HC Deb 15 October 1941 vol 374 c1341
7. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the position with regard to the negotiations for the removal of all Italian civilians from Abyssinia?

Mr. Eden

The position remains as described in the reply that I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Wedgwood) on both September.

Mr. Mander

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman say whether any progress has been made? He indicated on the previous occasion that, if the Italian Government did not send ships, other steps would have to be taken.

Mr. Eden

The position is that we made this very generous offer, but alternative steps are being considered. The hon. Member will realise that it is not an easy matter to handle.

Mr. Wedgwood

Is it not obvious that if the Italians do not send ships to take their nationals away, they may prefer them to remain there until the end of the war?

Mr. Eden

There is certainly no question of their being in a position to fulfil the kind of result to which the right hon. Gentleman refers.

Mr. Noel-Baker

In view of the great desirability that this evacuation should be rapid and complete in order to promote economic readjustment, will the right hon. Gentleman do everything he can to expedite it?

Mr. Eden

I entirely share the hon. Gentleman's desire, of course. The difficulty is one of means and resources.