HC Deb 01 October 1941 vol 374 cc554-5
2. Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what representations have been made, since the war started, by His Majesty's Government to either the United States Government or the French Government concerning those of the International Brigade interned in France, some of whom are British subjects; and, further, whether any communications on this subject have been exchanged with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?

Mr. Eden

No communications have passed between His Majesty's Government and either the United States Government, the French Government, or the Soviet Government on this subject since the outbreak of war. In view of the fact that before the end of the Civil War the Spanish Republican Government repatriated all those members of the International Brigade who were British subjects, there are, according to my information, no British members of the Brigade now interned in France.

Mr. Wedgwood

Considering the fact that these International Brigaders fought for our cause, it is not possible to do something to induce the French to release these people, if only to go to Mexico?

Mr. Eden

I should not feel confident that representations of the British Government to Vichy would be likely to produce good results.

Miss Eleanor Rathbone

Is my right hon Friend aware that there are about 3,000 International Brigaders of all nationalities interned under very painful conditions in France? Could be possibly interest the United States Government or some other Government to intercede for these men?