HC Deb 02 June 1937 vol 324 cc985-6
1. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will state, in view of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance, the reason why military missions are proceeding to Italy and Germany in connection with Portuguese re-armament?

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

I understand that a number of Portuguese officers are being sent abroad on urgent public service connected with the re-armament of the army. I would point out that the Portuguese Government are under no obligation by the Anglo-Portuguese treaties of alliance to place their orders for armaments in this country. The Portuguese Government have, in fact, been in touch with His Majesty's Government in respect of their re-armament, but, as the hon. Member will be aware, our own re-armament programme may in certain instances make it difficult for us to fulfil foreign contracts at this time.

Mr. Mander

Are we to understand that the British Government are willing to supply the Portuguese Government with their armament requirements so far as they are in a position to do so?

Mr. Eden

We are willing to supply what we can, but what we can give may not be what other people want.