HC Deb 07 June 1944 vol 400 cc1329-30
5. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is yet In a position to make a statement in regard to the export of wolfram from Portugal to Germany.

13. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has now any statement to make about the negotiations with the Portuguese Government about shipments of wolfram to Germany.

Mr. Eden

I am glad to say that the negotiations which have been proceeding for some, time past with the Portuguese Government regarding Portuguese wolfram exports have now been concluded. Basing themselves upon the special relationship between this country and Portugal, embodied in the Anglo-Portuguese Treaties of Alliance, the latest application of which was the Azores Agreement of October, 1943, His Majesty's Government requested the Portuguese Government to impose a total prohibition upon the export of wolfram. The Portuguese Government acceded, on 5th June, to this request, and the appropriate measures are entering into force immediately. His Majesty's Government, warmly welcome this further proof of Anglo-Portuguese friendship and of- the fidelity of Portugal to the ancient Alliance. This has long been of great benefit to both parties, and it is the desire of His. Majesty's Government that 'this unique relationship, which has developed through the centuries, shall remain as strong a bond between the Governments and peoples of the British Commonwealth and of Portugal in the future as in the past. The recent decision of the Portuguese Government represents, in the view of His Majesty's Government, a service to their cause comparable with the grant of facilities in the Azores to His Majesty's Government last October, and one which should also prove an important factor in shortening the war. His Majesty's Government, who have conducted these negotiations on the basis of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, have, of course, been in close contact with the United States and Brazilian Governments, who have shared their desire that the Portuguese Government should see their way to take this important step.

Sir T. Moore

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the warm appreciation that we all feel for the highly satisfactory results of this most successful agreement?

Mr. Shinewell

Is the right hon. Gentleman also aware that it has taken the Portuguese Government a long time to stop these exports?

Mr. Eden

Yes, but it is only fair to say that the Portuguese Government, in their action in respect of the Azores, also made a great contribution.

Mr. Graham White

Are we arranging to take over the supplies of wolfram which used to go to Germany?

Mr. Eden

As a result of this arrangement, exports of wolfram are stopped altogether, which was what we wanted.