LONDON: The House of Commons last night [March 3] approved the Conservative Government’s decision to sell Wasp Naval helicopters to the racist white minority Government of South Africa. The ballot threw out an Opposition socialist censure motion on the arms sales resumption. Earlier, Labour opposition leader Harold Wilson … declared: “Our position is clear. We opposed arms, sales to South Africa. We stopped them and we will stop them again.”

Mr. Wilson, whose former Government banned the supply of arms to South Africa in 1964 … said the Conservatives had promised a glittering Eldorado of arms orders from South Africa amounting to 100 million pounds, 200 million pounds or 300 million pounds.

[Meanwhile, as reported by agencies at UN] The UN Special Committee on South African apartheid was told … that France was now in the process of sending South Africa submarines ordered in 1967. The Committee was also told that Britain’s decision to license the export of Wasp helicopters to South Africa, announced on Feb 22, “may well be the first step in the breach of the arms embargo accepted by the United Kingdom Government in 1964” in response to UN Security Council resolutions.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2021

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