HC Deb 12 July 1944 vol 401 cc1713-4
5. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Whether any guarantee has been given to the Governments of Poland or the U.S.S.R. that after the defeat of Germany, East Prussia will be divided between Poland and Russia.

Mr. Eden

So far as His Majesty's Government are concerned no final decisions have been taken regarding future territorial arrangements in Europe, which will clearly be a matter for subsequent discussion between them and other United Nations Governments. I would, however, remind the hon. Member of the statement of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in this House on 22nd February, and also that on the 24th May my right hon. Friend stated that there was no question of Germany enjoying any guarantee that she would not undergo territorial changes if it should seem that the making of such changes would render more secure and more lasting the peace of Europe.

Mr. Stokes

Are we to understand that no definite decision was taken at Teheran and, in connection with this matter, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the Prime Minister himself has described East Prussia as more German than Germany itself; and how does he expect peace to last, if it is taken away from Germany?

Mr. Eden

I think that the hon. Member's final argument might be in the nature of a boomerang if he reflected upon it. With regard to the first part of the question, no final decision has been taken.

Mr. G. Strauss

How does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile the last statement he made, that no final decision has been taken, with the Prime Minister's definite statement that he agreed at Teheran on behalf of this country, that East Prussia should go to Poland? The Prime Minister stated that in this House.

Mr. Eden

We have expressed a point of view in discussion with other Governments. I referred to what the Prime Minister said; there is no inconsistency. Final decisions can only be taken in agreement with the countries concerned.

Mr. Bellenger

Is it not obvious that Germany will, possibly, have to undergo reconstruction just as other countries had to undergo it at their hands? Nevertheless, may I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that if he is aiming at the peace of Europe, the division of East Prussia between Russia and Poland will not be the way to achieve it?

Mr. Eden

That is a matter about which many views may well be expressed.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he will bear in mind, in considering the question of the future of Polish frontiers, the very strong feeling which exists in this country that we should see to it that Poland gets a square and an honest deal?

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Government make certain that the impossible situation that existed as a consequence of the Polish Corridor will not be repeated, and that a better frontier arrangement will be made; and is the right hon. Gentleman further aware that the East Prussians, the most Prussian of all, will hurry to get out of East Prussia and into some other parts of Germany?

Mr. Eden

With regard to the last point, as I say, it is a matter of opinion; and in reply to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Epsom (Sir A. Southby), certainly, I have many times made it plain that His Majesty's Government have not forgotten that we entered this war voluntarily when Germany made her attack upon Poland.

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