HC Deb 10 November 1938 vol 341 cc279-80
20. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the captains of Spanish Government vessels who have been dismissed from their posts are still residing in Cardiff; and whether he can explain why they have not yet been repatriated to Spain?

Sir S. Hoare

Yes, Sir, I understand that certain masters of Spanish ships requisitioned by the Spanish Government received notices from the Spanish Government to leave their ships. Some have left the country but about five remain in South Wales, where the ships of which they were masters have been laid up. As they have not become a public charge and are not seeking other employment, there has been no occasion to consider their repatriation.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the right hon. Gentleman make further inquiries into the operations of these gentlemen? It is alleged that they were dismissed by the Spanish Government because they were acting as agents for General Franco.

Sir S. Hoare

I have no information to that effect. If the hon. Member has any specific information and will send it to me I will consider it. My information goes to show that these particular individuals are not costing this country anything, they are not in employment, and there would be no justification for ordering their repatriation.

Mr. Shinwell

Does the right hon. Gentleman not consider it rather strange that these gentlemen have been residing in Cardiff for several months since their dismissal without any visible means of subsistence?

Sir S. Hoare

No, Sir. I have no information other than the information I have given to the hon. Member.

Mr. Thorne

They are spying for General Franco.

Brigadier-General Sir Henry Croft

Is it not a fact that these ships wore the property of supporters of the Nationalist Government in Spain and may it not be possible that they are kept waiting here till the ships revert to their rightful owners?

Forward to