CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – IRAQ DEBATE – 18 March 2003

[Mr John Baron: … Many who advocate war point out correctly that Iraq has had 12 years to disarm but has not done so, and cite that as a reason to go to war now. However, many of those years were wasted by the international community. To resort to war now, having made some progress during the last 12 to 13 weeks of the present policy, makes little sense.]

Dr Julian Lewis: Does my hon. Friend accept, however, that it is not the inspectors' job to go on doing what they have been doing over the last few weeks in acting as detectives? If they are to perform their task properly, they need to be actively shown where the forbidden weapons are, and they are not being shown where they are.

[Mr Baron: I accept my hon. Friend's point, but he must accept that the UN inspectors' reports request extra time because they believe that some progress is being made and there are tentative signs that the regime may be changing its view. An extra 45 days, or a couple of months, would determine whether that was true. Time would tell.]

* * *

Dr Lewis: Will my hon. Friend [Sir Teddy Taylor] explain whether the book and the documents that he has been reading actually say whether Governments or private companies supplied those things [germs and gas] and, if it was the former, for what purpose they thought that they were supplying them?

* * *

[John McDonnell: … We will work through the UN. We will use weapons inspection and implement the proposal for UN human rights inspectors. We will support the Iraqi people because a tyrant falls best and hardest when he is pushed by his people. We will not bomb but support them.]

Dr Lewis: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way with his usual courtesy. Did not we hope that the Iraqi people would get rid of Saddam Hussein in 1991 when we left it to them? They rose up and were massacred.