HC Deb 19 January 1944 vol 396 cc150-1
5. Mr. Loverseed

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he has had an official report on the continued presence of Spanish troops on the Russian front; and whether he will instruct His Majesty's Ambassador in Madrid to inform General Franco that His Majesty's Government can no longer justify to the British people support for a régime which is giving active assistance to our enemies against our Russian Allies.

6. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to Soviet Government announcements, based on the testimony of Spanish prisoners, that the Blue Division has been replaced by other Spanish forces, and that General Franco's Government are still actively assisting the German army on the Russian front; and if he will instruct His Majesty's Ambassador in Madrid to protest vigorously against this renewed breach of neutrality.

Mr. Eden

Although the greater part of the Blue Division has recently been withdrawn to Spain, a certain number of volunteers have remained on the eastern front in German service and have been formed into a body called a Spanish legion. I have myself informed the Spanish Government through the Spanish Ambassador in London of the most serious effect which this continuing unneutral assistance to our enemies in their struggle against our Allies must have on Anglo-Spanish relations now and in the future. His Majesty's Ambassador at Madrid, who has lost no opportunity to make our attitude clear in Madrid, has now been instructed to make further strong representations to the Spanish Government.

Mr. Shinwell

Does not my right hon. Friend by now realise that these verbal protests to the Spanish Government are of little avail and that it might be necessary to take stronger and firmer action?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friend, I think, if he will look through the records, will find cases where these representations have had effect and, as I say, I hope the Spanish Government will understand what must be the feelings of people in this country in this matter.

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