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Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I am deeply grateful to the right reverend Prelate for those remarks. I am sure we all concur with the theme. He is right. The appetite for terror is insatiable. Religious motives are not the motive engine. It is hate and envy. It is hate of something better than terrorists can conceive of; and it is envy for innocent happiness.
Lord Biffen: My Lords, the appalling nature of the incident in Bali chills one when contemplating this latest development in the dispute relating to terrorism. I appreciate the somewhat measured references to Al'Qaeda by the noble and learned Lord the Lord Privy Seal. Is there not plenty of evidence that Indonesia has been suffering from great discontent and conflict stretching back over a number of years? The noble Baroness, Lady Williams, mentioned the disputes in Aceh, the Christian-Muslim conflict in Amboina, and the fighting in West Irian, all of which underline the fact that Indonesia is not a natural economic or political entity. It is a creation of western imperialism.
One of the underlying anxieties must be the inability of an Indonesian state to play its part in dealing sufficiently effectively with terrorism. Perhaps I may ask this of the noble and learned Lord the Lord Privy Seal. At some early date, perhaps we may be presented with an assessment of the underlying political and economic situation in Indonesia so that that may be taken into account as well as the specific tragedies in Bali.
I have been deliberately cautious about attributing blame because blame needs to be attributed on the basis of evidence not speculation. The recent history of Indonesia, about which the noble Lord and the noble Baroness spoke, is a matter of fact, and not of
Lord Desai: My Lords, I want to look to the future rather than dwell on the immediate tragedy. When such an accident takes place, people are often advised not to go in future to that country for tourism purposes. While such caution may be right immediately after the event, I hope that we shall reverse the advice as soon as possible and ask people to go to Bali. One way to fight terrorists is not to be bullied by them and to continue to act normally. I hope that the Foreign Office will do that as soon as possible.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, because I know my noble friend so well, I know that he made a slip of the tongue when he referred to "accident". If he said "incident", I am grateful. It is murder, wilful murder carried out deliberately, of young people who happen to be enjoying themselves. At present the Foreign Secretary has to adopt an extremely prudent stance. He has a duty to British nationals. The Foreign Office advice at present must be to advise against all travel to Bali, and holiday and non-essential travel to Indonesia. Plainly our diplomatic representatives on the ground there are liaising closely with the business community derived from the United Kingdom. I am happy to reassure my noble friend that as a matter of policy the Foreign Office reviews and re-reviews constantly its advice to travellers. We have seen that recently, for example, in Pakistan and India. However, at the end of the day if our nationals ask the Foreign Office for advice we must err on the side of caution and prudence. I take my noble friend's longer term point. The importance of tourism as an industry to Bali, where the income is very modest indeed, cannot be overstated.
Lord Howe of Aberavon: My Lords, I echo the expressions of horror and of sympathy conveyed already to the House. I hope that I shall not be misunderstood if I refer to one point which can give rise to anxiety. I refer to the risk of being confused or ill judged in our reaction to the complex of problems we are discussing. The threat posed by weapons of mass destruction is one important issue, not least in Iraq. Terrorism almost world-wide is a different threat. I hope that the noble and learned Lord will agree, in the calm, deliberate way in which he is responding to questions, that we must, at all costs, avoid confusion between those two components, which canI do not mean to disturb my noble friend the Leader of the Oppositionbe implicit, if we focus too much on the idea of a war against terror. They are two different problems, and we must avoid being provoked into any ill judgment on one side or the other by any possible confusion.
On the issue of weapons of mass destruction, we must, of course, unflinchingly sustain deliberate, well judged, united pressure along the lines already laid out, with as much support from the international community as possible.
On a longer timescale, the multi-headed hydra of terrorism will require co-operation on an even wider scale. I am particularly grateful for the sympathetic way in which the noble and learned Lord defined the way in which we are struggling to help Indonesia. I agree with everything that was said by my noble friend Lord Biffen about the difficulties that face that country. I am also glad that the international partnership against terrorism is embracing the wisdom that can be derived from a more stable society, such as Singapore. I had the opportunity of discussing some aspects of the situation with the chief minister there not long ago. He can give us enormous help, just as we can help a country such as Indonesia.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I take the point made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Howe of Aberavon. However, the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, did not exhibit confusion. The noble Lord said that vigilance must be determined, if we are to produce a proportionate response. I agreed with him on that. I also agree with the noble and learned Lord, Lord Howe of Aberavon, that that proportionate response will be different. It may, as the Prime Minister said in the Statement, involve a military response, or it may involve detailed, careful co-operation of the kind to which the noble Baroness, Lady Williams of Crosby, referred. I hope that I was able to fill in some of the picture.
It is essential that the approaches taken should be multilateral. It is in our interest that they should be so. We must co-operate not in a spirit of dictation but in a spirit of true understanding and give any logistic support that we can.
International terrorismor internal Indonesian terrorism, if that is what it proves to bemust be discussed and deliberated on differently from the question of weapons of mass destruction. However, they may elide one into the other; we do not know. Although I can point to the success in Singapore, one of our difficulties is that the failures of our vigilanceto use the words of the noble Lord, Lord Strathclydeexhibit themselves in the deaths and injuries that occurred in Bali. The successes of our intelligence efforts cannot, in the nature of things, be trumpeted, nor should they be.
Lord Craig of Radley: My Lords, on behalf of all Cross-Benchers, I convey sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of this appalling outrage. I also thank the noble and learned Lord the Leader of the House for his intention to include the Convenor in any extra briefing.
Can the noble and learned Lord reassure the House that the good relationship that we have had with the Indonesian authorities in the immediate aftermath of this appalling disaster will continue? Is he satisfied that there will be good relations in the future?
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley. I can confirm that we have had an increasingly productive relationship with the Government of Indonesia, particularly after 9th September. We are developing particular support by way of exchanges and training in areas in which the Metropolitan Police, in particular, are extremely well regarded all over the world. That is very useful.
Lord Blaker: My Lords, I am sure that noble Lords will agree that it is important that we do what we can to assess the extent to which Al'Qaeda is connected with the attacks that we have been discussing. My noble friend Lord Biffen referred to attacks in other parts of Indonesia. Do we have evidence to connect Al'Qaeda, in addition, to the foiled attempt in Singapore or with the attacks in Yemen and Kuwait?
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I have no evidence that I can offer to your Lordships. The attacks in Kuwait and Yemen were very recent. There is a document, of which the noble Lord, Lord Blaker, will be aware, that purports to support the attack on the American marines in Kuwait and the attack on the French oil tanker in the Gulf of Yemen. I am always cautious. I do not regard such statements as being entirely based on truth. The statement may be an opportunistic attempt to muddy the waters; I do not know. I doubt that evidence will be forthcoming.
Lord King of Bridgwater: My Lords, I support the suggestion made by my noble friend Lord Strathclyde about the message to be sent to the Australian Senate. In one report, I saw that many New Zealanders were involved as well. I hope that the Foreign Office will consider to whom the messages should be sent, so that they cover all our concerns.
I also support what the noble Lord, Lord Desai, said. The noble and learned Lord the Leader of the House gave the impeccable reply that it was a matter of balance, and I accept that, at this stage, the action of the Foreign Office is correct. However, one of the real tragedies that could emerge from this situation is the economic collapse of Bali. Nothing that we seek to address today will be made any easier by an economic disaster that would affect all the people in that beautiful territory. Obviously, it is a question of judgment, but I hope that the Foreign Office will listen to the representations made by two noble Lordsto which the noble and learned Lord the Leader of the House properly respondedand that it will, at the
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