HC Deb 07 March 1946 vol 420 cc503-4
56. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is satisfied that the present Government of Austria, operating under the authority of the Inter-allied Council, is not violating its pledge not to discriminate against Austrian citizens because of their race and political beliefs, by imprisoning resistance leaders, dissolving monarchist organisations and forbidding all peaceful and democratic monarchist propaganda.

Mr. J. Hynd

It may from tune to time be necessary for the Austrian Government, under the guidance of the Allied Council, to take action against persons or organisations engaged in activities inimical to the growth of a healthy democracy I have no reason to suppose that the Austrian Government acts in these matters otherwise than in good faith and in accordance with the policy of the Allied Council.

Mr. Teeling

In view the fact that large numbers of these people have been put in prison, and that only a few months ago we had an election with the idea of starting a new Constitution, does not the hon. Gentleman think it possible that it is our job to pay some attention to this matter as it does come under our authority?

Mr. Hynd

The tact that certain leaders have been arrested indicates fairly clearly that we have paid some attention to the matter. I do not agree that there is evidence to show that large numbers have been arrested. In fact, certain of the leaders were arrested in connection with the recent illegal movement of the Hapsburg representatives into Austria These are the only arrests of which I have any information.

Mr. Warbey

Is it not a fact that the law of the Austrian Republic forbids the conducting of Hapsburg propaganda?

Mr. Hynd

The law of the Austrian Republic at the moment is, of course, subject to the control of the Allied Council.