HC Deb 28 November 1928 vol 223 cc389-90
1. Mr. DAY

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's ambassador at Lisbon hat now received a reply from the Portuguese Government with reference to the telegraphic investigations that the Portuguese Government promised would be made in answer to the protest. lodged on behalf of the British Government with regard to the sentence passed upon Mr. A. J. Brewer at Loanda; and, if so, can he give the particulars?

The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir Austen Chamberlain)

The Portuguese Government have considered the representations made by His Majesty's Ambassador at Lisbon in the light of the telegraphic information received by them from Angola, and they have informed him that, desirous of meeting the views of His Majesty's Government, they examined the possibility of releasing or pardoning Mr. Brewer. They much regret, however, that they have been unable to take such action, as, in cases of this kind, Portuguese legal procedure requires that the judicial documents should be submitted to the Minister of Justice. In the present case these documents could not reach Lisbon before Mr. Brewer's term of imprisonment was ended. His Majesty's Ambassador has been instructed to inform the Portuguese Government that His Majesty's Government share the regret of the Portuguese Government at their inability to act on the lines contemplated and that, while they are fully satisfied of the unwarranted severity of the sentence inflicted on Mr. Brewer, they propose to await the report expected from His Majesty's Consul-General at Loanda and to consider then what further action they should take.


Can the right hon. Gentle-mar. say when that report is expected?


I am afraid I do not know, though I could ascertain.


May I say how glad we are to see the right hon. Gentleman back, and that we hope he is restored to health, and may I ask whether he will lay on the table of the House all the correspondence in this case?


I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for his kind observations. I think the time for considering that matter will arrive when the correspondence is concluded. It ought, not to be laid in an incomplete state.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

May I join with my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. HoreBelisha) in welcoming the right hon. Gentleman back to the House and ask him whether we may take it that this matter will not be considered closed with the release of Mr. Brewer, and that His Majesty's Government will follow the matter up with a view to getting compensation for Mr. Brewer?


I do not think that question can be said to arise out of the original answer.