§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Prime Minister why, in the light of her substantive answer to the hon. Member for Linlithgow of 29 June, Official Report, column 29, about the alleged presence and source of Blowpipe missiles in Nicaragua, she made the statement in her reply of 2 July to an identically worded question from the hon. Member about Afghanistan, that it was not the practice of Her Majesty's Government to comment on matters of this kind.
§ The Prime Minister
The British public well understand the differences between the situation in Nicaragua and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In central America, it is our declared policy that the use of force is not the way to solve the problems of the region. In the exceptional circumstances of that case, we thought it right to make clear that, in line with our policy, exports of defence equipment were not, as had been alleged, taking place. This was an exception to our well-established policy of not commenting on matters of this kind.