HC Deb 28 November 1938 vol 342 cc2-5
5. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the proposed international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak State?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

I am not yet in a position to add anything to my reply to my hon. Friends the Members for Bilston (Mr. Hannah) and Leeds, West (Mr. V. Adams) on 14th November.

Mr. Henderson

May I ask the Prime Minister whether there is any truth in the statement that the Czechoslovak Government have sent a communication to His Majesty's Government intimating that the boundaries of the new State have been finally settled; and whether they intend to take any action on that communication?

The Prime Minister

I have not heard anything of it.

13. Captain Sir Derrick Gunston

asked the Prime Minister whether His Majesty's Government was consulted regarding the decision of the Czechoslovak Government to cede a corridor to Germany for the purpose of building a great motor-highway through Czechoslovakia connecting Breslau and Vienna, which can be used for military purposes in time of war?

14. Mr. Pilkington

asked the Prime Minister whether he can state which country is to own the proposed motor road cutting across the middle of Czechoslovakia and joining up Breslau and Vienna via Brno?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Butler)

The construction of a motor-road running through Czechoslovakia was decided by the German and Czechoslovak Governments. Such a matter, I am advised, does not fall under any of the provisions of the Munich Agreement. I am not in a position to make any statement regarding the ownership of the proposed road.

Sir D. Gunston

Seeing that Czechoslovakia is to be bisected, will our guarantee still hold good? Will it apply to both halves of Czechoslovakia, or to one half, and, if the latter, to which half?

Mr. Butler

On the subject of the guarantee I cannot add anything to what the Prime Minister has already said this afternoon.

Mr. A. V. Alexander

May I ask the Prime Minister whether the question of a motor road was raised by him at Munich, and whether any answer was given on that occasion?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, that was not raised.

Sir Percy Harris

Is it not of vital interest to us, as we have undertaken to guarantee the frontier, that we should be advised of any such enterprise, which may seriously affect our position and our undertaking?

Mr. Butler

I have no doubt that all relevant considerations were taken into account.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will not the making of this road completely alter the situation as it was at Munich, and does not the Prime Minister think it should alter our attitude as regards the guarantee?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, I do not think so.

15. Mr. Pilkington

asked the Prime Minister whether the final adjustments of the German-Czechoslovakian frontier were based on ethnical grounds; and whether this readjustment has received the approval of the Commission of Ambassadors?

25. Mr. Bartlett

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the final adjustment of the frontiers of Czechoslovakia; and will he say how many Czech people have been included within the new German boundaries?

Mr. Butler

The German and Czechoslovak representatives signed a Protocol of Agreement in Berlin on 20th November laying down the final frontier between Germany and Czechoslovakia. On 21st November the International Commission took note of this protocol, and recorded that the frontier provided for in the protocol was the final frontier in accordance with Article 6 of the Munich Agreement, which laid down that the Commission would be entitled to recommend minor modifications in the strictly ethnographical determination of the zones to be transferred. It was not, therefore, stipulated in the Munich Agreement that the final adjustment of the frontier would be based on purely ethnical grounds. On 1st November the Prime Minister informed the House that, according to our information, there were something like 580,000 Czechs then in German territory. I understand that, as a result of the final frontier adjustment, several thousand additional Czechs have on balance been included within the new German boundaries.

20. Mr. Wedgwood Benn

asked the Prime Minister whether he will publish the full terms of the decisions arrived at by the German-Czech Commission under Section 7 of the Munich Agreement; and whether such decisions to be effective require the assent of the Inter-allied Commission?

Mr. Butler

The text of the Agreement reached between the German and Czechoslovak Governments regarding the right of option has not yet been received by His Majesty's Government. When it has been received, the question of publication will be considered. As regards the second part of the question, Article 7 of the Munich Agreement laid down that the details of the option would be determined by a German-Czechoslovak Commission. As agreement had been reached by this Commission, no further reference to the International Commission was required.

Mr. Benn

That is to say, all the pledges we gave to the Czechs who would be put under German rule are not to be under our survey at all at the present moment?

Mr. Butler

This matter has been agreed between the Czechoslovak and German Governments.

Mr. Benn

That is to say, we are disinterested entirely from one of the most important parts of the Munich Agreement?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. The procedure laid down by the Munich Agreement has been followed. The German Government have made an agreement with the Czechoslovak Government upon this question.

84. Mr. Liddall

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now indicate the ultimate allocation and distribution of the moneys recently advanced by this country to Czechoslovakia?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Euan Wallace)

I cannot at present add anything to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Gorton (Mr. Benn) op 15th November.

Forward to