§ 5. Mr. MANDER
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the nature of the guarantee to the Portuguese Government on the question of assistance in the event of an attack from Spain, given during the last few months?
§ Mr. EDEN
No new guarantee of any kind has been given by His Majesty's Government to the Portuguese Government. In response, however, to an inquiry which was made at the beginning of August, His Majesty's Government stated that they have always admitted, and still admit, the validity of the treaties between themselves and Portugal, though they have necessarily retained the right of judging the circumstances in which assistance might be given under these treaties.
§ Mr. MANDER
Would that mean that if the Portuguese Government were attacked by the Spanish Government, we should be obliged to go to their assistance?
§ 8. Sir PATRICK HANNON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement on the result of the friendly suggestion made on humanitarian grounds to both parties in Spain by His Majesty's Government with the object of saving the lives of hostages and the prevention of indiscriminate loss of life among women and children?
§ Mr. EDEN
As I informed the House on the occasion of the Debate which took place on 29th October, the Spanish Government were unable to agree to the last proposal made by His Majesty's Government to both parties for an exchange of prisoners and their removal to a place of safety. Subsequently the insurgent authorities also informed His Majesty's Ambassador that they were unable to accept the proposal. They added, however, that they would have no objection to their prisoners being visited by British officials. His Majesty's Government have made it clear to both sides that their offer of good offices in this matter still remains open, and they are continuing the efforts which they have throughout exerted, wherever possible, to prevent indiscriminate loss of life and to alleviate suffering throughout Spain.
§ Sir P. HANNON
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether any representations of the same kind were made to both sides in Spain at the instance of the League of Nations or any other great Power in Europe?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Have any steps been taken to take advantage of the reply of the insurgent Government that British inspection of their prisoners would be permitted?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Is there any reason why the Fleet, for instance, which has been rescuing people from the Spanish Government, should not do something for the people of the other side who are prisoners?
9. Miss RATHBONE
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to a telephonic communication from the British representative in Madrid to a Sunday newspaper this week in which Mr. Ogilvie Forbes three times used the word "patriot" in referring to the rebel troops; and whether he will request Mr. Ogilvie Forbes to refrain in future from expressions which contravene the spirit of the non-intervention pact by expressing partisanship towards the rebels?
§ 10. Mr. LENNOX-BOYD
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what period of time elapsed between the departure from Spain of King Alfonso in 846 1931 and the recognition by His Majesty's Government of the Spanish Republican Government which was then formed?
§ Mr. LENNOX-BOYD
Will the same expedition be used in recognising General Franco's Government as was used then?
§ 14. Mr. DONNER
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can state what is the approximate number of hostages who remain in the power of the Government of Senor Caballero; and whether he has received any reports recently as to their safety, or otherwise, since His Majesty's Government made its recent request for their exchange?
§ Mr. EDEN
I have received a certain number of reports on this subject, but I have not sufficient information to enable me to make an authoritative estimate of the number of persons detained. As, regards the second part of the question, such information as I have received cannot be said to be of a reassuring nature.