HC Deb 28 May 1941 vol 371 cc1828-9
7. Captain John Dugdale

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether an intimation can be given to French colonies, now recognising the Vichy Government, that if they transfer their allegiance to the Government of General De Gaulle, His Majesty's Government will make an economic agreement with them, similar to that recently concluded with French Equatorial Africa?

Mr. Eden

In his letter to General de Gaulle, of 27th August last, about economic assistance for the Free French Colonies, the Prime Minister gave an assurance that, until such time as an independent and constitutional authority has been re-established on Free French soil, we shall do everything in our power to maintain the economic stability of all French overseas territories, provided they stand by the alliance. He added that in the case of territories which rallied to General de Gaulle as the leader of all Free Frenchmen in support of the Allied cause, we were prepared, subject to the needs of our own war effort, to extend economic assistance on a scale similar to that which we should apply in comparable circumstances to the Colonies of the British Empire. This undertaking was made public at the time and broadcast both to France and to the French Colonies. It still holds good, and any French Colonies which decide to resume the struggle by our side can be certain that we shall do our best to meet their economic requirements.