HC Deb 27 May 1937 vol 324 cc442-3
75. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what messages were sent by the admiral commanding the "Royal Oak" to the British merchant vessel "Kenfig Pool" prior to its entry into Bilbao on 24th May; whether these instructions included any statement as to rebel ships firing on this vessel when it was in territorial waters; and what information was given concerning the presence of mines in territorial waters?

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Kenneth Lindsay)

I am not yet in possession of full information on the points raised by the hon. Member. I should prefer, therefore, to deal with this question in conjunction with those dealing with the same subject already on the Order Paper for Monday next.

Mr. Noel-Baker

(by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's Government have received any further information concerning the attack made upon a French air liner near Bilbao by German Military Aircraft, and whether they have received any proposals from the French Government for a joint protest to General Franco and the German Government?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Viscount Cranborne)

I have been asked to reply. The answer to both parts of the question is No, Sir.

Mr. Noel-Baker

May I ask the Noble Lord whether the Government are aware that this liner was of the usual type and was following the usual route; that it is regularly used by foreign Press correspondents, representatives of the International Red Cross, and foreign consular agents; that it was attacked by five fighting machines in the air, and that after it landed it was attacked by machine guns; and is that not an outrage against international law which requires most energetic action by the Government?

Viscount Cranborne

I can only repeat that it is a French machine, and it is primarily a matter for the French Government.