HC Deb 28 July 1943 vol 391 cc1551-3
9. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what arrangements exist to associate the Foreign Office with the civilian administration under the Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories?

Mr. Eden

I presume my hon. Friend refers to the Allied Military Government of Italian territory occupied by the Allied Forces under the supreme command of General Eisenhower. This, as its name implies, is a purely military administration responsible to the Allied Supreme Commander. The administration is conducted in accordance with the policy laid down by the United States Government and His Majesty's Government jointly in instructions to General Eisenhower. The Foreign Office, like other interested Departments of His Majesty's Government, are naturally consulted in the preparation of these instructions.

Mr. Bartlett

While thanking by right hon. Friend, might I ask him whether the necessary existing ban on political activities in Sicily would automatically be applied in other territories as they are occupied?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir. I think our position would be that we would wish to judge each case on its individual merits.

Mr. Silverman

Is it intended that the ban on political activities should be very prolonged?

Mr. Eden

The hon. Member may know how long it is going to take to knock the Germans out of Sicily. I do not know.

17. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether His Majesty's Government, in co-operation with the Government of the United States of America, has under consideration the promotion of measures of democratic self-government in connection with the Allied Administration in Sicily; and whether steps will be taken to enable the Italian people in Sicily to elect on a democratic franchise their local and municipal governing authorities?

Mr. Eden

As stated by the Prime Minister on 21st July, the administration of Sicily is an Allied Military Administration, provisional in character. The hon. Member will understand that military considerations, especially when operations are still proceeding in the island, are paramount. At the same time, the dissolution of the Fascist party organisation, for which the Allied Military Government provides, is in itself a guarantee of the tree re-emergence of democratic and liberal ideas in Sicily.

Mr. Riley

Is it the declared policy of the Allied Governments to encourage all people everywhere to adopt the democratic way of life, as against Fascism and Nazism? Is it not important that an example of that practice should be shown now in Sicily?

Mr. Eden

That is certainly so. That is why the proclamation which accompanied the Allied landing made it quite clear that one of the principles of the Administration must be the elimination of the doctrines and practices of Fascism.

Mr. Cluse

Does that mean that now that Fascist control has been abolished and, therefore, municipal control by Fascism has ceased, the people of Italy will be able to elect their own representatives?

Mr. Eden

As I have explained, Allied military government has been established. That is the only possible form of Government at a time like this.

Sir Herbert Williams

Does my right hon. Friend think it would be easier to prepare a register of electors in Sicily than it would be in this country?

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Would not the best immediate step in this direction be to invite that great Sicilian democrat Don Sturzo to return to the Island?

Mr. John Dugdale

What is the position of the mayors of the various towns in Sicily during this period of military control?

Mr. Eden

I cannot possibly answer that question, which covers a large number of persons. The position is that Fascist government has to go, and there is a military government instead. We have to see how long that provisional government is necessary. I cannot possibly say how long it will be now.