HC Deb 31 January 1945 vol 407 cc1429-30
7. Mr. Ivor Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, following the precedent set in the case of Finland, Rumania and Bulgaria, he will publish as a White Paper the armistice terms with Italy.

Mr. Law

No, Sir. The decision whether or not to make public the Italian Armistice terms rests with the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and the U.S.S.R. acting in the name of the United Nations. If and when a decision is reached by these three Governments that the Armistice terms should be made public, His Majesty's Government will be ready for their part to publish the terms as a White Paper.

Mr. G. Strauss

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what reasons anybody can have for not publishing those armistice terms; and are we to go on until the peace terms are published first, and the armistice terms afterwards?

Mr. Law

I can only repeat that that is a matter for decision by the United Kingdom, the United States and the U.S.S.R., and until they have given that decision, there is no possibility of laying a White Paper.

Mr. Strauss

Why are they withholding their decision? What reason can there conceivably be for not publishing to the world what those armistice terms are, so that we may understand the difficulties of His Majesty's Government in the matter?

Mr. Law

The difficulty of His Majesty's Government, if it can be described as a difficulty, is that we have to work in concert with our Allies. Until the three Allies give a decision, we cannot anticipate that decision.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why the three Allies decided to publish the armistice terms in the case of Finland, Rumania and Bulgaria and not in the case of Italy? Does not the difficulty really come from Marshal Badoglio?

Mr. Law

The difference between Finland, Rumania and Bulgaria, on the one hand, and Italy, on the other, is that in the one case the Allies decided together that publication was desirable, and in the other case they have decided that it is not desirable.

Hon. Members


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