HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc11-2
25. Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in view of the fact that the Polish Second Corps is subject to Army regulations prohibiting political activities, to what extent His Majesty's Government exercise control over the conduct of officers or agents of this corps towards foreign Powers; and whether he is satisfied that no officers or agents of General Anders are engaged in. propaganda or activities, or co-operating with movements, hostile to the present Polish Government.

Mr. McNeil

Though the Polish Second Corps is under British command, the British authorities do not exercise control over all details of internal administration and discipline, which are in the hands of the Poles themselves; nor do they attempt to stifle all freedom of expression. On the other hand, my right hon. Friend is not satisfied with the present position, which is being actively examined. Meanwhile, every effort is made to prevent activities on the part of members of the Second Corps which conflict with the aims of British policy.

Mr. Zilliacus

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that, since this country is paying£2 million a month for the upkeep of these troops, we are entitled to insist that they should not embitter our relations with friendly Governments?

Mr. McNeil

I think my right hon. Friend has already expressed himself on that point, as I have, but so far as my hon. Friend is asking for actual detailed supervision, the cost, of course, would be increased, if we had the men in Italy to do the job.

Professor Savory

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this attack on the Polish section of the British Army in Italy is part of the combined propaganda being carried on against the British Army everywhere, in Greece, Indonesia and Egypt, propaganda of the very type to which the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs referred last Friday at the Security Council?