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Exports Of Arms

Volume 977: debated on Monday 28 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade why he has rejected requests for an inquiry into the unrestricted export of repressive technology, made to him by Amnesty International in the light of dealings between British firms and the Uganda State research centre; and if he will make a statement.

Much as we deplore the activities of such bodies as the former State Research Bureau of Uganda, to extend control of goods for civil use would present considerable practical difficulties, not least in deciding which goods fell within the category is was desired to establish and which outside that category.Any workable control will involve an unacceptable interference with the export of civil goods, and would be costly to adminster both for the Government and for exporters. However, we are always willing to consider the case for extending control to the export of goods which can be shown to have a mainly military or para-military application.