HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 cc24-5
27. Mr. Christopher Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to promote an arms embargo against any Middle Eastern country rejecting the Security Council's unanimous peace proposals.

Mr. Godber

There is no evidence that the major suppliers would agree to impose an embargo of the kind proposed by the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Mayhew

Nevertheless, there is evidence that for some months the Americans have withheld arms supplies from Israel until a more positive attitude is shown to the admirable Rogers proposal. At the same time, there is evidence that the Russians have refused deliveries of offensive weapons of the Phantom type to Egypt. Are not these hopeful signs and might not the Government, perhaps with the French Government, try to develop them?

Mr. Godber

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that there are certain hopeful signs here. We should like to see the latest American initiative, which we support, go further. We should like to de-escalate in some way. Our job is to work within the four-Power group, and this is what we are seeking to do.

Mr. Wilkinson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the heavy losses incurred by the Israeli Air Force from the surface-to-air weapons supplied by the Soviet Union, and the increasing danger these missiles cause to their air operations?

Mr. Godber

Yes, Sir, we are aware of the way in which, on both sides, these weapons have created greater problems in recent months. We should like to see a reduction in these weapons, and this is why I gave the answer I did earlier.