HC Deb 25 January 1971 vol 810 cc23-4
10. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether Her Majesty's Government will seek to raise at the Security Council, as a threat to world peace, the continued aggression by foreign-based and foreign-supported guerilla forces against Portuguese and other territories in Africa.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Anthony Kershaw)

No, Sir. Her Majesty's Government deplore the use of force wherever it may occur, but are of the opinion that these guerilla activities cannot be said to constitute a threat to world peace.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Republic of Guinea provides at least eight operational bases for P.I.G.C. attacks on Portuguese Guinea? Is this not aggression under international law, and also contrary to the U.N. Charter and the Charter of the O.A.U.? Is my hon. Friend satisfied with this double standard operating in favour of a dictatorship whose cruelty is now apparent to the whole world?

Mr. Kershaw

I do not think that my hon. Friend would expect me to comment on what he says about bases of which we have no knowledge.

Mr. John Fraser

Would the hon. Gentleman also deplore the existence of the Portuguese racialist regimes in Africa, which do constitute a long-term threat to world peace, because they involve the suppression of one race by another?

Mr. Kershaw

I also have nothing to say to that. The question of the emancipation of colonial peoples is one for the colonial Power, and we must have regard to their sovereignty.

Mr. Russell Johnston

Although I agree entirely on the desirability of the emancipation of colonial peoples, would the Government seek to make some representations about the trials which have taken place recently in Guinea, the results of which many of us have been horrified to read in the Press this morning?

Mr. Kershaw

I am afraid that I have no information except what I, too, have read in the Press. I also think that it would probably be counter-productive for Her Majesty's Government to make representations, which could probably be better made by other African Governments to the Conarkry Government.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

What is the attitude of the Government towards the report of the United Nations Committee set up for the specific purpose of looking into the invasions of Guinea, which concluded that they had certainly been supported by Portuguese armed forces?

Mr. Kershaw

We accepted the report of the investigating committee, but we abstained on the vote because the Resolutions went far beyond what we considered the facts in the report actually justified.