HC Deb 06 August 1941 vol 373 cc1921-2
1. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether, in view of the fact that fighting in East Africa has virtually come to an end, it is intended fully to recognise an independent Ethiopia; to resume normal diplomatic relations and to appoint a Minister; and what steps are being taken with regard to the evacuation of Italian civilians from the territory?

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Government have made abundantly clear their intention to recognise an independent Ethiopia as soon as the military situation permits. Such recognition would naturally be followed by the establishment of diplomatic relations. The evacuation of the large numbers of Italian civilians is already proceeding, but it is necessarily governed by the factors of communications and transport. As negotiations on the subject are in progress, I am not at present in a position to give the House any further information.

Mr. Mander

Does not my right hon. Friend feel that the time has now come when, owing to the almost complete cessation of military operations, full recognition should be given?

Mr. Eden

As I stated some months ago, the question must be governed by the military situation. Fighting is not at an end, but our general position is quite clear.