Skip to main content

Commons Chamber

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 5 July 1961

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

House Of Commons

Wednesday, 5th July, 1961

The House met at half-past Two o'clock

Prayers

[Mr. SPEAKER in the Chair]

Private Business

Glasgow Corporation Order Confirmation Bill

Consideration deferred till Monday next.

Petitions

Angola

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a Petition on behalf of the citizens of my constituency of Burnley, and I would add that I consider it a privilege to do so. I assure the House that it is completely spontaneous and comes mainly from the congregations of the churches and chapels in the constituency of Burnley.

The Petition showeth
that the native population of the country of Angola is suffering death and injury at the hands of the Government of Portugal. Wherefore your Petitioners pray that Her Majesty's Government will seek to dissuade the Government of Portugal from military aggression against the native population of the country of Angola.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I beg leave to present a Petition on behalf of 700 of my constituents, led by the Free Church Council, which showeth that

Your Petitioners view with great concern the continuing harsh and repressive policy of the Government of the Republic of Portugal towards many of its subjects in its African territory of Angola.
Further, they pray that your honourable House should manifest its disapproval of such policy by same signal act.
Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that no military supplies should be allowed to be sent from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Republic of Portugal, its overseas territories in Africa and elsewhere, while such repressive policy is continued, or that such measures may be taken as your honourable House shall deem.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

Oral Answers To Questions

United Nations (Working Group)

1.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what information has been supplied by Her Majesty's Government to the 15-member Working Group appointed by the United Nations on principles to be applied in determining a special scale of assessments for peace and security, further to the General Assembly's resolution on the question of covering the costs of the United Nations peace-keeping operations.

We have already made clear in the General Assembly our dislike of a special scale of assessment. The United Kingdom is a member of the Working Group and our representative has been instructed to reiterate this view.

is the Minister not aware that the Government were asked to give information on the principles which they wished to see applied by 1st July? Is the hon. Gentleman saying that no such information has been provided? In view of the difficulties of running the Congo operation on an ad hoc basis, will the British Government not press, in line with the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' disarmament proposals, for the setting up of a permanent United Nations peace force financed on a permanent basis by the members of the United Nations?

That supplementary question goes a little wide of the original Question. As to the first part, the fact that we are members of this group means that our views will be adequately put forward. But I ought to make it plain that we object to a special scale because we believe that the capacity of members to pay is adequately reflected in the regular scale of assessments. If people only paid their regular assessments there would be no difficulty.

African And Colonial Issues

7.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement about the changed instructions that have been given to United Kingdom delegates to the United Nations regarding the action to be taken when resolutions relating to African and colonial issues are under consideration.

I assume the hon. Gentleman is referring to the statement made by my noble Friend in another place on 26th June. As my noble Friend made clear, Her Majesty's Representative in the United Nations is being instructed to ignore any reference to General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) whenever this is referred to in a preambular clause of a draft resolution, and on every occasion to make clear that he does so. The United Kingdom vote will then be directed to the substance of the matter.

This is a very welcome and important statement. Does it mean that in future we shall not be placed in the humiliating position of being in a minority of two or three with the French and Portuguese on issues like Angola, South Africa, South-West Africa, Algeria and the Congo, and that we shall begin to vote according to the principles of democracy and liberty?

It is quite clear as to what this will mean. It will affect our voting on some of those issues, but we are not afraid of being in a minority when we believe that we are right.

Germany

Deconcentration Of Industry

3.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will now make a statement on progress made with deconcentration of German industry required by Allied High Commission Law No. 27, as announced to the House on 4th March, 1953.

The Allied deconcentration measures have been carried through to completion, in accordance with the Bonn Settlement Convention, except for the disposal under the Krupp Deconcentration Plan of the coal and steel assets incorporated in the Rheinhausen company.

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for not seeking to answer Questions Nos. 3 and 4 together, may I ask him why six weeks ago the House of Lords was given the full figures when the noble Marquess in another place said that £100 million of Krupp assets had not been disposed of and that the Krupp turnover was now £452 million a year? Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that those of us who hold a favourable view towards the Common Market will be affected by the fact that this notorious war criminal is likely to dominate our steel industry? Was the right hon. Gentleman unaware of this statement in another place five or six weeks ago? Otherwise why did he not mention it to the House of Commons today?

If the hon. Gentleman will look at my Answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT he will see that there is exactly the situation I have described. The hon. Gentleman asked for a progress report. The scheme has been carried through, as I said, except for the disposal of the Krupp assets incorporated in the Rheinhausen company. If the hon. Gentleman wants the full and detailed figures I will give them to him if he will put down another question.

Does the Lord Privy Seal not remember an undertaking that was given to this House in 1953 by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he had now embodied this agreement in the Bonn Convention Agreement No. 17. Chancellor Adenauer agreed that it would be enforced, but that it might take a year or two to enforce, but now, when the Lord Privy Seal says "with the exception of", is it not the fact that the Krupp assets were estimated at £112 million and that the amount he says he has accepted is £100 million—or about 90 per cent. of the amount for which they were going to be disposed of in 1953?

Other assets were disposed of under that plan, but the situation remains as the hon. Gentleman described. In fact, of course, the Mixed Committee of Experts was given the reponsibility of looking at this progress over the years, and it recommended another extension until 31st January, 1962. It could not have done that under its terms of reference unless there had been evidence that a genuine attempt had been made to sell the assets and than it had not proved possible to do so.

Berlin

5.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what reply he proposes making to the Soviet proposal that West Berlin should become a demilitarised free city with its neutrality guaranteed by British, Russian, United States and French troops.

Her Majesty's Government have received no proposals from the Soviet Government.

Is the right hon. Gentleman then not aware that on 15th June of this year Mr. Khrushchev agreed that he was in favour of a free city of West Berlin? Is the right hon. Gentleman also not aware that his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said from that Box that he, too, is in favour of the freedom of West Berlin? Could the Lord Privy Seal tell me how these freedoms are going to be advanced if we arm West Germany with nuclear weapons?

These are two unrelated questions. The hon. Gentleman has often had the answer about the arming of Germany, within the N.A.T.O. framework, with the nuclear warheads under American control. As far as the first part of the Question is concerned, that is surely a question of how one is to protect that freedom.

24.

asked the Lord Privy Seal why he cannot give an undertaking that Her Majesty's Government will never again agree to the bombing of Berlin.

A unilateral undertaking by Her Majesty's Government would not serve any useful purpose.

If the Government are so concerned about the future of Berlin, why cannot the right hon. Gentleman give a definite assurance to the 3 million people in West Berlin that we will not bomb them?

The 2½ million people of West Berlin have their anxieties. They know who is responsible for heighten- ing tension over Berlin. It is not the Western Powers.

In that case, will the Government approach Mr. Khrushchev to see whether they can get a joint declaration that Berlin will not be bombed, in the same way as Paris and Rome were not bombed in the last war?

Such a joint declaration is not necessary if Mr. Khrushchev does not make a crisis over Berlin.

Nato

20.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether it is still the Government's policy, as laid down in the 1959 and previous proposals, that a united Germany should be free to enter the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government that Germany should be reunited on the basis of self-determination and become an independent sovereign state, free to join any defensive security pact or none if it so wished.

On the basis of principle, if Germany is to have full self-determination and sovereignty, does that include the right to provide herself with any arms she wishes, in any quantity? If not, why grant her freedom to join a military alliance, which is another way of preparing for war? On the point of policy, is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that this condition has imposed an insuperable barrier to any German settlement for years and that, by clinging to the condition, the Government have laid themselves open to the suspicion that they do not really want any German settlement?

No, Sir. The N.A.T.O. alliance, if that is what the hon. Member refers to, is a defensive alliance. The conditions regarding German arms are clearly laid down in the Western European Union Treaty.

As has been repeatedly said in the House, the whole question of the exact frontier settlement must depend upon a peace conference.

British Property (Claims)

23.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, pending a German peace treaty, he will collect details of the claims of British citizens whose property, situate in Germany, was lost as a result of the war of 1939–45.

No, Sir. I do not think that in existing circumstances this would serve any useful purpose.

Does not my hon. Friend feel that when a German peace treaty is negotiated eventually one may find oneself in considerable difficulty in formulating these claims owing to the passage of time? Does not he feel that this would be a good opportunity to collect a comprehensive register of these claims which could be put forward in any German peace treaty negotiations?

I do not think that we could do that. This is normally done under a peace treaty by the submission of claims by the claimants direct to the dependent Government. Therefore, prior registration with us would probably not be accepted. Certain particulars of British property in Germany were registered at the Board of Trade during and after the war, although they did not include details of claims.

Foreign Ministers (Conference)

25.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government are now prepared to take a new initiative and propose a conference of Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, France, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to discuss all aspects of the German problem.

We are in the closest consultation with our allies on the many aspects of this question. When we act we shall act in concert with them.

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it would be sensible to start serious negotiations at a fairly high level before the momentum of military preparations on all sides becomes an element in making a successful outcome of these negotiations all the more difficult?

As we have made plain on a number of occasions in the House, and after the breakdown of the Summit Conference last year, the Western Powers are prepared for negotiation, but not under threat.

Angola

4.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make representations to the Portuguese Government in view of the fact that it is not complying with Article 10 of the Anglo-Portuguese Convention of 1891, which guarantees full protection for missionaries in British and Portuguese territories in Africa.

I shall, of course, be ready to consider this if the missionary bodies who are those principally concerned bring forward facts which justify such representations.

Is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting to the House that he is in any doubt at all that there is no freedom of religion and religious speech in Angola? After the miserable collaboration of the Tory Party with the Portuguese Government and the I.L.O. in the breaches of those terms in 1930 and after the miserable collaboration of the Tory Government over the United Nations resolution seeking to abolish forced labour in Angola in 1957, is the right hon. Gentleman really now suggesting that the Foreign Office, all of them, several thousands of them, are unaware that missionaries have been murdered in Angola and are unaware that there is no freedom of religious expression? Has the right hon. Gentleman not read the speeches of Dr. Salazar that were made 15 years ago?

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As we have a debate this afternoon on the question of Angola, is not that the moment for the hon. Gentleman to put forward all these points?

The real point about it is that rather too often I have to appeal to hon. Members not to make speeches at Question Time because we do not get through enough Questions. Perhaps the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) will get near to bringing his question to an end.

I appreciate your courtesy, Mr. Speaker. One does not often speak on the grave of 50,000 citizens.

If questions were to be increased in length proportionate to their importance and gravity, it would be difficult for me to judge the element of inordinate length.

I understand that in central and South Angola British Baptist missionaries are carrying on their work without difficulty. That is the information that we have. As far as Northern Angola is concerned, where the troubles are at the moment, the Baptist missions have been closed in certain places, in one where the whole Portuguese administration has been withdrawn and is, therefore, unable to protect them, and in another where they have been withdrawn for security reasons. I propose to deal with this matter later on in the debate.

8.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the decision of Her Majesty's Government to send the United Kingdom Consul-General and another official of the Lisbon Embassy on a visit of inquiry to Angola.

18.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what reports on the situation in Angola have now been received from the Consul-General in Luanda and another member of Her Majesty's Embassy in Lisbon.

31.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what report he has received from the Consul-General in Luanda, Angola, following his visit to the northern part of that territory; and what changes in the policy of Her Majesty's Government are proposed in the light of that report.

Her Majesty's Consul-General at Luanda will be accompanied on his visit by the Military and Air Attaches to Her Majesty's Embassy at Lisbon, who left for Luanda on 3rd July. It is expected the visit to Northern Angola will begin shortly.

Will the Lord Privy Seal give our representatives instructions that whilst they are in North Angola they will meet the few English missionaries who remain there, and the few African pastors; and will he instruct them to proceed to the Congo to meet the representatives of the 100,000 refugees who are there?

As to the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's question, our representatives in the Congo are already able to meet the refugees who are now in that country. I am certain that the Consul-General and the Attaches who are to go to Northern Angola will take every opportunity to meet those on the spot and judge the position for themselves.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the important things about a mission of this kind, investigating this kind of allegation, is that it should take place very quickly, because the material evidence tends to vanish? Is he aware that it is now about ten days since his noble Friend made this announcement in the House of Lords? Since he himself told us that the Consul-General was in Luanda all the time, could they not have gone there a bit sooner?

We are anxious that they should go there as soon as possible, but as part of the issue in debate is the military conditions and situation there we thought it advisable that the Consul-General should go accompanied by the Military Attaché. As the Air Attaché has a fluent knowledge of Portuguese, we thought that too would be an asset.

Has not the right hon. Gentleman been aware for some time that there was to be a debate in this House on the Angola situation, and could not he have pressed that the Consul-General should himself, if necessary, have gone to the Northern Territory in order that the right hon. Gentleman might, during the debate later this evening, give the House a report of what was found? Will he give an assurance that when the report comes through he will consider publishing it as a White Paper?

The necessary arrangements have to be made, and they are not entirely in our own hands. As to publishing the report, it is not, of course, the practice to publish diplomatic reports of this kind, but I will certainly give all the information I can to the House at the earliest opportunity after we have received the report.

Did Her Majesty's Government previously ask permission for our Consul-General in Luanda to be allowed to visit the area where fighting was going on in Angola in the middle of March? Secondly, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he has instructed the mission making the visit to inquire whether British arms are being used by the Portuguese Government in their repression of the native population?

We have not previously asked formal permission to go to the Northern Territory. In regard to the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's Question, our representatives can certainly look into that.

9.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he has considered the petitions forwarded to him by the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme on 27th June calling for action within the United Nations by Her Majesty's Government in relation to Portuguese punitive measures in Angola and to bring about peace in the area; and what reply he has made.

I have already sent a reply to the hon. Gentleman, which he should by now have received.

Will the right hon. Gentleman say on what occasions and in what form he has conveyed to the Portuguese Government the very strong protests received from citizens in this country, especially from members of the church communities, about the atrocities and outrages in Angola? Is the Lord Privy Seal aware of the very strong opposition there is throughout the country to any continued supply of arms to a Government responsible for these outrages?

The Portuguese Government is well aware of the strong feelings we have in this country, and of the petitions presented to individual Members of Parliament—and to this House, as we have seen this afternoon. In addition, my noble Friend had a very full opportunity to discuss this matter with the Portuguese Government during his recent visit to Lisbon.

11.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what information he has received regarding the activities of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Inquiry on Angola.

35.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent representations he has made to facilitate the work of the United Nations Committee of Inquiry into the situation in Angola following the decisions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.

2.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what information has been brought to the attention of the United Nations sub-committee on Angola regarding the execution of Africans in the village of Tomboco and other places, and regarding the machine gunning of children from aeroplanes in that country; and what progress has been made by the subcommittee in their study of conditions in Angola.

I understand that the Sub-Committee is meeting at present in New York, and that the Portuguese Government is in touch with Senor Salamanca, who is its Chairman. Its proceeding are confidential, and I am unable to say what information may have been brought to its attention. Its latest progress report is in United Nations Press Release GA/2221, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. We hope that the Sub-Committee will report as soon as possible.

Can the Lord Privy Seal say whether the Sub-Committee has yet requested permission to enter Angola to pursue inquiries and, if so, what has been the response of the Portuguese Government to this request?

As I have said, the Sub-Committee is in touch with the Portuguese Government, but we do not know what decision has been reached.

In the event of Portugal refusing such permission, will the Lord Privy Seal consider allowing the Sub-Committee entry to Northern Rhodesia in order to pursue its inquiries?

We hope that that eventuality will not arise. We have expressed publicly the hope that the Portuguese Government will co-operate with the Sub-Committee. In regard to the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's question, this is not a matter that the Sub-Committee wishes to discuss with individuals. It wishes to go to Angola itself.

Will the right hon. Gentlernan supply to the Sub-Committee the evidence of the British missionaries and British journalists who have been in Angola?

I think that the right hon. Gentleman raised this question last week, and I understand now that the Sub-Committee has been in direct touch with British Baptist missionaries who have come back from Angola about any evidence they can give to it.

34.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what contribution has been made or offered to the United Nations by Her Majesty's Government for the relief of refugees from Angola.

None, Sir. The United Nations authorities have not asked for contributions for the relief of refugees from Angola. However, as I told the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Dugdale) in reply to a Question on 28th June, the United Nations authorities are using supplies provided by the Congo Famine Relief Fund for relief work amongst Angolan refugees in the Congo. They consider that their present stocks of food are adequate for this purpose.

If the Government will not do something positive about this matter through the United Nations, will not they go a little further on humanitarian grounds alone? Will the Government consider the fact that there are 100,000 Angolan refugees in the Congo now? Would not it be appropriate for the Government to make some contribution to the International Red Cross in order to deal with this human problem?

I have looked into this matter most carefully. The fact remains that the United Nations famine relief organisation is doing an extremely good job. It has adequate supplies. The Red Cross is also very well provided for, and I should like to pay tribute, as I am sure the whole House would, to the remarkable job which it has done with regard to this very large number of refugees. There is no call at present for additional funds. If any came, naturally the Government would consider it sympathetically.

Does not the Minister of State recognise that the greatest contribution which the Government can make to this repression by the Portuguese Government is to make a forthright declaration against the atrocities which are taking place?

Bulgaria (Claims)

6.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what progress is being made towards the settlement of claims made by British subjects against the Bulgarian Government through the Foreign Compensation Commission.

One hundred and thirty-eight applications have been received by the Foreign Compensation Commission under the Foreign Compensation (Bulgaria) Order, 1958; the Commission has finally determined ninety-eight of these and expects to have disposed of the remainder by the end of July, with a view to making an interim payment shortly afterwards.

While welcoming that news, is my right hon. Friend aware that some of these people have been waiting for over ten years and that one gentleman, about whom I have already written to his Department, was for four years in a Nazi internment camp and is 79 years of age? As his claim has been provisionally accepted by the Foreign Compensation Commission and estimated at being over £12,000, will my right hon. Friend at least make sure that these people are able to get something before they die?

I realise that there has been a delay, but it has been a complicated matter. I am hopeful, as I say, that the Foreign Compensation Commission will be in a position to make some payment shortly, and I hope that that will help my hon. Friend's constituent.

European Economic Community

10.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what conditions have been proposed to Her Majesty's Government by the West German Federal Republic, on behalf of the Common Market countries, under which Her Majesty's Government could gain entry into the European Economic Community.

Why is the Lord Privy Seal so cagey about this? Is it not the fact that the Foreign Minister of the German Federal Republic has made it quite clear in London, on behalf of the Common Market countries, that before Britain would be allowed to negotiate a special settlement she must sign the Rome Treaty, with all its political consequences? Would he not now therefore tell the House the true nature of the special settlement we wish to negotiate, and in what way he would define the political consequences in the event of this country becoming a full member of the European Economic Community?

There was some complaint from hon. Members opposite when I devoted forty minutes of my speech in the recent foreign affairs debate to the situation in relation to the Common Market and the Treaty of Rome, and I do not need to go through that again now. These talks have been carried out between officials and Ministers. They have been bilateral talks, not on behalf either of the European Economic Community or of E.F.T.A. They have been exploratory discussions of a confidential nature, and I do not think that it would be appropriate for me to divulge what took place in them.

But cannot the right hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that we have not sunk to a condition in which we allow the West German Government to dictate conditions to us?

Nobody is dictating conditions to anybody on either side. If there is to be progress, it must be by negotiation.

Disarmament

Committees Of Experts

12.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Gov- ernment will put forward written proposals for the creation of a United Nations committee of experts to prepare a detailed plan of disarmament and inspection.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has already proposed to the United Nations the appointment of a series of Committees of Experts to discuss the necessary verification procedures and I do not see why this system should not later be extended to other matters. But we must first resolve the fundamental disagreements on how to reconcile disarmament with national security. These can only be tackled at the political level and in multilateral negotiations, and it is for the resumption of such negotiations that we and the United States Government are working hard at present.

Are the Government proposing to put forward any suggestions for a concrete plan of action to be discussed by the committees or the political representatives when they meet?

I think that the best way to proceed in this is for the present discussions between the Americans and the Russians to be carried on, and this matter will then come before the United Nations at the next meeting of the General Assembly. We are perfectly willing to put forward proposals if we can see a way of making progress, but I think that we should see how the present discussions work out.

But are we preparing a plan ourselves, so that we leave the realm of general phrases and get down to work?

We have been in close discussion with the Americans on this matter and I think that it is better that we should work together on this. I think that any fresh individual plan will not really help things forward, particularly at this moment.

33.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government to the Governments of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics concerning the recommencement of negotiations for general and complete disarmament.

We have made no formal representations to either Government. But we have been and continue to be in constant touch with the United States Government on this matter. Nor is there any reason to think that the Soviet Government are not fully aware of our attitude.

United States And Ussr (Discussions)

13.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government will propose to the Governments of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, now about to engage in new talks, that the Government of Peking shall be invited to send a representative to take part in any new negotiations about disarmament which may be begun.

No, Sir. I should point out that the talks to which the right bon. Gentleman refers began on 19th June.

Is it not becoming more and more plain every day that unless the Chinese take part in these negotiations very soon it may be too late, because they may refuse to do so?

I realise the difficulties of this, but I think that my right hon. Friend dealt with it in his supplementary answer on 20th March. We want to see them brought in at the appropriate moment, but we do not want to com- plicate the initial moves, and so hold up the start of these discussions in any way.

14. Mr. A. Henderson asked the Lord Privy Seal what proposals he has made to the United States Government, in view of the official conversations now taking place in Washington between the United States and Soviet Governments, with regard to the association of a number of Governments who are not identified with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the Warsaw Pact, with the disarmament negotiations, and the appointment of a neutral chairman.

I have at present nothing to add to the answer to a similar Question by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Warbey) on 28th June.

Can we not be told whether Her Majesty's Government are actually making proposals along these lines to the United States Government for discussion with the Soviet Government? In view of the fact that during the last six years disarmament negotiations have taken place entirely between Governments representing N.A.T.O. and the Warsaw Pact, is it not time that we invited such neutral countries as India, Yugoslavia and Sweden to take part in the disarmament negotiations?

We are certainly not opposed to it. It is just a question of such arrangements as can be made. We are in discussion in the normal way with the United States, and the arrangements could include the principle the right hon. and learned Gentleman has in mind.

If the Minister accepts the principle, will he say where the difficulty lies? Surely he must recognise the tremendous faith which the non-aligned countries have in disarmament and the great contribution they could make in building bridges between the opposing sides.

I recognise that they can play a useful part. The difficulty would be when it came eventually to fixing the exact numbers concerned, and so on. I think that it is far better to leave this to the informal discussions that are now taking place, and which will embrace this sort of thing. I think that the best means of making progress, which the whole House wants, is to leave it as it stands at the present moment.

Convention On Genocide

16.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government will now accede to the Convention on Genocide in view of the repeated anti-Semitic activities of Nazis and neo-Nazis.

I am not yet in a position to add to what I said in my speech in the House on 5th June.

Does the Minister of State realise that time is extremely important in this matter now? Twelve years have passed since the Convention was accepted, and we have, for our part, made no move at all. Is he aware that, throughout the world, moneys which were extracted from the unhappy victims of Nazism, the 6 million who died, brutally murdered and tortured, are being utilised by Nazis all over the world in order to carry on further anti-Semitic activities? The matter is extremely serious. Will he do something about it?

I sympathise with the hon. Gentleman's point of view, as I made plain in our earlier debate, but I do not think that the point he has just raised would be assisted by our adherence to the Convention. I remind him that there are special problems in relation to Article 7 of the Convention and the right of this country to give asylum in certain cases which must be given most careful consideration.

I think that this is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs. Although I have raised it before on the Adjournment, I beg to give notice that I must seek an early opportunity of pressing the Minister by raising the matter again on the Adjournment.

Circuses And Variety Performances (Exchanges)

17.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make it a condition of future grants to the British Council that they should encourage circus and variety performances with a view to arranging exchanges of those performances with countries overseas.

No, Sir. It is Her Majesty's Government's view that per- formances of this nature can best be arranged through normal commercial channels.

Is the Minister aware that circuses and variety acts in this country are not included in cultural recreations and that there is great concern about this among those who are organised in the Variety Artistes' Federation? This is the only country where circus and variety acts may not go abroad in the way that such acts may come to this country. Does not he think that it is time that the whole matter was reconsidered in order to bring circuses and variety acts within terms which will allow them to go outside this country in the way I suggest?

I assure the hon. Lady that there is no invidious distinction here at all. We honestly feel that the most effective way is through the normal commercial channels, which is how these things are usually arranged. I do not think that there is any difficulty arising now, although I should be happy to discuss it with the hon. Lady if she thinks that there is.

May we take it from that reply that Her Majesty's Government is no longer in favour of Summit Conferences?

Europe (British Forces)

19.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government's representative on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council of Ministers has informed that body of United Kingdom intentions to reduce British forces in Europe.

No statements on this subject have been made this year by Her Majesty's representative to the North Atlantic Council.

Presumably the Minister is aware of what his right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor said about this matter and the need for reducing our military forces overseas. If anything is done in Europe, will it be on grounds of economy, or are the troops to be withdrawn to Kuwait?

No, Sir my right hon. and learned Friend made the point that the burden of keeping forces overseas is very great and that some way must be found of dealing with the problem. It may be that in Europe a fairer sharing of the cost could be reached.

No, Sir. No decisions have been taken on this matter. My right hon. and learned Friend was making a very general point.

Do those answers mean that Her Majesty's Government are considering reducing our present commitment in Germany, which is already less than we undertook to keep there? Are we reconsidering the number of troops there?

No, Sir; I did not say that. I said that my right hon. and learned Friend's statement referred to all our forces overseas.

Foreign Ministers' Conference (Western Peace Proposals)

21.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the Western peace proposals, tabled at the Foreign Ministers' Conference in May, 1959, are still regarded by Her Majesty's Government as inseparable.

Is the right hon. Gentleman seriously suggesting that there is any prospect of a peaceful settlement of the German question so long as the Western Powers insist that there can be no consideration, for example, of the Macmillan-Khrushchev proposals for a demilitarised zone in Central Europe until after the creation of an all-German Government with full authority to remain a member of N.A.T.O.?

These proposals were put forward by the West in 1959 as a comprehensive plan with the object of giving safeguards for European security to all the parties concerned. Therefore, they should be considered as a whole.

Kuwait

22.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the present situation on the borders of Iraq and Kuwait.

30.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the situation in Kuwait.

Nothing has occurred to remove our anxiety concerning the Iraqi threat to the independence of Kuwait, and our defensive build-up has proceeded according to plan. The Security Council is today resuming its consideration of the Kuwaiti complaint, and a Kuwaiti delegation is on its way to New York.

Is the Iraq-Kuwait border clearly defined? In any event, would it not be a good thing if the British-Kuwaiti Forces were kept several miles away from the border so as to minimise the risk of border incidents?

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will realise that in desert country such as that of the Kuwait-Iraq border it is very difficult to find precisely on the ground where the border is, although it is defined on the map. From that point of view, I agree that there is a great deal in what the right hon. and learned Gentleman says.

I recognise that Her Majesty's Government had no option but to accede to the Ruler's request for assistance last week, but will he agree that the scale of the operation now being mounted imposes serious military strains upon this country's defensive forces and, if continued indefinitely, will impose serious political and economic dangers on the country as a whole? For that reason, have Her Majesty's Government any plan in mind for trying to transfer their share of the burden for the defence of Kuwait, and, in particular, will they make some proposal that the United Nations should join in this work?

We are anxious that we should have in Kuwait only the forces necessary to be able to meet the threat from Iraq, and we shall have no more forces there than are necessary for that purpose. Until we are satisfied that the threat has disappeared, and the Ruler of Kuwait, as an independent country, is satisfied, we must see that there is effective defence against any attack.

It may be much too early to talk about the establishment of permanent security forces in Kuwait, but will my right hon. Friend take note of the grave danger of allowing what might be called normal United Nations Forces to take up a position there as they are so liable to infiltration by Iraq and other Arab countries? Will he make absolutely certain that, if any foreign force is ultimately established there, the British will have a very important component part to play in it?

That was why, in answer to the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey), I used the expression that any defence must seem to be effective to both the Ruler of Kuwait and ourselves.

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer my earlier question? Have Her Majesty's Government any plan in mind for requiring the introduction of some form of United Nations force into Kuwait?

This matter is under consideration at the United Nations and discussions will take place there very shortly. We are, of course, considering what steps we should take there. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that our minds are not closed to it, but the immediate need is to be able to deal with the threat which still remains.

In order to avoid the risk, in the interval before a United Nations force could go there, that British troops might be engaged against the Iraq Army which they have so recently been training, will the Government propose to the United Nations that they should establish a neutralised zone under United Nations observance, as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition has proposed?

This is another proposition which can be considered, no doubt, in due course. At the moment, the main thing is to be able to deal with the threat which remains.

32.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what recent consultations there have been with the Ruler of Kuwait concerning the defence of the state of Kuwait in view of the latest developments there.

Her Majesty's Government have been in constant consultation with the Ruler concerning the defence of Kuwait, and have taken the necessary action there.

37.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish a White Paper on the situation in Kuwait.

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that the sooner he comes to a decision about this the better? If this is a major military operation, could not the people of this country be told what it is all about and the background? Is he aware that this operation looks suspiciously like the old Suez operation which cut off this country's oil supplies? Could he explain why this occurs a week after the Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that it is necessary to cut overseas military expenditure?

The text of the Exchange of Notes on 19th June, which I announced to the House, has been published as a White Paper and is now available in the Vote Office. The Prime Minister made a very full statement to the House about this on Monday. The purpose of the operation is to meet the request of the Ruler of Kuwait for defence against a threat from Iraq. It is carrying out our obligations under paragraph (d) of the Exchange of Notes.

In making up his mind, will the Lord Privy Seal bear in mind the rather extravagant historical justification contained in the speech made by General Kassim when he laid claim to this territory?

I will, indeed. I said we would bear the suggestion in mind in order to choose the right moment when there is sufficient information to publish in the White Paper.

38.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations he has received from members of the Arab League following the decision of Her Majesty's Government to land troops in Kuwait.

Would it not be very helpful in this venture if we could be assured of the good will of the Arab League? Is it not the case that it has met very recently and come to a decision? Could the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not he has any inkling of what the attitude of the members of the Arab League, apart from Saudi-Arabia, is in this matter? How does the balance of opinion lie?

I think that all the Arab countries, with the exception of Iraq, sent messages of support and congratulation on the occasion of the Exchange of Notes about the independence of Kuwait. I have no knowledge of the Arab League's having reached a decision in the last few days since the events in Kuwait.

Has the verbal support been manifested in any other way, say by the support of troops?

No, sir, Saudi-Arabia is the only country which has offered the support of troops and has, in fact, sent a token force.

Does not the Lord Privy Seal agree that it is a very peculiar thing that our soldiers should be shoulder to shoulder with Saudi-Arabian troops in Kuwait although our two Government at the moment have no diplomatic relations? Have the Government any intention—in view of the fact that we may soon be co-belligerents with Saudi-Arabia—of resuming negotiations for the restoration of diplomatic relations?

As it is always said that British troops are the best ambassadors in the world, it may be that this will lead to a better relationship.

Could the right hon. Gentleman make it clear to the House that 40 per cent. of the oil on which this country's industry depends comes from Kuwait and that our troops are there in order to defend it because the Government think they cannot defend it in any other way? If those facts are made clear, does he not think that our reputation in the world would be just a trifle higher than by this constant humbug and pretence about the protection of the Ruler of Kuwait? If we are there for protection of our own interests, why not say so frankly?

—as indeed have other countries and nationals, in the oil which is either in Kuwait or adjacent to Kuwait. Kuwait achieved independence. Only a fortnight ago we offered protection for Kuwait's independence. I notice that the hon. Member is very careful in his choice of countries which ought to have their independence protected for them. This is a case where we undertook obligations and we are carrying them out.

Portugal (Supply Of Arms)

26.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what quantities and types of British arms have been supplied to Portugal in each of the last 12Months; what conditions have been attached in each case; and on what date Her Majesty's Government not to employ these arms in overseas territories.

27.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will state the amount and value of naval, military and air equipment sent directly to Portuguese overseas territories during the past year.

29.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in HANSARD details of all arms exported to Portugal between 1st January and 15th March, 1961, and since 15th March; and what steps are being taken to ensure that arms supplied to Portugal for use in the fulfilment of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation obligations will not be used in the Portuguese overseas territories.

As it is not the policy of Her Majesty's Government to give details of arms supplied for foreign Governments, I have nothing to add to the replies given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 27th June and yesterday.

On the eve of a debate on the situation in Angola, is the Lord Privy Seal telling the House that we are not entitled to know what quantities of British arms have been supplied to be used by the Portuguese to massacre the people in Angola? Does he propose to refuse this information to the House? Will he tell us how the Government will ensure that arms now supplied to Portugal will not continue to be used to massacre people in Angola?

It is a long-standing policy of Governments on both sides of the House not to give details of arms supplied to other countries, whether by Governments or by private purchase. With regard to policy towards Portugal and Angola, it has been clearly announced to the House that any orders for Portuguese overseas territories are in suspense. As for Portugal herself, the arms are examined to see whether they are in accord with her N.A.T.O. requirements. It is for the Government to decide whether that is so or not.

Could the right hon. Gentleman say why he has not answered the second part of Question No. 29, which does not ask for details and which the Prime Minister did not answer yesterday? Will the right hon. Gentleman please answer it now? What steps are being taken?

The steps being taken are that the arms which are supplied have to be seen by Her Majesty's Government to be in accordance with N.A.T.O. requirements.

With regard to Question No. 27, is it not a fact that no arms were supplied last year directly to Portuguese territories because they were all sent to Portugal for trans-shipment? Does not this make complete nonsense of the Prime Minister's promise not to send any in future?

I do not think it does, because, as I explained, supplies of arms have to be seen to be within N.A.T.O. requirements.

is it not a fact that almost the whole of Portugal's effective fighting forces are at present serving in Angola and that therefore any arms sent to Portugal are likely to be used there rather than anywhere else? Can the Lord Privy Seal give a straight answer to a straight question: have Her Majesty's Government asked the Portuguese Government for any assurances that arms supplied under N.A.T.O. arrangements will not be used in Angola?

No, Sir. The arms which are supplied for N.A.T.O. requirements are very often, in fact almost entirely, of a different type from the sort of arms which can be used in a colonial territory or colonial type of territory such as Angola.

When the right hon. Gentleman relies on precedent in this matter and says that these figures are not generally revealed to the House, will he recall that at the time of Suez the detailed figures of arms supplied during the previous few years to Egypt and Israel were given to this House? Will he look up those figures? Is it because we happen to have this alliance with Portugal that facts similar to those which were revealed on a previous occasion are denied to the House?

I will look up the precedent cited by the hon. Gentleman, but the statement of general policy as I made it remains.

Are not we bound under the Arms Traffic Convention of 1920 to publish licences of arms which we sell abroad? Have the Government repudiated that obligation?

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

28.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will instruct the Government's representatives in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to insist that all contingency planning should be based on strict respect for the restrictions on the right to resort to force laid down in the Charter of the United Nations.

The plans and policies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are, as has been repeatedly stated, purely defensive and fully consistent with the United Nations Charter.

Will the right hon. Gentleman give a clear reply to the effect that the Government will not associate themselves with any contingency planning which contemplates resort to force without the authorisation of the Security Council, except as a measure of defence against armed attack? Is he aware that resort to force in any other circumstances would constitute aggression and violation of the Charter? Will he assure the House and the country that the Government's contingency planning does not include aggression and violation of the Charter?

We shall continue to plan for all eventualities and to carry out our obligations under the Charter.

In view of the completely unsatisfactory and, in fact, menacing nature of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, I give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the first opportunity.

Laos

36.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will make a further statement concerning the negotiations to establish a neutral status for Laos.

The Prime Minister of Laos, Prince Boun Oum, held conversations with Prince Souvanna Phouma and Prince Souphanouvong at Zurich from 18th to 22nd June. The three Princes issued a communiqué recording their agreement in principle to form a provisional coalition government and a single delegation to the Conference at Geneva. The communiqué also outlined a list of tasks to which the new Government would address itself when formed, including the pursuit of a neutral policy. The three Princes have announced their intention to meet again in order to complete the task of making the new Government.

Meanwhile, discussion has continued in Geneva on the various proposals which have been tabled.

When does the right hon. Gentleman expect a further conference to take place? Does he agree that unless it takes place soon and agreement is reached there is danger of Laos becoming divided into two States instead of being unified as an independent and neutral State?

The date does not depend on us, but we understand that the three Princes have it in mind to meet during the course of this month. As to the latter part of the supplementary question, I think that all the parties to the Geneva Conference have announced their desire to see a unified as well as an independent neutral Laos.

Will the Lord Privy Seal clear up confusion, at any rate in my mind, about Press reports of an agreement which may or may not have been reached concerning the supply of transport and other facilities to the International Commission in Laos?

The Conference has been discussing the request of the Commission and how this should be met, but it has not yet been possible to reach agreement between the two Co-Chairmen as to the way it should be done.

Employment

Remploy Factory, Birmingham

39.

asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made regarding the closing of the Remploy factory, Clay Lane, Birmingham; what use will be made of the old buildings; and whether he will make a statement.

It has been decided to bring the two Remploy factories in Birmingham under one roof. This will cause no loss of employment, and the workers have been given assurances that they will not be adversely affected in any way. The change will make possible substantial savings in running costs and overheads. The premises at Yardley will be relinquished.

Would my hon. Friend say whether or not the same number of work places will be available for disabled men?

Remploy has assured me that there will be no loss of work or reduction in the number of severely disabled employed. I am, indeed, hopeful that, on the contrary, the new combined factory at Garretts Green will be more accessible by public transport and it may be possible to place additional Section 2 cases in employment there.

United States Air Force Station, Bruntingthorpe (Closure)

40.

asked the Minister of Labour what steps are being taken to assist those who will become unemployed when the United States Air Force station at Bruntingthorpe is closed.

Arrangements will be made for the advance registration of employees at Bruntingthorpe before discharges begin in March, 1962.

Whilst thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him to bear in mind that a number of these employees are of a specialised category who are not easy to place in normal civilian work?

I appreciate that there may be difficulties in a few cases, but fortunately unemployment is very low in the whole area and I hope that those cases will be very few indeed.

Commercial Apprenticeship Scheme

41.

asked the Minister of Labour how many boys and girls, respectively, have been apprenticed through the commercial apprenticeship scheme since 31st August, 1959; and what percentage this represents of recruitment into clerical employment of the relevant age group.

Ninety-eight boys and three girls between 16 and 18 were enrolled under the Commercial Apprenticeship Scheme in the year ended 31st August, 1960. This represents 0·2 per cent. of the number of boys and girls in this age group taking up clerical work. The scheme is for the training of candidates for executive posts, and the field of recruitment is therefore much smaller than that for clerical work.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary explain why the Minister of Labour boasted about the high number of people entering clerical employment when he spoke in the apprenticeship debate? This is one example of apprenticeship training where there are serious deficiencies, and there are other wide areas as well. Can he give reasons why more efforts are not made to encourage clerical apprenticeship schemes?

I agree that the increase hoped for has not been achieved, but it should be remembered that a number of firms have their own schemes for training, both for executive posts and general clerical duties. Unfortunately, the figures are not available for people trained under those arrangements, but I am informed that the number is appreciable. However, there is no doubt that more systematic training is required.

Youth Employment Bureaux

42.

asked the Minister of Labour whether alternative accommodation has yet been found for the eleven youth employment bureaux reported on by the Youth Employment Advisory Committee as unsatisfactory and for which suitable premises had not been found by 2nd May, 1960.

Of these eleven offices, whose premises were criticised by inspectors of the Central Youth Employment Executive, alternative accommodation has been found for four, and in two cases is already in use. Efforts are being continued to obtain alternative premises for the other seven.

Is not this another example of the Ministry of Labour dragging its feet in relation to the Youth Employment Service? Surely it is high time that these officers were found suitable accommodation?

I do not think it is a question of the Ministry dragging its feet. In many areas it is difficult to find existing suitable accommodation. Of the seven offices for which alternative accommodation has still to be found, four are part-time. I am sure the hon. Member would agree that we cannot build very fast for part-time use.

Scottish Affairs

Matters of Science and Industry in Scotland and Arts and Recreational Amenities in Scotland, being matters relating exclusively to Scotland, referred to the Scottish Grand Committee for their consideration.—[ Mr. R. A. Butler.]

Adjournment

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[ Mr. Redmayne.]

Angola

3.31 p.m.

For several weeks now public opinion in Britain has been deeply disturbed by reports of what has been happening in Angola. Churchmen, christians of all denominations, have been especially concerned, as is shown by the number of declarations and resolutions which have been carried and conveyed to the Government by the Methodist Church and the Baptist Church, and by the Council of Churches, which recently called on the Foreign Secretary.

In this House, over the last three months, we have put a large number of Questions to the Government, most of them, of course, concerned with the attitude and reaction of Her Majesty's Government to the news that was coming through from Angola. It is well known that the posture of Her Majesty's Government in this matter has been far from what we think it is desirable that it should be; and it is for that reason, in particular, that we wish to return to the subject this afternoon.

It is part of the Government's case that they do not know the facts. In a little while I will come to the question of the inquiry which is to be undertaken by the British Consul-General and other inquiries. For my part, I should have said that, in broad outline at any rate, the facts are not really in dispute.

First, it is not to be denied, I think, that Portugal is now the only remaining Western nation which refuses any advance or any hope of self-government to its colonies. Indeed, in their Colonial Act, the Portuguese specifically declare that it is
"the duty of the Portuguese nation to fulfil their historic function of possessing and colonizing overseas dominions and of civilizing the native population inhabiting them."
That quotation, I think, is enough to show how very far back in the nineteenth century the attitude of Portugal still is today. While the rest of Africa, in the North, in the West, and in the East, has been advancing swiftly towards self-government and independence, the Portuguese Government have remained sunk in the past.

The second point which I think will not be denied is that the overwhelming majority, perhaps 99 per cent., of the Africans in Angola not only have no hope whatever of proceeding to self-government, but they also have very little indeed in the way of civil rights. They are essentially classed as second-class citizens. They are subject to what is politely called contract labour. We used to call it forced labour, and I do not think that there is very much difference.

Thirdly, that on 15th March there was a revolt of the Africans in Angola—in the northern part particularly, although it stretched down into the colony—in the course of which several hundred Portuguese were massacred. Fourthly, that this was followed by immediate reprisals by civilians of an equally brutal and indiscriminate character. Fifthly, that there was then a military action initiated by the Portuguese Government and now continued, in the course of which it seems—here, one is not certain of the figures, but these are the figures given by the Baptist missionaries two months ago—that no fewer than 20,000 Africans have already been killed. I said that one could not be sure of these figures, but I think that we might as well take evidence from those who have been closest to this terrible event.

In addition—here I think that the figures are more reliable—it seems that by now about 100,000 Africans from Angola have crossed the border into exile into the Congo. We have read reports of the burning and bombing of villages and the indiscriminate shooting of Africans. It is even said—I say no more than that—that napalm bombs may have been used.

Reports of this kind of thing, as we all know, continue to come in almost every day. If the House has any doubt about this, doubt about what I have said so far, I can only offer hon. Members the mass of testimony, handed to me this morning by the Baptist Missionary Society, of conditions obtaining in Angola before March, and of what has been seen by Baptist missionaries themselves in the course of the last few months. It is not necessary for me to pass this testimony to the Lord Privy Seal because, I understand—I welcome it—that the Baptists are proposing to send him copies immediately. I hope that arrangements will be made for this testimony to be published. I have only looked through it, but I think that any hon. Member who reads it cannot but be sickened and nauseated by the stories of cruelty and inhumanity which occur in its pages. I cannot see any reason why Baptist missionaries should invent these stories. Again and again they have made plain their affection for the territory of Angola. They have been extremely careful in their dealings with the Portuguese Government, and my impression is that it was only when they were simply overwhelmed by what was happening that they decided that they must do their best to rouse the conscience of the world.

There is no doubt about the reaction in Britain, and indeed in other places, among most people. It has been concentrated, and rightly, on two things. First, on the exceptionally savage character of the repression. We all know that in past years, in British Colonies, there have been revolts and there has been terrorism. We know that at one time or another British Governments have done things about which some of us, at any rate, have not been at all happy. But I know of nothing done by any British Government, certainly in the last fifty years, which could conceivably compare with the kind of thing that we are told is now happening in Angola.

The second point on which criticism is concentrated is what lies behind this, the rigid refusal of the Portuguese dictatorship to concede any rights or any hope of advance to self-government to the African. One of my hon. Friends says, quite rightly, that it concedes no advance in Portugal, either. Perhaps I may be allowed to say—this is very much at the root of the whole trouble—that I have always believed that it is impossible for a democracy, over a period, to maintain itself in an imperialistic and colonialist position. We cannot deny to the people of other countries what is claimed for ourselves. Equally, where a dictatorship does not allow the Portuguese people themselves any rights, it is very much more difficult to imagine that it will concede such rights to colonies.

What is the Government's attitude in all this? I do not believe for one moment that the Lord Privy Seal and his colleague the Foreign Secretary are indifferent to what is going on. I do not believe for one moment that they do not regret what has happened as much as the rest of us, but I do accuse them of having so conducted their policy in these last three months as to have created an extremely bad impression upon the rest of the world.

I think that their policy has been foolish even if their fundamental emotions are themselves sound enough. For the British Government were not merely content throughout this period to remain silent, to do nothing, which in any case, in my view, would have been far from satisfactory, but they chose, in these months, to go out of their way to underline, by a number of different acts, their friendly relations with the Salazar régime. It is this which we on this side of the House find so extraordinary and of which we are particularly critical. I will mention seven different ways in which this has been done.

First, not once but, I think, at least five times—certainly on every occasion when the question of Angola has come up at the United Nations Security Council or Assembly—the British Government have ostentatiously abstained on motions critical of the Portuguese Government and done so at a time when the United States Government, represented by Mr. Adlai Stevenson, have on every occasion voted for those resolutions.

In the second place, there was the visit of H.M.S. "Leopard" to Angola right in the middle of the trouble. Thirdly, there was the so-called good will visit by the Foreign Secretary to Lisbon. Fourthly, there was the training exercise which we debated in this House not long ago, and which has been dropped. We are glad that it has been dropped, though, be it said, the reason for this, according to the Government, has nothing to do with what has happened in Angola but with what is happening in Kuwait. Then there was the sale of the two warships, which has not been stopped. There was the visit of units of the British Fleet to Lisbon only two or three weeks ago. And there was the refusal of the visa to Captain Galvao because—this was the reason given by the Government—they were afraid that he might make speeches here critical of the Portuguese Government.

Captain Galvao happens to have been the author of a famous report on the state of affairs in Angola and other Portuguese colonies in 1947. It was on that account that he suffered exile. It was, no doubt, to talk about that sort of thing that he wanted to come to Britain. The Government say that they do not know the facts. They might at least have tried to get a little of the background by allowing him to come here.

I find it impossible to believe that all these seven instances were all coincidences. It seems to me far more probable that at some point—it may well have been in the course of the last year and some months ago—at some level in the Foreign Office; it may have been a low level—it was suggested that we ought to make a friendly gesture to the Portuguese Government. So somebody rang up the Admiralty and asked, "What can you do to help?" Then somebody rang up the War Office and asked, "Can you do something in this field?" And, gradually, a plan was worked out.

I, personally, do not believe that there was anything to be said for such a plan in any event, because I do not think that we need go out of our way ostentatiously to be friendly to a dictatorship even if it is a member of N.A.T.O. But, of course, after all these events in Angola it would have been very much wiser to have abandoned this plan altogether.

The excuses and the explanations which have been put forward by the Government have been extremely flimsy and quite unconvincing. They told us—it bears out what I said just now—that the visits, in particular, were all arranged before and could not be changed. What utter nonsense! If the Government had wished to show their marked disapproval of what was happening in Angola they could not have found a better way than by cancelling the visits. That would have been an admirable demonstration of British opinion.

Then there was the sale of arms. They have at last suspended the sale of arms and ammunition to Angola and to other Portuguese colonies, but, of course, there is no restriction on the sale of arms and ammunition to Portugal and there is nothing in the way of the Portuguese Government buying the arms and ammunition—they would probably go to Portugal, anyhow—and then sending them on to Angola. I have never seen such a farce, really—to suspend or pre- vent arms and ammunition going to Angola when they can go freely to Portugal.

The British Government have never even considered what the Norwegian Government have done about this. There is no doubt about Mr. Lange's view. The Norwegian Government refused to sell ammunition to Portugal, and the interesting thing is that the feeling in Norway about the situation was inspired by the reports of our own missionaries. This is what The Times had to say about it:
"Recent articles in the British Press on British missionaries' accounts of conditions in Angola have stirred Norwegian public opinion, and denunciations of Portuguese action have been strong in all political quarters."
I could have wished that the British Government had taken more notice of our own missionaries. They claim that the facts are not clear, but, as I said in reply to an interjection earlier, there really is no reason why we should doubt the accuracy and the truth of what those Baptist missionaries have told us.

The Foreign Secretary has now asked our Consul-General at Luanda to make a report to him. But why was this report not made earlier? What was to prevent the Consul-General from visiting the Northern Territories earlier? Has no information come in anyhow? And even if he now goes, I should like to ask, under what conditions exactly is he going? I understand that the only two people who will accompany him on our side are the military attaches from the Lisbon Embassy. They may—I do not know them—be impartial; they may be very concerned about it all; but I wonder just how far those people conducting the inquiry are to be free—for instance, to speak privately to Africans.

I wonder how far the Africans will feel sufficiently safe to speak to them at all; I wonder whether the Consul-General will be allowed to go over the border with the Congo and talk to the refugees who are pouring in on the other side. I wonder whether he will be allowed to speak to Mr. Roberto Holden, the leader of the United Angolan Peoples, the leader, in other words, of the nationalist revolt there.

And why, if this has been the problem, if the Government really had serious doubts about what was going on, did they not support the proposal for a United Nations inquiry? After all, when this was first brought up at the Security Council the United Kingdom abstained, and managed to prevent, with some other countries as well, though not the United States, the Security Council from taking any action. We abstained again when the matter came up to the United Nations Assembly, but, happily, this resolution in favour of an inquiry was carried by a large majority.

That brings me to the strange story of our behaviour in the United Nations. As I have said already, on a number of occasions, certainly at least five, we have just abstained. The Foreign Secretary the other day, speaking in another place, made it plain that the reason we abstained on all those resolutions, apparently, was that they were tied up in some way with the anti-colonialist resolution passed by the Assembly on 14th December last. I find that a very lame excuse. If this really was the reason why is it there was such a difference of opinion between Mr. Adlai Stevenson and the Foreign Secretary?

Most of us, after all, would agree that Mr. Stevenson is a reasonable, highly intelligent and humane man. Yet he found no difficulty whatever in voting for these resolutions. Surely, if there was objection on these grounds—and I will come to the detail of it in a moment—would it not have been possible for Her Majesty's Government, if they objected to certain words in these resolutions, to put down another resolution also critical of the Portuguese Government, although not perhaps in those particular terms? Or they could have done what I suggested to the Prime Minister some months ago it would be much wiser to do?—that is, when we have a long resolution, as in the case of the famous anti-colonial resolution of last December, and we do not like certain words in it, for our people to say that they agree with the spirit of the resolution, that they do not agree with the particular interpretation that may be placed on certain words, but that they will nevertheless vote for it. That is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

If we look at the actual words to which they objected, I think that the House will agree that what I have suggested would have been a much wiser course. The words in this very long resolution which they did not like, and I understand the reason, were these:
"that inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence and that immediate steps should be taken in trust and non-self-governing countries or all other territories, which have not yet attained independence to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories without any conditions or reservations."

These are rather strong terms. But I would say to he noble Lord, if he is arguing on words with me, what does this ask for? It asks for immediate steps to be taken. Is there anything wrong about that? Why should not immediate steps be taken? It does not say that immediate transfer of power should take place. If we prefer not to argue it on legalistic lines, which I myself would regret, but to treat it in the context of the whole resolution, which I think is very much the wiser course, it leads to far less misundertanding if we vote for it and explain our reservations on these particular lines.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Minister has stated in the House today that the Government are now to adopt another policy on these resolutions and are to ignore this one?

I am coming to that. That has already been announced in another place by the Foreign Secretary, and I welcome it. It certainly goes some way along precisely the lines that I have indicated, although it is far from clear from what the Foreign Secretary said exactly what the Government are to do.

As I understand, these words, when they appear in the preamble to a motion are in future to be ignored. I am glad that the Foreign Secretary has at last reached this conclusion. Could not he have got his mind to work on it a little earlier and have prevented some of this damage being done? It is not as if this were a new problem. We had exchanges of views on this in the House last January and one would have supposed that by now the Foreign Secretary would have got around to it.

Two other excuses have been put forward by the Government. The first is that despite all these seven things they have done, they do not, of course, side with the Portuguese Government and no one need suppose that they do. I have already said that I do not think that Her Majesty's Government are in sympathy with the repressive measures taken in Angola, but they must surely understand just how what they have done has been misunderstood elsewhere in the world, certainly in Africa and Asia by a number of different leaders whom I could quote this afternoon. Because of these votes, because of the sale of weapons and because of the abstentions on resolutions it has been widely assumed that we, in some way or another, were especially friendly with the Portuguese Government at the present time. Is that surprising?

If, at the time of the Hungarian uprising, we had sent the right hon. Gentleman on a good will visit, or we had proposed to sell some arms, or we had refused a visit to Anna Kethly when she wanted to come here to tell us what was going on there, is it not obvious that the world would have thought that we were approving what had been done there? We could not have avoided such a conclusion.

The second argument being put forward is that Portugal is a member of N.A.T.O. and one of our allies and that we must be careful what we say about her political activities. What are the political objects of N.A.T.O. members? They are laid down in the Treaty:
"To safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law."
Unfortunately, it is precisely these principles which are being torn to shreds in Angola and Portugal today. If we have to choose between standing by the principles of the alliance, or being ostentatiously friendly with an ally which betrays these principles, can it be doubted that we must choose the former course?

I know that there are some people who despise the whole idea that the alliance should have political ideals. They regard it as just a matter of national self-interest and say that we need never be, and should never be, concerned with the type of government or the policies adopted by other members. I believe this to be a profoundly dangerous point of view. I have never supported the idea that N.A.T.O. should develop into an aggressive anti-Communist crusade, nor would I say that it is possible to insist that every member must have a complete Parliamentary democracy on British lines, but it would be a disastrous error to try to eliminate the moral and ideological element in the alliance. Whenever a member country departs from democracy, liberty and the rule of law it does the alliance grave harm. If this process went too far it would destroy the alliance altogether.

Precisely because most of us in the West are democracies, where the Governments are influenced and can be changed by the people, the attitude of the people matters, and the attitude of a people is affected by how its allies behave. It is affected by whether they think their cause is a just one, and whether they think that they have a way of life which is worth defending against the Communist threat. Is it not obvious that our major argument against that threat is that we continue to enjoy democracy and freedom and that we do not wish to give it up? Remove that argument by removing democracy and freedom and there is precious little left of our case.

All this is the more important today in view of the concentration of the cold war in uncommitted and underdeveloped territories. Most of these territories have recently been colonial areas, and, therefore, we are faced inevitably with certain serious disadvantages in trying to win the cold war. We suffer from the disadvantage that, for instance, most of the Western countries are very much richer than the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. We suffer from the disadventage that there is still a good deal of emotion which can easily be aroused against ex-colonial Powers.

In fact—and this is in a way the tragedy of the whole thing—Great Britain and the West generally, France certainly, has in all these ways a good record over the last fifteen years. Between them, Britain and France, I suppose, have given freedom and independence to about 800 million people during this period. On the other hand, the Soviet Union, by expanding Communist power over Eastern Europe, has, in fact, brought under its domain hundreds of millions of people in Europe.

We surely should be emphasising this. We should be trying to win over the people of these territories by making plain what we have done and what the Communists have not done. But we shall never make our case so long as we appear to condone or support an avowedly reactionary régime in Angola, whose activities have shocked the world and gravely embarrassed the Western alliance.

4.0 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has rightly described the situation in Angola today as extremely serious. He has said, again rightly, that events in Angola have caused the whole House and the people of this country, as I said at Question Time today and, as the right hon. Gentleman has also acknowledged, Her Majesty's Government the greatest distress. We recognise the far-reaching effects which these events are bound to have in Africa, on the Europeans there, and on the African countries, and we fully understand how strongly not only Africans but people everywhere must feel about them.

I think that the House will acknowledge, whatever criticisms it may make, that our own distress is the greater, because these events have occurred in the territories of a country with whom we have had a long-standing friendship. I hope that the House will agree with me, as I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will, when I say that I hope that whatever we may say in the debate may be directed towards the sole object of improving this situation and using the influence of this House for good in what are very difficult circumstances indeed.

This has been the object of the policy of Her Majesty's Government throughout these last few months. I recognise that some hon. Members opposite may disagree, and will no doubt say so in the course of the debate, with the manner in which this policy has been carried out, but the right hon. Gentleman himself acknowledged that we ourselves in Her Majesty's Government were bound to dislike many of the things which have happened in Angola. If hon. Members disagree with the policy and the way in which it has been carried out, at least I hope that they will accept the honesty of our motives in trying to use such influence as we have to secure a peaceful settlement of the troubles existing at present in Angola. I am sure that unless we set out today with this object in view in the debate, nothing but harm can come from it.

The Leader of the Opposition mentioned the question of information about events there. A great deal of information has been presented to us by the missionaries who have come back from Angola. There have also been other accounts. It has been difficult to check or corroborate. We have no means of securing the information and no means necessarily of obtaining it from the authorities.

I should like briefly to go over the main points of the history of these events, which has already been touched upon by the right hon. Gentleman. Until February this year, everything was apparently quiet in Angola. Whatever the effects of Portuguese colonial policy and whatever the views about it may have bean, there were few signs of unrest. It is true, or it is believed to be so, that the Africans disliked the Portuguese decree in 1953 whereby the asimilado could lose his citizenship and a white Portuguese citizen could not. It is also true that the African coffee growers have for long complained that they were not getting a fair price for their produce from the authorities.

I try to listen to the right hon. Gentleman with great respect, but I feel that he has forgotten to refer to the history of fifty years, starting with C. R. W. Nevinson, Joseph Conrad and other eminent writers, in which brutality and slave labour were established. Dr. Salazar's approval of it in 1937 has been rather gently dismissed by a reference to some discrimination against Portuguese wives. This question of slave labour was one which even William Cadbury failed to refute and this same question the I.L.O. could not get Portugal to answer.

Whatever views may be held about Portuguese colonial policy, these were the recent events to which I was referring. The disturbances began in Luanda on 4th and 5th February. There were attacks on police stations and on prisons. It is not clear what lay behind them unless it was to release those who were detained. [Interruption.] It is very difficult to form a judgment on what lay behind them and I think that the hon. Member should for once be fair in allowing that fact.

The troubles in the North began in the middle of March in the Province of Malange, to the north of Luanda along the Angola-Congo border. There were attacks by Africans on villages on the border and on settlements in the interior. These showed some signs of being planned and co-ordinated. They were indeed brutal and, as the Leader of the Opposition has acknowledged, a large number of Portuguese settlers were massacred on their farms. Again, no precise figures are available, but it is estimated that between 800 and 1,000 Portuguese settlers were killed. That is a very considerable number, especially when one compares it with the numbers of those killed in our own territories, for example, during the Mau Mau period or other terrorist campaigns.

It was these outrages that led to retaliation by Portuguese settlers. Fearful of being wiped out themselves, they took the law into their own hands, partly from fear and partly no doubt from a desire for revenge. They attacked the Africans in their own territories. No one condones this and the Portuguese authorities themselves, whose military forces at that time were small and limited, certainly do not condone these outrages. They did their best to use their forces to prevent atrocities or extremist action of this kind. There is no doubt that it is from these original bitter racial disturbances and massacres that the reports which the missionaries have sent back and made available to us in the Foreign Office have largely sprung.

When the right hon. Gentleman says that the Portuguese have recognised that these ought to be condemned, can he say whether there has been one word from the Salazar Government condemning the massacres carried out by the civilian population with arms supplied to them by the Government?

Yes, a statement was issued by the Portuguese Government, on Monday, denying that they had condoned activities of this kind and denying, also, that they were using repressive measures themselves. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am only endeavouring to state the facts. The hon. and learned Member asked whether it had ever been said by the Portguese Government.

Since then, the rebels have continued to attack both Africans and Europeans and they have appeared to have concentrated on damage to communications, to roads and bridges. The Portuguese Government, we understand, as far as we are able to obtain information, are now carrying out operations to clear obstacles to communications, to restore food supplies, to restore some form of law and order, and to protect those engaged in coffee picking.

There is also no doubt that the Portuguese are anxious to prevent excesses between Africans and Europeans of the kind that happened at the beginning of these disturbances, but, as I have already said, the amount of information we have is limited. As the Leader of the Opposition has said, much of it has been supplied to us by missionaries, but from the point of view of forming a judgment on who was responsible for any of these things, we have, as a Government, very limited means of doing that.

But there are three things which may help in this respect. First, as the right hon. Gentleman mentioned, a sub-committee has been set up by the United Nations Assembly. I will deal later with our voting and record at the United Nations. As I said at Question Time, we understand that the chairman of the sub-committee is in touch with the Portuguese Government and we hope, as we have frequently stated in public, that the Porguguese Government will cooperate with the sub-committee and make information available to it. The subcommittee has also directly approached Baptist missionaries in this country for information. I will certainly consider the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman about the publication of the evidence which he tells me the missionaries are to send to my noble Friend and to myself.

Secondly, there is the visit of the Consul-General accompanied by the two attachés to the Northern Territories. There have been difficulties in their going there before, but we hope now that they will be able to see everything that we wish them to see. We are certainly anxious that they should, and that they should be able to talk to everybody to whom they wish to talk. Our own representatives in the Congo should also be able to talk to the refugees who are present either in Leopoldville or elsewhere in the Congo.

The third thing is that we should like to see the Portuguese Government giving greater facilities to Press correspondents to see the situation for themselves, and we understand that this may be possible. We certainly hope it will be. If the sub-committee is able to obtain information, if our own representatives are able to go to the Northern territories and if the Press correspondents can see for themselves, we shall have much more information on which to form a judgment. My noble Friend the Foreign Secretary was grateful to those who came to see him from the World Council of Churches—and I was present myself —to give us the information which they had available to them and to discuss with us the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

I should like to say now a word about the refugees. Various estimates have been made about the number, varying between 75,000 and just over 100,000. Again, we have no means of judging what the total number is. Many of them fled from fear of terrorism. Some fled from a wish to avoid being caught in any sort of military operations or in any strife between the rebels and the Portuguese troops. They have been looked after partly by the United Nations through the South Kasai Famine Relief Fund and other relief funds to which Her Majesty's Government and many voluntary organisations in this country have contributed. Other organisations which are helping the refugees with, among other things, medical supplies are the Red Cross, including the Portuguese Red Cross, the Congolese authorities and Caritas, a Catholic body. The Portuguese authorities have themselves helped the Angolan refugees in the Congo with two large consignments, sent from Lisbon, of food, medicines and blankets which have been handed over to the International Red Cross specifically for the Angolan refugees.

There are now indications that many of the refugees are returning to Northern Angola. Again, estimates vary, but one estimate puts the number now as high as 20,000 returning to Angola. Again, we have no means of knowing how accurate those figures are.

Perhaps I could turn to the position of our own missionaries in Angola today. In the northern part of the territory, near the Congo, the Baptist mission at San Salvador do Congo continues to function with a staff of about six missionaries. Mothers and children have been withdrawn as a precautionary measure. Two mission stations have been closed at the request of the authorities, those at Bembe and Quibocolo. In the case of Bembe the whole town was evacuated by the Portuguese administration after hostilities had taken place in it. During the hostilities the mission, which was headed by Miss Edna Staple, looked after the wounded, but in the end they had no choice but to leave when the Portuguese administration itself left, and they dispersed the pupils at the mission school to their various villages.

In the case of Quibocolo, as I told the House on 28th June, the mission was asked by the Portuguese authorities to leave on grounds of security and there were three British missionaries affected. The Consul-General himself asked the Portuguese authorities the reason for this and was told that the order could not be changed on security grounds. Since then our Ambassador in Lisbon has taken the matter up and has asked for further information as to why this decision was taken. He also asked for an assurance that missions will be allowed to reopen after the risk to security has passed.

As far as missionaries in South and Central Angola are concerned, there are ten different stations in the centre of the territory with about 20 adults and 13 children in them. We have no reports at all to indicate that the missionaries in that part of the country are being hampered in carrying on their normal work.

If I may sum up briefly the Government's view of these events, we deeply deplore the loss of life, both African and European. Where there have been atrocities we utterly condemn them, whoever has committed them. When racial passions are roused, fear and prejudice take control and the results are grievous for everyone. But help and succour for the refugees has been forthcoming, in part from that provided by the Government and voluntary bodies in this country, for use in the Congo. We have tried through diplomatic means to protect the interests of our own missionaries and we shall continue to do so.

What of the deeper problems which lie behind this revolt? There has been some suggestion that it has been organised from outside the territory with the assistance of other countries. There is no doubt that organisations of Angolans in the Congo have played their part. There are indications that one of the organisations has received support from other countries. But it is unrealistic, in the Government's view, to treat what is going on in Angola as if it were entirely a drive by others outside the country and did not bear relevance to the aspirations of the Angolans themselves.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it is the general opinion of nearly all the missionaries who have come from Angola, and who are in this country at present, that no assistance has come from outside and that there is no Communist influence at all behind the rising in Angola? Will the right hon. Gentleman take note of what the missionaries have said, as well as of what the Portuguese Government have said?

Yes, I have taken note of both those points. As I have said, there is some evidence, but, on the other hand, it is unrealistic to believe that it is entirely a matter of help from outside. This is part of a movement of militant African nationalism which is spreading across the whole of the Continent. If this is the case, then it requires not only the restoration of law and order, but also remedies which are political and economic.

There are fundamental differences between our own policy and that of Portugal in Angola. This has been made clear on many occasions and, indeed, the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition himself has acknowledged today that it is clear. It is nowhere clearer than in our own dependencies and in those countries which have moved towards self-government and have, indeed, achieved self-government over these past few years. In my view, there cannot be any doubt in the minds of Africans today what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on moving towards self-development and self-government.

But the view of the right hon. Gentleman—and this is where I want to deal with his points—is that that policy has been compromised by some of the actions which have been carried out in these last few weeks, and that, of course, is where I differ from him. I should like to examine them. He cited seven different points and I will deal with a number of them. First, there is the voting at the United Nations. I think that he will agree, if he reads the record, that on each occasion the British delegate at the United Nations has made our view quire plain about events there. He has expressed understanding of the difficulties of Portugal and he has also explained our view about events there.

At the same time, on each occasion there has been a particular reason, which again he stated quite clearly, governing our voting. This, I think, tends to be quite often a fundamental difference between ourselves and the Opposition. It has been expressed, in the broad view of the right hon. Gentleman, that one should just take the general sense of a motion and vote for it without looking particularly closely at its contents.

We ourselves have taken the view that as this was not a matter which was a threat to peace and security—and that was our view when the matter first came before the Security Council—it did not justify support of the motion, although the right hon. Gentleman would have preferred us to have voted for it. Again, when it came before the Security Council and the Assembly there was the point of Resolution 1514. We did not support it when it came up for the first time because we did not believe that it was in accordance with the colonial policy of either the Opposition when they were in power or ourselves over the last ten years.

My noble Friend has made it plain that wherever this resolution appears we will ignore it, because we have already expressed our complete disapproval of it. On each occasion there has been a particular reason which governed our voting, and, at the same time, we expressed our opinion and our policy.

Then there have been the visits of the Fleet and the Portuguese Chief of Staff, and so on. The right hon. Gentleman said that he could not believe that this was coincidence, but I assure him that it is now part of the normal pattern of relations between ourselves and a great number of European countries. If he examines the programmes which have been carried out with Norway or Holland, for example, or with other European countries, he will find that there are many more exchanges of this kind than have been carried out with Portugal over the last few months.

The exchanges are arranged long in advance. We had to decide whether they should be cancelled. The fact that they were arranged was not a mark of a special move to secure friendship with Portugal, because that friendship is long-standing and can be taken for granted. If the right hon. Gentleman compares the programmes for the visits between this country and other countries, I am sure that he will accept that that is so.

Then there is the question of the sale of arms, to which the right hon. Gentleman devoted considerable attention. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced to the House the Government's policy on this issue. The export of arms to overseas territories of Portugal is now suspended and in deciding the supply of arms to Portugal direct we have to consider the reasonable requirements of Portugal as a member of N.A.T.O. I would have thought that it was apparent to the right hon. Gentleman that it was up to Her Majesty's Government to decide whether a particular order was a reasonable requirement, or whether it was something which would be more than was required for N.A.T.O. and could be passed on for use in overseas territories. That is an appropriate arrangement with which to deal with what is always a difficult problem.

The right hon. Gentleman went on to discuss the position of Portugal in N.A.T.O. It demonstrates the policy which Her Majesty's Government have been carrying out, that we have been treating Portugal as a loyal member of N.A.T.O., while, at the same time, the Government have made clear their views about the events and happenings in Angola and how they should be handled. The right hon. Gentleman discussed the criteria of N.A.T.O. He was a very prominent member of the Labour Government which, in 1949, agreed to Portugal's admission to N.A.T.O. and he must, therefore, accept a situation which, so far as Portugal itself is concerned, has not changed.

On the subject of arms to N.A.T.O., I understood the Prime Minister to say yesterday that we would supply Portugal only with a type of arm which would not be suitable for use in Angola. Is that the case, or do we understand that it is simply that if Portugal asks us for too many arms, we will get suspicious?

I have my right hon. Friend's words before me. I will check them and my hon. Friend the Minister of State will be able to tell the hon. Gentleman later. Type is obviously one of the factors which has to be taken into consideration when deciding whether a supply of arms is to meet a N.A.T.O. requirement. I think that that is what my right hon. Friend said.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether napalm bombs are regarded as suitable for use in Angola? Has he seen the evidence of Mr. Grenfell, who saw an attack by napalm on an Angolan village and saw the remains of the bomb with instructions written on it in English?

I have not seen that particular piece of evidence. We have received a letter from the Red Cross stating that it had heard of only one case of a casualty alleged to have been affected by napalm bombs, but that it had not been able to examine it for itself.

If the right hon. Gentleman does not give way, the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) must not persist.

On a point of order. The right hon. Gentleman has been speaking for ten successive minutes about Portuguese territory as distinct from Portuguese colonial territory.

I take it that the hon. Member for Oldham, West is addressing me on some point of order. If not, he is not entitled to be addressing me. I was wondering what it was.