HC Deb 18 November 1981 vol 13 cc273-4
12. Mr. Dykes

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is satisfied with the progress made in the discussions in Madrid on the Helsinki agreement relating to human rights.

Mr. Hurd

We are working for a substantive and balanced outcome at Madrid, which should include significant advances in the field of human rights. The meeting so far, in particular the review of the implementation of the Final Act, has given us the chance to draw full attention to the continuing abuses of the human rights provisions of the Final Act.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. In view of the obvious disappointments in Madrid, will he, on behalf of the British Government, make further representations to the Soviet Government about the very large number of Soviet Jews who are being prevented, by one means or another, from leaving to go to Israel or any other country? This is not an internal matter any more, in view of the Soviets' apparent subscription to the Helsinki accord and the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights. Will my hon. Friend seize the opportunity this weekend to make representations on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, in view of Mr. Brezhnev's visit to Bonn?

Mr. Hurd

My hon. Friend is right about the figures for Jewish emigration. I understand that the figure for 1981 is unlikely to exceed 10,000, which will be the lowest figure for 10 years. This is directly contrary to the spirit of the Final Act and our delegation in Madrid has made our views known, and will continue to make them known, to the Soviet Government.

Mr. Bendall

Will my hon. Friend also bear in mind the serious position of one Anatoly Shcharansky, who is now fasting? If an opportunity arises, will he raise that matter as well?

Mr. Hurd

Yes, indeed. We have already raised this case, together with a number of others, and we shall continue to do so whenever we think that it would be useful.

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