HC Deb 17 May 1944 vol 400 cc160-2
12. Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proofs he has received from General Velebit of the colloboration of General Mihailovitch and his supporters with the Germans; and, in view of the fact that General Mihailovitch is a member of the Government of King Peter, recognised by His Majesty's Government, if he has communicated these proofs either to King Peter or his Prime Minister so that they can refute these accusations or else take suitable action.

Mr. Eden

General Velebit's visit to this country has been concerned solely with military matters. Political questions have not therefore been discussed with him.

Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that General Velebit has publicly stated that such proofs have been handed to the British Government, and can he explain why we in this country hear nothing of General Mihailovitch except from the United States?

Mr. Eden

As regards General Velebit's public statement, I do not know to what my hon. and gallant Friend refers. He has not been seen either by me or anyone else at the Foreign Office, and his purpose here is military and not political.

Mr. Riley

Can the Foreign Secretary say whether any representations at all have been received from Marshal Tito, directly or indirectly, complaining of the participation of General Mihailovitch in supporting the Quisling or German forces in Yugoslavia?

Mr. Eden

Certainly, there have been a large number of comments by General Tito and others about General vitch. As regards whether we have received anything from him, I would like to have notice of the question, but I think it is quite likely.

Mr. Mander

In view of the fact that General Mihailovitch is fighting with the Germans and against us—[HON. MEMBERS: "It is not true."]—is it not about time that this anomalous situation was cleared up?

Mr. Eden

It may be easy for the hon. Member to be absolutely dogmatic about these matters. I do not find it so easy, on our information, to be quite so dogmatic.

Mr. Pickthorn

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. Is not an hon. Member who assumes a matter of fact of this kind, obliged to produce his evidence?

Mr. Speaker

Every hon. Member is responsible for what he says.

Earl Winterton

Arising out of the charge made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander), may I ask the right hon. Gentleman, if the information given by the hon. Gentleman is correct, why it is that His Majesty's Government recognise General Mihailovitch and have a military representative with him?

Mr. Eden

I have already dealt with that question. The Prime Minister ex- plained in his last statement what the position was in respect of General Mihailovitch. I have said that I cannot be categorical like the hon. Member in what is a very obscure and difficult situation upon which we really cannot pronounce ex cathedra.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

This is not a matter which can be dealt with by question and answer.

Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment, at the earliest opportunity.