HC Deb 06 February 1939 vol 343 c619
9. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Prime Minister what reciprocal undertakings have been given to this country in the Anglo-Portuguese treaties dating from 1373 to 1703 in return for a guarantee from Great Britain to defend Portuguese territory; and whether, in the event of Great Britain being involved in war, Portugal is under treaty obligations to assist Great Britain with her armed forces?

Mr. Butler

The treaties of 1373 and 1386 contain provisions of a reciprocal character with regard to the rendering of assistance in time of war. These ancient treaties were confirmed in the treaty of 1703 (which contained further reciprocal provisions) and again in 1899.

Mr. Bellenger

Is the House to understand from that that these reciprocal undertakings on the part of Portugal include armed assistance to this country in the event of war?

Mr. Butler

The reciprocal provisions in the ancient treaties contemplate that each party shall, if called upon, give the other such assistance as its own situation may permit.

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