HC Deb 12 February 1941 vol 368 cc1368-9
Mr. Lees-Smith (by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement of the reasons for the withdrawal of His Majesty's Minister and his staff from Bucharest?

Mr. Eden

Perhaps I may best answer the right hon. Gentleman's Question by quoting from the text of the Note addressed, on my instructions, by His Majesty's Minister at Bucharest to the Head of the Rumanian Government.

It is as follows: It has become abundantly evident that this country's Government which you have directed for six months has become entirely dependent on Germany. Not only actual facts but also numerous statements published by yourself confirm this. Some months ago you informed me that a small number of German troops were arriving in Rumania in order to instruct the Rumanian Army in modern methods of warfare and that the necessary equipment was likewise being despatched from Germany for the re-armament of the Rumanian troops. Some instruction has no doubt been imparted, but the essential development is that the German High Command is building up in Rumania all the elements of an expeditionary force, and is concentrating at various strategic points large supplies of munitions and oil fuel. Rumanian territory is thus being used by Germany as a military base in furtherance of her plans for prosecuting the war. These measures are being taken without one word of dissent from you. In these circumstances, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have decided to recall me and to withdraw the Diplomatic Mission and the Consular officers under my control.

Mr. Cocks

Do we regard Rumania as an enemy country?

Mr. Eden

I would like the hon. Gentleman to be content with what I have said.

Mr. Shinwell

Does not Rumanian concurrence with Germany's militaristic plans amount to a declaration of war against this country, and do we not challenge that?

Mr. Eden

I have chosen the words of this Note, which was sent on my instructions, with some care. I prefer to leave it there.

Mr. Lipson

Do His Majesty's Government propose to ask the Rumanian Government to withdraw their representatives in this country?

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a fact that the war materials which we supplied to Rumania have been "pinched" by the Germans?