§ LORD AMULREE
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any information as to the extent of the assistance, if any, which is being given by the French Government to Biafra, and if so, through what channels this assistance is passing.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (LORD SHEPHERD)
My Lords, the French Government have said that with the French Red Cross, and in co-operation with the Government of Gabon, they are flying in food and medical supplies to the area under Colonel Ojukwu's control; and that they have established hospitals in Gabon to which a number of children from this area have been evacuated.
§ LORD AMULREE
My Lords, I should like to thank the noble Lord for his reply. May I ask, as a supplementary question, whether it is not true that arms are being flown into Biafra from Abidjan and Libreville?
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, there is clear evidence that there has been a major increase in supplies of arms into the Biafran territory. Dr. Dike, who is a leading Biafran, is reported on October 31 as ascribing the improved Biafran situation to the reorganisation of the Biafran army. He goes on, "and the increased flow of arms". On the latter point, he said that some arms were of Chinese manufacture and were probably coming from Tanzania, but the bulk were being purchased openly in Europe for the account of the Governments of the Ivory Coast and Gabon.