New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: If he will make a statement on (a) the status of, (b) the recent evolution and changes in the role of and (c) the identity of those funding the World Peace Council?

[The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr Keith Vaz): This Government have had no direct contact with the World Peace Council. It is an international non-governmental organisation, which has apparently been based in Paris since 1996. It has no member organisation in this country.]

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] Is not that a rather thin account of the World Peace Council, which for more than 20 years was on the Labour party's list of proscribed organisations as the principal Soviet propaganda front? Given that that was its role and that it followed every twist and turn of Soviet foreign policy, will the Minister explain why the Foreign Secretary saw fit to appoint as the chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which is intended to inculcate democratic values in ex-communist countries, someone [Labour MP Ernie Ross] who was a former active member of the World Peace Council at the height of the cold war?