HC Deb 05 August 1942 vol 382 cc1003-4
2. Mr. William Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by whom invitations to sign the United Nations Pact were issued to the exiled Governments of Holland, Belgium and other States; by whom a similar invitation was issued to the Governments of Mexico, Haiti, and other belligerents; on what date an invitation to sign the Pact was issued to the Emperor of Ethiopia; and whether all nations whose representatives have signed this Pact are now members of the United Nations Alliance?

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

Invitations to the original signatories of the United Nations Declaration including Holland, Belgium and Haiti, were issued by President Roosevelt in consultation with the Prime Minister, who was then in Washington, and with the Chinese and Soviet Governments. Provision was made in the Declaration for subsequent adherences and following on their declaration of war on the Axis Powers, the Mexican Government adhered to the Declaration on 14th June. As I suggested in my reply to the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) on 26th February last, the Declaration is of course open to adherence by Ethiopia but I have not yet heard that the Emperor of Ethiopia has approached President Roosevelt in this connection. As regards the last part of the Question, the United Nations are those nations who have signed the United Nations Declaration.

Mr. Riley

Has the right hon. Gentleman any information as to why there has been no request by Ethiopia to adhere to the Declaration?

Mr. Eden

I think the position is that the Emperor knows that an invitation by him can be made, and he also knows, I feel sure, that we would support it if it were made, but obviously the initiative must come from him.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the right hon. Gentleman clear up a point that disturbs my mind about this? Does this mean that Ethiopia is a neutral?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir. This is a question of adhering to the Declaration. All the Allies have adhered to it.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Am I to understand that an invitation was issued to other countries, but that Ethiopia is expected to apply?

Mr. Eden

The hon. Member's statement is not quite right. The Governments which adhered originally wer[...] invited to do so, but since then Mexico has applied and Ethiopia, as a result of her treaty with us, is in a position to apply.