HC Deb 08 December 1943 vol 395 cc944-6
7. Captain Gammons

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any information as to the relationship between the Yugoslav National Defence Council under General Tito and the Yugoslav Government in Cairo?

8. Mr. I. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the steps taken by the Yugoslav partisans to establish a Provisional Government in the liberated areas of Yugoslavia involve any change in the relations of His Majesty's Government with the Yugoslav Government in Cairo?

9. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will define the attitude of His Majesty's Government to the Provisional Government of Yugoslavia newly set up under Marshal Tito?

Mr. Law

I have at present no further information than what has appeared in the Press, to the effect that a Supreme Legislative Committee and an Executive National Committee of Liberation, with the status of a temporary Government, have been set up in Yugoslavia under the auspices of General Tito, the leader of the partisan forces. Nor am I as yet in a position to say what will be the relations of these two bodies with King Peter and his Government, recognised by His Majesty's Government as the legitimate Yugoslav Government, and now established in Cairo.

Captain Gammans

Are we still supporting General Mihailovitch?

Mr. Law

Our policy is to support all forces in Yugoslavia which are resisting the Germans. As things are, we are giving the partisan forces more support than those of General Mihailovitch, for the simple reason that the resistance of the partisan forces to the Germans is very much greater.

Mr. John Dugdale

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that this may present us with the first opportunity of carrying into effect the principles we have enunciated of recognising Governments in liberated territories which have been chosen by the people we have liberated?

Mr. Law

The hon. Member is mistaken in saying that it gives us the opportunity now: it will give us the opportunity when the territory is liberated, and we shall take advantage of that opportunity. Our policy is always to allow the people we have liberated to choose their own Governments.

Mr. Vernon Bartlett

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any estimate of the respective military forces behind these two leaders?

Mr. Law

That is another question, and I cannot answer it now.

Mr. Pickthorn

Is the right hon. Gentleman sure that he is not arguing in a circle when he talks of giving more support to those who are making more resistance and vice versa? Can he tell us what are the relations between the two sets of communiqués, those of Mihailovitch and those of Tito? Also, where is the so-called Yugoslav Freedom radio station?

Mr. Law

The last part of the question I shall have to see on the Paper. The second part and the first part I must confess I did not understand.

Mr. Riley

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that very important issues are involved in these questions, and cannot we have the fullest information at the earliest possible opportunity?

Mr. Law

Yes, Sir, the House will have the fullest information at the earliest possible opportunity.

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