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Volume 126: debated on Monday 1 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the current political unrest in Haiti; and what risks it poses to British citizens in that country.

After a prolonged period of civil unrest M. Leslie Manigat was elected President of Haiti on 17 January. The country is now calm. There is no threat at present to the United Kingdom community. We continue to keep the situation under review.

Although my hon. Friend may say that the country is calm, there has been something of a breakdown of law and order there. Is he aware that people in this country are extremely concerned that our citizens in Haiti should be protected, because the present circumstances in that country are not of their own making?

I agree with my hon. Friend. Our overriding priority in all consular matters is that we provide an efficient service for British citizens who are in genuine distress or danger through no fault of their own. I assure my hon. Friend that we are aware of the potential risks to the some 50 British citizens in Haiti.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, on a new question of parliamentary procedure.

Order. I will deal with the matter afterwards. It is not a new procedure.