CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – UNILATERALISM – 28 October 1998

Dr Julian Lewis: The hon. Gentleman [Bruce George] is right to point to periods in which both parties behaved disgracefully, including the 1930s, when the Conservatives allowed themselves to be intimidated by a pacifist movement. The Labour party at the time was calling for even more disarmament than the Conservatives. The difference is that, when we got to the 1980s, the Conservatives had learnt the lesson of the 1930s, whereas the Labour party had to undergo the terrible defeats of 1983 and 1987 before abandoning unilateralism. Does the hon. Gentleman accept that we have had to refer to the 1980s tonight only when challenges were unwisely directed against the Conservatives by Labour Members saying that they had nothing to be ashamed of?