HC Deb 27 July 1961 vol 645 cc599-600
Q2. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister what types of arms and equipment are now being exported to Portugal because they are suitable only for use in the fulfilment of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obligations.

The Prime Minister

As the House has recently been reminded, it has been the practice of successive Governments not to reveal details of arms supplied to other Governments.

Mr. Driberg

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this Quest ion arises out of an assurance given to the House recently on behalf of the Government? Without detailing the equipment, can the right hon. Gentleman really assure us that there is no item of arms or equipment which could be used both for N.A.T.O. purposes and in Angola?

The Prime Minister

There are, of course, many types of equipment. We are trying to operate this in such a way as to carry out the undertaking given to the House.

Mr. Dugdale

Will the Prime Minister say what method there is of discovering that a weapon which could be used to kill the enemies of N.A.T.O. could not be used to kill Africans in Angola?

The Prime Minister

May I take, as an example, the two frigates which have just been sold?

Mr. Gaitskell

Would it not be both simpler and more honest to follow the example of the Norwegian Government and ban the export of arms and ammunition to Portugal?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I have made a statement to the House and I should like to assure the House that we are carrying it out in the way I said.

Mr. Paget

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us into which category the napalm bomb falls?

The Prime Minister

I should like notice of that question and whether they have ever been asked for or delivered.