HC Deb 16 February 1944 vol 397 cc155-6
6. Viscount Hinchinģbrooke

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will cause a White Paper to be laid before Parliament describing the nature of the present Governments of Ethiopia and Iraq, and indicating the extent to which the British civil and military authority has been successful in securing co-operation from local native administrations in rebuilding the life of these countries.

Mr. Eden

Ethiopia and Iraq are independent States and it is not therefore for me to lay a White Paper dealing with the general condition of their affairs.

Viscount Hinchinģbrooke

Could my right hon. Friend confirm that the British Government have no continuing responsibility for these two countries; and also that his answer does hot cover ex-enemy territory such as Eritrea and Italian Somaliland?

Mr. Eden

Iraq and Abyssinia are independent States. Certainly I have no responsibility for the conduct of their internal affairs, and those British subjects employed by them are, of course, working under those Governments. As regards enemy-occupied territories, they are in quite a different category and are not covered by my answer.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we rendering any assistance to Ethiopia in the rebuilding of her life?

Mr. Eden

Yes, we have been doing so. We have had advisers there for some considerable time giving help in that direction.

Mr. Neil Maclean

Considering the fact that this country and its troops were responsible for freeing Ethiopia from Italian rule, is there not some compact between this country and Ethiopia which can be laid before the House?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir, there was an agreement between us and the Ethiopian Government at the time, which was made known to the House. I am dealing here only with those who are serving with these foreign Governments. I say it is not for me to give an account of the internal administration of these foreign States.