HC Deb 07 June 1937 vol 324 cc1397-9
6. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the speech delivered by His Majesty's Ambassador in Berlin on 1st June represents the views of His Majesty's Government?

15. Miss Rathbone

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the panegyric on National Socialism pronounced by the British Ambassador to Berlin in his speech last Tuesday; and whether he will instruct the Ambassador to refrain from giving public expression to his personal views upon the form or methods of government of the State to which he is accredited?

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

The speech to which reference has been made was made on a social and unofficial occasion, and there was thus no question of an expression of the views of His Majesty's Government. I see no reason for action of any kind in the matter.

Mr. Henderson

Is it part of the functions of an Ambassador when eulogising the Nazi regime to criticise those sections of opinion in this country which are opposed to dictatorships, and is it an erroneous conception of what the National Socialistic party in Germany stands for to allege that they have oppressed the Jews, suppressed all political opposition, placed many of their opponents in concentration camps and destroyed all free trade unions?

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Is it not the duty of His Majesty's Ambassadors abroad in every country to establish the best possible relations with the countries to which they are accredited, in spite of all the machinations of so-called pacifists at home?

Mr. Thurtle

Is it a fact that we are all things to all nations?

Mr. Eden

I did not read into the Ambassador's speech the sentiments attributed to him by the hon. Member, nor did I understand him to criticise those in this country who prefer, as we all do, a democratic system of government.

Mr. Sandys

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the satisfaction which is widely held at the signs of improved Anglo-German relations, of which the Ambassador spoke?

Mr. Noel-Baker

In view of recent events at Almeria and Guernica will the right hon. Gentleman represent to the Ambassador that there is very much in his speech which is not in accordance with the views of the majority of the people of this country?

Mr. Eden

I have nothing to add to my answer.

Mr. A. Henderson

Is it not a fact—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member has put a long supplementary and has had a reply.

Mr. Henderson

In view of the statement of the Foreign Secretary that the basis of my supplementary is not in accordance with the speech of the Ambassador, may I not refer to the contents of the speech to justify my supplementary?

Mr. Speaker

Perhaps on some other occasion.

Forward to