HC Deb 21 April 1937 vol 322 cc1727-8
7. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information as to whether the Italian Government in Abyssinia has recently issued a decree abolishing slavery in Abyssinia and offering to all former Abyssinian slaves a charter of freedom?

Mr. Eden

The hon. Member will be aware of the proclamation issued by Marshal Badoglio on 12th April, 1936, whereby slavery was abolished in the provinces of Tigre, Amhara and Gojjam, and wherever the Italian flag flew. So far as I am aware there has been no further general declaration on this subject, but I understand that certain measures have been taken to give effect to the proclamation in question.

Mr. Riley

Will a copy of this agreement be laid before the League of Nations?

Mr. Eden

I could not say.

Mr. A. V. Alexander

I suppose we can take it that the whole country is now in a state of slavery to Italy?

9. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is now in a position to make a statement with reference to the expulsion of six British missionaries from Abyssinia?

Mr. Eden

Conversations on this subject are still proceeding between His Majesty's Ambassador at Rome and the Italian Government, and I do not think I can usefully make any statement at present. As my Noble Friend explained in reply to the hon. Member on 12th April, the missionaries left Addis Ababa before a reply had been received to the request made to the Italian Government for an extension of the period within which they had been summoned to leave Abyssinia.