HC Deb 21 December 1944 vol 406 cc1938-9
49. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister if, with a view to restoring peace in Athens, he will invite the King of the Hellenes to state publicly that he has no intention of returning to Greece until after the question of the monarchy has been settled by free plebiscite of the Greek people, and that he is willing, meanwhile, that a Regent acceptable to all parties should be appointed.

Mr. Attlee

I have nothing to add to the statement made by the Foreign Secretary yesterday in the course of the Debate.

Mr. Driberg

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, as the Foreign Secretary can confirm, he did not deal yesterday with the particular point in the first part of the Question; and, while there is universal agreement that there should be a free plebiscite on the question of the Monarchy, is there not a danger that that might be prejudiced by the premature return of the King?

Mr. Quintin Hogg

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the Conservative candidate for Maldon will not be allowed to address his constituents until after the result of the election is known?

Mr. Shinwell

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he has taken note of the fact that last night a statement was made on the radio of the fact that M. Papandreou had declared that the decision to establish a Regency in Greece had been communicated to the King as a unanimous decision of the Greek Cabinet, and if that is true, what is the obstacle which stands in the way?

Mr. Attlee

I am afraid I did not hear the radio and, therefore, I have had no time to consider that matter.

Dr. Edith Summerskill

Is it proposed that the wishes of one man, the King of Greece, shall be allowed to stand in the way of a settlement of this problem?

Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not the case, however desirable the objects which the hon. Gentleman who put this Question down may have in view, that to take the action he suggests would be a most unwarranted interference in the affairs of the Greek people?

Mr. Driberg

It is unwarranted interference to foist this King on them.

Mr. G. Strauss

Is it the fact that the King has never agreed to the unanimous demands of the Cabinet not to return to Greece until after an election has been held, nor has he agreed, as far as we know, to the recent demand of the Cabinet to appoint a Regency? May I ask whether these are the facts and, if so, is it not a time when His Majesty's Government could interfere with great benefit in the Greek situation?

Mr. Attlee

A very full opportunity was given for a Debate on these matters yesterday. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The Foreign Secretary made a statement and I really cannot go into these detailed arguments of the hon. Member at the present time.

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