§ 3.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Wilson
(Huyton): This debate on the Adjournment enables the House to deal with the issues raised in the Official Opposition motion tabled last Tuesday. Clearly the fact that the Portuguese dictator is now in London means that our repeated demand that the Government should cancel the invitation is already bypassed by events, but the fundamental issue remains, and the House cannot escape responsibility for deciding it tonight.
I must make one thing clear at the outset. The Labour Party's categorical objection to this visit was declared months ago. It was not a belated response to these latest revelations of Portuguese atrocities. It was a condemnation of the whole lifestyle of Portuguese Fascism at home and repressive colonialism abroad. As we made clear, the reports last week led to our renewed demand of cancellation. They did not affect our repeatedly stated view that the invitation should never have been made.
266 There is nothing wrong in celebrating a centenary if we are clear about what we are celebrating. In ordinary circumstances a little nostalgia about past history is not out of place. If nothing had happened more recently it might even have been agreeable to join in recalling the diplomatic and marital manoeuvrings associated with the dynastic claims for the throne of Castile in the stormy 1370s and Britain's involvement through the marriage of John of Gaunt with the daughter of Pedro the Cruel, the mutual exchanges through the century of wool and wine, the flowering of the alliance in the lines of Torres Vedras and Corunna, and the conferment of the Marquisate of Douro on the British general in an Anglo-Portuguese alliance the against oppression.
It is pleasant to recall those associations but now we are forced to look at them through a glass darkened by more recent events Portugal—our ally in World War II? When her concept of the alliance could most kindly be described as unhelpful, at any rate until it was clear which side was winning: and even then there was the official Portuguese State mourning for the death of Hitler.
Nor has she any claim on Britain's hospitality, still less support, when we consider that Portugal, above all nations, has frustrated and sabotaged the sanctions programme against Rhodesia which Britain, under successive Governments, and the world community have enjoined. So, while the claims of nostalgia are slight, the odium of Portugal's record of colonialist oppression is overwhelmnig.
Last week there was the publication in The Times of reports of the most outrageous and bestial atrocities, revolting even in a world that has become inured to war and genocide. Those hon. Gentlemen on the Government benches, and their supporters outside, who, like the Prime Minister last Tuesday, have reacted with mock-righteous ideological passion to our demand that the visit be cancelled seek what we regard as an unworthy refuge in two characteristic evasions. First, it is argued, what warrant is there for supposing these reports to be true? Secondly, even if they do suggest circumstantial support for the view that they are true, why has there been so long an interval—seven months—between the alleged event and its disclosure?
267 On the second point, I remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that the atrocities at My Lai in South Vietnam took place in March 1968 and they came to light in November 1969, about 20 months after the event. No one now would deny that it took place, and that was in a country—South Vietnam—crowded with the world's journalists and camera crews. It was an atrocity that was perpetrated by a small number of soldiers of a free and democratic country, the United States of America, which has a questioning Press and a vigilant and free Congress—not, as in the Mozambique case, where the troops are the forces of a deeply-rooted Fascist régime, and it is a régime where there is not even a pretence of democratic institutions either in the metropolitan country or in the colony, and where there is a total suppression of Press freedom in both.
If it took 20 months for My Lai to come to the light of day in a country where there is a vigilant Senate, I do not think one can sustain the argument about the fact that it has been seven months in Mozambique. There has been no freedom of Press reporting in Mozambique—or in Angola—and no independent journalists free to observe and file their reports except under Army supervision. There were no camera crews as, for example, there were in both Federal Nigeria and the Biafran enclave.
The reports in The Times have been challenged, and we have to form our own judgment. Every right hon. and hon. Member has to do that. I believe that the editor, in a matter of such moment for international relations and standing in the world both of Portugal and Britain, would not have printed these reports, and at such a time, unless he had good reason to believe them.—[Interruption.] We are dealing today with a very important issue affecting the standing of this country. We are not dealing in the small change of the petty minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite.
These reports have been widely supported by other reports, again accompanied by a great amount of detail, circumstantial it is true, but circumstantial in the sense that, unless one asserts total and calculated dishonesty on the part of the priests and others concerned, 268 it gives a great deal of chapter and verse and goes beyond the possibility of rumour-mongering on second-hand and third-hand accounts. When the reports were published, in my statement, which I issued immediately, I said that the Prime Minister, unless they were immediately and convincingly repudiated, should cancel the visit.
The House must take into account, and every hon. Member must judge for himself, the supporting evidence, before and since last week, in the shape of reports and statements from the priests concerned, from Spanish missionaries, Portuguese priests, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty and other independent observers. There were, long before this, reports in the overseas Press of parallel atrocities in the Mucumbura region; of the arrest and imprisonment without trial of priests who carried documents and photographs of atrocities in the Tete area; of the burial by Burgos priests of the victims; of destruction bombing of peaceful villages; further evidence in support in reports from Madrid published last Saturday, of statements by priests, eyewitnesses, recently returned from the areas, and evidence of 31 Presbyterian clergy imprisoned without trial.
I referred just now to the two Catholic priests who have been held without trial for 17 months. This is not in question. They claim, and others support their claim, that they witnessed the alleged atrocities. On the BBC on Sunday a Portuguese information spokesman was asked why the priests had not been produced before now to say what they saw. The reply of the Portuguese spokesman is a classic. He said:Those priests have been imprisoned and they will have a fair trial in September, I think. They have been accused of collaborating with terrorists and we know of many facts and many cases that they did so.The Portuguese information statement was pre-judging the trial. There is nothing like a fair trial—we know of many facts and many cases that they did so.It is that kind of judicial morality and suppression of evidence for which hon. Gentlemen opposite will be voting tonight.
It is a matter for concern for this House that there are a number of independent 269 allegations of the participation of Rhodesian troops in these events, despite denials by the régime. Still more recently, reports of alleged atrocities in the village of Chawda were published in Sunday's Observer.
§ Mr. Robert Adley (Bristol, North-East)
Does the right hon. Gentleman believe that the attitude of the World Council of Churches is in any way relevant to the issue?
§ Mr. Wilson
I have not referred to it, but the short answer is "Yes".
On Saturday the BBC reported that five Spanish priests expelled from Mozambique earlier this year, who had pursued their calling in the area in question, have said that if they are allowed free entry into Mozambique they are prepared to justify to any impartial international investigating team the evidence about the Portuguese massacres provided that their personal safety is guaranteed.
Information about the events which were the subject of The Times reports reached Amnesty International from January onwards. In March, and again in July, the chairman of Amnesty International's executive, Dr. Sean Macbride, the former Irish Foreign Minister, wrote to Dr. Caetano asking whether he could meet the Portuguese authorities. His intention was to raise these matters and other aspects of the case of the imprisoned priests whose goal conditions, including 22 hours a day solitary confinement for 17 months, have been the subject of a report submitted to Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists—following an investigation that took place in the gaol—by an African lawyer of unimpeachable legal authority. The lawyer in question—I do not think that any hon. Member will impeach his authority; he is a most distinguished African—is Professor Barend van Nierkirk, Professor of Law at Natal University, Durban. I have his report. So has the Prime Minister. So has the Foreign Secretary. I invite the Foreign Secretary, when he speaks this afternoon, to tell the House that he will table this report from Professor van Nierkirk. It is highly relevant to the debate and the vote this evening.
270 Is it suggested seriously by hon. Members that all these statements are fabrications for some political purpose? Is it suggested that priests have been turned by some malevolent transmutation into professional perjurers? Is any hon. Member really prepared to rely—
§ Mrs. Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)
The right hon. Gentleman has referred to missionaries. Has he seen the letter in The Times today from David Vicars, the secretary of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel—hardly a Fascist organisation—in which he said that his own Missionary Societypublishes reports from its missionaries in Mozambique and while these are mainly concerned with the pastoral, medical and educational work of the Anglican Church, they also contain incidental tributes to the Portuguese for the manner in which they administer the country and for the efforts they are making to develop it in the interests of all its peoples.These missionaries also go throughout this area and can also see what is going on.
§ Mr. Wilson
I have seen the letter quoted by the hon. Lady and many other letters and statements.
It is a fact—I do not think that we shall convince one another across the Floor of the House in this way—that every hon. Member has the duty of satisfying himself from the information available not only in the last week but over the last 30 years.—[Interruption.] I have given my reasons, and if I had been there I should have been under military control the whole way and would never have got through.
§ Mr. Wilson
I have given way twice—not for long readings from The Times—and there are many hon. Members who wish to speak. I am sorry that I cannot give way to the hon. Gentleman whom I respect.
§ Mr. Wilson
If it is suggested—[Interruption.] Hon Members should deal with this matter seriously and not show their nervousness by shouting.
271 I was about to ask whether any hon. Member is really prepared to rely, instead of on what has been stated by priests on a number of occasions, on the word of a professional public relations representative of a Fascist régime, whose first attempt on British radio at repudiation began by denying the existence of the place that was mentioned and who later purported to tell the world where it was.
§ Mr. Wilson
Hon. Members may put their own interpretation of the events when they catch your eye, Mr. Speaker.
Even in the case of the investigation that was said to have been ordered by the Portuguese Government, announced last weekend—an investigation by the Portuguese Government, for what that would have been worth—yesterday we read that the Governor of the Province is said to have told British journalists that he had not heard of the investigation, and today we read that the Portuguese Embassy spokesman in London said that Lisbon had asked the Governor only for a clarification, rather than for an official inquiry.
The Prime Minister should have insisted that before Dr. Caetano was feted in this country the Portuguese authorities should have agreed to an investigation by, for example, the Human Rights Commission, or the International Red Cross, or the Save the Children Fund, or a commission appointed by the Vatican or by the World Council of Churches—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—or any other body—
§ Mr. Wilson
I have given way twice and others are wishing to speak. Or, a commission appointed by any other body and in whose findings the world would repose confidence. But this has not happened.
The Government and those who support them do not, I trust, base their case on the argument that if these atrocities did take place we should still be prepared to welcome the Portuguese dictator to our shores.
Is the House to be asked to believe and to confirm in the Division Lobbies 272 tonight the propositions that the Fathers of Burgos and other Spanish missionaries, Portuguese priests, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty, jointly with the Committee for Freedom in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea formed a deep-laid conspiracy to fabricate evidence in order to harm the image of the Portuguese Government on the eve of Dr. Caetano's visit? The harm to Portugal's image is caused not by the distortions in the mirror which reflects it but in the reality which it reflects.
To save the time of the House from vain searches by hon. Members for other excuses and justification of the Government's position, I shall refer now to another argument put forward—[Interruption.] I am shouted at by the intellectual hon. Members sitting in the second row from the back on the Government side of the House. I should like to deal with this now. The suggestion has been made that a decision to leave Portugal in the contemptible state of moral quarantine she has earned for herself would equally mean the cessation of diplomatic exchanges with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe generally, or for that matter, with China, so that when we meet the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe or China—[AN HON. MEMBER: "Or Czechoslovakia".] I said "Eastern Europe", and hon. Members had better start to learn geography; Czechoslovakia is in Eastern Europe, even if hon. Members cannot find it on the map—so that when we meet them we do not meet them as an ally. Such exchanges, whether by Government, Opposition or any hon. Member or group of hon. Members, do not mean for any of us acceptance either of the nature of the régime in question or of acts in denial of human rights committed by that régime.
All of us have expressed our condemnation of the Berlin Wall, including the recent killing, oppression in individual East European countries and the treatment of Soviet Jews, generally and in individual cases, and sometimes hon. Members of all parties have pressed these observations when abroad, with very rough responses.
But the acceptance by both sides of the world and of this House of the doctrine of peaceful co-existence, and 273 bilateral and multilateral discussions between Governments and other representatives and parliaments, whether of Britain, the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Soviet Union, other Eastern European countries, or China, means that while we may abominate their political and social systems and they may abominate ours, the search for peace, for nuclear disarmament, for better understanding—and the purpose, too, of the European Security Conference—must go on. That is why we welcome the speech of the Foreign Secretary at Helsinki calling for much freer exchanges of all kinds and a much more open system in Europe.
These arguments do not apply in the case of this visit by the Portuguese dictator. They have nothing to contribute to the arguments either about security or about nuclear disarmament. [AN HON. MEMBER: "That is because Portugal is a small country."] But more than that. Unlike the countries that I have mentioned, Portugal is not only a treaty partner of 600 years' standing. She is a member of the Western Alliance, a member of NATO. I ask every hon. Member whether he can justify, in the terms of NATO, Portugal's behaviour. Every signatory to NATO asserted his determinationTo safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.That was the affirmation made by every signatory to NATO. Does one hon. Member believe that Portugal, whether at home or abroad, fulfils those requirements of membership of NATO?
§ Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow)
I am grateful to the Leader of the Opposition for giving way at this stage. Why, then. when he was Prime Minister did he not ask for Portugal's departure from NATO?
§ Mr. Wilson
On the contrary, we were extremely vigilant about her behaviour under NATO in relation to the transfer of NATO arms for use in Africa. No one, after what has been reported in these months, and not only in the past week, can possibly justify Portugal in NATO, nor for that matter can they justify the right hon. Gentleman feting the Prime Minister of Portugal last night.
274 In the absence, therefore, of clear and indisputable repudiation, not only of the alleged atrocities but also of other oppressive brutalities inherent in colonial policy, in our submission Portugal has no longer any claim to our support or to our welcome.
§ Mr. Wilson
I have given way three times already.
It is right that the House today should debate these matters. It is appropriate that since Dr. Caetano is here he should be left in no doubt of the strength of feeling which is held in this country—and not only Dr. Caetano. We are also debating the affront to that common heritage founded on democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, caused by the stubborn persistence with which the Government insist on going through with this visit to the bitter end.
Has the right hon. Gentleman, who is Dr. Caetano's host, has any hon. Gentleman who is contemplating voting against us tonight, any evidence, any confidence, that the Prime Minister can secure an assurance from his guest that today's speeches in the House of Commons will be allowed to be reported in the Portuguese Press tomorrow? Can we have any confidence of that? [Interruption.] I know that hon. Gentlemen would like some speeches made in this House today to be reported there tomorrow.
I feel that the House should draw a further conclusion from Portuguese policy and from the Government's ceremonial condoning of that policy. In this House we are proud—all parties—of Britain's post-war record of decolonisation. We have had differences between parties and Governments about pace and timing and sometimes about method. Our record has not been entirely free of unhappy, even deplorable events such as Hola and Nyasaland. Bat the vigilance of our parliamentary system and the freedom of our Press are such that any attempt to bury those events from public view and full investigation would never have been a possibility in a free country such as this.
275 Britain's admitted success in converting subject peoples into independent sovereign States is due, in my view, to three things. It is due, first, to the creation by successive British Governments of local indigenous legislative and ministerial councils with progressively more control over their own affairs. It is due, secondly, to the existence in this House, and indeed in another place, of men and women dedicated to the fight against the old imperialism. It is due, thirdly, to the total rejection by all parties in the House, in the process of decolonisation, of any discrimination on grounds of colour or of race. If there is one blot in the Commonwealth today, it is in a State under African rule, not under British rule, where racial discrimination is proclaimed and enforced.
§ Mr. Wilson
I would like the hon. Gentleman to follow this. I hope what I have said about our record of decolonisation is totally uncontroversial.
Against the British record we contrast that of Portugal—no democratic delegation of government in the territories, no free Parliament where Members can crusade for colonial freedom, and no acceptance of the right of democratic self-government.
Before I sit down I want to say this to the Prime Minister. [An hon. Member: "What about the evidence?"] I have already dealt with that. I hope that the Prime Minister now feels, after all he has heard and read this week, that there is more in the case I have presented today than he showed when he lost his head last Tuesday. We know the right hon. Gentleman to be quick to anger and not over-plenteous in mercy. One national paper referred to him as "bellowing with rage" about this incident last week.
What we would like to see and what perhaps some of the Prime Minister's own party would like to see is a situation in which he just once expressed the same anger on the other side. We would like to see him, just for once, bellowing with rage against white racialism—in Rhodesia, for example, against colonialism and, in today's context, against Portuguese policy in Africa.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Edward Heath)
I have spent the last eight years of my life fighting against racialism in this country.
§ Mr. Wilson
But not with the same vigour fighting against racialism in Rhodesia.
The Prime Minister once announced at his party conference in 1966 "a great divide" between his party and the then Government on Rhodesia. He cannot deny that. He made much of it for as long as it would run. There is, he will agree, no great divide on Rhodesia today. The only divide now, as he might be prepared to admit with experience, is, as we then asserted, in Rhodesia. But there is a great divide in the world.
§ The Prime Minister
The great divide is not a racial one. It was whether Britain was going to attempt a settlement by negotiation. Afterwards it was the right hon. Gentleman who then tried negotiation.
§ Mr. Wilson
The Prime Minister knows full well, and he can look up all the papers, that we had already started on the talks about talks before he made that speech—and he knew it. He then tried to make party capital out of it. That was after his party had split three ways on the vote on sanctions and just before his party voted for the rejection of the "Tiger" settlement. We would like still to see a little anger for once from the right hon. Gentleman on these African matters.
Our 19th century predecessors in this House were men who were not unimaginative or lacking in courage. They had to face the same sort of problems as we face today. When they saw—in Europe, in Italy, Portugal, Spain—the existence of oppressive and anti-democratic régimes, they were quick to decide, not only where the right course of action lay for Britain, but where British interest truly lay. In those days they were not deterred by any fear of guilt by association with those whom authority called terrorists. Garibaldi and the heroes of the Risorgimento, Kossuth in Hungary, the freedom fighters in the Ottoman Empire, the patriots who fought the Carlists in Spain, and the Miguelites in Portugal, were terrorists. They were terrorists because they could obtain freedom only by fighting.
277 Aneurin Bevan once said that where there was no democracy for counting heads, decisions would be taken by breaking heads. Britain, more often than not, in the last century was on the right side and was not afraid to face the taunt that it was supporting men who might be called terrorists.
Today I believe we are debating what, in another turning point in world history, Campbell-Bannerman castigated as "methods of barbarism". The highest national interests of Britain as well as the needs of the wider community a century ago dictated a Britain vigorously on the side of freedom. So today in a world where issues of freedom and self-government, but still more of race and colour, occupy the centre of the stage, what is both right and in our interest is, by every democratic and peaceful means, leading, as I hope, to international action to provide a cordon sanitaire around the shores of Portuguese African territories, to support fighters for freedom against their oppressors.
§ 4.20 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)
When the Leader of the Opposition succumbs, as he does frequently nowadays, to spasms of political opportunism— [Interruption.]— it is always possible to answer him immediately with his own words and his own actions. This is so today both about Britain's relations with Portugal and about visits by Prime Ministers or other Ministers overseas, in the context of massacres, proved or unproved.
On relations with Portugal the right hon. Gentleman had this to say in 1969:Portugal is, of course, an old and loyal ally within NATO. This does not mean that we support her policies in Africa ".-[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th February 1969; Vol. 777, c. 1117]
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
If hon. Members will await my next sentence I shall explain that that, too, is our position which has always been openly explained to the Portuguese. When on this matter the right hon. Gentleman censures us he censures himself. When he said that Portugal was an old and loyal ally the struggle between Frelimo and the Portuguese Army had been going on for years 278 and there had been bitter fights. The United Nations was passing anti-Portuguese resolutions and yet the right hon. Gentleman rose in this House and proclaimedPortugal is an old and loyal ally.Again, and more pertinent to the visit of Dr. Caetano, the right hon. Gentleman just now recalled My Lai. The right hon. Gentleman will remember that at the time of the first reports of events at My Lai he was about to visit the President of the United States. He had this to say of that affair and the question of whether such incidents were part of a consciously pursued policy:And to suspend judgment on that is neither cowardice nor moral evasion on our part … I do not regard it as the right reaction to what this is, an offence against decency, even of this magnitude, to jump to premature conclusions about a friend and an ally."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th December 1969; Vol. 793, c. 44.]That is our position too. [Interruption.]
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I shall finish the sentence and then give way to the hon. Member.
As I was saying, that is exactly our position. But what kind of intellectual agility is it which allows the right hon. Gentleman to make such an eminently sane judgment about himself and then denounce others who say precisely the same thing?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I am about to say exactly what the right hon. Gentleman said about these inquiries and then I will say what I think of this matter.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I shall ask one more question before I give way to the hon. Member. What in the circumstances of My Lai did the right hon. Gentleman do? He went to Washington. [Interruption.]
Will the Foreign Secretary accept from me that because my own Government were not always as clearly 279 forward in the fight against these people —[Laughter]—I realise—[Interruption.]— that that may be regarded as a funny sort of position to take—[Interruption.]but it is not funny, because some of us over the years consistently, day in and day out, have been arguing in this House that we should have nothing whatever to do with Fascist Portugal. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. Heffer
Will the Foreign Secretary now tell us whether it is right for a Government to have the sort of relationship as exists with Portugal, which is a country renowned for its massacre of people over the years?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I shall cite another case. There is no doubt that there was a large-scale massacre by the North Vietnamese at Hue. That did not prevent the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) from going to North Vietnam. On My Lai, the Leader of the Opposition was even more specific about the inquiry to which he referred. He said:it is not for us to carry out our investigation or to prejudge theirs."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th December 1969; Vol. 793, c. 42.]That is our position too. The right hon. Gentleman said that of the inquiry that might have been held in relation to My Lai. To have cancelled Dr. Caetano's visit—
§ Mr. Harold Wilson
I was referring to an inquiry which was to have been announced, to court-martial proceedings in the United States, which is a democratic country. Everyone had the right to be confident about the findings of that court-martial, and that confidence proved to be justified. It was held in a country where there was a vigilant Senate and a vigilant Congress. What assurances has the Foreign Secretary either that there will be judicial proceedings in respect of anything proved in Mozambique or that there is a democratic parliament to insist upon it?
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The right hon. Gentleman is falling into the same trap again. He is prejudging.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The right hon. Gentleman is saying that the Portuguese are incapable of holding an objective inquiry. I say quite firmly to the right hon. Gentleman that to have cancelled Dr. Caetano's visit on the basis of The Times article, which was at best questionable because it was at second or third hand, would have been to "jump to premature conclusions" and to prejudge a case againstan old and loyal ally".How can the right hon. Gentleman talk in this context of judicial morality? When people talk of hypocrisy the right hon. Gentleman cannot complain.
Neither the Government nor the Opposition know what happened in Mozambique at the time or the place mentioned in The Times article. Some priests have made an accusation of a horrifying and large-scale massacre. The bishop refuses to be drawn into the controversy. Other people who know the area have been unable to corroborate it and have cast serious doubts on the story. Frelimo, which might be thought to wish above all others to blacken the character of Portugal, was unable to corroborate the story of the massacre. From the reports of our own representatives in the area there is evidence of many clashes between guerrillas and Portuguese Army troops, but no evidence of anything on this scale.
§ Mr. Neave
My right hon. Friend will have noticed that I had great difficulty in interrupting the Leader of the Opposition. My right hon. Friend will be aware of the great esteem in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is held. He reported this morning that there is a refugee settlement 30 miles inside the Zambian frontier, 100 miles from Tete, where there are 3,000 Mozambique refugees. No reports of any massacre in that area have been received during the past 12 months on the Zambian side of the frontier.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The Leader of the Opposition said this afternoon that 281 everyone must make up his mind on the evidence. What I am saying is that there are certain statements made on one side but there is substantial evidence on the other, and the right hon. Gentleman does not seem to me to have taken that evidence into consideration.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
Leaving aside The Times articles for the moment, and leaving aside the Leader of the Opposition, to whom the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary has made a great deal of reference, does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is a big difference between a normal diplomatic exchange with any country of the world, with the Foreign Secretary or Prime Minister of that country coming for talks to this country and having an exchange of views, and a State visit, with the Palace laid on and junketings accorded, particularly for close allies? What is gained by having the latter treatment and not the former? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that very few people would complain if normal diplomatic exchanges took place between us and the Portuguese, the Russians, the Chinese or anyone else? What we object to is the State visit, with all the panoply that that involves. The political support implied is totally out of keeping with the feelings of the Government towards Portugal, and will be wholly misrepresented both in Portugal and throughout Africa.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
I must put the right hon. Gentleman right on one matter. It is not a State visit. It is one of those visits such as other visits where Communist leaders have gone to the Palace. [Interruption.] The reason why the alliance should be celebrated is concerned with NATO. I shall come to that shortly. I want to take up that matter specifically with the right hon. Gentleman.
The Portuguese have said that an investigation is being made according to their practice and that if hard evidence is produced the guilty will be punished. The right hon. Gentleman himself recalled Vietnam. There the massacre was proved. But he will also recall the wild statements made in the House at the time of the Nigerian civil war, later proved to be untrue. The right hon. Gentleman did not jump to conclusions then, and we should not prejudge now.
282 The House will have noticed that during his speech the right hon. Gentleman enlarged his ground from the motion, which referred to the massacre, to a general attack on Portugal's African administration. But when was this demand for ostracism of Portugal generated? It was not during the time when he was in charge of the British Government. For six years he was content to send his Foreign and Defence Ministers to collaborate with their Portuguese opposite numbers in the NATO Council. Only now, when Dr. Caetano is actually here, have the Opposition seen fit to stage a debate. They could have done it at any time in the past few months. They could have raised it in the foreign affairs debate and put their views on the visit to the test of a vote in Parliament. They did not do so. The conclusion is inevitable. They have deliberately sought the maximum embarrassment of the Government as hosts and Dr. Caetano as guest in this country.
§ Mrs. Judith Hart (Lanark)
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for giving way, but will he please withdraw something he has just said? It is a fact, verifiable by reference to HANSARD, that in the foreign affairs debate about two weeks ago the whole matter was raised not only from the Opposition back benches but from the Opposition Front Bench by my right hon. Friend the Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Goronwy Roberts) and myself, when we asked that the Caetano visit should not take place.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The right hon. Lady is right. She and the right hon. Gentleman raised the question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] Of course, in so far as I did the right hon. Lady or the right hon. Gentleman an injustice I withdraw that. But they had many parliamentary occasions to put down motions of censure and did not do so until now.
Only now does the Leader of the Opposition, as I understand it, say that Portugal should be expelled from NATO. He was asked the question on television the other night and answered "I think so, yes". The right hon. Gentleman did not pursue that policy when he was in power, when he could have acted. He accepted that we have a very real common strategic concern with the defence of the North Atlantic area, and that the 283 Portuguese seaboard is a very important part of it.
The facts of geography, which relate to Britain's security, do not change, nor does our mutual interest in trade. It has been suggested in certain quarters that our connections with Portugal are of little value to us. We have very considerable trade with Portugal. The value of our exports to Portugal in 1972 amounted to £114 million. That, for instance, is far greater than our total exports to the three countries of Eastern Europe which the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East is visiting at this very moment.
Presumably the Leader of the Opposition argues that Portuguese policies in Africa have got worse since 1970 and this explains to himself his radical change of view. But the fact is that, whatever view is taken of those policies, assemblies have been set up in Mozambique, elected on a common roll, with considerable legislative powers. There is in Mozambique today an assembly with a non-European majority.
I have told the Portuguese Government often that we disagree with their policy towards Africa. We have believed in granting independence to our colonies. There have been criticisms of the timing. Some say that we went too fast, others that we went too slow. There have been criticisms of lack of democracy in some of our previous colonies after the hand-over of power. But we took a conscious decision to grant independence in spite of the various risks, and I believe that that was the right policy.
The Portuguese policies are different, and the right hon. Gentleman has made a forthright attack on them today. But the question before us is not, after the right hon. Gentleman's speech, the African policies of the Portuguese but whether we should disrupt NATO and cast away the alliance with Portgual, and with it part of our own security, because we have a different concept of African policy from that of the Portuguese. A Labour Member shakes his head, but I understood his right hon. Friend to say that Portugal was no longer fit to be in NATO. The right hon. Gentleman said on the BBC that Portugal is outside the pale of civilised society. I do not know exactly what he means. Presumably he means that we 284 should have no contacts with her at ali— unlike Czechoslovakia.
The view of Her Majesty's Government is that we should not attempt to hide or disguise our differences with the Portuguese in Africa. I made that clear in Portugal as Foreign Secretary as long ago as 1961. But the Government believe that we should not throw away the valuable ties that we have with Portugal in a fit of self-righteous indignation based on no foundation of fact.
The Portuguese rôle in the security of Europe and the Atlantic Alliance is important. That being our position, and convinced opinion, it would be the height of hypocrisy not to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the alliance. This country must never allow foreign policy and defence policy to become matters of independent judgment and erratic change, still less political playthings.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has said that every hon. Member has a duty to satisfy himself on the evidence available to him. I am bound to say that he did so extremely quickly. The House today will have a double satisfaction. Hon. Members will be able to go into the Lobby against one who will jump on any bandwagon to gain a vote and in favour of a firm alliance which serves the interests and security of Britain, Europe and the Atlantic Alliance.
§ 4.41 p.m.
§ Mr. Frank Judd (Portsmouth, West)
There are some hon. Members who have over many years been pointing out consistently the significance of British involvement with Portugal, both within NATO and within Portugal's general policy. I begin by taking up the issue of the massacre which is now the immediate concern of the House. I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition on the unqualified way in which he has spoken out today, and before today, in condemnation of action which can be regarded only as a negation of all the principles which we believe to be worth while within the Western community.
We must recognise that it is a lamentable comment on the state of the media and on public concern in Britain that it takes reports of the severed head of a small child being kicked around as a football before we begin to give a matter 285 of this kind the urgent and serious consideration which it deserves. For many years some hon. Members have been advocating the need to discuss these matters in the House and publicly, but they have received little attention. That is because, for various reasons, the media have not found enough excitement and enough immediate drama in the situation to make it qualify for the type of attention which a minority believe it deserves.
It would be unfortunate if in our real and natural concern about the massacre we lost sight of the main issue. The massacre, however gruesome and however sad, is only a symptom in a long ongoing story. The evidence has been present for more than 15 years. I had the opportunity in 1969, together with some of my colleagues, to visit the Mozambique-Zambian frontier. In the course of that visit we were able to dig shrapnel and the fragments of Portuguese weapons from a Zambian village in which Zambians had been killed. They were weapons of standard NATO style which had been used in the prosecution of Portugal's campaign against Africans struggling for their freedom.
I hope that the House will realise, whatever the ultimate outcome of the independent investigations which we all hope will take place into this particular massacre, that the issue which we are discussing is far wider than any one incident, however serious such an incident might be.
There are several matters which we must bear in mind in the context of evaluating this episode. First, we must comment upon the entirely phoney nature of the sudden resurrection of an old alliance. We must think again of the 1939–45 war when we were struggling, at one stage almost alone, within Europe to maintain and protect democracy as we understood it. The position of our old ally at that juncture was at best ambivalent and at worst downright subversive in the support which it was surreptitiously giving to our enemies, in backing both sides at once. At the end of the war the flags on official buildings within Portugal flew at half mast when the news of Hitler's death was announced. Can it be said that that never marred the relationship between the Portuguese Government and the people of Great Britain?
286 We must also remember—this makes the situation at the moment quite ludicrous—that at the very time when we are welcoming the Portuguese Prime Minister to this country—with all the trappings of a State visit, even if the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs denies that it is a State visit—no one country has done more to sustain the rebellion against British constitutional authority and the Crown than the Portuguese Government. That Government have flagrantly and openly supported Ian Smith and his illegal régime in their determination to defy successive British Governments and the international community.
Further, we must recognise, when we evaluate the significance of Dr. Caetano's visit that it should be considered in the context of Southern African politics as a whole. It is undeniable that there is an economic, military and political alliance between the Portuguese Government, the South African Government and the illegal Rhodesian régime. The Government, as they love to do, have come to the House and said that if they are forced to have relations with South Africa that does not mean that they condone all the policies of the South African Government. That does not mean that they condone the racialist policies of the South African Government. It is, therefore, strange that we should be giving such a fulsome welcome to the leader of a country which, by its policies, is determined to shore up racialism and oppression in South Africa as well as in Rhodesia.
We must not forget the position within Portugal. Some of the immediate preoccupation with the news of the massacre which in recent weeks has taken up so much space in the Press and on radio and television may have resulted in the overlooking of the dire straits which confront people in mainland Portugal who believe in democracy and freedom. In Portugal, of course, there is no meaningful democracy or freedom as we understand it. There are no free trade unions. There is no free Press and there is no free parliamentary system.
No doubt I shall be told, as my right hon. Friend was told by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, that it is no good singling out Caetano and the Portuguese for special 287 condemnation. The question is asked "What is the difference between a State visit by Mr. Brezhnev from the Soviet Union and a visit by Dr. Caetano from Portugal?" There is every difference in the world. When Mr. Brezhnev comes here we know what the British position is on everything which is atrociously wrong within the Soviet system. We all know that Mr. Brezhnev comes here as the head of a country whose policies we do not support. We understand that it is the meeting between two heads of State on that basis.
I accept that part of the Government's argument that in the kind of world in which we live it is inevitable that we must have diplomatic relations with political systems of which we do not necessarily approve. But the difference between this and the visit by Dr. Caetano is that his comes in the context of the old alliance and of a supposed special relationship. It is used by the Portuguese Government in the same way as the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Portugal-namely, to suggest that we condone or even approve of Portugal's policies within mainland Portugal and within Portugal's African territories.
It is all very well the right hon. Gentleman saying to us-I always, in a sense, respect his personal integrity in these matters-that he takes every opportunity with his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to point out to the Portuguese régime that we do not support the policies to which it is committed. But what impact does that have on Portugal or on the world? What impact will that have if such things are said privately in conversations which go unreported in closed rooms? The overt expression of British opinion is a warm, rich and elaborate welcome for the Portuguese Prime Minister.
My right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition suggested in his argument that we were concerned with the self-interest of Britain in the sense of an enlightened long-term prospective. What is so disastrous about foreign policy under the present Government is that all the time we seem to be trapped in a narrow short-term preoccupation which fails to take into account the real challenges to humanity.
288 My final condemnation of Dr. Caetano's visit within the terms which I have used is that in Southern Africa a great confrontation is developing. None of us can say how long that confrontation will take fully to materialise. None of us can say what course it will take. All of us pray that it will not turn in the end into a ghastly blood bath. But we all must recognise that the confrontation is clearly there. It is between those who are committed to perpetuating unrepresentative, minority white racialist rule, whatever the trappings which may be put on it within Portugal—and sometimes the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) likes to tell us about democratic elections—
§ Sir J. Rodgers
The hon. Gentleman talks about racialist rule in these countries. Is he not aware that certain of the governors of these territories are coloured people? There is no racialism there. If the hon. Gentleman wants to go to one area in Africa where there is no racialism, he should go to Mozambique and Angola. I have been there, as others have, and I have seen it with my own eyes.
§ Mr. Judd
One could argue that the Bantustans in South Africa are not racialist. Indeed, the South African Government would argue that there is African majority rule in the Bantustans, but who would believe that South Africa is not a racialist State and that the African Governments of Bantustans were able to operate in freedom and were not in the end completely under the control of the white racialist régime?
We have to decide on which side we stand in this confrontation. Is it on the side of the emancipation of the majority of the people, or is it not? If we are not on the side of the emancipation of the majority of the people, then, apart from the fact that we may be undermining here at home the values which make our civilisation worth while by our obstinacy and blinkered approach to foreign policy, on the long-term view we shall be undermining our own economic self-interest, because ultimately the majority will triumph and we shall then be seen by them as those who were determined to stand by their oppressors until the last.
The hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) loves to plead the cause of Portuguese enlightenment in these matters.
289 When I look around the world, I notice that one of the characteristics of the international community in which we live is that those principles which are dear to the very basis of this House and to the very basis of our democratic society in Britain—freedom, tolerance, free communication in the Press—are under pressure on many fronts. I believe that this is the time for statesmanship on both sides of the House to explain to the British people that we must stand firm and seek every possible opportunity to emphasise our commitment to those principles which are the basis of our society.
What I fear is that the reception accorded to the Portuguese Prime Minister on this occasion is an indication that. in the final analysis, somehow or other our leaders do not recognise the challenges which are there to the things to which they subscribe and that in their short-sightedness they are prepared to take action which may in the end undermine the principles of freedom and liberty in our own society as well as in the international community.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)
Order. I hope that all hon. Members realise how many of them want to take part in the debate.
§ 4.54 p.m.
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
Whatever doubts there may be about this alleged massacre, there are no doubts about a massacre perpetrated shortly before my first experience of Portuguese Africa. This was as long ago as 1961. It fell to me to be the first Member of this House to tour Angola soon after that vast, peaceful and almost entirely undefended territory had been invaded from across the frontier with the anarchic Congo by the UPA—"Union of the Population of Angola"—terrorists of Holden Roberto.
There was no popular rising. There was a carefully planned series of attacks made simultaneously at widely separate places. When 1 reported to the House in October 1961 I described, correctly,… the biggest massacre of whites that has ever occurred in Africa, and that is something which has largely passed unnoticed in this House and in the Press of this country.Memory and indignation are selective. For example, everyone in this House 290 knows about Sharpeville. What exactly did happen at Stanleyville? How many thousands of people died in Burundi? There is a mental self-censorship of ideology which puts the shutters down.
I added in my speech in 1961:One incident, reported by more than one person, was of a settler put to death by being fed to a circular saw."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 31st October 1961; Vol. 648, c. 61–2.]When I was told that in Angola, I did not believe it, for these were not the Africans I knew. Then the story was given to Le Monde at a conference held by UPA in Leopoldville, now Kinshasa. The Le Monde correspondent reported that UPA leaders had told the conference that the settler and his wife and children were given to the circular saw. He reported that they had said it with broad smiles—avec un large sourire.
I bring this up now because I think we should know what sort of people some of the so-called "freedom fighters" are who are idolised by armchair revolutionaries and even clerics in this country. We should also reflect—and perhaps the Leader of the Opposition should do this, for he is as ignorant of warfare as he is of Africa—on what is involved in insurgency and guerrilla warfare. Atrocities are committed and reprisals are exacted. These are the terrible results of this kind of struggle.
I have seen evidence in Mozambique that Frelimo has undoubtedly murdered, tortured and kidnapped many innocent Africans of different races and colour. Of course it is the black Africans who suffer most in all these conflicts.
Nothing has been said in this House about the attack on St. Albert's Mission. What did Father Hastings have to say about that? One may think that the abduction of Christian African children is somewhat inappropriate among the recipients of subventions from the World Council of Churches. Is Frelimo outside the "pale of civilisation"—words which have been used by the Leader of the Opposition, as we were reminded by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary?
In 1961, rape, mutilation and massacre committed by drugged and bewitched Bakongo in Angola were answered by terrible reprisals from the settlers, and it took the arrival of the first Portuguese 291 regular troops in that almost ungarrisoned province—it certainly was not held by force—to put a stop to them. The Portuguese Army did so. Honour attended the conduct of its operations there and that, I believe, remains the spirit of the Portuguese Army.
I am glad that the Portuguese Government are rigorously to investigate this allegation. Such inquiries are for the sovereign power concerned. It is not for us to carry out an investigation or to prejudge theirs. Those are words of the Leader of the Opposition, when he was Prime Minister, about the My Lai massacre. He added:I do not regard it as the right reaction to what this is, an offence against decency, even of this magnitude, to jump to premature conclusions…. "-[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th December 1969; Vol. 793, c. 44.]In 1969, the right hon. Gentleman spoke of Portugal as being an "old and loyal ally within NATO". If he knew that to be the case then, does he not know that the alliance is as necessary today as ever it was? Do we not need to secure the Cape route? Certainly, the Labour Party in office thought so when they delegated increased responsibility to the South African Navy for the security of the Cape route. They understood in office the realities of the fact that the only ports and strategic positions in Africa upon which we could count in war are, apart from French Djibouti, either South African or Portuguese.
I do not see present any shadow spokesman for defence. Yet, when the Labour Government were in office they gave increased responsibility to the South African Navy. If we needed then the support of South Africa and of Portugal, we need it today. We need the Lisnave dockyards of Lisbon, which can take million ton tankers. We need the Sal airport, the objective of the PAIGC revolutionary movement, the "C" standing for Cape Verde islands, who assail Portuguese Guinea from Guinea-Conakry and Senegal. The alliance is necessary, and right hon. Gentlemen who might one day be responsible for the defence of this country ought to know it. That is why the centres of world subversion support Frelimo and all the revolutionary movements operating in Portuguese Africa and Iberian Portugal. The leader of the 292 Opposition told us that he wanted to place a cordon sanitaire round Portugal. He should then have told us what is his alternative strategy for this country and for the West.
Is the right hon. Gentleman perhaps thinking in his arrogance that he can impose his policy upon Portugal? Is he some kind of Brezhnev who would impose upon a Western ally the limited sovereignty "enforced in the Warsaw bloc? Does he think that he can dictate the internal policy of Portugal and the African policy of Portugal? What is the strategy of the Labour Party? Have they surrendered? On whose side are they in the struggle going on in the world today?
The right hon. Gentleman really scraped the barrel when he tried to smear Portugal with racism. That is ludicrous to anyone who knows Portugal or Africa. Ever since that half-English prince, Henry the Navigator, encouraged the intermarriage of white Portuguese and Guinean negresses—before that, there was inter-marriage between white Portuguese and Arabs—Portugal has been non-racial. The infant parliamentary institutions, both in the overseas States and provinces and in Europe, are multiracial.
When some of my hon. Friends and I recently attended the National Assembly in Lisbon—[Laughter.] The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) laughs. Does he not want to see the evolution of parliamentary institutions? Three of the most eloquent and interesting speeches that we heard came from black deputies, one from Bissau, capital of Portuguese Guinea, one from Lourenco Marques in Mozambique and one from Nampula, also in Mozambique. There is no colour bar in Portuguese Africa.
The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, who is to reply to this debate, I understand, has not sat in a café in Lourenco Marques where the waiter might be white and the owner of the cafe black. Nor has he been, as I have, in Portuguese Guinea and seen white or almost white soldiers clearing the bush to build an airstrip, commanded by a black Fula sergeant. This is the reality. It is interesting to us, but to the Portuguese it is normal.
The reason for much of this criticism of Portuguese policy in Africa is that 293 people in this country feel a little guilty. The Leader of the Opposition, and indeed my right hon. Friend, took pride in our programme of decolonisation, but in our hearts we know—we have men like General Amin to remind us—that a more gradual advance to self-government would have benefited the poorest, the most helpless, of Africans in the territories for which this House used to be responsible.
In December 1965, Mr. Julius Nyerere, the most ambitious nationalist leader in Tanganyika at that time, was at the United Nations. In reply to a question posed in the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly, he said that Tanganyika should be independent in about 10 years. In fact, it attained independence in 1961. The pace, we know in our hearts, was too fast—[HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] We know it, and those who dispute it, those who were quite happy to see—
§ Mr. Lyon
The hon. Member has just been criticising the Labour Party for failing to pay proper regard to what was going on inside Portuguese territories, which are very difficult for us to enter but to which he has easy access. I would make the same kind of criticism of him—that he has not been to Tanzania since independence and has not seen the enormous stability of that country and the enormous development of the Africans in it.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
I pay full credit to leaders in such countries, who, against terrible difficulties, which were our legacy, have done extraordinarily well. But my point is that they were ill-served. [Interruption.] If the hon. Gentleman complains about time being taken, I would only point out that he is taking up my time. The argument is the contrast with the more gradual approach of the Portuguese to the devolution of power to the African people.
If we had more humility, we might learn something from Portugal, who is showing Africa an alternative to that kind of self-determination, which leads either to white or to black supremacy.
294 The larger legislative autonomy now conferred in the Portugese territories, the granting of the title of State to Angola and Mozambique, show that further progress may be in a federal or even a "Commonwealth" direction.
But whatever the direction of the evolution it is for them to decide; it is for the Africans of all colours in the Portuguese territories to decide. They are entitled to our sympathy and our help in the establishment of new Brazils on the African shores of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
§ 5.6 p.m.
§ Mr. David Steel (Roxbourgh, Selkirk and Peebles)
The hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) is a consistent apologist for the Portuguese and other régimes in Africa. I will return to what he said in a moment, but first I shall take up two point from the speech of the Leader of the Opposition. He said there was nothing new in the demand of the Opposition that the invitation to Dr. Caetano should be cancelled. I accept that is the case. But from a parliamentary point of view it would have been more effective had we had this debate before Dr. Caetano came here. It would have been more constructive and might well have influenced the eventual outcome of his visit.
It is unfortunate that we are debating this so late in the day. Secondly, while I welcome many of the things said by the Leader of the Opposition I must agree that what was said by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr Heller) led many of us to remember questions put during the time of the Labour Government by hon. Members in different parts of the House about the discovery of NATO arms in the Portuguese territories and the bromide replies emanating from Ministers in that Government. Having made these two criticisms of the Opposition's case, in principle it is a case which I and my colleagues will support in the lobbies tonight.
As for the hon. Member for Chigwell, he must remember that the actual situation in Portugal is that it is a relatively small and weak economy with almost 50 per cent. of its national budget tied up in a series of colonial wars. Is that the lesson he wants us to learn from Portugal, as he said at the end of his speech?
295 It is tied up in a series of wars that it knows it cannot win—and that is the lesson which the Portuguese ought to be willing to learn from the experience of other colonial Powers in Africa. It would be a more constructive attitude in this debate if we were to consider—because the affairs of Portuguese Africa are rarely discussed or debated here—ways in which we, as allies of Portugal or as members of the European Community or the United Nations, can, at a multi-national level, assist Portugal to disengage from the territories in Southern Africa, what aid we might give, for example, by education, in the Portuguese territories, to advance self-government in the three territories which it controls at present.
We have to turn to consider the recent incident of the alleged massacre at Wiriyamu. The Foreign Secretary will understand when I use the phraseology of Scottish legal terminology and say that the case is not proven. That would be the right way of putting it, I believe. Equally, there is clearly a case to be answered. There is sufficient corroboration from different priests in Italy and Spain for a case to be answered. That is all we are saying.
I do not think we can accept from an undemocratic Government that some sort of inquiry by an army officer sent out to the area is in any way satisfactory. The least we are entitled to demand, if this visit is to proceed, is that the Portuguese Government should accept some independent inquiry into these serious allegations. Without laying down terms or dictating to the Government what the nature of the inquiry might be, there are many bodies, some mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition, which could conduct an independent inquiry outside the authority of the Portuguese Government, which is what is called for.
I want to answer the point made by the hon. Member for Chigwell about atrocities in other parts of Africa. Of course they have occurred, and on a much larger scale than this alleged massacre at Wiriyamu. That is true. But was it ever suggested that we should invite the Head of State of Burundi to this country and give him a banquet? Was it ever suggested that Labour or Liberal Members were apologising for the state of affairs in the 296 Congo? I do not recall that, and yet we have Members who apologise, explain away, or wish to disbelieve, any allegation made about the conduct of affairs in Portuguese territories.
The most important demand that ought to come from Labour and Liberal Members tonight is a demand for an independent inquiry by some impartial and internationally respected body into what has happened or is alleged to have hap-paned in Mozambique.
We must look at the situation in Portugal. We are seeing a growing number of migrant workers leaving Portugal and working elsewhere, particularly in the EEC countries. There is, therefore, a growing population in Portugal which is experiencing different living standards, which is experiencing what life in a free society can be like. These people return to their country. This is a hopeful symbol which could give rise to possibilities of future change.
There is nothing wrong with diplomatic contacts between Portugal and this country. The Foreign Secretary was wrong to refer to demands for ostracism of Portugal. I do not think that that case has been put at all. What we object to is that there should be a quasi-State visit. I am not sure of the subtleties between different levels of banquet in this country and if my terminology is incorrect I apologise. I find this quasi-State visit absolutely nauseating and unnecessary. More important, it is open to wide-spread misinterpretation, particularly in Africa, about where we stand ill relation to Portuguese policy.
In Southern Africa as a whole, in which I include South Africa, Rhodesia, and the Portuguese territories, there is a real danger that if we do not feel our way towards a peaceful transition towards African self-government we shall see that part of the continent of Africa developing rather like Vietnam. That would be a major tragedy, and suffering of a kind which may have taken place at Wiriyamu would be much greater. It is surely in the attempt to avoid that that we must make clear which side we are on. The great criticism of the Government's invitation to Dr. Caetano is that it muddies the waters and confuses the issue as to which side we are on.
§ 5.14 p.m.
§ Mr. Stephen Hastings (Mid-Bedfordshire)
I listened carefully to the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) and I certainly agree with him about one thing. He said at the beginning of a speech that a great deal of the effect which was hoped for on the Labour and Liberal benches in bringing this debate forward has been totally ruined by the timing. This shows it up for what it is. There is no question about that.
I am sure that the hon. Member's views on Africa are sincerely held. I hold views myself. I have been to Africa quite a lot and I have tried to visit both sides of what is I suppose the sad dividing line. I wish that he would do the same. Perhaps he has. I am sure that he would be welcome if he were to pay a visit to the Portuguese territories. I do not think that he or any other Member of this House would have difficulty. If he had spent an adequate period there, I cannot believe that, knowing him to be a fair-minded person, he would have made a speech like the speech he made today. What he said bears no relation to the situation as those who have tried to find out about it have seen it to be.
The debate has nothing to do with the Opposition's attitude to Portuguese policy over a long period. It was sparked off by a request for a debate under Standing Order No. 9 which was based entirely on the report of an alleged massacre and was immediately supported by the Leader of the Opposition. That is the reason for this debate. To pretend otherwise is false. There is a classic and well-established method of evaluation of intelligence or reports of any nature and it should be known to any ex-Prime Minister and to the editor of any major newspaper in this country. I am not at all certain that The Times has ever sent anybody to corroborate its story. Mercifully other newspapers have done so. When will The Times take the trouble to do so? This was a grave matter to report irresponsibly.
One must get the answer to three questions in order to make a serious evaluation. First, who is the real source? Clearly it is not the editor of The Times. Secondly, did he or they have access to the event? Thirdly, what were his or their motives in making the report?
298 The matter has been widely discussed in the newspapers and in the House and I do not wish to spend too much time on it, but we are here concerned with a priest who, as far as I know, has never been in Mozambique; who has a well-known anti-Portuguese record dating back to 1954 when he was writing strong articles against the Portuguese before the attack on Goa, and who has now reported a massacre in a place which no one has been able to find. He heard about the matter from priests living in Spain who have been reported to profess that they are principally engaged in anything which will embarrass the Portuguese Government. When, at their suggestion, the matter was checked with priests of the same order in Mozambique, they refused to confirm it and the bishop denied knowing anything about it. The only priest found in the area refused even to give his name. Not even Frelimo knew anything about it, otherwise that organisation would have exploited it. On that basis, what sort of evaluation can one put on the report?
We have had all this dishonest and provocative rubbish just before the visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal so that the Marxist and Communist rabble in this country can have a week of subsidised demonstrations. If this is the British Left, I hazard that there are even some hon. Members opposite who must feel very uneasy indeed, especially those who have been to Angola and Mozambique and whose reactions we know. Where are they? Why does not one of them speak up today?
What persuades hon. Members opposite that they know better how to deal with affairs in that part of Central Africa than a nation which has administered it and whose people have lived there for over 450 years? As to our own record in the past 20 or 25 years in Central Africa, on what do they think they or, indeed, any of us have to congratulate ourselves? On some things, yes, but what about the murderous régime in Zanzibar and the mess in Rhodesia? Are Opposition Members proud of General Amin?
There are two sides to this story, and it would be wiser of hon. Members opposite to contemplate what is really going on in Central Africa in more silence than they do, and to pay a little more 299 respect to people who may have a different view but whose record is open and there to see for anybody who wants to see it.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the views of many of my hon. Friends are not unique to people in the Leftward-looking half of the population of this country? Does he recall the words of Cecil Rhodes, who, in describing the rule of the Portuguese in Africa, said:They are a bad race and have had 300 years on the coast and all they have done is to bring a curse to any place they have occupied".
§ Mr. Hastings
If the Opposition's case rests on what Cecil Rhodes said, there are many quotations from Cecil Rhodes with which I could reply.
Of course I realise that the case against is not confined to Marxists, wherever they may be, in or outside this House. I know that sincere views are held, and we have heard some of them today. But my comments are justified, and what I have said about the performance of the Marxists should give cause for thought even to the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan), and I am sure that it does.
The administration in Portuguese Africa is by any comparable standards fair and, in some ways, highly imaginative. Its multiracialism, which has been mentioned more than once today, is a solid fact and is known to many hon. Members opposite. But if they are constantly subjected to armed attack the Portuguese are bound to react. It is astonishing that not more incidents have been reported—and I have some experience of the guerrilla war. If the populations of these territories were disaffected, miserable and terrified, as hon. Members opposite pretend, could it seriously be believed that these attacks could be contained by an army which is more than half local African? Of course it could not.
There is no doubt about who are behind the guerrilla movements. This is the reason for much of the lying and frenetic demonstrations from which we are suffering this week. Should Communism ever dominate in Central Africa, for how long do hon. Members opposite 300 think the black African States would remain? They would disappear overnight and liberty would soon be at an end,
By no stretch of the imagination is liberty in the world in general threatened by any despotism of the Right; it is overwhelmingly threatened by despotism of the Left. The malignant oppression in the Soviet empire and her subversive designs everywhere are a constant threat and should be a constant cause of shame to the free world. Yet hon. Members opposite condone it, keep quiet about it, and so frequently visit those countries that I cannot believe that they think that they are converting people on the other side of the Iron Curtain to liberty.
As far as I know, no one but the guerrillas are trying to escape from Portguese Africa. The movement is rather into Rhodesia, where the lucrative jobs are. But the walls of the Soviet empire are still marked after 28 years by barbed wire and machine guns, not to keep her enemies out, but to keep her subject peoples in. Despite what the Leader of the Opposition said today, what squeak did we hear from hon. Members opposite when people were recently murdered on the Berlin Wall or when they were shot on many previous occasions? Why was there no demand from them for an emergency debate if they cared about liberty'?
The Leader of the Opposition is not interested in any true struggle for liberty. He is simply interested in jumping on any bandwagon that will curry favour with his Marxist Left. That is why this debate is the most disgraceful and dishonest waste of parliamentary time that I can remember in 13 years.
§ 5.24 p.m.
§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon (York)
The hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) was in his usual form when talking about Africa. He told Opposition Members in caustic terms that we were hypocrites. He is the one who has consistently supported every racialist régime and every racialist action in Africa during the time that I have been a Member. He says that we believe the Africans when they tell us about their plight and we do not believe the Portuguese. He told us that we were wrong in our analysis of Rhodesia. He told us that it was only the Communist-led Zapu and Zanu who 301 were asking for freedom, and that the great mass of the African people in Rhodesia were settled and peaceful, and loved their white rulers. He must not be surprised, therefore, if I take with a little cynicism his analysis of the Portuguese territories in Africa.
The hon. Gentleman has an advantage over me. He has been to the Portuguese territories. It is a little more difficult for us of the Left to get into those territories. The hon. Gentleman claimed that some had been there, but unfortunately they are not here today. One wonders how they managed to get in. I have one advantage over the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire. He was talking about the kind of people who lead Frelimo, and their odious nature. He was talking about the double-dyed Marxist hue of those people. I knew Eduardo Mondlane, who set up Frelimo. He was one of the greatest men I have ever met. He was a man of enormous Christian conviction, who was convinced that only by violence could he free his people. He tried every other way before finally deciding that Frelimo was the only answer. He devoted his life to this work, and his life was put to an end by a Portuguese bomb.
§ Mr. Hastings
Clearly, my speech has displeased the hon. Gentleman and I am sorry about that, but I wish to make clear that I did not attach any of the adjectives he used to leaders of the guerrilla movement. I was referring to those behind them, which is a different matter.
§ Mr. Lyon
The hon. Gentleman must give them credit for being rational, intelligent beings. Marcelinos dos Santos, the Vice-President of Frelimo, was asked at Chatham House by the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Soref) why the guerrillas accepted arms from the Communists. De Santos said, "Because there is no one else in the world who will give us arms, and we must have arms to prosecute the struggle." None of them thinks that because they take arms from the Communists they will come under the control of the Communists. Where this pattern of events has occurred before in Africa there is no evidence that the Communists have maintained a solid foothold once independence has come.
If the guerrillas are to fight for independence, and if they are right in their analysis that violence is the only way 302 to get their independence, they must have arms. As no Government who arc friendly towards the Portuguese Government—as are the British Government—are likely to provide them with arms, and as no Government in the West are likely to be excluded from that category, where are they to look for arms, except to the Communist States? If we are to take sides in this issue, I am whole-heartedly on the side of the freedom fighters.
I have heard what the Foreign Secretary said this afternoon about the hypocrisy of condemning this visit and not condemning visits by Communist dictators. My hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, West (Mr. Judd) exploded that argument. The argument is not that we should not have relationships with such people. The argument is that a visit—albeit not a State visit—during which there will be celebrations, when we put at the disposal of the Prime Minister the Painted Hall at Greenwich—when was that last used for a visit?—when this Fascist leader of a Fascist State is brought to Buckingham Palace to have dinner with the Queen, has all the hallmarks of indicating not tolerance, not disapproval, but wholehearted approval of what those leaders are doing. When did a leader of a Communist State last go to dinner in the City with the Lord Mayor of London, and when did the Lord Mayor of London last turn to his guest and ask for his forgiveness because someone had said something rude about his State? Yet Lord Mais apologises for the allegations of atrocities that even at the highest remain unproven and in my view are clearly proven.
I am against this visit in any event. I have been against it ever since it was aired. The fact that allegations of atrocities have been made cannot be brushed under the carpet. Even at the highest, as the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) said, the allegations are unproven, and in those circumstances it was unwise for the Government to go ahead with the visit.
I find the allegations entirely credible. I was one of the group to which my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, West referred as having visited Zambia in 1969 to see the remains of a village that had been bombed and strafed by Portuguese fighters. The Portuguese 303 apologised to the Zambian Government for having gone over the border and strafed the wrong village. That shows the kind of warfare they were waging. They were strafing African villages which were no more than mud huts, with no evidence that they were occupied by supporters of Frelimo. They were strafing the villages willy-nilly, and that is why they went over the border.
The hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire asked how it could be said that the bulk of the African people were not wholeheartedly behind the Portuguese authorities. I can give him one argument why that cannot be said. For several miles back they have had to clear all the areas round the frontiers of Mozambique of inhabitants because they were helping Frelimo. Why is it that Frelimo, with all the difficulty of waging a guerrilla war, is now occupying most of the area of Niassa Province, most of the northern area of Cabo Delgado, most of Tete and the Cabora Bassa? The hon. Gentleman says, "Go to see it". They have to see it—armed convoys, with troops before and aft. In guerrilla warfare the guerrillas are not in open confrontation with heavily armed forces. They sink back into the bush and let them go through.
I remember that in 1971, when there was the campaign called the Gordian Knot", I read in the Economist that the Frelimo struggle was ended—that the Portuguese had thrown in all their armed might and had put an end to Frelimo. I cut out that article and took it with me to Tanzania. I showed it to Marcelinos dos Santos, the Vice-President of Frelimo. He read it with some astonishment and then laughed out loud. I asked him if it were true that the Portuguese had cut off the border and sealed it and he said, "Of course it is true". He said that the Portuguese first ran the heavy armour along, then came with earth-clearing machinery and cleared the area of land behind. They then came with troops and, behind them, heavy armour. He said that the guerrillas had rifles and that they could not fight heavy armour with rifles. He said. "We go out into the bush, they move through and we move in behind". He said that the Portuguese occupied the area of land which the earth-clearing 304 machinery was on at any given moment, but that once they had gone through the guerrillas occupied it again. That is the way in which the guerrilla war is being waged.
The real test is, to whom do the people look for education and welfare in their normal life? For a large area of Northern Mozambique they look to Frelimo, and that is why the World Council of Churches is assisting. For that reason I suggest that it was totally wrong for us to encourage the attitude of the Portuguese Government by this invitation and that we should ask Caetano to go home.
§ 5.35 p.m.
§ Mr. David Walder (Clitheroe)
I have heard some curious arguments in this Chamber today. One strain we have in our national life is that the British people have always objected—and this is a healthy thing—to visitors from foreign countries of whose régimes they have disapproved. The Barclays brewers once chased an Austrian general because he took part in the suppression of the Hungarians in 1848. The Czar of Russia went to Balmoral and while passing through one of the streets in Scotland was shouted at with cries of "Bloody murderer!" The Czar of Russia at a later stage became one of our allies. I think that this is a healthy tradition.
Where this tradition goes wrong is when we in this country try to object to internal régimes over which we have no control—internal régimes of countries who have come to their form of government by a very different history and by different processes from ours. The countries that are frequently singled out by Left-wing organisations for protest are Spain, Portugal and Greece. At present we have in this country an official though not a State guest from a country which is our oldest ally. I must confess that I do not attach a great deal of importance to the "oldest ally" argument. No doubt it was dictated at various stages by self-interest on both sides. Portugal tended to be our ally because Spain was our enemy, and there are some aspects of Portuguese aid to us in the last two world wars which, somehow, are still looking for an author to celebrate them.
305 The difficulty of the situation is that Greece and Spain, for example, have managed their own affairs in their own way, and it is fatuous and silly of us to think that in a debate in the House of Commons we can affect them. Portugal, however, operates in an area of Africa that is still colonial—and it is an area in which we must be very careful, because we are judged by our friends. What is the situation in regard to Russia? I do not attach much importance to what I call the "double standard" argument. It seems a curious compliment to one's guest to say, "We have entertained other people and they were just as bad as you."Certainly we shall not affect the internal situation in Russia by anything we say in this House. However, expressions of our opinion may affect Russia's treatment of her satellites—Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. This is the point when we criticise Portugal's colonial policy as we criticise Russia's colonial policy when Russia suppresses Poles, Czechs or Hungarians.
I turn to the alleged massacre. Massacres have been reported from abroad in the past, and there is a great conflict of evidence. There was once a dispute between Disraeli and Gladstone about the Bulgarian atrocities. I would not think that the mantle of Midlothian has descended on the shoulders of the Leader of the Opposition. 1 would, however, go along with him to this extent. I do not think one can dismiss the testimony, as one understands it, of a number of Catholic priests. On the other hand, this massacre took place at a place which it is impossible to identify on a map and the evidence from the lawyer's point of view is hearsay upon hearsay. It was published by a reputable newspaper no doubt with the best of motives, but it comes down to the old lawyer's quip that the basic argument is that it is mere hearsay evidence, but very powerful.
What am I to do in those circumstances? My judgment is suspended on this matter. I believe that the old Scots verdict of "not proven" would most fit this case. Inevitably, in the system that we operate in this country we are crushed into voting one way or the other. Frankly, I do not feel justified in voting on either side tonight, because my belief is suspended, as is my vote. I wish, however, 306 to record one other fact, and that is that I regard this whole matter as a wildly inappropriate matter for the House of Commons.
§ 5.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Andrew Faulds (Smethwick)
I wish to make only a brief intervention in this debate on the visit of Dr. Caetano, and I wish to stress only two aspects of it.
There has been some play on the Tory benches and in the popular appraisal of the reports that Father Hastings has broadcast to the world that it is only missionaries who are spreading these stories of massacre in Portuguese territories and that the missionaries concerned are suspect because they are supporters of Frelimo. There is only one direct riposte to that: that the poor Africans at the receiving end of the civilising attentions of the Portuguese in the territories are simply peasants whose existence is important to nobody except the peasants themselves, perhaps incidentally to God, and, strangely enough, through their concern for the spiritual importance of such lives, to the missionaries who labour unrecognised and unrewarded in the interests of such unimportant people as these peasants.
This is the very reason why these reports from Mozambique—and, indeed, scattered over the years, from Angola and Portuguese Guinea—have to be believed. The missionaries have no other concern in these territories than—misguidedly or not—according to their lights the dissemination of the Gospel of Christ and also of the truth about Portuguese actions in trying to contain the growth of African nationalism in these territories.
Then we have the work of such reporters—it is a pity to waste the time of the House on them, but this is the only opportunity we get to deal with the irresponsibility of the reporting of some sections of the British Press—as Bruce Loudon of the Sunday Telegraph, who try to discredit the heartfelt cries of the Spanish priests by the sort of irresponsible reporting that he indulged in from a point "south of Tete in Mozambique"․"setting the scene", of course. One can only disregard that report for the juvenile journalism that it is.
The very phrases of Loudon's report reek of the dead Kiplingesque attitudes 307 of Imperial yesteryears. [An HON. MEMBER: "Kipling-what?"] If hon. Members have not heard of Kipling, I shall recite some in the bar, later. I quote from Loudon's report:I rose at dawn yesterday, the fifth day of a search that has taken me through many thousands of miles of bush country…. Carefully we plotted co-ordinates…. I went at some personal risk on foot to an abandoned settlement….This was to set the scene for this great adventure in finding out the truth. He then says:I was even reduced to digging into the earth in search of bullet shells and studying the bark of surrounding trees for signs of bullet marks.Great stuff for a boy scout! I prefer the dreadful and detailed reportage of the Spanish priests to that piece of Boy's Own story-telling.
§ Mr. Faulds
The Spanish priests were there. Does the House doubt that the Burgos Fathers were in Mozambique?
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
The unfortunate thing is that the two priests on whose story this is all based were in gaol at the time and could not have been there.
§ Mr. Faulds
If my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) had been listening, he would have gathered that I was talking about not Wiriyamu but a series of atrocities—and those priests were witnesses to some of them. If my hon. and learned Friend will have the patience to listen, I shall come to one incident that they witnessed.
I prefer the dreadful and detailed reporting of priests to the Boy's Own story-telling of this Woodland Patrol writer which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph. What may he termed the innocence of this journalistic nincompoop perhaps is motivated by lack of concern or perhaps the perks of reporting for a quality newspaper. [Interruption.] There are perks for reporting quality newspaper stuff even when it involves this kind of rubbish. [An HON. MEMBER: "The Sunday Times"?] We are discussing reports in the Sunday Telegraph. This 'fellow was foolish enough to mention that from a point 308 south of Tete he went "under military escort", as if expecting the Portuguese military authorities to lead him obligingly to the spot of any of these massacres. One wonders, apart from his free use of words like "co-ordinates", whether this fellow can box a compass, such is his scanty knowledge of the territory.
He then talks of the Roman Catholic bishop of Tete, Don Cesar Augusto, who has shamed his cloth by his lack of courage in not abhoring these atrocities and by abandoning his priests in their exposed position and their reportage of them. All of this will come out, should some hon. Members think otherwise. Hon. Members will see how foolish they were to scoff this afternoon.
Mr. Loudon says of the bishop in his report:He had no telephone, but he made his position clear to a visitor whom he authorised to make known to me his rejection of the way in which the informants in Madrid had bandied his name about in support of their case.Apparently, this courageous spiritual leader does not approve of such atrocity stories leaking out from under his robes
§ Mr. Faulds
I am being offensive because a man in his position as a spiritual leader has a Christian duty to speak out against such massacres. If he fails to do so, then he fails his calling.
§ Mr. Wall
Does the hon. Gentleman recall that the bishop came into this when it was alleged in the second statement that he had flown over the area and told the governor of the province that unless he did something about burying the bodies he would take a spade and do it himself? He flatly denied this and said he was not even in Tete at the time.
§ Mr. Faulds
I realise he was not there. He was in retreat on the coast of Mozambique resting from his spiritual labours while these reports were going unnoticed by him, his first duty being to report them.
I dwell on this journalistic nonsense simply to underline the authenticity, the credibility and the Christian responsibility of the persecuted priests who cared 309 enough, as the bishop did not, to publicise these appalling stories of Portuguese atrocities. When it comes to credibility I place more emphasis on such missionary reports than I do on the colonial lies and misrepresentations of the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique, and of the excuses made by some Government supporters.
I beg leave to doubt even the honoured Portuguese army, with which we have had such long-standing connections and whose head we received, misguidedly, in Britain yesterday.
The second point I want to make is that it is not only Portuguese atrocities in Mozambique but, again from well authenticated reports from many sources, most of them religious, the actions of our kith and kin in Southern Rhodesia, whom some Government supporters hold so dear. The appalling repression of the Portuguese authorities has been backed up by the illegal régime and its leaders in Southern Rhodesia to the extent that they have mounted punitive attacks on villagers in neighbouring Mozambique whose main offence was that they were foolhardy enough not to accept the Portuguese directions to withdraw from their village life to the communal round-up of Portuguese fortified settlements.
Were all those children of a few months and all those teenagers detailed in the Spanish priests' reports Frelimo terrorists? Were all the women murdered in these atrocities—those who were pregnant and those perhaps fortunate enough not to be—also Frelimo terrorists? I sometimes wonder whether those Government supporters who back our so. called kith and kin in Rhodesia realise what they are backing. Do they condone Rhodesian raids into Mozambique, if these are proved to be true? Do they make excuses for these raids? Do they support the sadistic pleasure with which some colonial types—we have all met them—indulge their strange proclivities in this sort of nigger-bashing?
§ Mr. Faulds
The hon. Gentleman asks a direct question, and I shall give a direct answer. If those forays are in support of African nationalist movements, 310 I support them 150 per cent. Let us have no misunderstanding about that.
§ Mr. Faulds
Unfortunate things happen in war, including attacks on missions, but not this sort of genocidal activity which the Portuguese authorities have been up to in East Africa.
Do not Conservative Members who support Smith agree that in the whole of Africa and in the whole of the world support for such a régime and for such murderous practices stains the name of Britain and immensely lessens whatever influence we can play in the rapidly changing balance of power and the rising importance of some of the developing nations? Do they really wish us to become a sort of floating Portugal, known only for its economic impotence and the supporting of colonial attitudes which have withered and died everywhere else in the world? Is this the sort of Britain we want to see?
In terms of the Southern Rhodesian involvement in these matters, we in this House are responsible, because it was our responsibility to root out the illegal régime. It was our responsibility to introduce into Southern Africa some of the values we cherish so highly at home. We have failed to do that. What happened in Southern Rhodesia was the fault of the Labour Government, I admit. At the time I was not exactly kind in my references to the lack of activity. But it was passed on by our democratic processes to the Conservative Government, and this Government now compound the offence by the incredible insensitivity of inviting Premier Caetano to this country, to laud him with the honours of an official visit, representing as he does a régime which is guilty of mass murders in Africa and of massive political repression in its home territory of Portugal.
I am horrified that Government supporters do not share my feeling. I am appalled that any British Government in the latter half of the 20th century should have been crassly unaware—and I direct this particularly at the right hon. Member for whom I have some regard except in matters of this kind—of the damage that such an invitation and such a visitor could do and has done to the image of 311 Britain as a country devoted to the democratic ideal and, in its own case, highly responsible in getting rid of the vestiges of empire.
§ 5.53 p.m.
§ Sir Frederic Bennett (Torquay)
I wish to make two comments on the speech of the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds). I felt it was pretty rich that he complained about theatrical journalism and then engaged in a verbal torrent to an extent to which the Sunday Telegraph did not come near. Having begun his remarks by admitting that his attitude was that these accusations were not proven, he based every statement and every rhetorical question on the supposition that they were.
§ Sir F. Bennett
We must have some sense of logic. The hon. Gentleman's complaint against the unfortunate bishop appears to be that he should not have been on the coast when he was but, instead, in a non-existent place waiting for a hypothetical massacre to occur. That seems to be placing a fairly high duty upon the cloth.
I turn to the more important speech by the Leader of the Opposition—although in many ways it was more offensive than the farrago of nonsense to which we have just been treated. The Leader of the Opposition taunted the Prime Minister on the basis that on this occasion he wished only to show how objective he was, that he could bellow with rage about the alleged atrocities in Africa. I confess that the right hon. Gentleman is not much of an advocate for bellowing with rage in an objective way, judging from photographs which I have seen of him sipping imported vodka with his hosts in Czechoslovakia. Bellowing with rage is not the description that I should apply to the right hon. Gentleman's complexion as it appears in those photographs.
When challenged on the question why he did not go to Mozambique to see for himself, the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that if he did so he would be all the while under military control. I shall come to that point in a moment, but I would not, on other grounds, advise 312 him to go there for the time being. If the right hon. Gentleman cares to look at photographs in our newspapers, and at other photographs that will be forthcoming, he will see that there was a substantial demonstration in Lourenco Marques yesterday, made up of between 40,000 and 50,000 people, 80 or 90 per cent. of whom were black, incidentally. The placards that they carried were not in any way complimentary to the Leader of the Opposition. In fact, the wording on one of them was so offensive that the newspaper concerned declined to publish it. It was a word of two syllables and was extremely coarse in its nature.
The Leader of the Opposition would not have a very good time in Lourenco Marques if he went there at the moment. But it is a gross perversion of the truth to say that he would be able to go there only under military control. I can think of at least 12 Opposition hon. Members who have been to Mozambique and Angola as guests of the Portuguese Government to see the situation for themselves. In many respects they have come back to this House changed men. It would not be right for me to name them, because they are having an unpleasant enough time from their own bosses without my adding to their worries. But I mention one of them because he happens to be one of the inquisitors visiting the wrath of the Labour Party upon them if they choose to go to any function. I refer, of course, to the Opposition Chief Whip—the right hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish)—who had a pretty good time there. He left his family in Portugal and went on to Mozambique as a guest of the Portuguese Government, where he saw the situation for himself. I have no objection to his having gone, but I only wish that the right hon. Gentleman could make a contribution to this debate and say whether he was entirely under military control. He might also attempt to justify the attitude which says that it is all right for a right hon. Member of this House to visit Mozambique but wrong for an hon. Member to go to a dinner at Greenwich. It is difficult to tie the two attitudes together—
§ Sir F. Bennett
I do not think that I had better give way. We have only a limited time for this debate. I shall continue with my speech, if I may, because I am still dealing with the remarks that we heard earlier today from the Leader of the Opposition.
The right hon. Gentleman said that British de-colonisation, contrary to what the Portuguese were trying to do, had led to the creation and maintenance of stable legislatures and democratic government in Africa. I wish I knew to which countries in Africa the right hon. Gentleman was referring. It is a very short list, and it grows shorter every day. If the right hon. Gentleman seriously suggests that British de-colonisation in Africa has led to parliamentary democracy, he is even more uninformed than his most ardent critics think.
One of my hon. Friends said that the argument of double standards was not a useful one to adopt. It may not be in the context of the recipient of our hospitality, but it is extremely relevant in judging the genuineness of the Opposition's indignation. One hon. Member after another, including the Leader of the Opposition, has admitted that the alleged crimes are not proven. However, the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that until they were proven one way or the other we should not invite the leader of a Government to come to this country as an official guest.
It is less than a couple of weeks ago that I heard the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), who, unfortunately, is not here today, press the Government hard to invite Mr. Brezhnev to come here on an official Government or State visit, whatever the correct description might be. Surely no one doubts whether the crimes in his case are proven. In the case of the invasion of Czechoslovakia, is the crime proven or non-proven? Do we need an international investigation to know whether that took place?
Did the repression of the East German workers, when they revolted a few years ago, take place, or is it still non-proven? Is the oppression of the Jews, which is going on now, proven or non-proven?
The killings at the Berlin Wall, preventing people getting out of the Marxist 314 paradise into the capitalist hell, have gone on month after month, year after year. Only recently, soldiers who shot down women and children who were attempting to get over the wall were decorated for their gallantry. We did not have an emergency debate at that time.
Therefore, we can at once claim that when some of my hon. Friends and I put down a motion alleging double standards against the Leader of the Opposition and some of his colleagues we were more than amply justified. Indeed, every section of public opinion, including many hon. Gentlemen opposite, know that what I say is absolutely true.
Labour spokesmen have said, "We used to be friendly with the Portuguese, but we would not be friendly with them nowadays." Two attitudes have been displayed by the Opposition. There are those on the back benches who have said, "We never liked our Government being friendly with the Portuguese anyhow." At least they are consistent in their double standards. But then there is the official line which seems to be that things have got worse and that whatever a Labour Government may have tolerated this no longer applies.
I do not think that any of them, let alone not having taken the opportunity to study the situation on the spot, have taken the trouble to study the constitutional reforms that are taking place every month in Portugese African provinces. How many hon. Gentlemen have bothered to read about the percentage of ordinary African voters in the recent elections, about the size of the poll when it took place, about the registration and how it took place, and about the powers of those parliaments. I am willing to wager that not one hon. Gentleman has carefully worked out what those elections have achieved. To say that the situation in Portuguese provinces is more repressive now than it was 10 years ago is totally and absolutely untrue. The only thing that can be said is that certain forces, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) referred, are determined to make sure that law and order and decency do not obtain in Africa. Such elements have increased their efforts. That is the only change. Those who wish to subvert decency and 315 law and order are stronger than they ever were.
The Leader of the Opposition and other hon. Gentlemen opposite have tried to excuse their double standards by saying, "It is all right to insult your friends provided they are small enough. You must not upset the American Government. You must be statesmanlike over My Lai, but when it comes to a little country which is also your friend, then, boys, it is time to have your fun with insults." The argument is completely fatuous. They then say, "You must always be nice and have different standards and criteria for exchange of views, courtesies and visits with hostile powers, provided they are sufficiently large." That is the paradox to which we have been subjected today.
What we have witnessed in the last week with the Leader of the Opposition—I am not here referring to some of his outside left, to whom I have granted the right of consistency, though not of logic—is the old practice, when faced with internal troubles within the Labour Party, of seeking to divert attention to some bogus external matter. We are seeing our friendship with the Portuguese people being traded against the bargain of the non-nationalisation of 25 large companies.
§ 6.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Guy Barnett (Greenwich)
I shall not attempt to answer the complex moral arguments that have been pursued by the hon. Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett).
As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition said, we regard this as a serious debate, which inevitably has been coloured by emotion. I think there are two reasons for that. The first is the visit of Dr. Caetano himself and the second is the reported massacres.
I think that the least some 11.-in. Gentlemen opposite can do is to respect the fact that there are in this House and in the country at large a great number of people who find the Portuguese régime repugnant—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."]—it is not nonsense—and find the form of colonial rule pursued by Portugal in Africa utterly inhuman. These views, whether right or wrong, are sincerely held by thousands, if not millions, of people in this country.
316 If hon. Gentlemen opposite want evidence of that, they need only to have been present in the streets of London during the demonstration that took place on Sunday afternoon. [Interruption.] I know that some hon. Gentlemen opposite will apply any adjective they please. They can describe it as Marxist, Communist, or anything they like. If that is the way they wish to describe me because I took part in that demonstration, they are entitled to do so. But they are not entitled to doubt the sincerity of large numbers of people in this country who feel deeply hostile to everything for which Portugal stands and are insulted by the visit that is now taking place.
Some weeks ago, long before anybody had heard the name Wiriyamu, I received an invitation from the Prime Minister to attend a dinner at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, to be held in honour of Dr. Caetano. I replied to it as politely as I could, but I could not find it in me to honour that man. That is a different situation from the one to which the hon. Member for Torquay was referring.
Of course we need to talk to the Portuguese, the Russians, the Chinese or anybody else, but that is quite different from inviting Dr. Caetano to visit this country, honouring him and celebrating a so-called alliance that has existed over many years. It is that to which we object. That is why we believe it is a provocation to the British people.
During the demonstration on Sunday afternoon and the one that took place in my constituency last night, people behaved with an enormous degree of restraint and were extremely peaceful. There was a fine demonstration on Sunday afternoon. The demonstration that took place in my constituency last night was marred by a small disturbance, but nothing more than that. Indeed, 99.9 per cent. of the people demonstrated peacefully against something that they found abhorrent.
We are supposed to be debating Dr. Caetano's visit and its consequences. In this respect I think that someone ought to mention the strain that this visit has put upon the Metropolitan Police. That aspect has not so far been mentioned. The visit has two consequences. The first is the provocation that it has aroused among the British people and the second 317 is that, because of that provocation, many hundreds of policemen have had their leave stopped to control crowds upset by the visit. However, in view of the peacefulness of the crowds who have demonstrated against the visit, I think that the police have over-reacted. For example, I understand from the tape today that about 50 people demonstrated outside the Mansion House and that there were 100 policemen there—two policemen per demonstrator—eight of whom were on horseback. I think it was an unnecessary step for the police to take. It could have the effect of provoking people who would otherwise wish to behave peacefully.
§ Mr. Jeffrey Archer (Louth)
How can the police possibly know how many people are going to demonstrate?
§ Mr. Barnett
I have not spoken to the police, but I see no reason why they should not have maintained very much closer contact than they did with the responsible organisations which organised these demonstrations. The demonstration in Greenwich was organsied by the Greenwich Labour Party. It had no contact with the police prior to the demonstration, and the initiative that was taken came from the Greenwich Labour Party, and rightly so.
I do not blame the police. I recognise, as I am sure the hon. Gentleman does, the difficulties which they face in this kind of situation, but I hope that the Metropolitan Police have taken the message that these demonstrations, which are peaceful and responsible, are by people who feel sincerely and deeply that this visit is an utter mistake, that it is a disgrace that the Government allowed it to take place, that it is an insult to the British people, and that it misrepresents the views of many of them towards the kind of action that Portugal takes in Africa and the form of régime that she practices in her own country.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ Mr. Alan Haselhurst (Middleton and Prestwich)
It is undoubtedly the case that the alleged massacre has brought about this debate. There have been many previous opportunities for the Opposition to debate policy towards Portugal. There have been enough Supply Days in this Session, let alone in earlier ones, when 318 the kind of general expressions that we have heard today against Portugal's policies could have been voiced had it been thought that it was a sufficiently import. ant matter to debate in the House.
§ Mr. Haselhurst
It is, of course, the case that in general debates on defence points can be made about this, but we have today been led to believe that this is an extremely urgent matter and that it should be singled out for discussion. It has been singled out on this occasion, and one must assume that it is the alleged massacre that has caused that rather than any general feelings towards the Government of Portugal.
If it is more than the alleged massacre that has led to this debate, the Opposition must be asked why, when they were the Government, they took a different attitude towards the Portuguese Government and all their activities. It is reasonable for us to question why strenuous efforts were not made by the Labour Government to take Portugal out of the European Free Trade Area and out of NATO. From all the indignation that we have heard today, particularly from the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, one would have thought that no one could have been more strenuous than he was when he bore the responsibility for the conduct of affairs of the Government, in pushing to get rid of this supposedly obnoxious country from any association with which we were connected. But that is not what happened, and that is why hon. Members on the Government benches find it difficult to take from his lips the sort of remarks that we heard today.
The right hon. Gentleman having gone back as far as mentioning Portugal's mourning the death of Hitler—and this was mentioned also by the hon. Member for Portsmouth, West (Mr. Judd)—one would imagine that that had been rankling with him for some time. Why has it taken 28 years to come out in this fashion? If the right hon. Gentleman felt so strongly and deeply about the matter, one would have imagined that when he led the Government there would have 319 been far more action on his part against Portugal. One would have looked for six years during which there was a tale of embittered relations between this country and Portugal, but, on the whole, it seems that the right hon. Gentleman was in fairly harmonious relations with the Government of that country. It is, therefore, difficult for the right hon. Gentleman to attack the present Government for wanting to continue those harmonious relations.
If the occasion of today's debate springs entirely from the alleged massacre, one is surely permitted to say that it is a somewhat risky foundation for a wholesale condemnation of the Government's policy. It seems to me that that is rushing to judgment in the most irresponsible way. It is easy for Opposition Members to point a finger of fun at some of my hon. Friends who they think are overenthusiastic to defend the Government of Portugal, but, looking at the matter from this side of the House, it is possible to see a good deal of enthusiasm on the Opposition benches for rushing in to condemn Portugal. I do not see why the Conservative benches should be singled out for criticism in that way.
The justification for continuing to talk to the Portuguese Government—I do not admire that Government's policies within their own country nor agree with their policies in Africa—is the general one for maintaining talks with other nations. The world has reached the stage when it is generally recognised that one has to talk to people, even those whom one does not like in everything they do, because we now conduct the relations of the world in a peaceful manner. We are often urged in many disputes to promote talks. The Opposition often urge the Government to intervene in disputes of one kind and another in order to promote a reconciliation. I do not see why Portugal should be excluded, as it were, from a general policy of reconciliation, talk and negotiation.
British interests cause us to deal with all kinds of régimes which in many cases do not please us in any way. Geographically speaking, Portugal is a member of the European family, and surely we are entitled to hope that by exercising constant pressure on her we may one day be able to bring her more into the comity of European nations. Portugal is a trad- 320 ing partner whom we should not wish to lose, and in addition she is an ally in NATO.
Whilst we have to recognise, and I do, the question of Britain's standing in the world being affected by our continuing relationship with Portugal, we have also to recognise and put in counterbalance the protection of British interests in the world. From time to time that leads us into judgment where we say that, although we do not altogether rejoice in having to go along with certain things, it is in the interests of Britain to do so, and it is humbug for the Opposition to say that we can pick and choose as freely as they seem to want to do and then try to make out that hon. Members on this side of the House are condoning and supporting Fascism merely because we are prepared to talk to a country such as Portugal.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition referred to British interests. He said that the highest need of Britain was to establish a cordon sanitaire around the Portuguese territories in South Africa. That was an important policy announcement, and I shall be interested to hear more about how that will affect the policy of any future Labour Government towards South Africa, because in any cordon sanitaire the rôle of South Africa is important. Are we being invited in this general condemnation of Portugal to include a general condemnation of South Africa, and is it being said that a future Labour Government will sever relations not only with Portugal but with South Africa? If so, that stands in stark contrast to what the Labour Government did, and that is why we on these benches find the attitude of the Opposition Front Bench today difficult to take.
The question has been asked whether a visit at this time is something that should be contemplated, even though it may be accepted that there may be a continuing diplomatic dialogue. It would be unfortunate in its effects in another way were the visit to be cancelled on the basis of an unproven case that has arisen recently. We are talking not about a general condemnation of Portugal but about the recent allegation of a massacre. To cancel the visit on that basis does not seem a reasonable way for one State to act in relation to another.
321 I do not believe that it is right for the Opposition to condemn the action of the Government, to try to pillory the Government for their action in continuing the visit of Dr. Caetano on the extremely flimsy basis that they have done and a basis that is polluted by their own behaviour when in Government.
§ 6.20 p.m.
§ Mr. Peter Archer (Rowley Regis and Tipton)
It has been an argument running repeatedly through the contributions from the Government side of the House, and repeated again by the hon. Member for Middleton and Prestwich (Mr. Haselhurst), that it is wrong to condemn tyranny on one occasion if one has not condemned it on a different occasion; that one should not condemn tyranny practised by one group of people if one does not condemn it when practised by another group of people; that one should remain silent this time because one remained silent last time; and so the condonation of tyranny escalates.
As I understand the argument of hon. Members on the Government side of the House, it is that the Right will remain silent about tyranny from the Right, the Left will remain silent about tyranny from the Left, and that each will adopt the other's precedent. So the world will become safe for persecution. Perhaps it is time it was said that it is no justification for the conduct of one tyrant that the world contains other tyrants.
I say to the hon. Member for Middleton and Prestwich that the occasion for this debate is not necessarily a particular massacre. It is the visit of the Portuguese dictator and the according to him of the adulation due to an old and valued ally. I accept what the hon. Member said about the debate ranging wider than the reports of a particular massacre on one occasion, and I intervene quickly to make only one point.
There has been a proposal by the Portuguese Government to investigate the reports of what is alleged to have taken place. Perhaps that should be judged in the light of the other judicial investigations which we have seen emanate from the Portuguese Government, because the outstanding fact is 322 that, whatever atrocities might have been perpetrated on one occasion, they are practised regularly by the Portuguese Government in Portugal on the Portuguese people.
Amnesty International has produced a report about Mozambique, which my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition quoted this afternoon. I should declare my interest. I have the honour to be the chairman of the British section of Amnesty International. On the files of Amnesty there is further very disturbing information about prison conditions in the very prison where the Catholic priests are at present detained. But that is not what I rose to say, and I do not propose to become embroiled in that.
There are many other well-documented cases in the files of Amnesty of courageous people in Portugal itself who have ventured to criticise the Portuguese Government's policy in Africa and elsewhere and, in consequence, have spent years in prison, separated from their families, their careers in ruins and their health broken down. One could mention people such as Jose Soares, a young Portuguese citizen of 23, who was arrested on 1st July 1971 for being a member of the Communist Party.
That invites two comments. First, I have examined all the details that I can get of his case. I have seen no evidence that he was a member of the Communist Party. Certainly no such evidence was produced at his trial. But, secondly, a Government who can remain in power only by making membership of opposition parties a criminal offence is not a Government who have very much confidence in the support of their people.
From July until September 1971 this young man was interrogated for a total of 820 hours. He was kept without sleep repeatedly, for periods of up to six days at a time. He was beaten. He underwent a number of tortures. He was not tried until April 1973, after 22 months in prison. He was sentenced to three and a half years' imprisonment and to the loss of political rights for nine years.
The United Kingdom Government accept—the present Government have accepted it and have repeated this in the House—that, where there is a consistent pattern of violation of human rights, a 323 Government are in breach of their international obligations under the United Nations Charter, and that becomes the legitimate concern of the whole international community. There are many victims of tyranny in many countries who, if that were not so, would have no one to speak for them and no hope for the future.
The reports—I stress the word "reports"—of what has happened in Mozambique, irrespective of whether they are subsequently authenticated, are more than adequate reason why this country should make known to the Portuguese Government our concern about their policies, as the rest of the world has done. Events in Portugal itself are an additional reason why the Portuguese dictator, even if he is accepted diplomatically—I appreciate that this happens from time to time—should not be accorded the status of an old and valued ally. But that is not a rejection of the Portuguese people. It is support for those who, in spite of persecution and torture, continue to protest in Portugal. Perhaps the House can make this occasion a reminder of the victims of oppression there.
§ 6.25 p.m.
§ Mr. David Waddington (Nelson and Colne)
I have learned a lot during the last week here in Parliament. When I came to the House five years ago I never thought I would see a Leader of the Opposition deliberately set out to cause trouble during the visit of a Prime Minister of a friendly country. I never thought I would see a party leader accept as gospel a newspaper report involving an attack on the honesty and integrity of a friendly nation without bothering for one moment to see whether there was any evidence to support the attack that was being made.
I never thought I would see such a man have the neck to suggest that it was for the other country to prove that the report was untrue and not for the writers of the report to prove that it was true. I never thought I would see a newspaper such as The Times publish such a report without making the slightest attempt to check the reliability of the source or to look for supporting evidence.
It is a shocking tale, and I hope that it will never be repeated.
§ 6.26 p.m.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
When reports were coming from Nazi Germany prior to the last World War, there were some people from this country who went there and returned and told us that the monstrous lies that were being told about Hitler and the kind of atrocities which later proved to be true were absolute nonsense and that we should be ashamed of ourselves for daring to criticise someone who was standing against the great oppression of Communism.
When reports were coming from Algeria of the French atrocities and torture there, we were again told that they were utter nonsense and all Communist propaganda. They later proved to be true.
When we were told about atrocities committed in South Vietnam, at My Lai and elsewhere, we were told that these were also fabrications of the Communist Party and were untrue and that we should not believe them. They were later proved to be true.
The question has been asked—I have seen it in the Press—why is it that Portugal was tried, found guilty and condemned without the matter having been properly checked? The reason is that evidence has been coming through for the past 10 years of atrocities such as these in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau. A well-documented United Nations report tells of herbicides being used in the liberated areas and of napalm being used there. We know also that there is very strong foundation for these recent reports.
We have been asked why it is that we should be concerned at this particular time with these reports. It is because Portugal is not only our oldest ally but one of our allies in NATO. There are well-documented reports of NATO weapons turning up in Mozambique and Portugal's other colonial territories. When protests were made to West Germany about German-made fighters being used in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau, we were told that these aeroplanes had been sold purely for use by Portugal for defence within NATO. Then the Portuguese said that to them the overseas territories were not colonies but part of Portugal.
325 It is because we are conniving at the kind of colonial war that Portugal is conducting in Africa that we protest. We protest because we know that what is at stake is not simply an alliance but the economics of Portugal and, to some extent, those of this country.
The war in the Portuguese colonies is not about freedom. It is about the economic asset that Portugal hopes to get from those territories. The Prime Minister coined the phrase about the Lonrho affair and the Cayman Islands that it was the unacceptable and unpleasant face of capitalism. The unacceptable face, the unpleasant face, and the brutal face of capitalism is that carried out by Portugal in these three territories. The sooner it is ended the better. That is why we should say now to the Prime Minister of Portugal, through the acolytes who sit opposite, "Go home", and let us fight for the people of these territories.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)
We believe that the real origin of the debate is the Foreign Secretary's decision and that of the Government to extend an invitation to Dr. Caetano. We believe that the question is one which it was certainly right to raise in the House. Indeed, it was raised by this side long before the news was made public of the allegations about the massacres.
The National Executive of the Labour Party made a protest against the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Lisbon and the Government's invitation immediately the news became public. We protested then. We have protested in the debates we have had on foreign debates since. We had a vote at the end of one of those debates. As we explained then, one reason why we voted on that earlier occasion was this visit.
However, because of its intrinsic interest and seriousness, because of the timing, and because of the international concern which has been aroused, it is natural that a part of the debate turns on the question about the allegations of the massacres. Anyone is bound to agree, as I acknowledge, that if absolute certainty is to be established about the allegations which were published in The Times that certainty cannot rest solely on the information we have received so far. That 326 is why The Times itself, when it published the information, called for some inquiry to try to establish whether it was justified in publishing the facts or whether the facts were true.
That is why I interrupted the Foreign Secretary to ask him what the Government's view was and what they had done to try to ensure that there should be a proper inquiry into these allegations. The right hon. Gentleman's reply on this important aspect, which is especially important to those who say that we are here to discuss the allegations about the massacres, has so far been extremely unsatisfactory. He has not given us the slightest indication of what he has said to Dr. Caetano or the Portuguese demanding or even asking for any kind of inquiry.
It is especially deplorable that the Foreign Secretary has not done so in the light of his admitted reply to my right hon. Friend and in view of all the other comparisons to which reference was made, in particular My Lai. In that case there was a court-martial, an inquiry, and an investigation. I do not accept many of the things that happen in the United States, nor do I accept its legal system, but at least those who were alarmed and concerned throughout the world about the events that happened at My Lai had the satisfaction and the knowledge that there would be some investigation because of the freedom that exists to demand such an inquiry and such a settlement of the matter in the courts, where I think the matter was settled.
It is very different with the Portuguese Government. I do not accept any investigation by the Portuguese Government as being satisfactory in this state of affairs, partly for reasons that have already been given. I do not accept it because two of the leading priests in the area who made allegations, not about this matter only but about other massacres, were put in prison for it and are still in prison untried. We were told that they are to be brought to trial in August or September. I do not know what the Foreign Secretary will say to us about that. I should like to see a much more important body inquiring into the matter—
§ Sir J. Rodgers
Surely not the World Council of Churches, as suggested by the Leader of the Opposition. That could hardly be called impartial.
§ Mr. Ernle Money (Ipswich)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Portuguese Government have throughout made it clear that Dr. Waldheim will be welcome in Mozambique or Angola at any time he is prepared to go?
§ Mr. Foot
The Portuguese Government may be saying that now—[Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman should listen for a moment. If the Portuguese Government were to allow a sub-committee of the United Nations to go into Mozambique, it would be very different from the procedure which was followed in Angola, where demands were made that an international sub-committee of the United Nations should go there to investigate. Do hon. Members opposite think that that is such a bad or improper demand?
§ Mr. Foot
I hope that the Government will make a request. Why have they not made a request? At the time of the Angola atrocities in 1960 and 1961, to which the hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) referred in a rather different sense, the Foreign Secretary, who happened to be the Foreign Secretary at that time also, demanded that a subcommittee of the United Nations should be sent there. The Prime Minister made that demand, too. Why have they not demanded it on this occasion? They have had plenty of time to talk about the matter with Dr. Caetano over the soup or the fish. Why did they not ask him "When are we going to have a proper investigation into these allegations of massacre to establish what are the facts?"
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Portuguese authorities repeatedly invite the United Nations Secretary-General to visit these territories and that he constantly refuses?
§ Mr. Foot
That is a very different matter, as the hon. Gentleman knows, 328 and it is a very different demand from what the Government themselves demanded in the Angola case. I am first asking whether the Government have made the same demand about these allegations as they made in the Angola case. If they dispute what I am saying, they can look up the debate, in which the Prime Minister himself argued for such an investigation in the Angola case. If they have not done this, will they say why they have not done so and when they will make the demand?
§ Mr. Foot
My hon. and learned Friend will see, if he will look back at those debates about Angola, that on that occasion he was demanding the kind of debate that we are now having and supporting the demand for the form of inquiry which we now seek—that is, a proper international inquiry. The Government themselves, particularly if they say that these most serious charges against our ally are not proven, should be the first to make that demand.
I know that some hon. Members in this debate have tried to turn the whole thing upside down. One of the reasons why The Times was justified in publishing these reports is the whole long history of atrocities of this sort that have gone on in Angola, Mozambique and the other territories. But some Conservative Members have tried to convert the situation by saying that we are faced with the labyrinthine efforts of a sinister bunch of malignant missionaries to defame the God-fearing, near-pacifist, single-minded Fathers of the Portuguese people. That is how they try to represent the whole business. Some Conservatives and some people outside, as we have seen during this controversy, would rush to the defence of the forces of law and order in whatever guise they might appear. I can imagine how deadly might have been some of the editorials which would have appeared in the Daily Telegraph in defence of King Herod. It is our business, and it always has been in this House, to distinguish on these matters.
329 I come therefore to the fundamental reasons why we are so bitterly opposed to the visit. They are interlocking reasons, not to be torn one from the other. The first is that Portugal is a Fascist State, and Dr. Caetano knows that as well as anybody. He joined the Fascist movement in Portugal at the earliest possible moment. No doubt he was there when they flew the flag at half mast in Lisbon because of the death of Hitler. Perhaps there is a case for having him here in 1973, but there was not in 1943. It would not have been easy for him to come in 1940, when he was visiting Mussolini. That is another matter which the Foreign Secretary might care to deal with.
What happens in the Portuguese colonial territories is intimately tied up with what happens on the Portuguese mainland. That is why Portugal must have conscription for four years in order to maintain a régime of oppression. If the Portuguese territories were ruled in the beneficent manner described by some of Dr. Caetano's friends on the Government benches, Portugal would not need to have the largest European army permanently stationed in these territories merely to win the consent of the people.
The second interlocking reason is that Portugal is engaged in three bloody colonial wars. It has been engaged in them for years. I shall deal in a moment with excuses put forward by Conservatives for the Portuguese position.
The third reason is that the same Portuguese Government are also engaged in attempting to frustrate British policy in Africa. One of the most important actions that a British Government can take at the United Nations is to support a mandatory motion. There is a mandatory motion demanding sanctions against Rhodesia. Portugal is one of the countries which in defiance of their undertakings under the United Nations Charter are refusing to carry out that policy and are thereby frustrating the policy of the British Government. Perhaps the British Government do not care about that action.
§ Mr. Foot
I cannot give way; I have only a minute or two left.
330 The Foreign Secretary must make his views clear when he replies. The Patronage Secretary has not been here to hear the debate and now he has come in to mutter. He has missed a fine display from what appears to be the Portuguese Party on the Conservative benches. We have heard three or four Conservative Members—the hon. Member for Clitheroe (Mr. David Walder) was an honorable exception—including the hon. Member for Chigwell and the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings), defending Portuguese policy to the limit. The Foreign Secretary had now better say whether he agrees with them.
I know the views of the hon. Member for Chigwell. He thinks that Portuguese policy in Africa is correct. Portugal's Colonial Act specifically declares that it isthe duty of the Portuguese nation to fulfil their historic function of possessing and colonising overseas dominions and of civilising the native population inhabiting them.That is the act under which the Portuguese are operating.
§ Mr. Hastings
I do not know whether what the hon. Member said is parliamentary language—[Interruption.]—but in my Experience if one hon. Member makes that sort of attack on another he should have the guts to give way.
§ Mr. Foot
The reason I used the language I did was that it is greatly damaging to the reputation of this country that racial tyranny should be defended in this House. In this debate we are trying to discover whether the Government will repudiate the speeches by the hon. Members for Mid-Bedfordshire and Chigwell and others. One of the reasons we have been so strongly opposed to the visit is precisely that—
§ Mr. Foot
We have been opposed for much longer than that over this issue, as the hon. Member would have known had he been here. We strongly oppose the visit precisely because by inviting this Fascist leader, by wining and dining him and by applauding him, the Government have given the impression that they agree with his racialist policies.
There is a new situation, as the Foreign Secretary should have been able to discover. The wind of change has been blowing hard in spite of Conservative desires to reverse it. This country will have to take its stand much more clearly month by month and year by year on the whole question of what is to be our attitude to those who are struggling to be free in Southern Africa. [Interruption.] Some of those who have struggled and whom we honour most are themselves Portuguese; for example, Captain Galvao, and General Delgado, who was assassinated by the Portuguese secret police.
Therefore, I hope that the Foreign Secretary—[HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down!"]—will try to convey to Dr. Caetano what is his reputation and what is the feeling of civilised people in this country. He should remember that the cries coming from behind him in this debate have been the same cries of backing as he had in 1938 when he was returning from Munich. [Interruption.] Czechoslovakia has been mentioned. We on this side have a prouder record than the right hon. Gentleman can claim. If the Government will not do their duty to the people fighting for freedom all over Southern Africa, we on this side will.
§ 6.50 p.m.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) has considerable forensic arts, and he employed some of them this evening, but by any standards his attack on my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) was disgraceful.
The hon. Gentleman's weakness tonight was obvious. Nearly every word of criticism which he dripped out with such relish was a dart directed right at his right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, who had responsibility between 1964 and 1970—not that that worries the hon. Gentleman very much.
It was for that reason that I felt bound earlier today to question the right hon. Gentleman's standard of conduct in applying one rule to himself when in office and denying it to us now. The House cannot take seriously the motion that he so quickly slapped on the Order Paper without even a pretence of weighing the evidence. The Opposition might well listen to what the Lord Mayor said at lunch today.
The hon. Gentleman said that we should not make a fete of, and entertain, the head of a Fascist State. The Soviet Union is a Communist State. I should like to remind the Leader of the Opposition of what happened when Mr. Kosygin came here in 1967. I am not complaining; in fact I applaud it, but in view of his criticism I remind the right hon. Gentleman of what happened. There were two dinners at No. 10 Downing Street, for 70 people and 30 people respectively, a lunch at No. 10 for 36 people, a reception at Lancaster House for 1,000 people, dinner for 57 at Chequers, and dinner with the Queen.
Many people have talked—[Interruption.] Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will listen to this. I think that it will interest him particularly. Many hon. Members on either side of the House who have long ago committed themselves to certain points of view have mentioned certain people in support of their case. The hon. Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) talked about Senhor dos Santos, who spent some time with the Leader of the Opposition in June, talking, no doubt, about the Frelimo side of the case. The hon. Gentleman said that Senhor dos 333 Santos was not a Communist. I do not know—but he was decorated with the Lenin Centenary Medal in 1971.
The Opposition Front Bench have given the debate a twist, which raises a very different issue: should Portugal be expelled from NATO? Our answer is quite unequivocal—that Portugal has a valuable part to play in the NATO alliance. The NATO alliance, including Portugal, is part of Britain's security, European security and Atlantic security. Her membership is necessary in terms of security.
If I had sympathy with one speech from the Opposition benches it was with the speech of the hon. Member for Portsmouth, West (Mr. Judd). If I thought that we were going into a situation in which we should be on the wrong side of a racial divide, I should be concerned. But we are doing nothing of the kind.
All sorts of things may be said about Portuguese metropolitan policy, of Portuguese policy in Africa, but the Portuguese are not racial. They may be colonialist, but they are not racial. I think that the hon. Gentleman underestimates the intelligence of the Africans. They know perfectly well that our friendship and alliance with Portugal are concerned with the defence of Britain, the Atlantic and the European area.
§ Sir Alec Douglas-Home
The apartheid policy of South Africa is totally different from that in Portuguese territories. I have always contended—I do not think that the hon. Gentleman will dispute it—that Rhodesia is different, too, and that there is something to be saved there in terms of a multi-racial society. South Africa, therefore, is very different.
§ I have been struck by the whole trend of the debate on the Opposition benches, which has been out of touch with reality in the world of today. We are trying as hard as we can to get away from ideological barriers and to establish good relations between all States. That is what Helsinki was about. To say the least, it is anachronistic for the Opposition to fasten on the alleged errors of an old friend and a small nation at a time when we are trying to build co-operation with a whole series of nations more authoritarian and no less colonialist than Portugal.
§ The Leader of the Opposition suggested that Portugal should be thrown out of NATO. I hope that that is not a promise. At least, let me put it this way: I hope that it is the same sort of promise he gave that he would revise the Nassau Agreement. If the Opposition Front Bench are really serious in their proposition, they must be denounced before the whole country as careless of British security.
§ I believe, having listened to all but two of the speeches, that on all grounds, including the defence of Europe and the Atlantic, Portugal should remain a member of the alliance. It is totally irresponsible of the Labour Party, when in Opposition, to make promises, pledges or proposals that Portugal should be thrown out of the alliance. That is not what the Opposition in this Parliament should put forward—[Interruption.]—not when they should be responsible in international affairs.
§ But we can thank our lucky stars that it is now certain, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friend, and the right hon. Gentleman's television performance the other night, that never again will the public put the Leader of the Opposition within reach of international and defence policy.
§ Question put, That this House do now adjourn:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 271, Noes 299.339
|Division No. 204.]||AYES||[7.0 p.m|
|Abse, Leo||Atkinson, Norman||Bennett, James(Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Bidwell, Sydney|
|Allen, Scholefield||Barnes, Michael||Bishop, E. S.|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Blenkinsop, Arthur|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Booth, Albert|
|Ashley, Jack||Beaney, Alan||Boothroyd, Miss B. (West Brom.)|
|Ashton, Joe||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Horam, John||Oswald, Thomas|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Brown, Robert C. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne,W.)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Padley, Walter|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Huckfield, Leslie||Palmer, Arthur|
|Brown, Ronald(Shoreditch & F'bury)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Buchan, Norman||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Pardoe, John|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Hunter, Adam||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Cant, R. B.||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Pearl, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Carmichael, Neil||Janner, Greville||Pendry, Tom|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Probert, Arthur|
|Cohen, Stanley||John, Brynmor||Radice, Giles|
|Coleman, Donald||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Corbel, Mrs. Freda||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Richard, Ivor|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy(Caernarvon)|
|Cronin, John||Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Brc'n&R'dnor)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Judd, Frank||Roper, John|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Kaufman, Gerald||Rose, Paul B.|
|Dalyell, Tam||Kelley, Richard||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Kerr, Russell||Sandelson, Neville|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Kinnock, Neil||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Lambie, David||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Davies, lfor (Gower)||Lamborn, Harry||Short, Rt.Hn.Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Lamond, James||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Latham, Arthur||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Deakins, Eric||Lawson, George||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Leadbitter, Ted||Sillars, James|
|Delargy, Hugh||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Silverman, Julius|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Leonard, Dick||Skinner, Dennis|
|Dempsey, James||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lipton, Marcus||Spearing, Nigel|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lomas, Kenneth||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Loughlin, Charles||Stallard, A. W.|
|Driberg, Tom||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Steel, David|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Eadie, Alex||McBride, Neil||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Edelman, Maurice||McCartney, Hugh||Stott, Roger (Westhoughton)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McElhone, Frank||Strang, Gavin|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McGuire, Michael||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Ellis, Tom||Machin, George||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|English, Michael||Mackenzie, Gregor||Swain Thomas|
|Evans, Fred||Mackie, John||Taverne, Dick|
|Ewing, Harry||Mackintosh, John P.||Thomas, Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Maclennan, Robert||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Tinn, James|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Tomney, Frank|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marks, Kenneth||Tope, Graham|
|Foot, Michael||Marquand, David||Torney, Tom|
|Forrester, John||Marsden, F.||Tuck, Raphael|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Urwin, T. W.|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Varley, Eric G.|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mayhew, Christopher||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Garrett, W. E.||Meacher, Michael||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Mendelson, John||Wallace, George|
|Gordon Walker Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mikardo, Ian||Watkins, David|
|Gourlay, Harry||Millan, Bruce||Weitzman, David|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wellbeloved, James|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Milne, Edward||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, ltchen)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Molloy, William||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Whitlock, William|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Hamling, William||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Moyle, Roland||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Hardy, Peter||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Murray, Ronald King||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Oakes, Gordon||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Hattersley, Roy||Ogden, Eric||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Hatton, F.||O'Malley, Brian||Woof, Robert|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Oram, Bert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Hefter, Eric S.||Orbach, Maurice||Mr. James Dunn and|
|Hilton, W. S.||Orme, Stanley||Mr. John Golding.|
|Adley, Robert||Fortescue, Tim||MacArthur, Ian|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Foster, Sir John||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Fowler, Norman||McLaren, Martin|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Fox, Marcus||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Astor, John||Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Slone)||McMaster, Stanley|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fry, Peter||Macmillan, Rt.Hn.Maurice(Farnham)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Gardner, Edward||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Gibson-Watt, David||Madden, Martin|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Madel, David|
|Batsford, Brian||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Maginnls, John E.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Bell, Ronald||Goodhart, Philip||Marten, Neil|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Gorst, Joh[...]||Mather, Carol|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Gower, Raymond||Maude, Angus|
|Benyon, W.||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Gray, Hamish||Mawby, Ray|
|Biffen, John||Green, Alan||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Grieve, Percy||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Blaker, Peter||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury S. Edmunds)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Grylls, Michael||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Body, Richard||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Gurden, Harold||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighiey)||Moate, Roger|
|Bowden, Andrew||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Molyneaux, James|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Money, Ernie|
|Bray, Ronald||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||More, Jasper|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Haselhurst, Alan||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Hastings, Stephen||Morrison, Charles|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angua,N&M)||Havers, Sir Michael||Mudd, David|
|Buck, Antony||Hayhoe, Barney||Murton, Oscar|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Burden, F. A.||Heseltine, Michael||Neave, Airey|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hicks, Robert||Normanton, Tom|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn.G.(Moray & Nairn)||Higgins, Terence L.||Nott, John|
|Carlisle, Mark||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Holland, Philip||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Channon, Paul||Holt, Miss Mary||Osborn, John|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hordern, Peter||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Hornby, Richard||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Churchill, W. S.||Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Peel, Sir John|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Howell, David (Guildford)||Percival, Ian|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hunt, John||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Cooke, Robert||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Coombs, Derek||Iremonger, T. L.||Pounder, Rafton|
|Cooper, A. E.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Cordle, John||James, David||Price, David (Eastieigh)|
|Cormack, Patrick||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Costain, A. P.||Jessel, Toby||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Critchley, Julian||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Crouch, David||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Raison, Timothy|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jopling, Michael||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rawlinson Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.Jack||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmond, Robert|
|Dean, Paul||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kershaw, Anthony||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Kilfedder, James||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Dixon, Piers||Kimball, Marcu[...]||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kinsey, J. R.||Ridsdale, Julian|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kirk, Peter||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kitson, Timothy||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff. N.)|
|Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Knox, David||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Lamont, Norman||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tie-upon-Tyne,N.)||Lane, David||Rost, Peter|
|Emery, Peter||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Royle, Anthony|
|Eyre, Reginald||Le Merchant, Spencer||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Farr, John||Lewis, Kenneth ([...]utiand)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Fell, Anthony||Lloyd, Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'field)||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Fidler, Michael||Longden, Sir Gilbert||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Loveridge, John||Shersby, Michael|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Luce, R. N.||Simeons, Charles|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Tebbit, Norman||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Temple, John M.||Warren, Kenneth|
|Soref, Harold||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Speed, Keith||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Spence, John||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Sproat, lain||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Stainton, Keith||Tilney, John||Wilkinson, John|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||Trew, Peter||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Tugendhat, Christopher||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Stokes, John||Turton Rt. Hn, Sir Robin||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||Worsley, Marcus|
|Sutcliffe, John||Vickers, Dame Joan||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Tapsell Peter||Waddington, David||Younger, Hn. George|
|Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Wall, Patrick||Mr. Walter Clegg and|
|Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||Walters, Dennis||Mr. Paul Hawkins.|
§ Question accordingly negativated.