HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 cc875-6
8. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of a new constitution having been given to Albania by the Italian Government, he will state what action His Majesty's Government propose to take to define the international position of Albania; and whether His Majesty's Government have been invited by the Italian Government to withdraw the British Minister and to close the British Legation?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

The full text of the new constitution for Albania is not yet available, but an agreement has been signed by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Italy and Albania under which the international relations of Italy and Albania are to be unified and centred in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. In consequence of this agreement, the Albanian Minister for Foreign Affairs has addressed a circular to the heads of foreign missions in Albania, informing them that the Albanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs is to be closed and that it will therefore no longer be possible to accord to foreign representatives the privileges and immunities previously granted to them. In the circumstances His Majesty's Representative will cease to have the title of Minister, but will continue as Consul-General—a rank which he already holds. No question of any new appointment, therefore, arises at present.

Mr. Henderson

May the House take it that the granting of this constitution will in no way affect the decision of His Majesty's Government not to recognise the annexation of Albania by the Italian Government?

The Prime Minister

We have reached no conclusion on that.

24. Mr. W. Roberts

asked the Prime Minister whether the occupation of Albania represents an alteration in the status quo in the Mediterranean which is contrary to the terms of the Anglo-Italian Agreement?

Mr. Butler

I would refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement in the House on 13th April.

Sir Archibald Sinclair

Is that equivalent to a reply in the affirmative?

Mr. Butler

Perhaps the right hon. Member will read the Prime Minister's statement.

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