Government the greatest distress. We recognise the far-reaching effects which these events are bound to have in Africa, on the Europeans there, and on the African countries, and we fully understand how strongly not only Africans but people everywhere must feel about them.
I think that the House will acknowledge, whatever criticisms it may make, that our own distress is the greater, because these events have occurred in the territories of a country with whom we have had a long-standing friendship. I hope that the House will agree with me, as I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will, when I say that I hope that whatever we may say in the debate may be directed towards the sole object of improving this situation and using the influence of this House for good in what are very difficult circumstances indeed.
This has been the object of the policy of Her Majesty's Government throughout these last few months. I recognise that some hon. Members opposite may disagree, and will no doubt say so in the course of the debate, with the manner in which this policy has been carried out, but the right hon. Gentleman himself acknowledged that we ourselves in Her Majesty's Government were bound to dislike many of the things which have 1468 happened in Angola. If hon. Members disagree with the policy and the way in which it has been carried out, at least I hope that they will accept the honesty of our motives in trying to use such influence as we have to secure a peaceful settlement of the troubles existing at present in Angola. I am sure that unless we set out today with this object in view in the debate, nothing but harm can come from it.
The Leader of the Opposition mentioned the question of information about events there. A great deal of information has been presented to us by the missionaries who have come back from Angola. There have also been other accounts. It has been difficult to check or corroborate. We have no means of securing the information and no means necessarily of obtaining it from the authorities.
I should like briefly to go over the main points of the history of these events, which has already been touched upon by the right hon. Gentleman. Until February this year, everything was apparently quiet in Angola. Whatever the effects of Portuguese colonial policy and whatever the views about it may have bean, there were few signs of unrest. It is true, or it is believed to be so, that the Africans disliked the Portuguese decree in 1953 whereby the asimilado could lose his citizenship and a white Portuguese citizen could not. It is also true that the African coffee growers have for long complained that they were not getting a fair price for their produce from the authorities.
§ Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)
I try to listen to the right hon. Gentleman with great respect, but I feel that he has forgotten to refer to the history of fifty years, starting with C. R. W. Nevinson, Joseph Conrad and other eminent writers, in which brutality and slave labour were established. Dr. Salazar's approval of it in 1937 has been rather gently dismissed by a reference to some discrimination against Portuguese wives. This question of slave labour was one which even William Cadbury failed to refute and this same question the I.L.O. could not get Portugal to answer.
§ Mr. Heath
Whatever views may be held about Portuguese colonial policy, these were the recent events to which I 1469 was referring. The disturbances began in Luanda on 4th and 5th February. There were attacks on police stations and on prisons. It is not clear what lay behind them unless it was to release those who were detained. [Interruption.] It is very difficult to form a judgment on what lay behind them and I think that the hon. Member should for once be fair in allowing that fact.
The troubles in the North began in the middle of March in the Province of Malange, to the north of Luanda along the Angola-Congo border. There were attacks by Africans on villages on the border and on settlements in the interior. These showed some signs of being planned and co-ordinated. They were indeed brutal and, as the Leader of the Opposition has acknowledged, a large number of Portuguese settlers were massacred on their farms. Again, no precise figures are available, but it is estimated that between 800 and 1,000 Portuguese settlers were killed. That is a very considerable number, especially when one compares it with the numbers of those killed in our own territories, for example, during the Mau Mau period or other terrorist campaigns.
It was these outrages that led to retaliation by Portuguese settlers. Fearful of being wiped out themselves, they took the law into their own hands, partly from fear and partly no doubt from a desire for revenge. They attacked the Africans in their own territories. No one condones this and the Portuguese authorities themselves, whose military forces at that time were small and limited, certainly do not condone these outrages. They did their best to use their forces to prevent atrocities or extremist action of this kind. There is no doubt that it is from these original bitter racial disturbances and massacres that the reports which the missionaries have sent back and made available to us in the Foreign Office have largely sprung.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
When the right hon. Gentleman says that the Portuguese have recognised that these ought to be condemned, can he say whether there has been one word from the Salazar Government condemning the massacres carried out by the civilian population with arms supplied to them by the Government?
§ Mr. Heath
Yes, a statement was issued by the Portuguese Government, on Monday, denying that they had condoned activities of this kind and denying, also, that they were using repressive measures themselves. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am only endeavouring to state the facts. The hon. and learned Member asked whether it had ever been said by the Portguese Government.
Since then, the rebels have continued to attack both Africans and Europeans and they have appeared to have concentrated on damage to communications, to roads and bridges. The Portuguese Government, we understand, as far as we are able to obtain information, are now carrying out operations to clear obstacles to communications, to restore food supplies, to restore some form of law and order, and to protect those engaged in coffee picking.
There is also no doubt that the Portuguese are anxious to prevent excesses between Africans and Europeans of the kind that happened at the beginning of these disturbances, but, as I have already said, the amount of information we have is limited. As the Leader of the Opposition has said, much of it has been supplied to us by missionaries, but from the point of view of forming a judgment on who was responsible for any of these things, we have, as a Government, very limited means of doing that.
But there are three things which may help in this respect. First, as the right hon. Gentleman mentioned, a sub-committee has been set up by the United Nations Assembly. I will deal later with our voting and record at the United Nations. As I said at Question Time, we understand that the chairman of the sub-committee is in touch with the Portuguese Government and we hope, as we have frequently stated in public, that the Porguguese Government will cooperate with the sub-committee and make information available to it. The subcommittee has also directly approached Baptist missionaries in this country for information. I will certainly consider the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman about the publication of the evidence which he tells me the missionaries are to send to my noble Friend and to myself.
Secondly, there is the visit of the Consul-General accompanied by the two 1471 attachés to the Northern Territories. There have been difficulties in their going there before, but we hope now that they will be able to see everything that we wish them to see. We are certainly anxious that they should, and that they should be able to talk to everybody to whom they wish to talk. Our own representatives in the Congo should also be able to talk to the refugees who are present either in Leopoldville or elsewhere in the Congo.
The third thing is that we should like to see the Portuguese Government giving greater facilities to Press correspondents to see the situation for themselves, and we understand that this may be possible. We certainly hope it will be. If the sub-committee is able to obtain information, if our own representatives are able to go to the Northern territories and if the Press correspondents can see for themselves, we shall have much more information on which to form a judgment. My noble Friend the Foreign Secretary was grateful to those who came to see him from the World Council of Churches—and I was present myself —to give us the information which they had available to them and to discuss with us the policy of Her Majesty's Government.
I should like to say now a word about the refugees. Various estimates have been made about the number, varying between 75,000 and just over 100,000. Again, we have no means of judging what the total number is. Many of them fled from fear of terrorism. Some fled from a wish to avoid being caught in any sort of military operations or in any strife between the rebels and the Portuguese troops. They have been looked after partly by the United Nations through the South Kasai Famine Relief Fund and other relief funds to which Her Majesty's Government and many voluntary organisations in this country have contributed. Other organisations which are helping the refugees with, among other things, medical supplies are the Red Cross, including the Portuguese Red Cross, the Congolese authorities and Caritas, a Catholic body. The Portuguese authorities have themselves helped the Angolan refugees in the Congo with two large consignments, sent from Lisbon, of food, medicines and blankets which 1472 have been handed over to the International Red Cross specifically for the Angolan refugees.
There are now indications that many of the refugees are returning to Northern Angola. Again, estimates vary, but one estimate puts the number now as high as 20,000 returning to Angola. Again, we have no means of knowing how accurate those figures are.
Perhaps I could turn to the position of our own missionaries in Angola today. In the northern part of the territory, near the Congo, the Baptist mission at San Salvador do Congo continues to function with a staff of about six missionaries. Mothers and children have been withdrawn as a precautionary measure. Two mission stations have been closed at the request of the authorities, those at Bembe and Quibocolo. In the case of Bembe the whole town was evacuated by the Portuguese administration after hostilities had taken place in it. During the hostilities the mission, which was headed by Miss Edna Staple, looked after the wounded, but in the end they had no choice but to leave when the Portuguese administration itself left, and they dispersed the pupils at the mission school to their various villages.
In the case of Quibocolo, as I told the House on 28th June, the mission was asked by the Portuguese authorities to leave on grounds of security and there were three British missionaries affected. The Consul-General himself asked the Portuguese authorities the reason for this and was told that the order could not be changed on security grounds. Since then our Ambassador in Lisbon has taken the matter up and has asked for further information as to why this decision was taken. He also asked for an assurance that missions will be allowed to reopen after the risk to security has passed.
As far as missionaries in South and Central Angola are concerned, there are ten different stations in the centre of the territory with about 20 adults and 13 children in them. We have no reports at all to indicate that the missionaries in that part of the country are being hampered in carrying on their normal work.
If I may sum up briefly the Government's view of these events, we deeply deplore the loss of life, both African 1473 and European. Where there have been atrocities we utterly condemn them, whoever has committed them. When racial passions are roused, fear and prejudice take control and the results are grievous for everyone. But help and succour for the refugees has been forthcoming, in part from that provided by the Government and voluntary bodies in this country, for use in the Congo. We have tried through diplomatic means to protect the interests of our own missionaries and we shall continue to do so.
What of the deeper problems which lie behind this revolt? There has been some suggestion that it has been organised from outside the territory with the assistance of other countries. There is no doubt that organisations of Angolans in the Congo have played their part. There are indications that one of the organisations has received support from other countries. But it is unrealistic, in the Government's view, to treat what is going on in Angola as if it were entirely a drive by others outside the country and did not bear relevance to the aspirations of the Angolans themselves.
§ Mr. Stan Awbery (Bristol, Central)
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it is the general opinion of nearly all the missionaries who have come from Angola, and who are in this country at present, that no assistance has come from outside and that there is no Communist influence at all behind the rising in Angola? Will the right hon. Gentleman take note of what the missionaries have said, as well as of what the Portuguese Government have said?
§ Mr. Heath
Yes, I have taken note of both those points. As I have said, there is some evidence, but, on the other hand, it is unrealistic to believe that it is entirely a matter of help from outside. This is part of a movement of militant African nationalism which is spreading across the whole of the Continent. If this is the case, then it requires not only the restoration of law and order, but also remedies which are political and economic.
There are fundamental differences between our own policy and that of Portugal in Angola. This has been made clear on many occasions and, indeed, the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition himself has acknowledged 1474 today that it is clear. It is nowhere clearer than in our own dependencies and in those countries which have moved towards self-government and have, indeed, achieved self-government over these past few years. In my view, there cannot be any doubt in the minds of Africans today what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on moving towards self-development and self-government.
But the view of the right hon. Gentleman—and this is where I want to deal with his points—is that that policy has been compromised by some of the actions which have been carried out in these last few weeks, and that, of course, is where I differ from him. I should like to examine them. He cited seven different points and I will deal with a number of them. First, there is the voting at the United Nations. I think that he will agree, if he reads the record, that on each occasion the British delegate at the United Nations has made our view quire plain about events there. He has expressed understanding of the difficulties of Portugal and he has also explained our view about events there.
At the same time, on each occasion there has been a particular reason, which again he stated quite clearly, governing our voting. This, I think, tends to be quite often a fundamental difference between ourselves and the Opposition. It has been expressed, in the broad view of the right hon. Gentleman, that one should just take the general sense of a motion and vote for it without looking particularly closely at its contents.
We ourselves have taken the view that as this was not a matter which was a threat to peace and security—and that was our view when the matter first came before the Security Council—it did not justify support of the motion, although the right hon. Gentleman would have preferred us to have voted for it. Again, when it came before the Security Council and the Assembly there was the point of Resolution 1514. We did not support it when it came up for the first time because we did not believe that it was in accordance with the colonial policy of either the Opposition when they were in power or ourselves over the last ten years.
My noble Friend has made it plain that wherever this resolution appears we 1475 will ignore it, because we have already expressed our complete disapproval of it. On each occasion there has been a particular reason which governed our voting, and, at the same time, we expressed our opinion and our policy.
Then there have been the visits of the Fleet and the Portuguese Chief of Staff, and so on. The right hon. Gentleman said that he could not believe that this was coincidence, but I assure him that it is now part of the normal pattern of relations between ourselves and a great number of European countries. If he examines the programmes which have been carried out with Norway or Holland, for example, or with other European countries, he will find that there are many more exchanges of this kind than have been carried out with Portugal over the last few months.
The exchanges are arranged long in advance. We had to decide whether they should be cancelled. The fact that they were arranged was not a mark of a special move to secure friendship with Portugal, because that friendship is long-standing and can be taken for granted. If the right hon. Gentleman compares the programmes for the visits between this country and other countries, I am sure that he will accept that that is so.
Then there is the question of the sale of arms, to which the right hon. Gentleman devoted considerable attention. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced to the House the Government's policy on this issue. The export of arms to overseas territories of Portugal is now suspended and in deciding the supply of arms to Portugal direct we have to consider the reasonable requirements of Portugal as a member of N.A.T.O. I would have thought that it was apparent to the right hon. Gentleman that it was up to Her Majesty's Government to decide whether a particular order was a reasonable requirement, or whether it was something which would be more than was required for N.A.T.O. and could be passed on for use in overseas territories. That is an appropriate arrangement with which to deal with what is always a difficult problem.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to discuss the position of Portugal in N.A.T.O. It demonstrates the policy which Her Majesty's Government have 1476 been carrying out, that we have been treating Portugal as a loyal member of N.A.T.O., while, at the same time, the Government have made clear their views about the events and happenings in Angola and how they should be handled. The right hon. Gentleman discussed the criteria of N.A.T.O. He was a very prominent member of the Labour Government which, in 1949, agreed to Portugal's admission to N.A.T.O. and he must, therefore, accept a situation which, so far as Portugal itself is concerned, has not changed.
§ Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)
On the subject of arms to N.A.T.O., I understood the Prime Minister to say yesterday that we would supply Portugal only with a type of arm which would not be suitable for use in Angola. Is that the case, or do we understand that it is simply that if Portugal asks us for too many arms, we will get suspicious?
§ Mr. Heath
I have my right hon. Friend's words before me. I will check them and my hon. Friend the Minister of State will be able to tell the hon. Gentleman later. Type is obviously one of the factors which has to be taken into consideration when deciding whether a supply of arms is to meet a N.A.T.O. requirement. I think that that is what my right hon. Friend said.
§ Mr. Philip Noel-Baker (Derby, South)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether napalm bombs are regarded as suitable for use in Angola? Has he seen the evidence of Mr. Grenfell, who saw an attack by napalm on an Angolan village and saw the remains of the bomb with instructions written on it in English?
§ Mr. Hale rose—
§ Mr. Speaker
If the right hon. Gentleman does not give way, the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) must not persist.
§ Mr. Hale rose—
§ Mr. Speaker
I take it that the hon. Member for Oldham, West is addressing me on some point of order. If not, he is not entitled to be addressing me. I was wondering what it was.
§ Mr. Hale
I was venturing to seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker. As the whole of the last ten minutes has been devoted to a discussion of Portuguese territory, and as Dr. Salazar has made it clear that previous Portuguese colonial territory—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."] —is now Portuguese metropolitan territory and as—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. There is great difficulty about the practice of rising on points of order and gaining entitlement to use the time of the House on that ground, and then referring to matters which are not points of order. I hope that the hon. Member will tell me what his point of order is.
§ Mr. Hale
I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on what is an extremely important point of order. Assuming that in a debate on a matter of this importance we proceed upon a complete misapprehension on the part of the right hon. Gentleman about the geographical limitations of those who are concerned, is it not possible for an hon. Member to say that Angola is part of N.A.T.O. through Dr. Salazar's own determination of what constitutes metropolitan Portugal?
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member has been here a very long time and I would be surprised if he thought that that was a point of order. I am afraid that I do not think that it is.
§ Mr. Heath
It is part of metropolitan Portugal, but it is not covered by the N.A.T.O. Treaty.
I have been describing the general position and the thesis that in order to deal with it a movement towards political, economic and social reform is necessary. We recognise that law and order have to be established in a territory of this kind and to be established by a means which is acceptable to nations at large. But, speaking from our own long experience, I think that the House will agree that military or police action alone is not enough and that progress in other directions is necessary.
My noble Friend the Foreign Secretary said this publicly in his speech at Lisbon on 25th May, 1961. He said:What is necessary is a programme of social and economic advance which is seen by the people to be a reality and a political goal which rallies people to carry responsibility and inspires them with all that is good in patriotism".
§ Mr. Heath
That was a quotation from my noble Friend. He was able to discuss frankly with the Portuguese Government the situation in Angola and our views upon it.
Here, we differ from the right hon. Gentleman who feels that rather than discuss these matters with our friends and allies it is better to cancel any sort of visit and cut adrift from them. This is a difference of opinion which we must acknowledge. We believe that to help friends and allies in their difficulties it is better that we should have visits of this kind when matters can be frankly and openly yet privately discussed between them. We welcome indications which have been given at the United Nations by the Portuguese delegate, and by members of the Portuguese Government that they have in mind proposals for progress in housing, education and health.
It may well be that hon. Members will argue whether or not this is sufficient to meet the case, but, nevertheless, we welcome indications of progress in this direction. My noble Friend was able to discuss these matters fully and frankly. Indeed, that was the major purpose of his visit, and I believe that it was absolutely right for him to have 1479 carried it out. These are matters for the Portuguese Government to decide, but we can best help in this difficult situation by maintaining our relations with Portugal as a N.A.T.O. ally and our connections with her in other ways and to keep with her our ancient friendship.
This, then, is really the crux of the matter for the House today. Our policies differ from those of Portugal in Angola. We greatly regret the events there. We deeply deplore loss of life at all times, and, as I have already said, no one can condone atrocities, no matter by whom they are committed.
We are sending our mission there to obtain more information. We hope that the United Nations sub-committee will be able to visit Angola and to see for itself. We have changed our policy as far as Resolution 1514 being contained in other resolutions of the United Nations is concerned, and we believe that the policy on arms which has been announced is the right one to follow in these circumstances.
We do not believe that we can improve the situation either for the Africans or for the Europeans in this continent by taking the view that Portugal ought in some way to be cut off from the comity of nations today. Far from it. We hope to see progress along the path of social, economic, and political reform in Angola, and, with the restoration of law and order, to see—
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne) rose—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Gordon Touche)
Order. If the right hon. Gentleman does not give way, the hon. Member must resume his seat.
§ Mr. Silverman
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I have been here a long time, longer than the right hon. Gentleman, and I have never in my life seen such discourtesy. If the right hon. Gentleman does not want to give way, he should not give way, but he should not discriminate.
§ Mr. Heath
I have no desire to discriminate between the hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend, but I have given way to hon. Gentlemen apposite on many occasions in the course of my speech.
I have tried to explain the Government's position in this very difficult situation. We all recognise how grave and serious it is, and I believe that it is the wish of the House, as well as the wish of the Government, that we should do everything possible together with our Portuguese friends and allies to help to improve it.
§ Mr. Silverman
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. It is an old custom in this House that if a speaker does not wish to be interrupted in the course of his speech he may be asked questions at the end of it before finally resuming his seat. That is what I am attempting to do. Is that out of order?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
I would have allowed the hon. Member to ask his question if I had seen him, but I called the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Kenyon). Having called him, the Lord Privy's Seal's speech was at an end.
§ Mr. Silverman
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I wish to pursue this point, because there seems to be a misunderstanding about it. I am not disputing, and I would not think of disputing, your right to select the next speaker, but we had not reached the point of continuing the debate. The right hon. Gentleman was in the act of resuming his seat when I rose to ask him a question which I would have liked to have asked earlier, but which was at that time in order by the old established custom of the House. If you, too, wish to discriminate—
§ 4.35 p.m.
§ Mr. Clifford Kenyon (Chorley)
One of the difficulties which we are discussing on this occasion is the manner in which the Portuguese Government look at the question of what we consider to be colonies. Portugal has no colonies, and has never recognised as colonies the different parts of the world which she claims. She has always claimed that her colonies are provinces which are part and parcel of her country. If that is the case, then N.A.T.O. covers all the colonies or provinces as well as Portugal.
This is another African problem, the problem of many, and it is not a nationalist rising. It is the rising of a people against oppression in many forms which has continued over a long period. The great tragedy is that it need not have arisen. If steps had been taken both by the Portuguese Government and by other interested Governments in time to deal with it this situation would never have arisen. It could have been settled peacefully. It could have been settled without violence. But, because of the continued oppression and the over-ruling of the desires of the Angolan people, the problem has arisen in its present form.
I think that this has been due to the failure of many people who have known for years what has been taking place. As a Baptist, I lay considerable blame on the missionaries for not making known to the public much earlier than they have done what was taking place.
§ Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)
Surely my hon. Friend is aware that the missionaries had to weigh the consequences of being sent out if they spoke up, and also the fact that the African people were begging them to remain silent so that they could help them on the spot.
§ Mr. Kenyon
I am fully aware of all those things, but it is my opinion that where there is oppression of this nature of the scale on which it was taking place in Angola it should have been made public by the missionaries and those on the spot years ago.
§ Mr. Kenyon
It has also been due to the failure of the foreign service of the various Governments concerned who knew about this oppression and took no action. They have never taken action. They could have done something by approaching the Portuguese Government direct or they could have moved through the United Nations. This is another point which proves the ineffectiveness of the United Nations to operate quickly in these cases and the great need for that body to be reorganised.
Being now faced with this situation, what can we do? We have heard about the atrocities. There is ample proof of what has taken place. Atrocities have taken place on both sides. However great and however tragic may be the atrocities which the missionaries have disclosed, I have information from businessmen which outstrips completely the information which the missionaries have handed over.
We are entitled to expect Her Majesty's Government today to give us concrete proposals about what they intend to do. It is not sufficient to protest privately. The matter is now in the open. The whole world knows. Her Majesty's Government should make an open statement condemning what is taking place—it is taking place now—and stating that they are asking the Portuguese Government to stop the violence. The massacres are proceeding on both sides. From the information which I have, right up to date, I know that the massacres are still occurring. Can they end except in the extermination of one side? Something must be done; otherwise the bitterness which already exists, the bitterness of the African nation as a whole, will be intensified.
I know that the Foreign Office has the fullest information on the subject. Before the matter was raised in the House, I took one of the missionaries to the Foreign Office, as the right hon. Gentleman knows. There, with the Joint Under-Secretary of State, the position 1483 was fully discussed and all the information available was put before him. I took with me the secretary of the African Department of the Baptist Missionary Society who had all the information from his people in the field.
What worries me is that, from that time, in the early part of May, nothing seems to have been done. The massacres have increased. They may be diminishing now, but after the date of our visit to the Foreign Office the trouble grew. We know that art that time there was the Portuguese plan of extermination. This also was put before the Joint Under-Secretary of State by my friend. Surely, there must have been representations of some sort to the Portuguese Government or to the Portuguese Ambassador. May we have information about that today? Have the Government taken that step and expressed in the strongest possible terms their feelings on the matter? We have heard nothing about it. Instead, there is the question of the soldiers, the sale of the ships and the sale of arms. All these things can only create in the minds of all Africans the suspicion that we are not opposed to what is taking place. It is the attitude of standing on the other side which is so frightening. If a child is drowning and an adult stands by and declines to act, he is condemned. The people of Angola are dying, and we decline to act. We are in just that position.
One of the most disquieting features of this century is that, with all our Christian civilisation of 2,000 years, more mass cruelty has taken place among civilised nations in this century than in any other century of history. It is frightening indeed. The most barbaric practices and cruelties ever committed by nations have been committed by those who have claimed to be and who still claim to be the most civilised. It is appalling. We condemn other nations for being under-developed, undereducated and barbaric, but we, the civilised nations, are guilty of the practices which we condemn in others.
When one considers the mass persecution by the powerful nations of people under their control, one feels that the civilising influence of science, education and even of religion cannot have gone very deep. Unless we as a leading nation 1484 take a stand against these practices which are wrong and evil, the practices will not only continue but will increase. It is our duty as a nation, wherever we see these wrongs, to stand and speak against them and, wherever possible, to take action against them.
No one should know better than this Government that Africa cannot be ignored today either in part or in whole. It is inevitable that her people and races will become unified and take their place as members of the world comity of nations. The day will come when we shall have to reckon with Africa as a nation, not with Africans as races. Until that day comes, it remains the duty of the strong to protect the weak. Throughout the length and breadth of this country today, people are waiting for a declaration of action by Her Majesty's Government which will bring to a speedy end the strife now taking place in Angola.
§ 4.47 p.m.
§ Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe (Windsor)
The hon. Member for Chorley (Mr. Kenyon) had addressed the House with great force and sincerity which we all recognise and admire. I hope he will forgive me if I do not follow him stage by stage in his remarks. Many hon. Members on both sides wish to take part in this very restricted debate.
The subject we are debating falls really into two parts. The first is the horror which we all feel, wherever we sit in the House, at the events which have taken place in Angola. The second part is the question: what can we do about it? I think that there is much more agreement between the two sides on the first part than there is on the second.
I agree with my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal that massacres and mutilations are horrible, irrespective of the colour of the victims. I will go further than that and say that while this House is quite entitled, and ought in many ways, to raise its voice in protest, wherever these atrocities occur, I think it has real force behind it only if its sincerity can be judged by its consistency. When I listened to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, I began to wonder exactly how consistent his protests were, and how consistent was his criticism of the Government. I am not at all certain by what yardstick the 1485 Opposition at any particular moment assess the volume of their protests on massacres and mutilations and horrible events of this kind. Is the yardstick to be the number of the victims involved? Or the nature of the atrocity?
If the yardstick is to be based upon the number of the victims involved, I do not recollect—and I have been in this House for some time—any great volume of protest in 1947 from the Socialist Party when I million Moslems and Hindus were slaughtered in the inter-communal riots that followed the transfer of power in India. I should also like to remind the party opposite that their reactions to the no less horrible events—torture, rape and murder—both in connection with Mau Mau and over the Congo, were very much less vociferous than the reaction which they have shown us today. [HoN. MEMBERS: "Shame."]
When it comes to what we can do about it, I also find that the Opposition have chosen a line of delightfully frank discrimination. Her Majesty's Government are under pressure to impose various sanctions in one form or another against Portugal. One hon. Member opposite, at Question Time the other day, asked whether the Government were proposing to expel Portugal from N.A.T.O. Was any proposal ever made to expel the Soviet Union from the United Nations after the events in Budapest? The party opposite continued to press for the inclusion of Red China in the Security Council long after the invasion of Tibet, when heaven knows how many thousands of Tibetans were slaughtered. I find all this line of argument rather inconsistent, and it diminishes the sincerity and force of the protests which the party opposite makes.
It seems to me that there is to be one rule of conduct for one of the smaller N.A.T.O. Powers, and another rule of conduct for the larger world Powers whether inside or outside U.N.O. Or can it be that some special licence is to be given to terrorists if a terrorist organisation is in some way, directly or indirectly connected with what is called an independence movement?
As my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal said, Portuguese colonial policy is very different from our own. We think that ours is much better, and we should like to use our influence on 1486 the Portuguese to persuade them to adopt what we would call a more liberal Colonial policy. The remarks that came from the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon are extremely unlikely to have that desired effect upon the Portuguese Government. Foreign Governments are sometimes favourably receptive to persuasion, but their reactions are never favourable to lectures from Left-wing parties, whether in this country or anywhere else.
I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend that the best way in which we can influence friends and allies to adopt a policy more in keeping with our own is not to overdo criticism in matters for which we have no direct responsibility, but to use our influence as a friend and ally, both behind the scenes and to a certain extent in public, to show them what damage they might be doing to the world situation and what damage they might well cause to the general cohesion of the N.A.T.O. alliance. That is a far better and a mare statesmanlike way of trying to influence the Portuguese than the line proposed this afternoon by the party opposite.
§ 4.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones (West Ham, South)
It is most regrettable that the hon. Member for Windsor (Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe) has so misrepresented the attitude of this side of the House on acts of atrocity and violence wherever they may be committed. We stand for a humanitarian tradition on this side of the House, and I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite do likewise. In this House we vigorously condemned the Mau Mau atrocities, as that descent to bestiality should have been condemned.
I detected in the speech of the hon. Gentleman condonation of the Portuguese Government rather than condemnation, and if that is the attitude of a friend to one who is grievously in error, it is certainly not the attitude of hon. and right hon. Members on this side of the House. More regrettable than the speech of the hon. Member for Windsor was the muted manner in which the Lord Privy Seal condemned this vicious and cruel counter-attack for which the Portuguese authorities are now responsible. It is one thing when racial tempers, angers and hatreds get out of control, but we are faced here after an initial regrettable series of terrorist acts, 1487 with Governmentally inspired actions, and massacres on a very large scale—actions for which the Portuguese Government themselves are responsible.
What I rose to say was that I confess that I was surprised during the speech of the Lord Privy Seal to hear him say that until February of this year all was quiet in Angola. I had the experience of going to Angola last year for the International Commission of Jurists to attend a treason trial there. I suppose that it was only mere coincidence that the trial was adjourned on the day I arrived, and that it took place some time later. In the trial, in the course of last year, there were in the dock not only Africans, not only assimilados, but Portuguese, who found intolerable the conditions of political oppression, exploitation and enforced labour in Angola. These facts are notorious. We do not want to send a mission of investigation and inquiry there. The British Consul in Angola knows the facts perfectly well, and we are now engaged in a massive delaying action on the part of the British Government, ostensibly in the name of seeking information, when the information is only too well known.
I remember in the course of that visit to Angola speaking to some of the counsel defending these Angolan Opposition politicians of all parties and all colours—Europeans, Africans and assimilados. These lawyers told me that each of their clients had been tortured. I saw the Deputy-Governor of Angola, and he assured me that full facilities for their defence would be provided. He did it with great charm, I must say, but what happened, in fact, was that leading counsel from Portugal who was to conduct the defence was refused permission to go by the Portuguese Government. That was the nature of the acceptance of the rule of law by the Portuguese authorities in Portugal and in Angola.
When there is condemnation of these acts of violence in Angola, as we on this side of the House condemn them, let it be remembered that, where we have political oppression in a community, where men have no opportunity for lawful protest, men of spirit and courage will fight, and they will fight with arms, if necessary, to assert their rights.
Therefore, it is not surprising that after decades of demand for political rights 1488 and denials of the most elementary political rights there should be a flare-up in this period of great change in Africa. The wind of change in Africa is blowing not only through the British Colonial Territories. It is also blowing fast and strong in Portuguese territories where there has always been a far greater denial of human rights than in British territories.
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett (Torquay)
I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman does not intend to give the impression which I at any rate have gained from his remarks. He said, quite rightly, that brave men can be driven by oppression to fight with arms. Surely that does not excuse what has clearly been happening—I do not think anybody denies it—which is the ruthless torture and slaughter of women and small children? That cannot come under the heading of brave men fighting against oppression.
§ Mr. Elwyn Jones
I thought that the hon. Member was in the Chamber when I began my speech, because I made it clear that we on this side condemn atrocities. The conditions which exist in this Portuguese colony inevitably result in the kind of atrocity which may well have taken place in individual cases. We certainly condemn those acts. Equally to be condemned is a régime which gives no opportunity for the expression of criticism. This opportunity is denied not only in Angola. It is denied in Portugal. That is the grim reality of the situation. Portuguese colonialism is at the moment not only the most reactionary colonialism but also the most impoverished and, for that reason, perhaps the most violent.
I confess to a feeling of great disappointment at the speech of the Lord Privy Seal. This is a moment in history when what Britain does and stands for in Africa is of critical importance. I have just been on a journey to West Africa, where our standing and reputation are high. We are making a notable contribution to the evolution of these people towards self-government, with proper standards and observance of the rule of law. This Government's association with the acts of the Portuguese Government in recent months has been One of the most regrettable phases in British diplomacy.
§ 5.3 p.m.
§ Mr. R. J. Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)
I want to make only a few brief points, because it is important that our remarks should be constructive and be related to the situation in Angola. The basic problem in Angola is fundamentally an economic one. Where standards of living are extremely low, violence of all kinds thrives, whether it is political, criminal, or any other form of violence. The problem to which we should address ourselves, if we are concerned with conditions in Angola, is how we can assist in improving those conditions. We must come to the conclusion that an injection of capital into Angola, and indeed into domestic Portugal, is essential to the establishment of the economic conditions on which any form of political democracy could thrive.
I cannot think of any country which enjoys miserable economic conditions in which the political systems of which we approve also thrive. A desperately low standard of living and liberal political institutions do not go together. It is important that we address ourselves to this question, because although indignation is a very warming emotion, and perhaps a very natural one, if the party against whom we direct it feels that our indignation is selective he is unlikely to be open to any offers of advice or assistance we may chose to make.
It might occur to the Portuguese Government that the policy followed by the Indian Government towards the Nagas, a Christian minority in India, has not been condemned by the British. So far as I know, what the Indian Government have been doing has not met with widespread and prolonged indignation in the House of Commons, although the suppression of the Nagas has been conducted for a number of years, using armaments supplied by Britain among other countries. The indignation which many of us feel today might well be thought by the Portuguese Government to be unduly selective. If it is unduly selective, our desire not merely to have a nice warm feeling but to render real assistance to people of all races in Angola will be purposeless.
How are we to raise the capital for an economic injection into Angola? When we think in terms of money, either domestically or internationally, the first thing we normally think of is that some- 1490 body else should pay it. In terms of domestic taxation, we think of those taxes we do not personally pay. In terms of a shortage of capital in another country, we normally address ourselves to the World Bank, because we know that a high proportion of its capital is not subscribed by us.
If we conclude that we are otherwise unlikely, even with the best will in the world, which may not be there, to see a radical and substantial improvement in political conditions in Angola, Mozambique and domestic Portugal, among many other countries in the world, we must address ourselves to the question of what proportion of our national income we can afford to devote to the injection of capital into underdeveloped countries. This would not be too wide a subject to merit some discussion in this debate, because it is not very often aired in the House. I should value any suggestions which hon. Members on either side may care to make as to how we can raise the standard of living and provide more opportunities for gainful employment in the underdeveloped countries, of which Angola is one.
§ Mr. Walter Monslow (Barrow-in-Furness)
If we spent less money on nonproductive and destructive things and more on productive things and social services, we could meet the bill.
§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
I agree with the hon. Member absolutely, but the question which services are non-productive is a point of difference between him and me. I suspect that he has in mind defence expenditure. I consider that money spent on defence, which enables people to live in a degree of security which is essential to a liberal and democratic system like ours, is a very necessary expenditure on a very necessary service. When countries are insecure, either because they are afraid of attack from abroad or because they are afraid of the collapse of their own economies, they turn to political violence, either actual or formal in the sense that their constitutions do not embrace much liberty of expression. I hope very much that the debate will not entirely follow the course of expressions of indignation, however natural those expressions might be, but will take a more constructive form.
§ 5.9 p.m.
§ Mr. Stan Awbery (Bristol, Central)
I shall not follow the hon Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop), because the greater part of his speech was irrelevant to this subject. I listened carefully and attentively to the Lord Privy Seal's speech. I have come to the conclusion that, whatever we say today about Angola, the Government will not move. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. The Government are not prepared to listen to any argument which may be put forward to assist the people of Angola. The Lord Privy Seal is prepared to listen to the Portuguese Government. He made a number of quotations from articles in this morning's Press which evidently emanated from the Portuguese Government in justification of what they are doing in Angola.
Why do not the Government and the Minister turn their attention to people nearer home? There are people in this country who can give them all the information they require about the position in Angola. We are sending out a consul-general. Why? It is to see what is going on in Angola. As if we did not know! We did not send any such commissioner to Kuwait, because oil interests were involved. We send one to Angola because only human beings are concerned.
Millions of our people are deeply moved and deeply concerned about what is happening in Angola. They have not been so deeply moved since the Congo atrocities under King Leopold in the early days of this century.
§ Mr. Paul Williams (Sunderland, South)
Is the hon. Member going to refer to the Congo atrocities which took place while the United Nations was there?
§ Mr. Awbery
I am speaking of the atrocities committed at the beginning of this century when the Congolese failed to bring in their taxes on rubber. In those days a hand or a foot was cut off as a punishment, and all in the name of a civilised nation. The Baptists, the Methodists and members of all Churches in this country were deeply moved then, 1492 and they took action. They are deeply moved today at what is going on. These men are here now. They have witnessed the atrocities and the shooting, and they are prepared to testify on oath to the atrocities being perpetrated in Angola, not by the rebels but by the Portuguese troops against the people. No less than 8,000 Angolans have been killed, against 1,000 Portuguese. They tell us that the heads of the chiefs of tribes are being cut off and placed on poles. The Bantu tribe is being wiped out by the action of the Portuguese soldiers. Mass executions of men and women are taking place.
This is the evidence of people in whom I have more confidence than I have in the Portuguese Government. I am prepared to accept the witness of men and women who have given thirty or forty years of their life in order to build up a civilisation in that country. The burning of homes in the forest is well known. The people to whom those homes belonged now have nowhere to go. These are the things that stir up nations more than self-interest. Money stirs up some people, but others are stirred up because of their feelings for the people who are suffering. In Angola one side has the deadly weapons while the other has nothing.
At Question Time in the last week or so the Government have agreed that these atrocities are taking place and that thousands have been slaughtered. They have agreed that refugees are flocking from Angola into the Congo. They have agreed that inhuman acts are being committed by soldiers and other people in Angola. They have agreed about all those things, but when we ask them to do something about it they search around for reasons why nothing should be done. What do they say? They say, "We are not responsible", or "We cannot interfere with the internal affairs of another nation." We have heard that one before. They say, "We are carrying out the obligations of N.A.T.O. and the United Nations." Is it an obligation of N.A.T.O. and the United Nations to cease helping people who are being persecuted and prosecuted, as they are in Angola? If it is, let us get out of N.A.T.O. and the United Nations. I am convinced that the attitude of the United Nations is quite the opposite, and that if we gave it a chance 1493 to go in and do something it could find a solution to the problem.
We have heard it said that it is not our business. That remark has been made before. Pontius Pilate said, "Take him away. I have nothing to do with this man and I wash my hands clean." Washing the hands does not remove the guilt. Suffering humanity, wherever it may be, is the business of hon. Members opposite as well as on this side, and we should have regard to it. We rushed into Kuwait. Why did we not wait and then send a consul-general or a governor-general to hold an inquiry? It was because the situation there is bound up with finance and oil. In Angola, however, there are merely human beings, and because of that we are prepared to turn a blind eye on what is happening.
There is no doubt that there is a deep stirring in the minds and hearts of the Angolans. They are not satisfied to go on being governed by the Portuguese, any more than our Colonies were prepared to go on being governed by us. We have written some very fine pages in colonial history—but we have also written some bad ones. The people of the Colonies will remember the black ones when they have forgotten the white ones. In Angola we are writing one of the black pages. The people need help, and we ought to help them.
It has been suggested that the Communists are behind the trouble. The word "Communists" is not used. Reference is made to "an outside source", but the inference is there. Our missionaries say emphatically that there are no outside sources. This is an inside urge.
By their actions in Angola the Portuguese are creating a fertile soil for the development of Communism, and I predict that if it goes on Communism will take not only Angola but all Africa—
§ Mr. Awbery
The Portuguese are anxious to stop Communists entering Angola, but they themselves are preparing the soil for Communism, and if they go on it will lead to the whole of Africa becoming Communist. We condemn apartheid, but what is going on in Angola is ten times worse. If we want to prevent the growth of Communism 1494 we must create a better system, and the people will accept it.
If Communism is the better system, they will take it. If ours is a better social democracy they will come to us. The time is more than ripe when we should tell the world where we stand. We have deplored the atrocities, but that is all. If we can send troops and tanks and guns to Kuwait, surely we can do something to help the Angolese.
One of our darkest blots has been referred to this afternoon; we refused to agree to a U.N. inquiry. The Prime Minister said last week that he was determined not to budge on Berlin—
§ Mr. Geoffrey Wilson (Truro)
Was I right in understanding the hon. Gentleman to suggest that we should send arms to help the Angolese?
§ Mr. Wilson
But is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that we should send arms to those who are fighting the Portuguese?
§ Mr. Awbery
I did not say anything at all about sending arms. I will speak about arms in a moment.
The Prime Minister says that he will not budge on Berlin, and in a speech that he has made today he has apparently said that we shall not budge in our attitude towards Angola. Is that what we think about the human rights of these suffering people?
Portugal is our friend. Portugal is a member of N.A.T.O., just as we are, and she is a member of the U.N. If a friend is committing a crime it is friendly to warn him of the consequences. It is not unfriendly to condemn the wrongful actions of a friend, and that is what we ought to do. If Portugal is a great friend of ours, and has been for 300 years or more, we should tell her of the great agitation there is in Great Britain over these atrocities in Angola, and seek to set up an impartial inquiry.
Can we not ask Portugal to let a few people from Britain go out to see the position for themselves? If Portugal is our friend, we should ask her to do that, and she should agree. Cannot we say to our friend, "You are committing crimes and we shall dissociate ourselves 1495 from them even if it ends our friendship"? We are told by the Government Front Bench that we do not condone the action in Angola. If we do not condone it, why do we not condemn it—
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
I thought that the hon. Gentleman proposed an impartial inquiry, but what would be the good of an impartial inquiry if we proceeded at once to condemnation?
§ Mr. Awbery
I should be prepared to accept the findings of an impartial inquiry made by people in whom we have full confidence, but I am not prepared to accept the report of a committee that is biased one way or the other—
§ Mr. Awbery
Because we have had direct evidence from men and women who have seen these atrocities committed. I have not seen these actions myself, but I am prepared to accept what those men and women say.
We should refuse to sell any arms of any kind to Portugal until these crimes stop. We should tell the Portuguese that the great urge among their colonials in Angola cannot be suppressed by force of arms. We know that from our own experience. We tried in Cyprus and in other Colonies; we failed, and we came to agreement. We should advise Portugal to learn from our experience, and tell her that if she wants to retain our friendship she must stop the atrocities at once. We should warn her, "If your actions in Angola lead to war, we are not prepared to take part in it". That would help the Portuguese to come to their senses.
For the Government to sympathise with the Angolese and not to help, is infamous. If there is something wrong, we must help to put it right. The Government have shown apathy and indifference towards the crimes in Angola. They must be shaken out of that apathy, and this is one of the ways of doing it. I say to the Churches, which have done a good deal to create a public opinion, "Carry on with your agitation. Justice must prevail. Right must triumph over wrong. Helpless, defenceless, exposed people are looking to you, the Churches." And I think that they are looking to us for some help to stop what is going on.
1496 This is a great emergency, and people must be forgiven if they show more than usual emotion and zeal in putting up the case for these people. The Government must act in this matter. If they do not, they must give a reason for not acting. I close with four lines of a hymn that was written 140 years ago and which is sung in thousands of churches by millions of people:Can we whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,Shall we to men benighted the light of life deny.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Sir Henry Studholme (Tavistock)
My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal replied, I thought, with wisdom and moderation to the points raised by the Leader of the Opposition. I hope that his speech will help this House and the country to take a balanced view of events in Angola. I am afraid that I cannot say the same of the speech to which we have just listened from the hon. Member for Bristol, Central (Mr. Awbery). I thought that it was unhelpful and that a great deal of it was irrelevant.
Most of the criticism in the Press and in Parliament so far has been directed against the measures taken by the Portuguese to repress the rebellion in Angola. Portuguese troops are accused of horrible atrocities and the Portuguese Government of a policy of genocide. Very little has been said, except by way of passing reference, by those who attack the Portuguese, about what happened in March when the trouble started. Little has been said about the thousand Portuguese farmers and their families, to say nothing of the large numbers of loyal Africans, who were suddenly murdered in the most ghastly manner.
It is small wonder, however much one may deplore reprisals, if in their terror and fury these Portuguese civilians carried out such reprisals. The first duty now of the Portuguese Government—as, indeed, it would be our first duty if we were in the same position—is to restore law and order, and stern measures are necessary for that. [HON. MEMBERS: "Really."] I rarely bore the House with a speech, and if hon. Members will allow me to get on with what I am saying they may have a chance of catching the eye of the Chair later in the debate.
After all, a war is going on in Angola. War is a beastly business, but I shall 1497 want more evidence before I believe all these accusations of atrocities of which the Portuguese are accused, and the sooner our commission of inquiry can report on what is actually happening in North Angola the better. From information corning in there is evidence, as my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal said, that the rebellion has been partly engineered by people outside playing on the grievances of the Africans in Angola. I do not deny that they may have some very serious grievances, but I would never say that they were of such a nature as to condone the horrible things done in March.
I am not going to criticise the Portuguese colonial system. It is quite different from our colonial system. It is based on paternalism and assimilation and is a much slower process. In Goa where the Portuguese system has been developing for 400 years it has proved to be highly successful, and the people there consider themselves to be Portuguese and do not wish to be anything else. What may seem right to a Latin may not appeal to an Anglo-Saxon and vice versa.
We may not agree with the Portuguese system, and we can only hope that our colonial system in Africa may be proved by events to be right. To hear many hon. Members opposite talk one would think that all the Portuguese are horrible, brutal people. They are nothing of the kind. They are a kindly and humane people. The British, too, are kindly and humane, and nothing enrages us more than to hear stories of cruelty and oppression. But I beseech hon. Members opposite to be fair.
Living in this peaceful, well ordered and, more or less, civilised country of ours, few, people have the slightest idea of conditions in Africa, in many parts of which it is only a short time since primitive savagery gave place to semi-civilisation. To people outside, some of us may appear to be sanctimonious. How many of those who talk disparagingly of the Portuguese far what is going on in Angola would talk in the same way if they had seen their women folk raped and mutilated, their children murdered and their heads stuck on stakes?
1498 Fear is a bad counsellor. Violence leads to violence and revenge drives out reason. What is happening in Angola is tragic and deplorable, but we must realise that without strong measures law and order cannot be restored and peaceful people, both Africans and Europeans, protected. I believe that instead of reviling the Portuguese we ought to encourage them in their efforts to establish law and order and then, once they have done that, to act in a magnanimous way. If disorder triumphs, ruin and chaos will descend on Angola and might well spread far beyond its boundaries.
§ 5.37 p.m.
§ Mr. Donald Wade (Huddersfield, West)
During and after the uprising in Hungary I recollect the attempts made by Communists and some friends of Russia to justify—I am not suggesting that this applies to any hon. Member of this House—and explain away what occurred in Hungary on the ground that it was a revolt which Russia could not afford to allow to continue. It was said that Russia must restore law and order, that the revolt had been incited from outside and that, anyway, things just as dreadful happened elsewhere in the world. I do not believe that anything that was then said could excuse what was a barbarous and unforgivable action on the part of Russia at that time.
As this sad story of Angola has unfolded I have detected in some quarters a similar tendency on the part of those who do not want to offend Portugal to try to minimise the seriousness of what has happened. After reading all that I can find, and after hearing all the evidence that I can obtain, I do not believe that we are justified in remaining silent about the appalling and inexcusable atrocities committed in Angola.
This morning, I had a conversation with a lady missionary. She asked to remain anonymous because a near relative of hers is still in Angola, and I must respect her request. She has been working in a district in Angola where the Africans are peace loving and have taken no part in the revolt and where no white man has been killed. She told me of a sad incident, where two planes came over and machine gunned two peaceful villages and then dropped bombs on them. I am bound to accept 1499 her evidence. That cannot be explained away on the ground that this was a case of white settlers arming themselves in protection against attack.
No one denies that there has been a revolt in the northern part of Angola. I personally accept the view that it was probably organised, although to suggest that it was organised by international Communism is to create a completely untrue picture. What happened probably was that Africans who had left the territory because they could not endure the conditions there organised this attempt to liberate their country.
I think that there is a further reason —the difference of view about Angola as a territory. The Africans regard it as their homeland and the Portuguese regard it as part of Portugal. That, I believe, has created a head-on clash. I recognise the fact that there has been a revolt, and I do not attempt to justify the atrocities. None of the missionaries to whom I have spoken has attempted to justify the atrocities that have been perpetrated. The Baptist missionaries have frankly admitted that there has been violence on both sides. I quote from their statement of 4th July:We deeply deplore the murder of women and children and we do not approve of violence as a proper method of settling disputes between races or nations: but we hold firmly to the opinion that the repression of Africans in Angola (no less than the repression of all opposition parties in Portugal itself) has prevented all possibility of the redress of grievances through constitutional means.
§ Mr. Norman Pannell (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
Has the hon. Gentleman seen the publication The Facts about Angola, issued by the Baptist Church on 19th June, which, referring to atrocities committed against Europeans, said:Pregnant women were ripped open. Small children had their limbs cut off and fed to the dogs. The atrocities have been terrible.Does not the hon. Gentleman think that, if this is not a justification, then it is some excuse for what happened later?
§ Mr. Wade
I have already said that I am aware of the atrocities. I have read the document to which the hon. Gentleman has referred. The Baptist Missionary Society has been frank and open about this business. But one cannot excuse the machine gunning of peaceful villages.
1500 The statement of 4th July went on:Africans have constantly urged upon us that we should not risk expulsion or the refusal of re-entry visas by public denunciation of the ills they suffer…Eventually, it became clear that the only thing to do was to speak out openly. That is what they have done.
To get a complete picture, we must look into the background, into the underlying causes. Why did this come about? The past history of Portugal in Africa is not a happy story. I shall not go back as far as the slave trade, but will consider more recent times.
The country of Angola is 481,000 square miles—several times the size of Portugal. The population consists of 4½ million black Africans and about 110,000 whites. The Portuguese have been in Angola for nearly 500 years, yet only one in 300 of the Africans is an assimilado, which is one-third of 1 per cent. One cannot talk about a multiracial society in those conditions.
Education is practically non-existent, except for the children of the Portuguese. The Portuguese Government spends only 1 per cent. of revenue on education, compared with 10 per cent. in most African countries. Most of the education of Africans is provided by the missionaries.
But the most serious cause of unrest is the working conditions. All this was in existence long before February, 1961. Although slavery has been abolished, for many Africans freedom is no better. Slaves were treated as assets to be cared for, but some of the employers care little for the health and working conditions of those who are working under forced labour. I quote again from the Baptist statement:The vast majority of Africans have borne conditions hardly removed from slavery.If we are seeking for causes, we must look at the combination of forced labour, brutality and appalling conditions. I have here a detailed account of this and numerous quotations. I shall spare the House many more of them, however. Many hon. Members may have read these reports. They make tragic and sad reading.
I refer now only to contract labour, because this needs mentioning. The statement says:When the Government or a Private Enterprise is short of cheap labour in Angola, 1501 application is made to an official who is in charge of 'contract labour'. This official sends to the chief of a village for the necessary men. If the Chief fails to provide the men he is liable to be beaten."I asked the lady missionary about that today. I said to her, "Have you seen this happen?" I was told, "Yes. We have seen these chiefs who have been beaten because they could not provide the necessary men." And yet that is not called slavery.
I make now a final quotation from the Baptist missionary statement.The Portuguese military authorities have acted against the African population with the utmost barbarism …. At Sanga, jeeps arriving with troops in mufti, told the villagers that the struggle had been won. When a crowd had gathered the soldiers opened fire with machine guns.At Tumbi, a loudspeaker car was used to draw a crowd. When the crowd had gathered troops converged on the village and killed 300.At Tomboco, mothers with children were stood on one side, all the men, boys and women without children were then shot.I believe that great credit is due to the British Council of Churches. I believe that this is a moral issue and that it was right for the Churches to raise it. I believe that it is the wish of the Churches that this should be lifted out of party politics. This is not a party matter, but a serious moral issue. We are told that we must not condemn what has happened until we have had an impartial report, but if these reports which we have had are one-sided why has there been such reluctance on the part of the Portuguese Government to admit observers? Why has there been censorship?
The Times, of 11th February last, had a report thatFour foreign correspondents, from the Daily Express, the Guardian, I.T.V., and N.B.C., were expelled from Angola on 10th February, when they had inquired after a colleague who was reported shot by a Portuguese officer.Why this censorship, and why are protests in Portugal itself suppressed? I know a Portuguese gentleman, Professor Pires, who was able to come to this country some time ago, when I had the pleasure of meeting him. He is a Liberal. He is 70 years old. He was due shortly to retire from his position as lecturer and examiner at St. Antonio's Hospital, Oporto. He was a member of the former Republican Party.
1502 Professor Pires and his colleagues have been campaigning, I admit, against Portugal's policy in Angola and in favour of civil liberty and human rights. At the time of the Foreign Secretary's recent visit to Lisbon, Professor Pires and his friends organised a Press conference in the hope of informing the British people of the views of the Portuguese who do not agree with what is going on in Angola.
What was the result? Immediately Lord Home left the country, Professor Pires was arrested by the secret police on 6th June. No reason or warrant was produced. He was taken away without even being able to collect his personal belongings. At the time he was recovering from an attack of pneumonia. His wife was not allowed to see him, but was informed that he had been taken to prison in Lisbon. I understand that he is still in prison and that his case has been taken up by an organisation known as "Appeal for Amnesty". That organisation has written to the Portuguese Ambassador, but has had no reply.
This gentleman was not a Communist or a dangerous revolutionary, unless it is said that anyone holding Liberal views is dangerous in a country with the sort of régime that exists in Portugal. He was merely disturbed about what his country was doing and anxious that Britain should not do anything to lend its support to those activities. It is difficult to think of anything comparable with this case in this country, but suppose that the Secretary of State of the United States came to Britain at a time when the Government was carrying out a policy of which a section of this country disapproved. Let us, for supposition, say that Lord Beveridge and one or two friends called a Press conference to protest and they were immediately thrown into gaol without a trial. I should not be surprised, in those circumstances, if protests were forthcoming from our friends in the United States and from other sources.
Surely, therefore, we are similarly entitled to protest at what is happening in Portugal. I appreciate that we are constantly being told that Portugal is one of our oldest allies. The people of Portugal may be our oldest friends, but that does not necessarily mean that the present Government in Portugal is our 1503 oldest ally. Many of the people in that country do not know what is happening, and if they did they probably would not approve.
Very serious is the fact that the action of the British Government has given the appearance of condoning the illiberal—to use a comparatively mild word—actions in Angola. People do not read all these complicated explanations about why Britain abstains. They only know that Britain is sending ships or troops and her action is regarded as a form of condonation. Let us remember that the struggle in the world is not just a struggle between two great Power blocs, but an ideological struggle. If we appear to be so anxious to make friends with countries that are carrying out these illiberal policies, we shall lose that struggle. In taking that action we are not helping to strengthen N.A.T.O. We are not helping the Commonwealth; we are damaging it. Before this debate comes to an end I hope that hon. Members will be given a much clearer exposition about what the Government is doing about arms.
I hope that Her Majesty's Government will make it clear that they are in favour of an impartial inquiry and that they do not in any way support what Portugal is doing in Angola. Unless that is made abundantly clear I have no doubt that ere long we shall deeply regret it.
§ 5.55 p.m.
§ Sir Cyril Black (Wimbledon)
I found myself in very considerable agreement with the earlier part of the speech of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade), but I think that it is quite unfair, for reasons that I shall show, to suggest that anything that Her Majesty's Government have done can be regarded as condoning the conditions to which the hon. Gentleman referred. It has been made clear that the Government in no way condone—and no British Government would—the kind of conditions which the hon. Gentleman and other hon Members have described.
I am glad of this opportunity of intervening in the debate because, as many hon. Members know, I have been a member of the Baptist Church for many years and Angola is a country in which 1504 Baptists have a long and honourable record and with which they have a special concern, a concern equal to that possessed by any other Christian body. I must make it clear that in what I am about to say I am naturally voicing my own opinions and not necessarily the views of the Baptist Church, although I hope that I may say some things which may find approval on the part of many Baptists.
No one can read the reports of the Angola missionaries of the Baptist Missionary Society without being impressed at the gravity of conditions in Angola and I do not think, whatever may be said about our lack of information, that there can be any serious doubt about the serious character of the situation there. My conviction is that the missionaries who have returned from Angola have stated their case with a scrupulous regard for fairness. They have endeavoured to make it clear that they in no way condone the actions of the insurrectionists, whose insurrection was used as the pretext for what has since happened, and they have throughout endeavoured to take a non-partisan attitude in regard to this matter.
Their concern is, naturally, both for the worldly and for the spiritual wellbeing of the territory in which they have worked and ministered for so long, and I feel sure that hon. Members on both sides would wish to identify themselves with an expression of sympathy for those who, after, in some cases, a lifetime of zealous and sacrificial service, have seen most of the results of their labours dissipated as a result of what has happened.
I must say a word here about what I believe to be the attitude of the Churches on this matter, because a good deal of reference has been made to the concern of the Churches and, about that concern, there can be no doubt at all. I am bound, in fairness, to make the point that a good many hon. Members opposite have had a lot to say by way of condemnation of the Government—and I do not quarrel with them over that, for that, no doubt, represents their point of view and it is only right that they should state it—but it would be wrong for the impression to go out from the House, as a result of this debate, that the official Church bodies have taken one side or the other on our Government's actions in this matter.
§ Mr. Walter Monslow (Barrow-in-Furness)
As the hon. Gentleman is a practising Christian, will he say which side he thinks he should take?
§ Sir C. Black
If the hon. Gentleman will allow me to make my speech in my own way I will make my attitude perfectly clear on this matter.
I think that it is fair that I should make this point, because it is right to get on the record the fact that neither in the resolution passed by the Baptist Union Assembly, a few weeks ago, nor in the memorandum of the Baptist Missionary Society, nor in the more recent resolution of the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches—to which reference has been made—is there one word of criticism of what has been done by this Government in this matter.
§ Mr. G. Thomas
The hon. Gentleman will be as aware, as I and all hon. Members are aware, that the high-powered deputation from the British Council of Churches which waited upon the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State last week went there not because of what Her Majesty's Government had done, but because of what they had not done. The British Council of Churches left the Government in no doubt at all that they were deeply disturbed both by abstentions—and the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—but also by the lack of condemnation.
§ Sir C. Black
I have read the reports of that deputation and I have discussed with a certain member of the deputation what took place. Of course, I accept that the purpose of the deputation was to impress upon the Government the grave concern felt by Churches throughout the world about conditions in Angola. I am not for one moment suggesting anything contrary to that. What I am saying is that there is all the difference in the world between, on the one hand, expressing concern about conditions in a country in which something analogous to a civil war is taking place and, on the other, expressing a partisan view in regard to what the actions, or, if hon. Members like, the inactions, of our Government have been.
It is right to make the point that in the Baptist Union resolution, the Baptist Missionary Society memorandum and the 1506 World Council of Churches resolution there is not a word of criticism of the British Government's actions. [Interruption.] That is the point. Hon. Members may disagree with the line that the Churches have taken. I am not arguing that. I am simply saying, so that we may get the facts right, that the Churches have not adopted with regard to our Government a partisan attitude as was inferred by some hon. Members.
I come now to the point with which we are really concerned this afternoon, and that is what we ought to do in the present tragic situation which confronts Angola. I do not for one moment agree with the view which has been falsely attributed to the Conservative Party, that we ought not to criticise the Portuguese authorities in Angola because Portugal is a N.A.T.O. Power and our oldest ally. I believe that it would be quite wrong for us to abstain from condemnation of Portugal for any reason of expediency of that kind. I accept that absolutely, without any reservation at all.
However, apart from expediency, I believe that from the standpoint of what we want to achieve in Angola, it is at least arguable whether the policy which has been advocated this afternoon by some hon. Members is more likely to secure the results that we have in view than the policy which the British Government have pursued and are pursuing.
I believe that some of the critics of the Government have been very unfair in what they have said. In this respect, I should like to refer to three points. First, the criticism was made that the Foreign Secretary's visit to Lisbon towards the end of May might be regarded in Portugal, in this country and elsewhere as being somehow a condonation of what Portugal was doing in Angola. If it had been only a private visit and nothing else was associated with it, I suppose it could be argued that that conclusion could fairly be drawn. But that is not the case.
I heard about these difficulties in Angola through Baptist sources about a week before the Foreign Secretary's visit to Lisbon. I took an immediate opportunity of discussing the matter with the Lord Privy Seal. I expressed to him the concern that the Baptist Churches felt in regard to this matter, a concern which I was quite certain would be widespread 1507 among the Churches and in the nation as soon as the facts became known. I asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Foreign Secretary would take the opportunity of making known to the Portuguese Government in Lisbon, in an emphatic and unmistakable way, the concern about Angola that we felt in this country. I received an encouraging reply from my right hon. Friend that that would be done.
Not only was that done, as the Foreign Secretary himself stated publicly in another place, but on 25th May, the Foreign Secretary, I understand, made a public speech in Portugal in which he emphasised, as spokesman for this country, the need for the adoption of more liberal policies both in Portugal's home territory and in Portugal's territory in Angola. So if it be the fact, as it is, that the Foreign Secretary made that clear to the Portuguese Government and in a public speech to the Portuguese people, how his visit to Portugal could be regarded as condoning events in Angola completely passes my understanding.
The point has been made from the other side of the House—it is a most contradictory one—that there is no need to send observers to Angola because we already know the facts and, therefore, it would be merely a delaying matter to send observers. Yet, at the same time, the Government are blamed for abstaining, for a reason which has been explained, from voting in the United Nations on the resolution to send United Nations' observers. If we know the facts already and there is no need to send observers to ascertain them, why is there so much value apparently in observers going from the United Nations to find out what we know already and no value at all in our own observers being sent? One may argue one or other of those propositions, but one cannot argue both of them at the same time.
§ Mr. Tom Driberg (Barking)
Would the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Sir C. Black) agree that it is equally contradictory for the Lord Privy Seal to say, as he did last week, that the British Consul-General has been in Luanda all the time and has been sending us reports 1508 and information all the time, and also to say, as he did today, that we have no means of obtaining information?
§ Sir C. Black
I think that I can leave my right hon. Friend to deal with that point. I should have thought that it was very difficult for our Consul-General in Luanda, who may be subject—I know not, but I think it is probable—to all kinds of restrictions on travel which would impede him in the performance of his duties. If that be so, and if he be Consul-General at a centre many miles away from the scene of the trouble, it seems to me that it would be difficult for him to supply us with much information from the actual battlefront.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Has my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Sir C. Black) any evidence that our Consul-General is subject to any restrictions not required by security and military considerations?
§ Sir C. Black
What the reasons are I do not know. I merely suggested that, like a great many other people, his right to move about the country would probably be curtailed.
The third point that I want to make is that it has been suggested that somehow or other we ought to try to cold-shoulder Portugal out of the N.A.T.O. Alliance, that because N.A.T.O. exists to serve a democratic purpose, Portugal, not being a democratic country, is not a fitting partner in the N.A.T.O. Alliance. That point has been made rather unfairly by hon. Members opposite.
I would point out that Portugal and this country were signatories at the same time to the N.A.T.O. Treaty in 1949 when, as my right hon. Friend has pointed out, the Labour Government signed it on behalf of this country, and in 1949 the Salazar régime was in power in Portugal and had been for a number of years. It was certainly no more of a liberal régime in 1949 than it is now. Therefore, if we are at fault in having Portugal as a N.A.T.O. partner it is not a matter on which any party point can be made by hon. Members opposite, because it is a situation for which both sides of the House have an equal measure of responsibility.
Before concluding, I wish to make three points to the Government. First, I should like to impress upon my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal the 1509 importance, which is reinforced by the debate in the House today and by the rising tide of apprehension in the country about Angola, of the need to keep in continual touch with the Portuguese Government and to exercise the utmost possible influence upon them to bring to an end at the earliest possible moment the fighting and the killing which are taking place there.
Where I disagree with some who have spoken earlier in the debate is as to the way in which we are most likely to influence the Portuguese Government. My experience has been that if on an important matter one wants to influence somebody with whom one has hitherto been on friendly relations, it is not always wise as an introduction to start by calling the man a liar, a blackguard and a rogue, and then, having created an unfavourable and an unfriendly attitude, to endeavour to exercise an influence on him to do what one wants.
My experience has been that the best way to influence people is to keep open the channels of communication with them, to avoid appearing to take a too partisan attitude towards them, but in one's efforts to influence them to leave them in no doubt how strongly one feels on the matter on which one wants to influence them and how great one's concern is. The Lord Privy Seal should make it quite clear to the House that we will continue to exercise the greatest possible pressure through the channels available to us.
Secondly, I should like the Minister of State to say whether consultations have taken place between us and the Governments of the other N.A.T.O. Powers with a view to all the other N.A.T.O. Powers making united and joint representations to the Portuguese Government on this matter. Leaving aside Portugal, there are thirteen other States in the N.A.T.O. alliance. I should like to know whether we have had consultations with them about this matter, whether there have been any discussions on concerted action and, if not, whether consideration might not be given to taking action along that line.
My third and final point is the question of what we are doing to bring practical help and assistance in their distress to the vast number of refugees who have fled from Angola into the Congo, who 1510 have been variously estimated as being between 80,000 and 100,000 in number. I understand that the United Nations Agency which is dealing with this matter has adequate funds to alleviate the present distress. If, however, we reach the point, as we may well do soon, that those funds have been exhausted, what are we doing in conjunction with other nations to leave the United Nations Agency there in no doubt that all the money that is reasonably needed will be available for the relief of distress? We have a great duty in that respect and we ought to make it clear that we will not be mean in our approach to this part of the problem.
We all appreciate, I am sure, that this is just the kind of issue on which people feel strongly and on which it is right that they should feel strongly. It is not only necessary that people should feel strongly. It is also necessary that they should act wisely. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman once said:sometimes the function of the wise is to repair the harm done by the good.It may well be that that has relevance to the matter that we are debating today. By all means, let us have warm hearts on an issue of this kind, but, at the same time, let us keep cool heads.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. J. J. Mendelson (Penistone)
The hon. Member for Wimbledon (Sir C. Black) has made a great deal of the important point concerning the attitude of the Council of Churches in its representations to the Government, but it would not be treating this issue with the seriousness that it deserves to leave it where the hon. Member left it. One of the main reasons why I was anxious to take part in this debate is because I wanted, briefly, to give voice to the representations that I and, I am sure, most hon. Members have received from the representatives of the Churches.
I have no exaggerated opinion that my contribution is particularly needed in this debate, but I am anxious to represent, as I have been urged to do, the views of those who have been deeply stirred by these events. In complete contradiction to what the hon. Member for Wimbledon has just said, I should like to quote from one of many letters which I have received. It is signed by more than 30 1511 people and is dated 21st June from the Vicarage, Stocksbridge near Sheffield. It states:Dear Sir, We, the undersigned, from Stocksbridge, deplore the repression by the Portuguese authorities in Angola; and we deplore also the lack of concern of Her Majesty's Government to make forceful representation to the Portuguese Government. As your constituents, we urge you to bring the matter up in the House immediately.… Those who signed were present at two meetings, representing different bodies of various church denominations in the area.
§ Mr. Norman Dodds (Erith and Crayford)
Is my hon. Friend surprised to know that I have had four similar messages from church gatherings in my constituency? Does not the fact that messages of a similar nature have been received from a number of different areas suggest that the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Sir C. Black) is out of touch with the views of the churchgoers?
§ Sir C. Black
I never suggested in my speech that there were not individual churchmen or bodies of churchmen who held particular views on this matter; of course there are. What I said, and what is unassailable, is that the official church bodies have not expressed themselves in criticism.
§ Mr. Mendelson
I expected the hon. Member for Wimbledon to make that intervention.
I should like now to quote from a letter from the Baptist Missionary Society, received only today. Speaking not for a few individuals but on behalf of the society, it states:The present crisis, however, forces us to break silence, first because the retaliatory measures on which the Portuguese Government are now engaged border on genocide; and secondly, because Africans themselves have made the specific request to us that the time for silence is past.I should like the Minister who replies for the Government to give an account of the meeting that has taken place between the deputation from the Council of Churches, the Foreign Secretary and the Lord Privy Seal. If any element of dispute remains after what I have said, 1512 it is for the Government to clarify the matter. I am confident that if any account is given we shall be told, as some of us already know, that representations implying serious criticism of the conduct of the Government were made by that deputation.
I now turn to the speech of the Lord Privy Seal. No one, I am sure, will dissent from the first point that he made, namely, that this is a debate of great importance and that no hon. Member would wish to say anything which would make the situation more difficult. But that does not absolve us from the duty to speak the truth, and it is very important that that should be realised throughout a debate of this kind. Secondly, I am sure that the tragic events in Angola have put the Government in a very difficult situation. It is obvious that any Government, of whatever party, would be in a difficult situation. But being in a difficult situation does not excuse making the kind of case which the Lord Privy Seal made this afternoon.
The right hon. Gentleman started much too late in giving the history of these events. Hon. Members have pointed out—and the right hon. Gentleman must be aware of this—that the real history of this matter began long before 1st February this year. It is clear that if we start at that point we do not get a very clear picture of the situation. In evidence of that, I think that there is respectable opinion to hand beyond the organisations which have been quoted. There is an account in The Guardian, today which the Lord Privy Seal must have seen, from one of the most reliable Scandinavian correspondents. He writes for one of the most respected papers in Scandinavia. He gives the pre-history as well as the details. I have not sufficient time to quote from this account, but it refutes the implication in the Lord Privy Seal's speech that nothing serious which ought to be mentioned happened before 4th February.
I turn to the Lord Privy Seal's point about the attitude of the Government in the United Nations to these events. He said that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition had taken the view that, if there are some words or sentences in a resolution with which the Government do not agree, they ought to vote for the resolution just the same. 1513 That was not a fair representation of what my right hon. Friend said. If the Lord Privy Seal reads my right hon. Friend's speech tomorrow, he will see that he made a completely different point from that which the Lord Privy Seal thought he made. I wish to repeat it because it goes to the root of the matter.
It is possible and not beyond the capability of the representative of Her Majesty's Government at the United Nations to make clear in many ways that we do not approve of every word and every sentence in a resolution and at the same time to come down on the right side when the voting takes place. What the Lord Privy Seal told the House and the country today was something quite different. It may be fairly summed up in this way. On a resolution of this importance before the United Nations he instructs the British representative to speak in the right direction and then to vote in the wrong direction. If one abstains in a matter of this kind, one as much casts a vote as if one votes against the resolution.
It was a sorry spectacle—and that is why so many people have written to us about this matter—to see our representative at the United Nations not being associated from the very first moment with the condemnation of the policy being pursued in Portuguese Angola. I go further. I am not one of those who believe that the influence of Britain in the counsels of the nation has deteriorated as much as some people assume. Had the Government taken a strong stand in the United Nations from the start we should have had earlier action on behalf of the Portuguese Government in allowing a committee of inquiry to enter Angola.
It has been said again and again in the Portuguese Press—and the Lord Privy Seal must be well aware of this; he sees more reports of the Portuguese Press than I am able to see and has reports from the Embassy staff all the time—that the attitude of the Portuguese Government is not regarded by the British Government—sometimes the reference in many leading articles in the Portuguese Press was not to the Government but to Britain—as being in disagreement with the principles of the United Nations. That is an argument which we helped to supply to the people 1514 who wrote these articles in the Portuguese Press.
I now wish to deal with the equally important matter of what the Lord Privy Seal said about N.A.T.O. and Portugal. This was mentioned when we discussed the possibility of the 19th Brigade Group carrying out a military exercise in Portugal. It would have been much better if the announcement that the 19th Brigade Group was not to have this exercise at this time had been made at the end of the debate that we had and not left for some days afterwards. However, the point which the right hon. Gentleman made about N.A.T.O. is one which needs clarification. Many of us are firmly convinced that this country must be a member of a defensive alliance. Many of us have the task and duty to defend this belief in the country, to discuss it with our constituents and to argue with those who do not take the same view. In this, I do not merely include members of the Government and leaders of the Labour Party. I say deliberately that it is the job of all Members of Parliament to take this view. It is most essential that it should be clearly recognised up and down the country that we must have a defensive alliance which is in defence of our national interests and of democracy at one and the same time. It is very important that the Government should at no time give the impression that they do not believe in that themselves.
Here I should like to turn to those hon. Members who have made it appear as though the point about N.A.T.O. and the ideas behind a defensive alliance are not serious matters. It is very important that we should accept as a simple fact of the present situation that the Government's conduct in the last four months has given the impression, not only to people in Portugal—and that matters a great deal—but to all sorts of members of the United Nations that, first, we are holding back in trying to do our utmost to get the United Nations involved in the Angola situation, and, second, that we are hesitating in pronouncing our disapproval of what the Portuguese Government have done.
The Lord Privy Seal gave us a very interesting piece of information this afternoon about the visit of the Foreign 1515 Secretary to Portugal. He said that the Foreign Secretary went to Portugal mainly to discuss the situation in Angola. If that was the main purpose of his visit, then the Government should have abstained from any other action in any other sphere—under the Ministry of Defence or any other Government Department—which weakened the hands of the Government if they wanted to intervene. If we could not expect the Foreign Secretary on the day of his arrival in Lisbon to give a Press conference condemning the Portuguese Government's action, Her Majesty's Government should have surrounded his visit by such declarations in the United Nations and elsewhere which made it clear that the Foreign Secretary was not going to Portugal to approve the policy pursued by the Portuguese Government. The Government have failed to do that.
It would be wrong of the Government to underestimate the strength of feeling which has developed in this country about this matter. It is to the great honour of our people that so many of them, of all parties and of no political party, have been deeply stirred by these events. As hon. Members know, we have had difficulty in getting this debate arranged. There was unreasonable reluctance on the part of the Government to agree that it should be held immediately, as they should have done. But we were able to get the debate in the end because the Government knew that in this matter we speak for the vast majority of this nation.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Denis Healey (Leeds, East)
The House this afternoon has been debating one of the great issues of our time. It is a human tragedy on an appalling scale. Tens of thousands of men and women and little children—white as well as black—have been killed like cattle in the last few months in Angola and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes into another country by fear or hunger.
It is not only a human tragedy, it is also a major political tragedy, a tragedy even greater than that of the Congo. I suggest that in a sense it is a tragedy of the most classical type, a tragedy of pride, because at the root of the trouble in Angola at present is the complacency 1516 —thick as a rhinoceros's hide—which the Portuguese Government have shown over policy in Angola during the past fifty years at least and, in particular, during the last ten years; an absolute certainty shown throughout all the moving history of nationalist revolution in Africa that, "It can't happen here."
It is remarkable to reflect that, even now, President Salazar, who has been occupying supreme power in Angola for over thirty years, has never once visited Angola. We all know that the Portuguese Government have absolutely refused, even in principle, to recognise that Angola might ever become self-governing. They have absolutely refused in principle and practice to accept the fact which we must all accept these days of African nationalism. I cannot help feeling that even ten years ago Portugal might have moved in time to prevent the tragedy which now confronts us all. Instead of that, she allowed a flood of poor Portuguese immigrants to go to Angola. She attempted to retreat from assimilation, tightening the screw just at the moment when all over Africa people were beginning to realise, reluctantly or not, that the wind of change was irresistible.
It is not surprising, particularly in view of what happened in the neighbouring territory of the Congo, that, finally, the situation in Angola exploded with the terrible consequences we know. I only hope that others still in Africa, other white communities, will recognise the lesson of the situation in Angola because, if they do not, the tragedy we now see in Angola might be repeated in the next five, ten or fifteen years in South Africa, or even in Rhodesia.
I think that the key to the difference between the Opposition and the Government in this debate—and I regret that, in a sense, it has become a party disagreement, for I am sure that there are some hon. Members opposite who feel the same as we do and would have expressed themselves very much as we have today—is that we recognise that the Angolan situation is having a traumatic effect on feeling and opinion throughout the continents of Africa and Asia. We must accept the fact that for those in Africa and Asia who have heard what is happening now in Angola it is something as important and as terrible 1517 as what we used to hear about in Europe under Hitler, fifteen years ago. If half the stories which have come out of Angola through missionary sources are true, of crimes committed by the Portuguese authorities there, they are essentially the same in nature as those for which Eichmann is now being tried in Jerusalem.
That, as the Lord Privy Seal knows very well, is not an exaggeration. In a situation like this, in which we have the Angola tragedy with its repercussions throughout the world, the attitude of Her Majesty's Government is one of the greatest possible importance. None of us on this side of the House denies that the Lord Privy Seal and other members of the Government have a human concern for the tragedies which have occurred in Angola in the last few months. We do not accuse them of indifference, but we accuse them of a lack of imagination and sensitivity. We accuse them—as Dr. Payne, presenting the position of the British Council of Churches, did when he spoke to the Foreign Secretary—of a grave misjudgment of the situation which is fatal in the modern world. We accuse them, arising out of this insensitivity and lack of imagination, of showing a false sense of political priorities in the way they have conducted themselves throughout this unhappy business.
I cannot help feeling that the Lord Privy Seal in his speech this afternoon was a perfect example of the weakness in our Government. The prim, bureaucratic approach which he adopted towards this problem was exactly what we complain about in the conduct of the Government as a whole. There was the total failure to appreciate the conditions which produced the events in Angola which started with the African rising in February. The picture that he drew of the recent history of Angola was a superb example of the age-old Conservative theory of history in which riots and revolutions arrive unexpected out of a blue sky and usually as a result of foreign agitation.
There was a total failure to appreciate that when men kill other men, women and little children—as undoubtedly some of these African terrorists did in February—they do so because they are reacting to a whole com- 1518 plex of social, political and economic circumstances. Unless we can understand the basic social and economic conditions which have produced those terrible events we shall have no hope whatever of escaping from them.
§ Mr. Heath
I think that the hon. Member is being less than fair. If he listened to the whole of my speech he would know that in my introductory remarks I said that from the point of view of disturbance Angola was quiet until the particular disturbances in Luanda on 4th and 5th February and I went on to cite two particular cases. In a speech in a short debate of this kind one could not go over the whole colonial policy of Portugal. I specifically said that there were disagreements about colonial policy. The second part of my speech I devoted almost entirely to the thesis that what is at stake is not "outside interference" but the wave of nationalism in Africa today. That is what has to be dealt with in Angola.
§ Mr. Healey
I do not think that anyone who listened, as I did, to the speech of the Lord Privy Seal will feel that the summary he has given represents the background of the speech. What I complain of is that never once did he refer to the main root of the problem, the system of forced labour which has been going on for fifty years and which has meant that half a million people have been working every year under guns and whips for a few shillings a week. I complain that the Lord Privy Seal did not deem it even worth while to refer once in the whole of his speech to that system of forced labour. That, to my mind, was a very good example of the basic lack of sensitivity which the Government have shown in dealing with this problem.
The fact that we must face as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Ham, South (Mr. Elwyn Jones) said, in a very impressive speech, is that the Africans have had no possible escape from those terrible conditions except through violence. I could not help feeling that the whole of the speech of the Lord Privy Seal was in a sense an apologia for the behaviour of the Portuguese Government during the last few months. I do not deny that one could detect some signs of discomfort, but they were 1519 quickly suppressed and offset by consistent twisting of facts in favour of the Portuguese authorities.
I will give one or two examples. The right hon. Gentleman gave the impression that the only atrocities in Angola were those by Portuguese civilians outside Government control in the weeks immediately following the African rising. He must know that that is not true. He knows perfectly well that from the moment of the rising Portuguese troops came in and the Africans were systematically terrorised, there was imprisonment and killing of Africans and the taking of hostages and the burning of villages. These facts led to the mass exodus of 100,000 people to the Congo.
The right hon. Gentleman suggested that the Portuguese Government have condemned the reprisals carried out by civilians. I cannot find a single example of such condemnation and nor could he when he was questioned. What we have found is that two months after the rising took place there was a statement by the Portuguese Army Minister when saying farewell to young Portuguese recruits going to Angola:We are going to fight savages. We are going to fight wild beasts, wild beasts who are not Portuguese because they obey orders from international Communism. We are face to face with terrorists who have to be fought as one fights wild beasts …It is no good the right hon. Gentleman trying to ride off on the pretence that this was an irresponsible remark by an unknown civilian. It is characteristic of the official policy of the Portuguese Government throughout the emergency.
Yet meanwhile, with these terrible things happening in Angola, the Lord Privy Seal seems to think it quite right that our relations with Portugal should go on as if nothing was happening in Angola at all. He justified the call of the British warships as falling into what he called the "normal pattern of visits". Cannot he really see that this is not a normal situation and that for the whole normal pattern of visits to proceed in this situation is to give a completely false impression of the attitude of the British Government and people? His whole approach to this matter and the approach of the Government is one of "business as usual"—business in more senses than one.
§ Mr. Heath
While the hon. Gentleman continues to distort my speech I must continue to interrupt him. I was dealing with the point made by the right hon. Gentleman and saying that these things were purely coincidental, which was something he seemed to find difficulty about accepting. I pointed out that this was part of the normal pattern of arrangements and had been arranged long before. The question was whether we should cancel it.
§ Mr. Healey
The Lord Privy Seal has demonstrated once again his total failure to recognise the point which Her Majesty's Opposition is making and which has been made again and again by the British Council of Churches. We say that these visits should have been cancelled. We have said that again and again in the House. It is the insistence of the Government to act as if nothing had happened in Angola that we are castigating.
The Lord Privy Seal went on to say in his speech this afternoon that the Government intended to continue to supply Portugal with its "reasonable N.A.T.O. requirements" in armaments. How do they decide what is reasonable in a situation in which almost the whole of the Portuguese Army is not manning the N.A.T.O. front in Europe, but is in Angola carrying out this policy of repression?
The right hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest that there was some type of weapon which was good for killing Russians, and this we would provide for the Portuguese, and that there were other types which were only good for killing Africans. Is the right hon. Gentleman telling us that we have not sent to Portugal in the last few months—and are not still sending—bullets which could be used to kill Africans just as easily as to kill Russians—and are being used now to kill Africans? The Government have set a precedent by giving details of British arms shipments once before in recent history, as the right hon. Gentleman was reminded at Question Time today. He would be doing a great deal to ease the disquiet in this country if he would give details of our arms shipments which are going to Portugal at the present time. Until he gives those details we shall continue to believe that the British Government are supplying 1521 Portugal with the arms which Portugal is using to kill Africans in Angola.
It is perfectly true that the Government have made a few modifications in their policy in the last few weeks. But, again, the complaint which one must make is that all these modifications of policy have been furtive and surreptitious which has robbed them of all political or moral meaning. I dare say that perhaps we intend to go on delaying indefinitely the refitting of the two frigates, or, at any rate, so long as the Angola crisis persists. I dare say—indeed, I fervently hope—that we have not only postponed the military exercise in Portugal, but have cancelled it. If this be the case, let the Government say so. If it is not the case, do not let the Government pretend to the people of this country and to the world, that they are in any way modifying their policy towards Portugal because of what is happening in Angola.
The trouble about the present policy of the Government is that we have given not only the world a false impression of our attitude. We have given Portugal a false impression of our attitude. I referred earlier to the complacency with which the Portuguese Government have approached the problem in Angola over the last fifty years. There is no way of puncturing that complacency without speaking plainly and forthrightly in public as, in fact, the Prime Minister spoke in South Africa to the South African Government about the wind of change. We are asking that the Government should speak plainly in the same spirit to the Portuguese Government about Angola, because the way in which Her Majesty's Government are behaving at present is deeply discouraging to those people, and they do exist in Portugal, who are working for a change in Portuguese policy in Angola.
I cannot help feeling that the fulsome hypocrisy of the remarks of the Foreign Secretary in Lisbon must have been profoundly discouraging to the 73 Portuguese democrats who recently published a letter condemning the régime. The refusal of a visa to Captain Galvao, a man who risked the loss of his job to fight this policy, must have discouraged anybody else who might have attempted to follow the lead which Captain Galvao gave.
1522 All we get from the Lord Privy Seal is a lot of prating about an ancient alliance, the Portuguese alliance. He often forgets that the alliance lapsed during the Second World War, at a time when perhaps we might have needed it most. I suggest to the Lord Privy Seal that it is no use talking about what happened in the fourteenth century. The Government does far too much of that. We must look to the future and not at the past.
Mr. Spaak and Lord Montgomery have both said—rightly, in my view—that the basic problem facing the West today is the problem of winning the confidence of the African and Asian peoples. This is where the Government's policy over Angola, and its lack of imagination and false sense of priorities, is doing us irreparable damage. We think that their conduct regarding the Portuguese policy is not only discouraging the forces working for a change of policy inside Portugal; it is not only undermining support for N.A.T.O. throughout Europe where it is needed most, it is also smudging the image of Britain throughout the world.
I hope that the Minister of State will show some sign that the Government appreciates the deep concern felt on this issue by the overwhelming majority of the British people. Since the hon. Member for Wimbledon (Sir C. Black) referred to the British Council of Churches, I think that I cannot do better than to quote the words of Dr. Payne when he spoke to the Foreign Secretary the other day. What he said we on this side of the House believe profoundly and sincerely:We believe that the voice of Britain should be very clearly heard on this issue and that if it is not we shall forfeit the already shaken confidence of the African peoples and have failed in the humanity and compassion which, as a Christian nation, we profess.
§ 6.47 p.m.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign Office (Mr. J. B. Godber)
We have had a fairly short debate on this important subject and I shall not have time to deal with all the points which have been raised. I will seek to cover as many as I can.
I think that the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) was a little unfair to my right hon. Friend in some of the comments which he made. I shall seek to touch on some of those aspects 1523 of his speech during my remarks. It seems to me that in replying to this the Government should lump together certain criticisms which have been made. The points made by the Opposition appear to fall into several fairly well-defined categories. The first is criticism of Portugal's colonial policy in general and, incidentally, of her form of government at home as well. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition made a point of that in his speech. The second criticism is of the harsh and vindictive repression carried on in North Angola. Thirdly, there is the criticism of Britain for not denouncing both Portuguese policy and Portuguese repression. And, fourthly, there is criticism of Britain—[HON. MEMBERS: "The Government."]—of Her Majesty's Government for continuing with their N.A.T.O. obligations to Portugal and for a number of visits by units of Her Majesty's Forces and by Ministers after the Angola tragedy had developed. Those are the four major categories into which the general criticisms fall. I will try to deal with them separately.
On the first point, that of criticism of Portugal's colonial policy, a number of hon. Members have implied that Her Majesty's Government have not made their position plain on this. I think that the best way in which I can deal with that point is to remind the House of what Ministers have said on this matter over the last two months. I should like, briefly, to quote one or two of the comments which have been made in this House. I will quote first a sentence from my own speech during the foreign affairs debate on 18th May. I said:We regret the present difficulties, and do not disguise from the Portuguese Government that our colonial policy is quite different from theirS."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th May, 1961; Vol. 640, c. 1585.][Laughter.] That was what I said, and I would have thought it a clear indication that we do not agree with their policy.
In the same way, my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal said on 28th June:As I have said to the House previously, we have made it plain that there is a difference between our policy and that of the Portuguese Government, that we deplore the loss of life and that we hope that law and order will soon be restored there …".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th June, 1961; Vol. 643, c. 437.]1524 That, again, is a clear indication. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Members may not like this. But it really is important that they should see exactly what has been said, because these are very clear expressions of view. They may not go as far as hon. Members opposite would wish us to go but they do indicate disapproval of these policies.
The Minister of Defence said:We do not agree with Portugal's policy in Africa.… We have not condoned what is happening in Africa.… We have always made it plain, and I make it plain again now, that this does not imply that we agree in any sense with the colonial policy of the Portuguese."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th June, 1961; Vol. 642, c. 769–74.]
§ Mr. Healey
Would not the Minister of State complete this list of quotations by quoting the Foreign Secretary's words in Lisbon, that their doctrine, like ours, is based on respect for human personality and that we both reject racialism?
§ Mr. Godber
I was just going to quote my noble Friend, who said in another place last week:Certainly neither I nor any other Minister of the Government has given any impression that we condone any policy which leads to atrocities."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 26th June, 1961; Vol. 232, c. 811.]Those statements make quite clear where we stand.
As has been said repeatedly here, too, that our colonial record is perfectly well known, and we do not believe that our policy is misjudged or misunderstood in Africa on this matter at all. We have made this abundantly clear and I would have thought there was no excuse whatever for saying that we have not made our position abundantly clear.
On the question of Portuguese repression at present being carried on in Angola, my right hon. Friend made it perfectly clear today that there is very great difficulty in getting the facts on this matter. A great deal of condemnation has been uttered this afternoon in this House by hon. Members opposite. I think it is necessary to remember that there have been other statements besides some of those they have quoted. I am sure hon. Members saw a letter in The Times which appeared only yesterday from Mr. Stanton who put a very different 1525 complexion on the matter. I shall not read it all, but it says:Innocent and unsuspecting, like most victims of terrorism, they were mutilated, disembowelled, hacked to pieces.There was this provocation in the first place. Some hon. Members have admitted that, but at least we must remember that this was the position and that steps were taken by Portuguese civilians. There was also a statement in the Daily Telegraph yesterday which developed this point and pointed out the difficulty which the Portuguese authorities initially had in controlling the actions of their civilians, and that they have now improved this position.
I have a telegram here from the Consul-General in Luanda dated yesterday from which I will read a short portion:I believe that the majority of the crimes committed by the Portuguese were the work of armed civilians and that far from condoning them the authorities did their best to stop them. In the earlier stages they were however prevented from taking effective action to that end partly from lack of sufficient police and troops and partly from fear of precipitating clashes between the white population and the security forces. With the arrival of reinforcements from Portugal the situation has greatly improved and there is little doubt that the army is having a good influence.[Interruption.] This is a factual report from our representative in Angola and it is entitled to the respect of this House. He also said:There is also a good deal of evidence that a large number of Africans have been and continue to be killed by rebels for refusing to join forces with them and for protecting their European masters' lives, families and property.
§ Mr. Healey
Is it not the custom when Ministers quote from telegrams or State papers to publish the whole of the dispatches so that hon. Members may judge from their totality and not just pieces?
§ Mr. Speaker
I think that is not right. It has to be an official paper. I do not think that this is out of order.
§ Mr. Godber
On the point which the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) was on, I think he challenged my right hon. Friend for having said that we had no information today whereas last week he said we were receiving reports. In fact, the point was that we had no detailed information, first-hand information, from Northern Angola. These are the best reports he has been able to achieve in Luanda itself. And he is far nearer to the facts than we are here. He is shortly going to the northern areas and will himself have an opportunity of seeing. This is, in fact, the latest information we have from him and I thought it right to give it to the House.
On this whole question of information, I think it should be clear that the Government are not answerable for the Portuguese Government about their actions. Nor are the Portuguese obliged to give us detailed information about individual incidents or allegations which do not concern our nationals. We are, after all, dealing with a territory of which Portugal is the sovereign Power and we are just not in a position to make inquiries and investigations. I hope that when we get the report from the Consul-General, after he has visited the areas himself, we shall have a clearer picture of the general position.
I have already dealt with the question of criticism of Britain not answering for Portuguese policy. On the second aspect, that of Portuguese oppression, it is clear that we have no full picture. And the quotations I have given show how possibly one-sided is the general impression which the Opposition have painted. Of course we deplore needless killing or ruthless repression whenever they may occur. But we need to know much more about this matter.
On the other hand, we cannot say that the Portuguese forces have no right to take action to prevent Africans loyal to themselves from being butchered. While we believe that restoration of law and order can best be achieved in a climate brought about by the announcement of a programme of political advancement, we cannot deny the need to restore law and order. Any abdication of responsibility in this sphere by the Portuguese Government would lead to more bloodshed, not less.
1527 I turn to the last of my categories, criticism of the Government for continuing their N.A.T.O. obligations and visits of forces to Portugal. My right hon. Friend has dealt with these already. I want only to remind the House of the main function of N.A.T.O. It is as an organisation of States in a defensive alliance for securing the members of that alliance against attack. The solidity of the N.A.T.O. Alliance is the bedrock of our defence policy. It may be argued that the resignation or expulsion of one small country from that alliance would not weaken it in any material way. I do not hold that view, quite apart from the fact that I think such a step would be quite unjustified.
No State has left N.A.T.O. since its inception. If the essential unity of the alliance were disrupted in this way it could have incalculable effects on its future solidarity and on the existing confidence between the member States.
§ Any such step, however small its military implications, could have the gravest political repercussions. It could have no possible effect on events in Angola. Certainly it could be a source of satisfaction behind the Iron Curtain. If Portugal, therefore, is a N.A.T.O. ally then we must continue to co-operate with her fully in all N.A.T.O. requirements.
§ In a brief summing up of a short debate like this it is possible only to deal with the major issues involved. Inevitably in a matter in witch emotions can readily become engaged, a number of sweeping statements have been made. I have sought to limit myself to the facts as they are known to us. And on the facts, for Government actions in this difficult matter I feel entitled to ask for the support of the House.
§ Question put, That this House do now adjourn:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 225, Noes 309.1531
|Division No. 243.]||AYES||[7.0 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Jeger, George|
|Ainsley, William||Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)|
|Albu, Austen||Evans, Albert||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Fitch, Alan||Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech(Wakefield)|
|Awbery, Stan||Fletcher, Eric||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, s.)|
|Baird, John||Forman, J. c.||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)|
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Bence, Cyril||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)|
|Benson, Sir George||Galpern, Sir Myer||Kelley, Richard|
|Blyton, William||George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)||Kenyon, Clifford|
|Boardman, H.||Ginsburg, David||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.|
|Bowden, Herbert w. (Leics, S.W.)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. p. C.||King, Dr. Horace|
|Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)||Gourlay, Harry||Lawson, George|
|Bowles, Frank||Greenwood, Anthony||Ledger, Ron|
|Boyden, James||Grey, Charles||Lee, Frederick (Newton)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Grimond, J.||Lipton, Marcus|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Gunter, Ray||Loughlin, Charles|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||McCann, John|
|Chapman, Donald||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||MacColl, James|
|Chetwynd, George||Hannan, William||Mclnnes, James|
|Cliffe, Michael||Hart, Mrs. Judith||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hayman, F. H.||Mackie, John (Enfield, East)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Healey, Denis||McLeavy, Frank|
|Cronin, John||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)|
|Crosland, Anthony||Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Hilton, A. V.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Holman, Percy||Manuel, A. C.|
|Darling, George||Holt, Arthur||Mapp, Charles|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Houghton, Douglas||Marsh, Richard|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Mellish, R. J.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Deer, George||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Milne, Edward J.|
|Delargy, Hugh||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Diamond, John||Hunter, A. E.||Monslow, Walter|
|Dodds, Norman||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Moody, A. S.|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Morris, John|
|Driberg, Tom||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Mort, D. L.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Moyle, Arthur|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||Janner, Sir Barnett||Mulley, Frederick|
|Edelman, Maurice||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Neal, Harold|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip(Derby, S.)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Timmons, John|
|Oliver, G. H.||Short, Edward||Tomney, Frank|
|Oram, A. E.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Oswald, Thomas||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Wade, Donald|
|Owen, Will||Skeffington, Arthur||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Padley, W. E.||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)||Warbey, William|
|Paget, R. T.||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)||Watkins, Tudor|
|Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W)||Small, William||Weitzman, David|
|Parkin, B. T.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Pavitt, Laurence||Snow, Julian||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Sorensen, R. W.||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Peart, Frederick||Soskice, Ht. Hon. Sir Frank||Whitlock, William|
|Pentland, Norman||Spriggs, Leslie||Wigg, George|
|Plummer, Sir Leslie||Steele, Thomas||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Popplewell, Ernest||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Prentice, R. E.||Stonehouse, John||Willey, Frederick|
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Stones, William||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Probert, Arthur||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John||Williams, Ll. (Abertillery)|
|Randall, Harry||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. H. (Vauxhall)||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Rankin, John||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Reid, William||Swain, Thomas||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Reynolds, G. W.||Swingler, Stephen||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Rhodes, H.||Symonds, J. B.||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||Woof, Robert|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Taylor, John (West Lothian)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Robertson, John (Paisley)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Ross, William||Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Royle, Charles (Salford, West)||Thornton, Ernest||Mr. Redhead and Dr. Broughton|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Clarke, Brig. Terence(Portsmth, W.)||Gower, Raymond|
|Aitken, w. T.||Cleaver, Leonard||Grant, Rt. Hon. William|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Cole, Norman||Green, Alan|
|Allason, James||Cooke, Robert||Gresham Cooke, R.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Julian||Cooper, A. E.||Grimston, Sir Robert|
|Arbuthnot, John||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.|
|Ashton, Sir Hubert||Cordle, John||Gurden, Harold|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Corfield, F. V.||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Balniel, Lord||Costain, A. P.||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)|
|Barber, Anthony||Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Craddock, Sir Beresford||Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Barter, John||Critchley, Julian||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Batsford, Brian||Crowder, F. P.||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Cunningham, Knox||Harvie Anderson, Miss|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Curran, Charles||Hastings, Stephen|
|Bell, Ronald||Currie, G. B. H.||Hay, John|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Dance, James||Heath, Rt. Hon. Edward|
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Bidgood, John C.||Deedes, W. F.||Henderson-Stewart, Sir James|
|Biggs-Davison, John||de Ferranti, Basil||Hendry, Forbes|
|Bingham, R. M.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Hicks Beach, Maj. W.|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Doughty, Charles||Hiley, Joseph|
|Bishop, F. P.||Drayson, G. B.||Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||du Cann, Edward||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)|
|Bossom, Clive||Duncan, Sir James||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount|
|Box, Donald||Eden, John||Hobson, John|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Elliot, Capt. Waller (Carshalton)||Holland, Philip|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Elliott, R.W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Hollingworth, John|
|Braine, Bernard||Emery, Peter||Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John|
|Brewis, John||Errington, Sir Eric||Hopkins, Alan|
|Bromley-Davenport. Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Hornby, R. P.|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia|
|Brooman-White, R.||Farr, John||Howard, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives)|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Fell, Anthony||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)|
|Bryan, Paul||Finlay, Graeme||Hughes-Young, Michael|
|Buck, Antony||Fisher, Nigel||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Bullard, Denys||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Foster, John||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Burden, F. A.||Fraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)||Jackson, John|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||James, David|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Gammans, Lady||Jennings, J. C.|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Gardner, Edward||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Gibson-Watt, David||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Glover, Sir Douglas||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Godber, J. B.||Joseph, Sir Keith|
|Chataway, Chistopher||Goodhart, Philip||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Goodhew, Victor||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Gough, Frederick||Kerr, Sir Hamilton|
|Kimball, Marcus||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Lagden, Godfrey||Noble, Michael||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Nugent, Sir Richard||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Leather, E. H. C.||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Speir, Rupert|
|Leavey, J. A.||Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Leburn, Gilmour||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Lilley, F. J. P.||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Lindsay, Martin||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Sumner, Donald (Orpington)|
|Linstead, Sir Hugh||Partridge, E.||Tapsell, Peter|
|Litchfield, Capt. John||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Peel, John||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Percival, Ian||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)|
|Longbottom, Charles||Peyton, John||Teeling, William|
|Longden, Gilbert||pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Temple, John M.|
|Loveys, Walter H.||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby||Pilkington, Sir Richard||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Lucas, Sir Jocefyn||Pitman, Sir James||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Pitt, Miss Edith||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|McAdden, Stephen||Pott, Percivall||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|MacArthur, Ian||Powell, Rt. Hon. J, Enoch||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|McLaren, Martin||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Prior, J. M. L.||Turner, Colin|
|Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute&N. Ayrs.)||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|McMaster, Stanley R.||Pym, Francis||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|Maddan, Martin||Rees, Hugh||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Maginnis, John E.||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Walder, David|
|Maitland, Sir John||Renton, David||Walker, Peter|
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hon. Sir R.||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas||walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek|
|Markham, Major Sir Frank||Ridsdale, Julian||Wall, Patrick|
|Marlowe, Anthony||Rippon, Geoffrey||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Marples, Rt. Hon. Ernest||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Marshall, Douglas||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Webster, David|
|Marten, Neil||Robson Brown, Sir William||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)||Whitelaw, William|
|Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Roots, William||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Ropner, col. Sir Leonard||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Mawby, Ray||Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Russell, Ronald||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Scott-Hopkins, James||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Mills, Stratton||Seymour, Leslie||Woodhouse, C. M|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Sharpies, Richard||Woodnutt, Mark|
|More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Shaw, M.||Woollam, John|
|Morgan, William||Shepherd, William||Worsley, Marcus|
|Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn|
|Nabarro, Gerald||Skeet, T. H. H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)||Mr. Edward Wakefield and|
|Colonel Sir Harwood Harrison.|