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Buenos Aires

Volume 950: debated on Wednesday 24 May 1978

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2.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to pay an official visit to Buenos Aires.

My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so.

As the eyes of the world will be on Buenos Aires for the forthcoming World Cup Final, will my hon. Friend take this opportunity to wish the Scottish football team every success?

Does he agree that the spectacle of the best sport in the world should not obscure the facts of one of the worst Fascist dictatorships in the world, under which many people are imprisoned, tortured and murdered? This occurs to such an extent that there are now about 15,000 people in Argentina who have little chance of liberty, never mind seeing the World Cup Final.

I certainly take the opportunity, on behalf of Welshmen and Englishmen, of supporting the Scots in their World Cup efforts. We wish them well.

Of course the problem of human rights in Argentina will not be obscured by the World Cup; in fact it could well be heightened by it. The action taken by EEC members, in which Britain took a full part, in a demarche to the Argentinian Government about disappearances and detentions, was an effective form of protest.

If Scottish fans get into difficulties in Argentina, what advice does the Foreign Office have for them?

We are today publishing in the Official Report the detailed advice that we are giving to every football fan who is travelling to Argentina. We have arranged special consular facilities in every town where matches are being played, as well as strengthening our own consular section in Buenos Aires. There is also quite a lot of detailed advice—we have done extremely detailed work in conjunction with the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Office—to try to ensure that Scottish fans do not get into too much trouble.