HC Deb 25 July 1967 vol 751 cc324-5

Q10. Mr. Shinwell asked the Prime Minister if any request was made by the King of Jordan for arms in his recent conversation.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

Would my right hon. Friend tell us what the King came for? If he did not come for arms, did he come for money? Was the visit about refugees, or is it highly confidential? May we know what was the purpose of his visit?

The Prime Minister

The talks were confidential, but, as my right hon. Friend will know, very many Heads of Government and Heads of State come for discussions in this country without asking for arms, and quite a lot come without asking for money. The talks with His Majesty the King of Jordan were extremely valuable. They were mainly about the immediate position in the Middle East and what possible steps forward might be taken, and, very naturally, a good part of the discussions was concentrated on the vital issue of refugees.

Mr. Grimond

Can the Prime Minister say what instructions have been given to the Government arms salesman about the sale of arms to Jordan or Israel?

The Prime Minister

The position is exactly as stated by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on the last occasion that he answered Questions about arms shipments. The arms embargo was lifted for the reason which I stated earlier this afternoon. All proposals for shipments are considered on their merits at the highest level within the Government. It is not a matter for the so-called arms salesman.

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