HC Deb 07 December 1938 vol 342 cc1142-3
3. Mr. Mender

asked the Prime Minister whether, under the British plan for the withdrawal of volunteers from Spain, approved by the Non-Intervention Committee in July, 1938, and in view of the fact that all volunteers have now left the service of the Spanish Government, it will be necessary for all volunteers to leave the service of General Franco before it comes into operation?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. Under the plan machinery is provided for the withdrawal of all the volunteers from Spain. If, on the other hand, they were to be evacuated from both sides without use being made of the Plan, His Majesty's Government for their part would see no reason to be dissatisfied.

Mr. Mander

If the plan were put into operation, in view of the fact that all the foreigners have left Government Spain, would it not be necessary under the plan for all the foreigners to leave Nationalist Spain too?

Mr. Butler

The plan cannot be put into operation because we have not had General Franco's acceptance of it.

Mr. Mander

Would the Minister mind answering the question that I put to him, as to whether, if the plan were in operation, all the foreigners would have to leave Nationalist Spain too?

Mr. Butler

The answer is that the plan is not in operation.

9. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the recent threat made by wireless on behalf of the Spanish insurgent authorities to bomb 150 towns and villages in Spanish Government territory; that over 70 civilians, including a large number of women, were killed in recent air raids; and whether His Majesty's Government propose to take any action in the matter?

16. Mr. W. Roberts

asked the Prime Minister whether the British Government will protest against General Franco's avowed intention to bomb more than too towns and villages in Government Spain?

Mr. Butler

I understand that an announcement was made by wireless on 1st December that General Franco's air force intended in the near future to bomb certain military objectives in Spanish Government territory, and particularly munition factories and stores, and that warning was consequently given in order to avoid casualties among the civilian population. I can only reiterate the views of His Majesty's Government on the aerial bombardment of the civilian population of open towns, of which General Franco is fully aware.

Mr. Henderson

May I ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of the threat of a policy of frightfulness which this announcement over the wireless characterises, he will not make a special appeal to the Franco authorities not to carry out this policy directed against the civilian population of Government Spain?

The Prime Minister

My hon. Friend has said what the Government's view is, and General Franco is fully aware of that view.

Miss Rathbone

Has the hon. Gentleman reason to believe that General Franco has carried out his declared intention of bombing only military objectives, or is it not just the contrary?

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