HC Deb 07 December 1938 vol 342 cc1148-9
15. Colonel Wedgwood

asked the Prime Minister whether an Apostolic Delegate from the Vatican has yet been appointed to this country; on whose initiative the appointment is being made; what his functions are; and when, and for how long, an Apostolic Delegate has been appointed in the past?

Mr. Butler

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. An Apostolic Delegate is an ecclesiastical official appointed to carry out certain ecclesiastical duties; he enjoys no diplomatic status or privileges. His appointment is a question for the Vatican alone. There has not hitherto been an Apostolic Delegate in this country, but for some time past such Delegates have been appointed to Canada, Australia, South Africa, and India.

Colonel Wedgwood

Will the hon. Gentleman say on whose initiative this appointment was made? Did the initiative come from the Vatican or from this country? Secondly, are the Apostolic Delegate's functions to include any propaganda in favour of the Holy war against the people of Spain?

Mr. Butler

On the question of the initiative, as I said in my original answer, the appointment of the Apostolic Delegate is a question for the Vatican alone. With regard to the right hon. Gentleman's second supplementary question, I do not think I can say anything in answer to that.

Mr. George Griffiths

The hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) can answer that much better, can he not?

Mr. Logan

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that this gentleman who has been appointed is an Englishman and worthy of all the true traditions of the English name?

Colonel Wedgwood

Is this Apostolic Delegate to assist the Cardinal in his functions, which are purely religious? May I have an answer to that?

Mr. Speaker

The Minister is not in a position to answer that.

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