HC Deb 25 July 1973 vol 860 cc1607-8
26. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what protests he has received from the Portuguese Government about the activities of British subjects involved in guerrilla operations in Mozambique; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

None, Sir.

Mr. Wall

Is it not unfortunate that British subjects have made unsubstantiated allegations about Portuguese con- duct in Mozambique, particularly when the success of the Portuguese Government's policy in Africa has been achieved by winning the hearts and minds of the people of that country and not, as is alleged, by supporting and encouraging atrocities?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

As a Government we are not, happily, responsible for statements made by British subjects in other countries.

Mr. John Mendelson

Is it not quite clear, contrary to what the hon. Member has said, that the Portuguese policy in Mozambique and Angola is possible only at the price of the physical destruction of thousands of Africans, and that the cruel policy of moving whole villages lock, stock and barrel has involved a great degree of cruelty, which British subjects and newspapers have revealed? Have not those facts been fully proved by additional evidence and will not the people responsible for publishing them be regarded as having done an honourable job when the history of that country is written?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The accusation was of a massacre on a considerable scale, and that has not been proved.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

Is the Minister aware that the Portuguese Government have as much chance of winning the hearts and minds of the people of that country as I have of winning the heart and mind of the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall)?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I should not like to express an opinion on that matter.

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