HC Deb 21 March 1973 vol 853 cc409-10
3. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to make an official visit to Chile.

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

My right hon. Friend has no present plans to do so.

Mr. Davis

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Chile, just having gone through an election, is in urgent need of a period of stability in the course of which the democratic process can thrive still further in that still democratic country of Latin America? Will the hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that the British Government will offer substantial, increased aid to Chile in order to assist her during this precarious period and to offset the sustained political and economic blackmail by the United States Government, as evidenced at the recent inquiry in that country?

Mr. Kershaw

We are in close touch with the Chilean Government, both politically and commercially. As the hon. Gentleman said, we share with her a long democratic tradition, and we look forward to a visit soon by Chilean parliamentarians. Our contacts over commercial indebtedness are close and will continue.

Mr. Ian Lloyd

Should a Foreign Office Minister find himself reciprocating the visit of the Chilean parliamentarians, will he be certain to take a delegation comprising right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite so that they may witness at first hand some of the more devastating consequences of the application of the extreme measures of Socialism which have taken place in that country?

Mr. Kershaw

The autumn session of the IPU will take place at Santiago in Chile, and perhaps hon. Members will be able to see for themselves.

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