HC Deb 01 December 1937 vol 329 cc2044-6
3. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will give the particulars, according to his records, of the number of British subjects who are still being held as prisoners by the insurgent authorities in Spain; and what, if any, further steps are being taken to secure their release?

Mr. Eden

I am glad to be able to say that all the British subjects known to have been held as prisoners of war by General Franco's forces have now been released.

Mr. Day

Has the Minister had any complaints as to the private property of some of those prisoners still being detained?

Mr. Eden

No, I have not received any.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Were not these prisoners all very well treated?

Sir Nairne Stewart Sandeman

What about the Basque children who are still being detained here?

13. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can now say what zone has been allotted to the Italian Navy under the Nyon Agreement?

Mr. Eden

The foreign Governments concerned are being approached with a view to obtaining their views as to the publication of the information desired by the hon. Member.

Mr. Noel-Baker

In view of the fact that the steamship "Jean Weems" was sunk on the high seas by an Italian aeroplane, is it not of extreme importance that all British shippers should know where the Italian zone is?

15. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what are the reasons of courtesy which require the visit of a British flagship to the insurgent authorities at Cadiz; and whether he proposes to instruct another flagship to pay a similar ceremonial visit to the Governrnent authorities at Barcelona?

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr, Duff Cooper)

The Rear-Admiral Commanding Destroyers, Mediterranean Fleet, visited Cadiz on 23rd November in order to inform the naval authorities there that units of the Mediterranean Fleet would be carrying out exercises at night, and to make arrangements to guard against any untoward incident occurring during these exercises. The visit had, therefore, a purely utilitarian, and not a ceremonial, object. In the circumstances, the second part of the question hardly arises; but, in point of fact, His Majesty's ships did visit Barcelona three times during the last month.

16. Mr. Day

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty particulars of any British steamers that have been arrested on the high seas by British warships under the Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Munitions to Spain) Act; and whether the investigations into their detention have now been completed?

Mr. Cooper

Two British merchant ships, the "Euphorbia" and "African Mariner," have been taken into port by the British Naval authorities, for examination under the Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Munitions to Spain) Act. As regards the "Euphorbia," I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the right hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Benn) on 25th November. I understand that the authorities at Malta have now completed the search of the "African Mariner" and that no arms have been found. The ship has, therefore, been permitted to proceed.

Mr. Day

Can the Minister say whether the search and investigation are facilitated in order that the vessel may not be delayed?