HC Deb 12 May 1983 vol 42 c918
Q4. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister if Her Majesty's Government have received representations from Father Daniel Zaffaroni, in connection with alternative proposals for a visit to the Falklands by relatives of Argentine war dead.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Dalyell

Why was no magnanimity shown to the relatives of the Argentine war dead in view of the Prime Minister's knowledge that the Belgrano had been sunk, when there was a treaty, bound in red leather, which her Foreign Secretary was ready to sign? [HoN. MEMBERS: "Reading."] Is not the horrific truth that those men who died on the Belgrano and on the Sheffield died because of her concern that, if the treaty were to come through, the Conservative party would change her for the Foreign Secretary and put him in Downing Street? If that is doubted, the right hon. Member for Sidcup (Mr. Heath) knows that it is true.

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman's allegations are utterly ridiculous. The Belgrano was sunk for military reasons and the threat was real. News of the Peruvian proposals did not reach London until after the attack. The record shows that our efforts to reach a negotiated settlement continued until 17 May, 15 days after the sinking of the Belgrano on 2 May.