HC Deb 16 January 1945 vol 407 cc27-9
47. Mr. Hugh Lawson

asked the Prime Minister if he has any statement to make on the situation in Greece.

52. Mr. Martin

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that British forces appear now to be the only effective police authority in Greece, His Majesty's Government will assume responsibility for the holding of elections as early as practicable in Greece and for ensuring that they shall be as free as possible from all forms in intimidation or corruption.

57. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister if he will advise General Plastiras that the plebiscite on the question of the Greek monarchy should be held before, and separately from, the general election; and if he will endeavour to secure effective United Nations supervision of this plebiscite as well as of the election, with the particular object of preventing interference with voters by known royalist sympathisers, who have been permitted, for whatever reason, to retain arms.

The Prime Minister

I should be glad if hon. Members would be good enough to await the statements which will be made on behalf of the Government in the course of the coming Debate.

Mr. Shinwell

As there are some urgent issues which require to be dealt with immediately, is the right hon. Gentleman taking note of the declaration by General Plastiras on two occasions that it is the intention of his Government to clear out the E.L.A.S. Forces from Greece; and do the British Government support him in that policy and intend that British troops and British arms should be used for that purpose?

The Prime Minister

I have indicated that I think it is better to await the discussion, when these matters can be dealt with in their proper setting.

Mr. Driberg

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to give us some assurance that the specific points raised in the Questions on the Order Paper to-day will be covered in his statement? Otherwise it would be necessary to ask supplementary questions to-day.

The Prime Minister

It would be very difficult to ask supplementary questions when the answer that has been given is a request that the matter may be postponed till to-morrow. Therefore I will not be drawn into it.

Mr. Shinwell

As there is no guarantee that the right hon. Gentleman will deal with all the points involved in the Greek affair, is it not permissible to put points to him now? Does he intend in the course of the Debate to deal with the declaration made by General Scobie with regard to the position of minorities in Greece, and was General Scobie entitled as a military officer to deal with political affairs?

The Prime Minister

I think he has done admirably. I read what he said and his impromptu remarks seem to have been singularly well chosen when replying to the applause of the enormous crowds that passed his headquarters.

Mr. Gallacher

Can we take it that the right hon. Gentleman's statement will be better balanced and more reliable than the one we had from him before the Recess?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Member must not get too excited about these matters or he will fall into the danger of a Trotskyite deviation to the Left.

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