HC Deb 26 January 1944 vol 396 cc663-5
4. Mr. Pickthorn

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the policy of His Majesty's Government is still represented by the Prime Minister's statement on 5th September, 1940, that there would be no recognition of territorial changes taking place during the war, unless with the free consent and good will of the parties; by the Foreign Secretary's Note, quoted by him in the House on 30th July, 1941, that there would not be recognition of any territorial changes effected in Poland since August, 1939; and by the second principle of the Atlantic Charter, against territorial changes not in accord with the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples concerned.

Mr. Eden

The statement of the Prime Minister to which my hon. Friend refers is as follows: We have not at any time adopted, since this war broke out, the line that nothing could be changed in the territorial structure of various countries. On the other hand, we do not propose to recognise any territorial changes which take place during the war unless they take place with the free consent and good will of the parties concerned. This statement represents the views of His Majesty's Government. The wording of the note which I addressed to General Sikorski after the signature of the Russo-Polish Agreement was: His Majesty's Government do not recognise any territorial changes which have been effected in Poland since August, 1939. This remains the position. His Majesty's Government, of course, stand by the principles enunciated in the Atlantic Charter.

Mr. Molson

Will the Foreign Secretary make it plain that the Prime Minister's statement was not intended to refer to enemy territory?

Mr. Eden

I do not think that there is any misunderstanding about that. So far as enemy countries are concerned, they, of course, are governed by the terms of unconditional surrender already announced.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Will not Heligoland be returned to the Crown after the war?

Mr. Eden

Heligoland is governed by the last Supplementary Question.

6. Captain Graham

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the necessity of providing the House of Commons and the country with accurate information in regard to the Curzon Line, he will publish, as soon as possible a White Paper containing all the documents from 1919 to 1921 referring to this armistice line and, in particular, to the temporary decisions taken by the Supreme Council on 25th June, 1919, and 8th December, 1919, the decision of the Spa Conference of 10th July, 1920, and the telegram under Lord Curzon's name of 11th July, 1920, together with the two anwering Notes of the then Soviet Government rejecting Lord Curzon's proposals.

Mr. Eden

The question of publishing a general series of documents illustrating British foreign policy between 1919 and 1939 is under consideration and I hope to be able to make a statement on this subject very shortly. The documents to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers are of course of concern to other Governments besides His Majesty's Government, who would no doubt wish to be consulted before any publication were made. Moreover they form an integral part of the proceedings of the various international discussions following the last war, which have not yet been published in full. I fear that it would not be practicable for His Majesty's Government to take the initiative at this stage in making a selection of these documents for publication out of their full context.

Mr. Rhys Davies

When His Majesty's Government are dealing with the problem of the Ukraine and consulting the Polish, Soviet and American Governments, has it ever occurred to them that the Ukrainians themselves might want a say on this subject?

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the people of this country desire to maintain the excellent relationship between this country and Soviet Russia which has been built up in the war?

Hon. Members

And Poland.