CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE (FRONT BENCH) – IRAQ & CBW – 3 March 2003

Dr Julian Lewis: The Prime Minister has repeatedly stated that one purpose of any military action would be to prevent Saddam Hussein giving chemical or biological weapons to terrorists. Has the Defence Secretary discussed that with the Americans, and how could anyone ever have any assurance that, no matter how much CBW material Saddam Hussein gave up, he had not retained other material that could be given to terrorists? Is not the logic of the Government's position that that could be prevented only by removing Saddam Hussein from power once and for all?

[Geoff Hoon: That is why it is important that the regime in Iraq complies fully with the terms of Security Council resolution 1441, and does not simply play the games that it appears to be playing at present. I have told the House many times since 11 September 2001 that those appalling events threw into sharp focus our need to ensure that we are protected against threats wherever they may arise in the world. We should therefore concentrate, as we are doing, on not only the continuing terrorist threat, but the threat posed by Saddam Hussein both in his capacity as a leader of a state and his willingness to support terrorism. We are therefore right to have regard not only for the safety and security of the region, but of the wider world.]