HC Deb 20 June 1938 vol 337 cc685-7
19. Mr. W. Roberts

asked the Prime Minister whether he can give an assurance that, in connection with the Anglo-Italian negotiations, the British Government will not contemplate the authorisation of any form of financial assistance, credit, or guarantee to the Italian Government or Italian merchants for the purchase of wheat?

Mr. Butler

The question of credits in any form was not raised by either side during the negotiations which led up to the Agreement of 16th April, and no other negotiations with Italy on this subject are contemplated by His Majesty's Government.

25. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now say when the recent Anglo-Italian Agreement will be brought into force?

Mr. Butler

Both His Majesty's Government and the Italian Government are anxious for the Agreement to be brought into full force as soon as possible. The conditions, however, by which the entry into force of the Agreement are governed, have been publicly and repeatedly stated, and I have nothing to add to what has been already said.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Do I understand that there is no time limit within which the agreement must be brought into force?

Mr. Butler

I have nothing to add to the conditions which have been laid down on this question by the Prime Minister.

Mr. A. Henderson

Have any representations been made by the Italian Government to the effect that this date should be expedited?

Mr. Butler

I should certainly want notice of that question.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Can the hon. Gentleman refer to any statement which gives a definition of the expression "a settlement in Spain"?

Mr. A. Henderson

In view of the wide publicity given to this point in the Press this morning, has the hon. Gentleman no statement to give to the House this afternoon?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir; I have no statement to add to what I have already said.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the hon. Gentleman confirm the report from Rome that Count Ciano asked, on 4th June—

Mr. Speaker

We cannot pursue this subject further at Question Time.

46. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Prime Minister whether, in connection with the recent Anglo-Italian Agreement, he can now define what is meant by a settlement of the Spanish question?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has nothing to add to the statement which he made in the Debate on 2nd May.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Does that mean that the Government still accept Signor Mussolini's condition that a settlement in Spain shall mean the victory of General Franco?

Sir J. Simon

No, Sir. The Prime Minister, on the contrary, gave in the Debate a very good reason for not defining the question more closely, and that is what my answer means.

Mr. Grenfell

If the Prime Minister says one thing and Signor Mussolini another, who is to decide?