HC Deb 02 February 1949 vol 460 cc1651-2
9. Mr. Platts-Mills

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the British Embassy at Athens officially and publicly commended the formation of the new Greek Royalist Government; and whether he will give instructions for such interference in the internal affairs of another country to cease forthwith.

Mr. Bevin

I take it that the hon. Member refers to a statement issued by His Majesty's Embassy in Athens wishing the new Greek Government success in its heavy tasks. I do not accept the implication that this constitutes interference in the internal affairs of a foreign country.

Mr. Platts-Mills

As this is the 16th Government that has been set up under British-American auspices, each one of which in turn the Foreign Secretary has been able to approve of, and as each one has been set up simply to prevent the Greek people being represented in the Government, will the right hon. Gentleman stop this squalid interference?

Mr. Bevin

It is much better to let a democracy develop its Government by trial and error. That is a much better system than another country going in and putting somebody into office irrespective of the wishes of the people.

May last year only £840,000 had paid over, can my right hon. Friend say whether the residue of that amount has subsequently been paid?

Mr. Bevin

That is another question, and I should like notice of it.

Following is the answer:

Mr. Molson

Is not the worst intervention in Greek affairs taking place from Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia?

Mr. Bevin

That was the decision of the United Nations.

Mr. Warbey

Is there not as much error as there is trial in the present Greek democracy?

Mr. Platts-Mills

Why should the Greek people suffer from the Foreign's Secretary's errors?

Mr. Bevin

I do not think they have done. The Greek people have suffered from the friends of the hon. Member.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the right hon. Gentleman is contemplating issuing instructions on the lines suggested in the second part of the Question, would he consider including the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Platts-Mills) in the distribution of those instructions?

Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

Does my right hon. Friend recall that when the Greek Communist guerrillas tried abortively to set up a government in the mountains two years ago there was a good deal of commendation of that, official and otherwise, from another quarter; and would he suggest to the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Platts-Mills) that he should make representations in the proper direction about that intervention?