HC Deb 26 November 1970 vol 807 cc595-6
16. Mr. Peter Archer

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he is satisfied that all United Kingdom military aid to Portugal by way of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is being used for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation purposes and not for the suppression of resistance movements in Portuguese colonies; and if he will make a statement.

20. Mr. Judd

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether he will review the methods used by Her Majesty's Government to fulfil their policy towards the use of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation arms in the Portuguese territories of Africa.

Lord Balniel

I am satisfied that arms supplied by the United Kingdom to Portugal are used to meet her reasonable requirements as a N.A.T.O. ally. Arms are not provided to Portugal either by or through N.A.T.O.

Mr. Archer

It would be ungracious not to welcome that reply, but can the Minister say what assurances have specifically been requested of the Portuguese Government, if any, and what answers have been received, if any?

Lord Balniel

I think that that is another question, but the practice of Her Majesty's Government remains that initiated by the previous Administration. We supply arms to Portugal in accordance with her needs as a N.A.T.O. ally, but we do not approve applications for the sale of arms and military equipment for use in overseas Portuguese territories.

Mr. Wall

Is it not a fact that Portuguese territories of Africa have been invaded from Commonwealth countries such as Zambia and Tanzania, and that every country has the right of self-defence?

Lord Balniel

I entirely agree with the last comment made by my hon. Friend, but I think that it widens the scope of the Question.

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