HC Deb 24 February 1936 vol 309 cc11-2
20. Commander BOWER

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that Carmelo Psaila and Robert Ghirlando, British subjects, have been imprisoned in Tripoli since December and January last, respectively, it being stated against them that they had uttered remarks insolent to Italy; whether he is aware that the Italian authorities have declared their intention of bringing them before a military tribunal; and whether His Majesty's Government have taken any steps to secure for these men a fair and open trial without delay?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. His Majesty's Ambassador at Rome is investigating the facts, and I have asked him to hasten his report with a view to deciding whether action should be taken by His Majesty's Government.

Commander BOWER

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that British subjects in Tripoli are undergoing something like persecution solely on account of their nationality? Has he considered suggesting to the Italian Government that our nationals should get the same courtesy and consideration that the Italians receive here?


I am waiting for the report of the Ambassador.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say when these two gentlemen became British subjects?


How long does the right hon. Gentleman think that we can afford to wait without some information while these men are in prison—not, I trust, for more than a month?


A very much shorter time, I hope.