HC Deb 18 June 1941 vol 372 c620
6. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any statement to make with reference to the present international position of Iceland, the form of government there existing, and their relations with this country?

Mr. Eden

Iceland is an independent country, with a Government responsible to the Althing, or Parliament. Hitherto relations between Iceland and Denmark have been governed by the Act of Union of 1918, by which Iceland enjoys complete autonomy under the sovereignty of the King of Denmark, who is also King of Iceland. The Althing, however, recently passed three resolutions. The first declared that Iceland has acquired the right to sever the Act of Union owing to Denmark's inability to conduct the affairs which it undertook to perform under the Act, but that formal severance should not take place until the end of the war. The second stated the intention to appoint a Regent for one year at a time, and the third announced that a republic would be declared as soon as the union with Denmark had been formally severed. The relations between the Icelandic Government and His Majesty's Government are close and friendly.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that the Forces of His Majesty's Government have taken control of Iceland, in opposition to the wishes of the Icelandic Parliament?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir; it is not the case. What is the case is that a British garrison is temporarily stationed in Iceland, in order to prevent the occupation of that country by the common enemy.