§ 2. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Lord Privy Seal if, at the next meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary will raise the matter of Afghanistan.
§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Douglas Hurd)
NATO members consult on all matters of topical interest. I have no doubt that my right hon. and noble Friend will discuss Afghanistan with his NATO colleagues at the Ankara meeting of the NATO council, which begins on 25 June.
§ Mr. Allaun
While being strongly opposed to the invasion of Afghanistan, does the Minister support the supply from America of large quantities of arms to the rebels, as evidenced by Western sources, including such reliable people as United Press International and others?
§ Mr. David Atkinson
Is my hon. Friend reminded by the current situation in Afghanistan of similar, but not identical, events that took place in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968? Will he give an assurance that all possible help, aid and equipment, short of manpower, is being provided for the freedom fighters, who are fighting not only for their own freedom but for ours?
§ Mr. Shore
On the more general questions raised by Afghanistan, the Minister will recall that one of the immediate responses of Her Majesty's Government was not to renew the credit terms on 1541 which Britain used to sell goods to the Soviet Union. Will the Minister say whether there have been discussions with other NATO countries or within the EEC about measures of a similar kind being contemplated? What is the state of those discussions?