HC Deb 25 January 1944 vol 396 cc549-50
Sir Austin Hudson

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any statement to make regarding Bolivia.

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir. On 20th December, 1943, the Bolivian Government, under General Peñaranda, which had declared war on Germany and signed the United Nations Declaration some months previously, was overthrown by force, and replaced by a revolutionary Junta. Information which is available to us indicates that this development was connected with the activities of subversive groups hostile to the cause of the United Nations, which are at work in the Western Hemisphere. His Majesty's Government have been in the closest consultation on this subject with the United States Government. His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom do not recognise the Junta as the legal Government of Bolivia. His Majesty's Minister designate to La Paz will not, therefore, now proceed to take up his post. The Governments of the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Uruguay and Venezuela, have all declared officially that they do also not recognise the revolutionary Junta at La Paz.

Mr. Wilfrid Roberts

Is there any evidence that this movement in South America is to any extent organised or stimulated through Spain?

Mr. Eden

The evidence which I have here is, I think, fairly plain that subversive groups hostile to the cause of the United Nations are responsible, and we believe that they are in touch with nations with whom we are at war.

Dr. Russell Thomas

Will the United Kingdom Government fake not only diplomatic action, but the same economic action as the United States Government have taken, in regard to Bolivia?

Mr. Eden

If the hon. Gentleman heard my answer, I think it shows that we are in step with the United States in this matter.

Mr. Neil Maclean

Are not subversive activities in the whole of South America being carried on now from the German Embassy in Spain; and will the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, try to find out what is being done, not merely in Bolivia but in other parts of South America, including Uruguay and Brazil?

Mr. Eden

There are no German Embassies in Uruguay and Brazil.

Mr. Maclean

I mean, what is being done in Uruguay and Brazil through the German Embassy in Spain.

Mr. Eden

I was answering the hon. Member. There is a German Embassy in South America. When that goes I think the position will improve.

Mr. Gallacher

Are not the Falangists very active in all these South American States?

Mr. Eden

I have said that I believe these activities to be organised in the main by German agents.