HC Deb 22 March 1939 vol 345 cc1258-60
7. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Prime Minister whether representations have been, or will be, made by His Majesty's Government to the German Government with a view to obtaining facilities for emigration for citizens of Czecho-Slovakia whose lives and liberty may be now in danger; and whether His Majesty's Government will take steps, in co-operation with other Governments, to give special facilities to such refugees to find asylum elsewhere?

Sir S. Hoare

Representations have been made urgently by His Majesty's Government to the German Government requesting that there should be no obstacles placed in the way of the departure of all those refugees whose names appeared on the British lists. His Majesty's Government are giving urgent consideration to all practical possibilities of co-operation with other Governments in this connection.

Colonel Nathan

May I ask whether the visa system applies to refugees in Czecho-Slovakia?

Sir S. Hoare

I cannot answer that question without notice, but I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that no formal delays will be allowed to hold up the departure of refugees of this kind.

Mr. Riley

May I ask whether since the entry of Germany into Czecho-Slovakia there has been delay in emigrants coming away?

Sir S. Hoare

I cannot give an answer without notice.

Mr. Gallacher

What about British newspaper representatives who are now in Czecho-Slovakia?

Hon. Members

"The Daily Worker?"

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Can the right hon. Gentleman say anything about the position of British subjects who have taken refuge in the British Legation at Prague and tell us anything about the possibility of their getting away?

Sir S. Hoare

That is a different question, and I cannot answer it without notice.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the right hon. Gentleman confirm the report that there are already 20,000 Czechs in concentration camps? If it is true, will be make urgent and energetic protests in Berlin against it?

12. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether any decision has now been taken by His Majesty's Government as to the diplomatic status of the Czecho-Slovak representatives in London?

17. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister whether members of the Czech Legation in London and Czech Consuls in Great Britain will continue to enjoy the status and privileges accorded to them before the German usurpation in Czecho-Slovakia?

Mr. Butler

His Majesty's Government have decided that for the time being the position of the Czecho-Slovak Chargé d'Affaires, the diplomatic members of his staff, and Czecho-Slovak consular officials in this country shall remain as before.

16. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister the date and the nature of the communication recently made to His Majesty's Government by the French Foreign Minister concerning the possibility of German action in Czecho-Slovakia?

Mr. Butler

His Majesty's Government and the French Government have been in close contact about all reports concerning the development of the situation in Central Europe including among others reports of the possibility of German action against Czecho-Slovakia. I am not in a position to say at what moment any particular report may have been brought to my Noble Friend's notice.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in reply to a question last week he said that he would inquire whether a communication was made to the French Foreign Minister on nth March. Has the right hon. Gentleman since inquired into that matter?

Mr. Butler

I always try to inquire into questions I say that I will inquire into, but I cannot make public diplo- matic exchanges between us and the French Government.

13. Mr. Mathers (for Mr. Neil Maclean)

asked the Prime Minister whether the Ambassador at Berlin has given a satisfactory explanation of the lack of knowledge of Germany's intentions to annex Czecho-Slovakia?

Mr. Butler

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) on Monday, to which I have nothing to add.

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