HC Deb 01 May 1968 vol 763 c1107
49. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what military transport has been used by his Department to facilitate the movement of supplies to the Federal Government of Nigeria since the outbreak of the civil war in 1967.

Mr. Healey

No Service aircraft or shipping has been used for this purpose. There has been limited use of Service motor vehicles within the United Kingdom for the movement of supplies to docks and airports.

Mr. Goodhart

Is the Minister aware that there is increasing anxiety in this country about the provision of large quantities of arms for a conflict which appears to be degenerating into a massacre of civilians?

Mr. Healey

I appreciate the great anxiety which exists on both sides about this tragic conflict in Nigeria. The hon. Gentleman will recognise that my right hon. Friend the Commonwealth Secretary is in touch with many Commonwealth countries and with the Commonwealth Secretariat to see if anything can be done to bring this tragic and unnecessary conflict to an end.

Mr. Rose

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the continued supply of arms not only detracts from Britain's rôle of mediator in this conflict but leads to a prolongation of the war? Is he aware that these arms are being used mainly to bomb the defenceless civilian population? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]

Mr. Healey

With respect to my hon. Friend, the report that bombs have been supplied to the Nigerian Government is untrue and has been repeatedly denied by Her Majesty's Government.