HC Deb 22 June 1937 vol 325 c998
21. Sir Percy Harris

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the diversion of British mineral supplies to Germany and Italy in territory controlled by General Franco, he will take steps to see that British iron-ore interests in the neighbourhood of Bilbao do not, in the event of General Franco capturing that city, suffer similar coercion?

Mr. Stanley

His Majesty's Government have received informal assurances from General Franco's administration regarding the supply of iron ore to the United Kingdom from territories under his control.

Sir P. Harris

Is there any truth in the allegation that up to the present there has been deliberate diversion of ores, which normally come to this country, to Germany and Italy? Has the right hon. Gentleman any information on that matter?

Mr. Stanley

The hon. Member will realise that the question refers to the iron ore at Bilbao. Therefore, it has not been within the power of General Franco to divert any of it.

Brigadier-General Sir Henry Croft

Has the right hon. Gentleman the slightest fear that General Franco will not protect British interests?

Mr. McGovern

In view of past events, has the right hon. Gentleman any faith in General Franco?