HC Deb 04 March 1940 vol 358 cc2-4
6. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the terms of peace purporting to have come through the German Minister in Eire; and whether, in view of the fact that one of the British persons concerned in bringing these terms to this country did, in fact, act as negotiator in the Riff campaign, there are any grounds for supposing that these proposals have any genuine foundation?

7. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement respecting the nature of the provisional peace terms recently conveyed indirectly from the German Government to the Foreign Secretary; and whether he is satisfied with their authenticity?

8. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Prime Minister what special facilities were given to Lord Tavistock to visit the German legation at Dublin; and whether he is satisfied with the authenticity of the German peace terms brought by Lord Tavistock from Dublin?

Mr. Butler

No special facilities were given to Lord Tavistock to visit Dublin. On his return he published certain proposals which, it was claimed, represented the terms on which the German Government would conclude peace. These proposals had been previously communicated by Lord Tavistock to my Noble Friend. Apart from whatever may have been the merits or demerits of the proposals, there was no evidence to show that they emanated from the German Government or that they could be regarded as authentic. I notice that the German Government and the German Legation at Dublin have officially repudiated these proposals.

Sir J. Lucas

May this not be a case of face-saving on the part of the German Government, in view of subsequent speeches made by members of that Government?

Mr. Butler

I am afraid that I do not follow what my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind.

Mr. G. Strauss

Is any ordinary citizen free to go into the German Legation in Eire or any other country without let or hindrance; secondly, how does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile the latter part of his answer with the fact that Lord Tavistock still maintains that he received his documents from the German Legation?

Mr. Butler

I can only say, in answer to the second part of the Supplementary Question, that statements, which I have seen in the Press, have been issued on behalf of the German Government and of the German Legation in Dublin. In regard to the first part, the matter is subject to the authority of the officials in Eire, and I can add nothing to what I have already said.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Are His Majesty's Government taking any cognisance of Lord Tavistock's action, and, as my hon. Friend has asked, may any ordinary citizen undertake such negotiations and bring a reply to His Majesty's Government?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. Lord Tavistock was not acting in any way on behalf of His Majesty's Government.

Mr. George Griffiths

What is the intention of His Majesty's Government with regard to Lord Tavistock?