HC Deb 30 September 1942 vol 383 cc745-6
5. Mr. Ivor Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why he has ruled that the British Council may not support the scheme for an anti-Fascist Italian centre in London, analogous to the Allied centres already established by the Council?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friend overlooks the fact that Italy is not an Ally but an enemy Power, and my hon. Friend's analogy does not apply. The British Council, whose activities, in any case, are cultural and not political, have lent their support to national centres of Allied countries and of occupied countries whose National Councils are recognised by His Majesty's Government.

Mr. Thomas

Has the Foreign Office given any support to the Austrian centre, which is analogous, and why does the Foreign Office frustrate every attempt by anti-Fascists to organise themselves, whether in a fighting force, by a newspaper, or in a centre?

Mr. Eden

I do not accept a single one of the hon. Gentleman's remarks, and I repeat that we are not necessarily prepared to encourage enemy aliens to organise in this country.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Foreign Secretary consider giving Austrians the status of friendly aliens, instead of treating them as a defeated enemy?