HC Deb 07 February 1945 vol 407 cc2057-8
20. Mr. Lindsay

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affars if he has any information as to the function of the U.N.R.R.A. liaison mission in France; and how far U.N.R.R.A. bears responsibility for the provision of petroleum, motor transport and food in that country.

Mr. Law

The French Provisional Government is a member of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and there are naturally very many matters of common interest to the Administration and to the French Provisional Government which would concern the U.N.R.R.A. Liaison Mission in France. This applies especially to the services offered by U.N.R.R.A. in regard to Allied nationals displaced in Germany. I am sure that the Administration would be glad to provide more detailed informa- tion, if requested. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answers which I gave him on 31st January. As I told my hon. Friend U.N.R.R.A. has not been asked by the French Provisional Government to deal with supply questions. U.N.R.R.A., therefore, has no responsibility for the provision of petroleum, motor transport or food in that country.

Mr. Lindsay

Should it not be made quite clear that U.N.R.R.A. is not responsible for the deficiencies in the supply of food to the French at the present time?

Mr. Law

Yes, Sir, I think it should be made clear, but I do not know how I can make it clearer than I have already done.

Sir Percy Harris

Could the right hon. Gentleman say if there is any country in Europe where U.N.R.R.A. is functioning?

Mr. Law

U.N.R.R.A. has been functioning in Greece, and I hope it will continue to function with increasing effect in that country. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, U.N.R.R.A. can only come into any country in Europe after the military period is over, and at the invitation of the military authority or the Government concerned.

Mr. A. Bevan

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what organisation is responsible for the provision of food for France, if U.N.R.R.A. is not? Has he realised that there is universal anxiety in this country that we should do our utmost to help France in this very difficult period?

Mr. Law

Yes, Sir, I realise to the full the anxiety. The responsibility for providing imports to France is that of the French Provisional Government. They are making such arrangements as they can with the combined Allied authorities to discharge that responsibility.