§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Mr. C. S. Taylor (Eastbourne)
Tonight I wish to speak about Spain. First, in case anybody should get the wrong impression, let me say that I have no sympathy with the regime of dictatorship in Spain. I say this now in case any Communist, or Communist sympathiser or fellow-traveller or the like should accuse me of being a "Fascist beast," an epithet which I believe is quite commonly applied to those people who do not agree with Communists.
In order to get the present situation which has arisen between His Majesty's Government and the Government of Spain in the right perspective it is necessary to refresh our memories about the history of this very unhappy affair. We must first remember that as a result of the Spanish civil war, in which a million lives were lost, Franco and his followers seized power in Spain. Since that date there has 1751 been peace in Spain, even though it has been perhaps an enforced peace. I have always taken the view that we should not interfere in the internal politics of another nation. Their politics are not our affair, and unless we find that the peace of the world is threatened, unless we find that there is a threat of aggression or intrigue, we should not interfere in the internal politics of any other country.
I have already said that I do not like the present Administration in Spain. I think I can go so far as to say that I like it as little as I like the present Administration in this country. But I am not trying to stir up civil war here; neither are the Spaniards. I should be one of the first people to resent any interference by Spain in our internal politics if they showed a dislike of our Administration here. The Spaniards have to work out their own salvation and we have to work out ours.
I wish to refer to a Question asked by the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) on 5th December, 1945. The House will remember that this hon. Member disguised himself with a beard or false moustache or whatever it was, and, either with false papers or no papers at all, visited Spain on a sort of schoolboy spying expedition of which very few people would be proud. The Foreign Secretary in reply to his question, said:we detest the regime.The late Mr. Jimmy Maxton asked:Is it in Order for the right hon. Gentleman to refer in that way to the head of a State with which His Majesty's Government seem to be on reasonable terms?The Foreign Secretary replied:You can be friendly with a person and frank with a person. In this case it is the regime, it is not merely the man, the whole regime is one with which His Majesty's Government have no sympathy."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th December, 1945; Vol. 416, c. 2315.]At the end of the same year, in December, 1945, the present Minister of State informed the House, when he was asked whether His Majesty's Government were intending to break off diplomatic relations with Spain, that the matter was being actively considered. That is very significant. It was said in December, 1945, a considerable time before the question was even raised before the United Nations Assembly. It was not until 1946 that 1752 Poland, supported by Russia, moved that direct action be taken against Spain.
On 23rd January, 1946, the Foreign Secretary said:His Majesty's Government have on all relevant occasions displayed their dislike of the present regime which abetted our enemies,…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd January, 1946; Vol. 418, c. 142.]In fact, if Spain had actively abetted our our enemies during the war, if she had gone in wholeheartedly with Hitler and Mussolini, if she had given free passage to German troops going through Spain, Gibraltar would have been untenable. Not only that, for enemy troops would have gone through Gibraltar to North Africa.
In addition, one remembers Operation Torch, which hon. Members will recall was the landing of troops in North Africa. During that operation there were masses of British and American transport ships off the coasts of Spain, in the Algeciras anchorage and off Gibraltar. If the Spaniards had then passed on that information to our enemies, the operation might not have been concluded in the grand and successful way in which it was.
§ Mr. Austin (Stretford)
If the hon. Member does not agree that Spain aided and abetted our enemies in the recent war, is he not aware that Spain gave refuge and actually helped to refuel German submarines in Spanish harbours?
§ Mr. Taylor
That may be so, but surely we have to look at these things in their proper perspective? Spain was neutral at the time. She could have been actively offensive against us. I know that some hon. Member may say, "What about the Blue Division on the Eastern front?" What about it? What about the time when the Russians were negotiating with the Germans behind our backs when we were fighting the Germans alone? I do not want to go into these bitter things of the past.
In March, 1946, the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks) asked:Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a very strong feeling in the Labour Party and the T.U.C. that the British Ambassador in Madrid should be withdrawn.…?"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th March, 1946; Vol. 420, c. 19.]To this there was no reply. But I wonder how those in the Labour Party and those in the T.U.C.—excluding the Communists, of course—now feel about 1753 the withdrawal of diplomatic representatives from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and even Russia, because although I will admit that Franco and his followers seized power in Spain, can any hon. Member give me a single instance in which the Communists have set up a regime in any country through democratic elections? We know perfectly well that in every country where there is Communist dictatorship power has been seized by force or intrigue or both. On 5th June, 1946, the Prime Minister himself made this astonishing statement:…I am sure that we have to take action which will be best calculated to make the Spaniards get rid of their present Government, and also get a decent Government in its place.I wonder what he would say if such action were taken against the Government in this country, and what he would say, for example, if the Americans said "We will not give you any Marshall Aid until you get rid of your present Government." I know what hon. Members on this side of the House would say. They would bitterly resent any dictating by the Americans to this country about what form of Government we should or should not have. The Prime Minister went on to say:Because you get rid of one Government, it does not necessarily follow that you get a better one, or that you even get one at all in some countries."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th June, 1946; Vol. 423. c. 2035.]Today we know how true that remark is. From that date onwards however—June, 1946—one finds an increasing pressure on the part of His Majesty's Government against Spain, a pressure which, I submit, could only lead and can only lead to insurrection in Spain and the ghastly consequences of another possible civil war.
In spite of this pressure, it is interesting to note that in October, 1946, the Minister of State said:I doubt if there is an alternative Government available for Spain just now."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th October, 1946; Vol. 427. c. 757.]The House will recollect that on 25th December, 1946—Christmas Day—the United Nations, supported by His Majesty's Government, recommended that ambassadors should be withdrawn from Madrid. Christmas Day—what a day to do it of all days, when we are meant to be thinking of peace and good will to all 1754 mankind. On Christmas Day this recommendation is made effective, in spite of the fact that the Under-Secretary of State said in the following year that we had the friendliest feelings towards the Spanish people. The curious thing about this Spanish impasse at the present time is that, although, I think, it is true to say that every Member of this House dislikes the present regime in Spain, there is a very acute difference of opinion, not confined to parties, between individual Members whether we should or should not have diplomatic representation in Madrid. I do not think that this is altogether a party matter. For example, the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Chamberlain) said in The Debate in 1946…to suggest that the Spaniards want intervention of any kind is pure moonshine. I talked to people in all quarters, to Communists, to Trotskyists and Socialists, but in not one case was the wish expressed to risk the horrors of a further civil war.This was said from the other side of the House. The hon. Member had said previously about the regime:I want to say quite clearly that it is quite untrue to say that it is brutal and tyranical."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd October, 1946; Vol. 427, c. 1606.]There are Spaniards we know, and many of them, who dislike the regime probably as much as we do. They dislike the lack of political freedom in Spain, but I am certain which they would choose if they were given the alternative of their present regime or a Communist regime. I know also that there have been political trials and probably assassinations, and that a number of the enemies of the regime have been put into prison. But has that not happened in exactly the same way in all the Communist countries? Has it not happened in Hungary, in Russia, in Yugoslavia and in Czechoslovakia? We have seen ruthless murders and assassinations in all those countries, and is it not utterly inconsistent of the present Government, and complete humbug, to keep ambassadors and diplomatic representatives in these other countries when we have no ambassador in Madrid?
To make our political intervention complete, on the 19th February, 1947, in reply to Questions, the Foreign Secretary told the House that we were in touch with the Spanish Republican Administration who, after all, are a number of men, however admirable they may be, 1755 in exile, plotting their own return to Spain and the return of their administration. I believe that if that administration. went back, except under general agreement, it must herald further bloodshed and repercussions both inside and outside Spain. The Foreign Secretary even received a representative of the Spanish Republicans in London at that time. Only last October, when I was in Spain, a statement appeared in the Spanish Press that agreement had been reached between the Spanish Republicans and the Monarchists. The rumour, I believe, afterwards turned out to be untrue, but before the rumour was proved or not the statement was issued—I am sure I shall be corrected if I am wrong—which was reported in the Spanish Press, that His Majesty's Government welcomed and approved this agreement. Various Spaniards with whom I discussed this matter, whether they liked Franco or not, were extremely annoyed by what they called unwarranted meddling on the part of Britain in their internal affairs.
I come to the question of trade with Spain. Our trade with Spain is very valuable. We get many things from Spain, from iron-ore to oranges. We also get sherry, although I must admit that the shipments of sherry to this country have not been as good as they used to be before the war. This may be due to Government buying, or it may be that there is a shortage of casks. On 23rd April, 1947, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury said, quoting the President of the Board of Trade:It is the policy of His Majesty's Government to develop and expand their export trade with all foreign countries. Notwithstanding the character of the present Spanish regime, on which the views of His Majesty's Government have been made known, this policy holds for Spain also.I would ask hon. Members particularly to pay attention to this statement. The Financial Secretary went on to say in the quotation:We import from Spain a quantity of foodstuffs and other commodities which are essential"—I underline the word "essential"—to our economy."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 23rd April, 1947; Vol. 436, c. 1206]What a curious way to do business. Here we say with one breath that we want to trade with the Spaniards and that certain of their commodities are essential 1756 to our economy, and, at the same time, we say that we are not going to have diplomatic representation in Madrid. That seems to me to be a sort of black market trade. One does not want to see it done openly and therefore it has to be done in a sort of "under the cloak" fashion. The potential tourist trade from Spain is very considerable and I believe it might be very valuable, but such organisations as the Travel Association have not dared to encourage tourists to come to this country from Spain because of the general attitude of His Majesty's Government. It would be a good plan to encourage Spanish tourists to come over here; we might get to know the Spanish a little better, and perhaps some of the misunderstandings that there are between our two countries might be swept away and a more democratic regime established.
I ask the Government to be consistent in these matters. In the first place, I say that they should either withdraw their Ambassadors from all the totalitarian countries or restore our Ambassador to Madrid. Secondly, I believe, and believe very firmly, in view of the fact that we have made a great many enemies throughout the world, that we should take a lead in advising the United Nations' organisation to admit Spain as a member. There is no danger of an aggressive war by Spain. If we are honest we must admit that the only danger of an aggressive war comes from Soviet Russia; and if one came—which God forbid—it might well be that our two great bulwarks of defence would be the English Channel and the Pyrenees.
§ 7.41 p.m.
§ Mr. Follick (Loughborough)
I think that my attitude to the Spanish question is very well known in this House. I have been uncompromising in this respect. Once, nobody on this side of the House understood my way of putting over the Spanish question. Today, quite a number of hon. Members on this side are coming round to my way of thinking. Quite a number have approached me and said: "I think, Follick, after all, that there is a lot to be said for your attitude and your constant attention to this Spanish question." I believe in the restoration of the Spanish monarchy; I always have done so because I believe in a monarchy. I believe in a constitutional monarchy; I think it is the finest system of government in the world, and I should 1757 like to see a constitutional monarchy restored in Spain.
I have done a great deal of spadework in bringing together Franco and Prince Juan. Two years ago I went to see the Prince and succeeded in changing his point of view to a certain extent. I have been to see Franco and had a long talk with him: we were together for an hour and a half with only the two of us in the room. Franco has met the Spanish Prince. Franco has told me himself that it is his intention to restore the monarchy to Spain.
§ Mr. Follick
I will come to that. Recently the Spanish Foreign Secretary in Buenos Aires said quite openly that he was a monarchist. The majority of the people surrounding Franco have this monarchist tendency, because only under a monarchy has Spain ever been happy. Now, nobody in this House knows as much about Spain as I do.
§ Mr. Follick
It is no good saying "nonsense," and it is no good jeering. It is an accepted fact. It is no good hon. Members showing ignorance by adding to their ignorance. I know the Spanish people; I know most of their politicians; I speak their language.
§ Mr. W. Griffiths (Manchester, Moss Side)
The hon. Member says he knows all the Spanish politicians.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I wonder if he could reconcile the views of del Vayo, or some of the Spanish émigré politicians with those of Franco and the monarchy?
§ Mr. Follick
A good many of the people who formed the first Spanish Republic have returned to Spain and are living in Spain. I have been to see them 1758 in Spain. Dr. Marañon, who was one of the heads of the first Spanish Republic, is living in Spain; I spoke to him when I was there: Yanguas is still in Spain; Romanones is still in Spain; he was arrested, but he is still living there.
There has been no more loyal supporter of the Foreign Secretary than myself; I still am, and I bring this question to the attention of the House, not in any criticism of the Foreign Secretary's handling of the Spanish problem. What I am trying to do is to put a point of view to him—a point of view which I believe is the true one, and the one most acceptable to the majority of Spaniards. If there is one thing no Spaniard wants it is another civil war. In the civil war that Spain went through they lost two million inhabitants out of a population of 25 million; that is to say, over double the total losses of the British Empire and Commonwealth in the first world war—
§ Mr. Follick
—and about six times the total losses of the British Empire and Commonwealth in the second world war.
§ Mr. Follick
Now, the Spaniards will not go through that again. Rather than go through it again they would put up with Franco.
§ Mr. Follick
But I do not believe in putting up with Franco. I should like to see the Franco system removed; but it will not be removed by trying to push it out.
§ Mr. Follick
The strength of Franco lies in the Church, the Army and the Party. Whoever holds the support of the Church and the Army rules Spain. If anything, Prince Juan has more support from the Church and the Army than Franco himself. And, what is more, Franco knows that. If we could bring the Prince and Franco together for a period of time, it would be up to the Prince 1759 himself to take the reins of government and rule his country properly, because he is sure of having behind him at least 60 per cent. of the Church and the Army.
§ Mr. Follick
In my conversation with Franco he was certainly bitter about the attitude of the Western nations to him. We laugh at that. He explained to me exactly what Hitler promised him to come into the war. We do know that Hitler went to Hendaye. We know that he went back from Hendaye. He would not have gone there for nothing. He went there to try to bring Franco into the war. Franco told me that he told Hitler that if any nation, no matter which it was attempted to go into Spain, Spain would resist. I have no reason for doubting the truth of that statement.
We have to understand one thing and it is that we have under-rated Franco's astuteness. Franco is not the fool that some people, including Members on both sides of the House, think he is. He is a very astute man. Being such, he is watching his own position in history. I told him: "Hitler in his day was the greatest German who had ever lived. On the following day, so to speak, he had lost all his greatness. The same applies to Mussolini, and the same will apply to you. Although today you may be the greatest Spaniard, if for any reason whatsoever you are forced out of Spain, you will be no better than the others." Franco would be receptive to persuasion but he would not tolerate violent interference.
Therefore, I do appeal to the Foreign Secretary, through his representative here, to give some indication that if the monarchy is restored to Spain we will recognise Spain and resume diplomatic relations with that country. The hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor) mentioned words that the Financial Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke a few days ago with regard to the ores and food that are essential to us and that come from Spain. I have heard it said that if we stop the supply of cotton and oil to Spain we could topple Franco. If Franco stopped ore coming to Britain he could interfere with our export trade and with our food. There is no chance whatsoever of getting at Franco that way.
1760 It is only fair, in speaking of Spain as a totalitarian country, that we should make a comparison with the other totalitarian countries. There is less severity and much less ruthlessness on one side than there is on the other. I wanted to go to Russia this year. I applied to the Russian Embassy for a visa. For a whole month I got no reply. Then I wrote again to say that it was generally a matter of courtesy at least to acknowledge a letter. I received this letter from the Russian Embassy:I have been instructed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 27th May and to inform you that with regard to your letter of 27th April an application for a visa to the Soviet Union has been made for you but so far we have no news from Moscow.So that they have to get news from Moscow before letting me into Russia. When I wanted to go to Spain I went to the Consulate and asked for a visa and they gave me one. The hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern) got one, and he is nowhere near as broad minded as I am in these matters. The hon. Lady the Member for Epping (Mrs. Manning) not only had a visa to go to Spain but went to Spain with her own interpreter, and examined prisoners in Spanish gaols. When I was last in Spain there were British tennis teams going round playing with Spanish teams. There was a Welsh choir touring and receiving a very warm welcome all over Spain. That does not look like a ruthless way of behaving.
The House knows of my activity on the question of the Russian wives married to British citizens who cannot come from Russia to this country. I have a notice here saying we are bringing women from Spain to help in our hotel industry. We have found it not only possible to do so but comparatively easy, yet we have all the difficulty in the world in bringing legally married wives from Russia to join their husbands.
There are others who wish to speak in this Debate. There are people who want to put forward totally opposite ideas from mine. I assure them I shall not treat their remarks with the ridicule which some Members on this side of the House have tried to treat my remarks. I assure those hon. Members though they treat my remarks with ridicule the country and my division do not. We can get good feeling and understanding with Spain. It is essential that we should. 1761 Our people like the Spanish people. I have never yet heard of anybody in this country who did not like the Spanish.
§ Mr. Follick
I do ask hon. Members not to talk nonsense. If the hon. Member has a sensible word to utter I am sure that the House will like to listen to it. The Spaniards like the British and it is a pity that because we do not like the head of their country, the Spanish people should be penalised by the rupture of diplomatic relations. I am asking the Foreign Secretary to make a declaration that it the monarchy is restored to Spain this country will resume diplomatic relations with Spain. That will give the Spaniards encouragement to restore the monarchy to their country. It would be a gesture from this country to Spain that we want to see her back on a normal footing of understanding with us. It would be a message to the Spaniards to restore their monarchy and we would restore diplomatic relations.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. William Teeling (Brighton)
I have listened with very great interest to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick), but I cannot agree with him on one point. I also am a very keen monarchist but I would not like it to go out from this House that we shall recognise Franco only if he restores the monarchy. The whole sense of the Debate from this side of the House is that we have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of another country unless what is going on in that country is likely to break the peace and cause war in other parts of the world. For that reason we feel it is high time that we recognised the present régime in Spain and allowed it to carry on with its own affairs.
This Debate will undoubtedly be read and followed in Spain. It should be realised there that this is in a sense a private Debate and not a completely official one, in that it is an Adjournment Debate. That is why the Spaniards will not find as many hon. Members speaking in it as they might expect. However, this Debate gives a few of us an opportunity to say what we feel. I am particularly happy because at a by-election in which I was helping as far back as 1944, in Chelmsford, and frequently since then, it has been brought 1762 against me that I am an ardent supporter of Franco and that I fought on his side in the civil war. I frequently deny it and point out that not only do I not know Franco, but that I have never been to Spain in my life, except once when I went over from St. Jean de Luz in a motor car and saw a bull fight in San Sebastian one evening about 20 years ago.
Sometimes in the House I try to watch what is going on, especially with regard to foreign affairs. I cannot help remembering that it is only a week since the Foreign Secretary was explaining the situation about Israel. One cannot help remembering that he gave way very reluctantly. One cannot help feeling that when the Government recognised Israel, they did so in a most half-hearted way and that the Foreign Secretary was being very pig-headed about it. I believe that he is being pig-headed today about Spain. In the long run he will probably have to give way again. He gave way over Israel because, I am sure, of considerable pressure from his own back benchers.
I notice that no representative of the Foreign Office is present at the moment. The Under-Secretary was here, but he has gone. He ought to have remained, because this is only a short Debate. However, as no representative of the Foreign Office is present, I hope that the Under-Secretary of State for Air will pass on what we are saying. With regard to Israel, the Foreign Secretary gave way because of pressure from the back benchers, and he probably feels that by not giving way today he will be regaining the support of a considerable number of those back benchers. Would that he had gone the other way about it, and had been the first to recognise Israel before there was pressure from behind him.
§ Mr. Fernyhough (Jarrow)
Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that last Wednesday the Conservative Party were not in favour of the recognition of Israel and that pressure has come only from the back benches on this side?
§ Mr. Teeling
Not in the least. The hon. Gentleman must have heard the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill). I was suggesting that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is more likely to be 1763 influenced by his own back benchers than by the Opposition.
§ Mr. Teeling
It is very interesting to know that that is not the case. The Foreign Secretary was forced to give way about Israel, but in the case of Spain, if he only had the courage of his convictions and was able to see ahead, he would realise that this is a country which has been very friendly to us in years gone by. Since the days of Napoleon we have had very friendly relations with Spain. In the middle of the last century when the Liberal régime was in power and the monarchy came back, we were very friendly with Spain. When Alfonso XIII was reigning, we were still friendly with Spain. With regard to the civil war, if it had not been for our strict neutrality during that period, we would not have had neutrality, which I considered was quite strict, on the part of the Spaniards during the last war. From 1939 to 1944 we had great difficulties over the Spanish situation. Everybody knows that we could never have got through to North Africa if it had not been for the at least benevolent neutrality of the Spaniards with regard to Gibraltar and the areas around Gibraltar. The Royal Air Force knows that as well as anybody.
Think what might happen in the future if we made enemies of Spain. We might make a second Israel out of the present situation with Spain, by going on as we are at present ignoring Spain and insulting her at nearly every turn. I am glad to see that the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has returned. We must realise that during the first world war Russia was particularly antagonistic to us, and today she is particularly insulting to us, but Spain is not. The Spanish Government does not insult us at every turn; on the other hand, it asks for our friendship. The Spanish Government, and almost all the world, wonders what is the logic of the attitude we adopt and why we are behaving in this manner. Again, it is rather like the Israeli situation.
We are particularly anxious to trade with Spain, and we do so as much as we can. The other day the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that we were getting iron and steel and oranges and 1764 such things from Spain because we needed them.
§ Mr. Teeling
I will come to that in a moment. We want her products for our people and are willing to trade with her. We are frightfully idealistic and refuse to recognise Spain, but at the same time we are not really all that idealistic because we are trying to get everything we can out of Spain. That is what angers the Spaniards at present. Five members of the United Nations have already sent ambassadors back to Spain. It was only in the middle of last year that the Assembly said that they would not renew the instructions that ambassadors must not be restored to Spain. Five have returned their ambassadors and others are meditating it. It is generally felt in Spain now that the main reason why other countries are not doing it yet is that pressure is being brought to bear by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of this country, and, in a sense, the Socialist Party behind him, so that Spain under Franco shall not be recognised. If the hon. Member feels that that is wrong, I hope he will say so.
§ Mr. Scollan
Is it not the case that the United Nations Organisation refused to recognise Franco Spain? Is the hon. Member advocating that we should go against the decision of the United Nations Organisation?
§ Mr. Teeling
Is the hon. Member aware that it was decided by the Assembly that ambassadors can now be sent back to Spain and, if that is the case. that means recognising Spain.
§ Mr. Teeling
Hon. Members opposite might like to know that Peru, which was one of the countries, like the Argentine and the others, which have recognised Spain, has made some rather interesting statements which I propose to read. [An HON. MEMBER: "They were not influenced by the Foreign Secretary."] These statements were sent to our Foreign Office and to the Foreign Offices of other countries. One of these statements says: 1765Peru has invariably maintained a resolute attitude favouring the principle of non-intervention, which it considers basic in American international law and a guarantee of the independence and sovereignty of small countries, without prejudice to the cases in which collective action may be necessary to keep the international peace when it has been threatened or broken.That is how this statement begins; it explains Peru's resumption of full diplomatic relations with Spain. It continues:Therefore, the Chancellery of Peru, within its firm and constant fidelity to the letter and spirit of the Potsdam and San Francisco declarations, took up an attitude favourable to non-intervention in the internal affairs of Spain, which it considered to be within the exclusive competence of the Spanish people, traditionally so jealous of their independence.They agreed to withdraw their ambassador because of the pressure brought to bear upon them by other countries, but:This attitude, however, was subject to the maintenance of that measure by the consensus of the countries represented in the United Nations, and to the identification by the Executive Committee of a latent threat to the peace.They found later that that was no longer so and the statement records that:The self-same agencies of the United Nations have had to recognise these new circumstances, and the Spanish case is no longer a cause of constant preoccupation for the United Nations, since the Assembly decided, in December, 1947, not to ratify the recommendation of the previous year vetoing the appointment of Ambassadors in Madrid, and the Security Council, in its Session of 25th June last, eliminated the Spanish problem from the list of matters endangering the peace of the world. Thus, the obligation which existed, merely of a moral nature, disappeared, while, on the other hand, the United Nations agreement at no moment had an imperative character.I quote that as an example of one country alone. The Argentine also is very anxious that other countries should recognise Spain. Slowly but surely, all South American countries are once again resuming relations with Spain. I warn the Foreign Secretary that once again we shall be left in the position of being one of the last countries to recognise a position that is already de facto. We badly need trade with Spain. If there is any question of difficulty in the future defence of Western Europe, the contribution of Spain will be vital to it.
§ Mr. Parkin (Stroud)
Is the hon. Member suggesting that the Blue Division is likely to be neutral towards Russia next time?
§ Mr. Teeling
Franco is quite likely to be on the same side as ourselves in whatever troubles take place, if they do, in the near future—more so, in fact, than last time, when Spain was of considerable help to us. If we are to defend Western Europe, if that is to be at all possible, it is inevitable that Spain comes in with us. But it is equally unfair to ask Spain to prepare herself to be ready for such defence needs if at the same time we do not even recognise her or treat her as our equal. Other countries are already doing so.
It is the conviction of the people of Spain that the reason why the whole of Western Europe and the American States are not doing so is because, once again, of the influence being used by the British Foreign Office, and especially the Secretary of State, as it has been solidly and definitely used over the question of Israel. It is the influence of the Foreign Secretary especially that is causing this hold up. The day will come when we must recognise Spain. That day will probably be too late for real friendship. If, however, as the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary seemed to be about to say a little while ago, that is not so, and the Foreign Secretary is not using his influence throughout Europe and elsewhere to keep Spain from being recognised, then I look forward to hearing that I am wrong.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Francis Noel-Baker (Brentford and Chiswick)
I have listened with great interest to the speech of the hon. Gentleman the senior Member for Brighton (Mr. Teeling) and should like to make just two comments upon it. The first is that in his plea that this country should follow the leadership of the Peruvian government, and of Colonel Peron of the Argentine, he has overlooked, or has been misinformed about, the position of the United Nations ruling. The last decision taken by the United Nations was quite definite and categorical and was not changed or discussed at the last meeting of the Assembly. That ruling was that Governments should withdraw ambassadors and heads of missions from Madrid. Secondly, in his plea for the admission of Spain into more cordial relations with this country and with Western Europe, the hon. Gentleman has overlooked, I think, the very strong case that was made in a letter 1767 sent to General Franco in October, 1944. The writer of that letter recalled that…throughout the War German influence has been consistently allowed to hinder the war effort of Great Britain and her Alliesand added that,…a Spanish division was sent to help our German enemies against our Russian Allies.The writer noted that: Spain's policy—General Franco's policy—…had been one not of neutrality but of non-belligerence.He reminded General Franco—and I think the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor) will be particularly interested in this, in view of what he said about the Spanish Government's attitude to this country—the writer of that letter in 1944 reminded General Franco…of speeches in which your Excellency contemptuously referred to this country and other members of the United Nations and spoke of their defeat as desirable and unavoidable.The writer of that letter drew the conclusion that Franco Spain could take no part in the peace settlements of the future nor join the future world organisation. I give the hon. Member three guesses as to who wrote that letter. It was the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill).
§ Mr. C. S. Taylor
Perhaps the hon. Member will recall also that in 1948, on 10th December, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford, said this:I agreed at Potsdam that Spain should not be invited to join the United Nations and I am not going to shirk any of the facts. I did so in the hope of inducing Soviet Russia to give this world instrument generous and friendly aid in support. But time has passed since Potsdam; three and a half years have passed; and I am sorry we have a different relationship with Russia from that for which we all hoped. I certainly see no reason why Spain should be excluded from the United Nations any longer."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 10th December, 1948; Vol. 459, c. 723.]
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I was hoping to refer to the possible reasons for a change of attitude by the right hon. Gentleman a little later. I would recall that this letter was written a year before Potsdam. There seems to be some conflict between this letter and the speech of the right hon. Gentleman on 10th December.
1768 Profoundly though I disagree with everything the hon. Member for Eastbourne has said, and although I hope most urgently that my hon. Friend will give a sharp and prompt rebuff to Spanish serenadings coming from the Benches opposite, I should like to thank the hon. Member for raising this subject tonight. Had he not done so, I should myself have started the sometimes lengthy process of trying to get time on an Adjournment for discussing Spain in this House. My motives and reasons for doing so, however, would have been very different, I am glad to say, from those of the hon. Member.
I think none of us on this side can forget our own support of, and the help we gave to, the legal Democratic Spanish Republican Government during the Spanish Civil War. Nor have we forgotten the disastrous policy of non-intervention and appeasement followed by hon. Members opposite during those years. Those policies brought much shame and ridicule to this country. Alas, they are still remembered by many people in Europe. They are a part of the record of the Conservative Party between the wars, which I think hon. Members opposite would be well advised not to remind us too much about. It is quite clear that that old spirit of appeasing Fascist dictators is not yet dead in the ranks of the Conservative Party. Those who in other countries watch our Debates will, I am sure, take note of that fact.
There is one other reason, if I may just mention it, why I am glad that this subject has been raised: it is because it was my good fortune in 1946, as the hon. Member for Eastbourne has said, to go to Spain as a visitor to the democratic underground resistance movement there. I have not forgotten the kindness, courage and endurance shown by those Spanish democrats—and Basque and Catalan democrats—I visited; and I know they have not entirely forgotten my visit, because I am still able to get direct and regular communications and messages from them and reports from the Spanish underground movement. Their task in the past 10 years has been very hard, very dangerous and sometimes almost heartbreaking, but they have not given up hope and in the past few months, as my hon. Friend knows, they have intensified their activity. At this moment they are putting into effect a new agreement 1769 to consolidate the unity of all antitotalitarian forces in the country—monarchists, republicans, Basques and Catalans—
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
—excluding Communists and Fascists—who are opposed to General Franco and wish to put a democratic government in his place. My hon. Friend knows all about this agreement and knows that anything he says tonight could have a great effect, not only here, but among the Spanish democrats as well.
As the hon. Member for Eastbourne said, it was in the Debate of 10th December that the right hon. Member for Woodford first raised the question of the inclusion of Fascist Spain in the United Nations. I noticed that in the same Debate—and other hon. Members also noticed it—he made his first attack on the Palestine policy of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, and ever since then I have speculated about the possible connection between those two things.
I should like to ask the hon. Member for Eastbourne a question. Has it perhaps occurred to him, or to the Conservative Central Office, or Lord Woolton, that there is a big Jewish vote in this country and that if it were possible to present the Conservative Party, ignoring their past record, as the champions of a Jewish State, that might have a big electoral effect? Has it also perhaps occurred to the hon. Member, and the tacticians of his party, that there is a big Catholic vote in this country and that to present the Conservative Party as the champions of the so-called "Christian gentleman" of Spain might likewise have a strong electoral appeal? Is it perhaps electioneering and vote-catching that is the real motive behind these sudden new moves and the "Let us be friends with Franco," campaign which the hon. Member launched this evening? I would like to ask that question.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I am sorry that the hon. Member and his friends are not able to think of a more convincing answer than that. Of course, the hon. Member has been very unlucky in a number of things 1770 and especially in the timing of this particular campaign. Today he appealed for the establishment of normal diplomatic relations with General Franco. Two months ago the right hon. Member for Woodford appealed for Spain's inclusion in the United Nations. He has overlooked the fact that we have an Embassy and a large Embassy staff working in Madrid and that the only person missing is the Ambassador. The re-establishment of normal diplomatic relations would mean nothing, except as part of a general "get-together" policy with General Franco leading to Fascist Spain's inclusion, not only in the United Nations, but also in Western Union, E.R.P., the Atlantic Pact and, in general, in the community of democratic Western European Nations.
As luck would have it, yesterday General Franco gave his own views on these questions in an interview with the "Daily Telegraph." Hestated categorically"—I quote from the report—that he did not consider it a propitious moment for Spain either to join the United Nations, or to take part in Western Union.He went on to describe the United Nations as "an abortion." He then described Parliamentary democracy in Spain asa disastrous balance sheet, sufficient to discredit the Parliamentary system in the eyes of the Spanish peoples,and held out "small hopes" of the slightest relaxation of his own Fascist dictatorship. He finished up by describing Gibraltar as athorn embedded in the heart of Spain,and in asking Britain to give it up. I do not know if the hon. Member for Eastbourne is prepared to endorse this last point and to ask my right hon. Friend to scuttle our base at Gribraltar in the interests of General Franco's nationalistic ambitions, but it seems that, as far as closer relations with the Western democracies are concerned, whatever the hon. Member may say, the Spanish dictator has himself given his own answer, a blunt, peevish and ill-mannered "No" to proposals never made to him, and has given a very good exhibition of a bad-mannered refusal to attend a party to which he had never been invited.
I do not want to spend many minutes in recalling the background and characteristics 1771 of the Fascist dictatorship which now rules Spain, and the contacts of General Franco with Hitler and Mussolini and his intimate associations with the Axis Powers right up to the moment when it became clear that they had lost the war. Enough was said by General Franco himself when he wrote this personal message to Hitler in 1941:I consider, as you yourself do, that the destiny of history has united you with myself and with the Duce in an indissoluble way. I have never needed to be convinced of this and, as I have told you more than once, our civil war, since its very inception, and during its entire course, is more than proof.Then General Franco added:I stand at your side entirely, and decidedly at your disposal, united in a common historical destiny, desertion from which would mean my suicide and that of the cause which I have led and represent in Spain.
§ Mr. Taylor
Perhaps the hon. Member will also tell us what the Russians did with the Germans when we were fighting the Germans alone?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I am still waiting to hear from the hon. Member what the Blue Division did in Russia when we were fighting as allies of that country. That quotation is what General Franco him- self had to say about his common destiny with Hitler and Mussolini. But that destiny, three years after the end of the war, is still unfulfilled. There is still a Fascist Government in Spain, and now the hon. Member for Eastbourne is asking us to welcome Hitler's last surviving ally into the fold of the democratic nations. The hon. Member knows that in these three years General Franco has done nothing to move his Government in the direction of democracy. He knows quite well that political persecution, with all the usual barbarities of the police state, has, if anything, intensified in the last three years; and he knows equally well that religious persecution, particularly of non-Catholics, has also ruthlessly continued in Spain.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I could go into some detail. There has been very intensive persecution of Protestants and I can give full details, but I understand that my hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Dr. Morgan) hopes to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and will be able to give 1772 some details. Among the other things which the hon. Member for Eastbourne knows—
§ Mr. Taylor
I must really draw attention to the fact that the hon. Member keeps on referring to me and saying "he knows" this, that and the other. Would it not be more appropriate if he said "I will tell the hon. Member for Eastbourne," or "I will tell the House"?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I was assuming that the hon. Member was in possession of information about the current state of affairs in Spain. I am sorry if I am doing him an injustice. I should be glad to have the opportunity of informing him, if I may put it that way—
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
—that Spanish gaols are still full of thousands of political prisoners, whose only offence is that they share the democratic views of the vast majority of their Western European neighbours. I would like to inform the hon. Member that, proud and boasting though the Spanish dictator may now seem, he is at this moment very much tortured by two fears for the survival of his régime. The first fear is the danger of economic collapse which under the present corrupt and chaotic administration in Spain—and with the running out of the Argentine agreement—has grown very much more immediate and more desperate than it was last year. The second fear is the growing unity of his democratic opponents inside Spain. However insistently he may use that familiar Hitler technique of describing all opposition as Communist inspired, he cannot obscure the fact that, now monarchists, republicans, trade unionists, Basques and Catalans are more effectively united against him than ever before.
My hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick) had something to say about the monarchists just now. I wish that time allowed me to give details of some of the recent arrests of monarchists, for being monarchists, that have been carried out very recently by the Spanish Government. I would recommend the hon. Member to read what General Franco had to say about monarchists in the report in the "Daily Telegraph" yesterday. These democratic forces, fighting in all the ways that they can against the Franco dictatorship, have nothing whatever in common with Communism or 1773 with the small Communist Party inside Spain. They are working not for civil war, not for the substitution of one dictatorship by another, but for the peaceful restoration of real free democracy and the re-inclusion of democratic Spain in the family of Western European nations where the Spaniards rightly belong.
I agree that it is a sad and harmful thing that 25 million or 26 million hardworking citizens of a great and ancient Western European Power should be kept indefinitely in international quarantine, isolated and despised as they are at the present time by the rest of the world. The cure for that situation rests with Spain herself. Let her throw off her present Fascist Government and her people will I am sure be immediately welcomed into the United Nations and into all the arrangements in Western Europe with which this country is associated. I am certain that this Government will welcome her when that change comes.
In present circumstances, however, what the hon. Member for Eastbourne asks is clearly out of the question. First, because the relations between this country and Spain are subject to decisions of the United Nations, and a series of other allied agreements on which the Government have no right and no power to take unilateral action. Second, to admit Fascist Spain into Western Union—which is in effect what hon. Members are asking—would at one blow destroy the whole moral and democratic basis of Western Union itself. Third, because under her present medieval, corrupt and inefficient administration, Spain could only be a source of weakness and instability to any democratic country who associated with her.
There axe two points of view about the most effective way of fighting Communism and totalitarianism in the world today. The first view, so far as I understand it, is the view of the hon. Member for Eastbourne, and he is entitled to it. He believes that Communism can best be fought by turning Fascist or at last by allying oneself as closely as possible with Fascist countries on the ground that a Fascist dictator is likely to be the most effective bulwark against a dictatorship of the proletariat. I believe that that is a disastrous point of view. One has only to look at what has happened to country after country in Eastern Europe to see how hopelessly ineffective is a Government 1774 of the extreme Right in preventing the dictatorship of the extreme Left.
The other point of view—in which I believe—is this, and it seems to me to be the whole lesson of recent years: one cannot fight totalitarianism whether left or right by totalitarianism, or dictatorship by dictatorship or reaction by reaction. If the democratic states of Europe are to win through they can only do so by offering the peoples of the world something better than their opponents can give, by offering them political freedom coupled with economic freedom, by achieving in fact, whatever the party or political labels may be, the objectives of democratic Socialism for which this Government is working in this country.
§ Mr. Teeling
May I ask the hon. Member what he feels about trade with Spain? If he feels so strongly as this, what does he feel about our trade with Spain?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I think my views are fairly well known in this House on that subject. I have long believed it would have been easy and possible in the years immediately after the end of the second world war for effective pressure and if necessary, economic pressure to be applied of the kind that this country and the United States did apply to Franco right at the end of the second world war in order to detach him finally from his Nazi and Fascist allegiance. If that pressure had been applied in the years immediately after the war, it would have been effective.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I believe, as I was saying, in this alternative way of dealing with Communism. I do not believe that one can deal with that kind of totalitarianism by associating with or supporting Fascist dictatorships. I hope that my hon. Friend in his reply will give a sharp, prompt and very definite rebuff to the hon. Member and I hope he will also remember that his words here may have a big effect on the work of the democratic forces inside Spain, who are our real and faithful allies, and could do much to speed their work for the removal of the Spanish Fascist dictatorship and the restoration of freedom and democracy in that unhappy country.
§ 8.37 p.m.
§ Mr. Wilson Harris (Cambridge University)
I do not intend to be lengthy. I do not intend to be controversial and for that reason I will not attempt to take up point by point the speech of the hon. Member for Brentwood and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker). I shall not make any extensive excursion into history because what I hope the Under-Secretary will tell us tonight is why in this month of February, 1949, we are pursuing a provocative and, what is perhaps worse, an entirely ineffective policy in regard to Spain.
In the matter of history we can argue to and fro across this Floor until the moment of Adjournment comes. I understand to the full the feelings of hon. Members opposite about many of the horrors of the civil war. Of course, there were horrors on both sides. My own view is that the greater horrors were committed by the followers of General Franco. But it is no use attempting to balance horrors against one another just now. It is no use asking whether the rather absurd Blue Division gave more help to the Germans than the Russians, whom we recognise and count as Allies, gave to the Germans. throughout the whole period from August. 1939, to June, 1941.
It is not much use talking about Spanish neutrality during the war. If we are going to talk about neutrality and its observance, may I refer hon. Members to the record, so fortunate for us, of American neutrality in the year 1940. It was the most unneutral neutrality the world has ever known and it certainly outdid the unneutral neutrality which the Franco régime exhibited the other way in regard to us. But all that is part of past history, and so much past history of the last 10 years has had to be wiped out in regard to this country and that, that surely we may be content to deal with the situation as it is today. One cannot deny the logic implied in speeches of hon. Members on this side who have pointed out that we are recognising régimes just as totalitarian as the régime in Spain. The hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick scouted the idea of our receiving Spain into the company of democratic nations. Does he really think that the republics of South America are democratic nations? They are no more democratic than Spain—
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
May I explain myself on that point? I was talking only 1776 of admission to the United Nations. Nobody is suggesting that the South American countries should be included in Western Union.
§ Mr. Scollan
Before the hon. Gentleman replies to that question, would he not agree that one cannot draw an analogy between the South American countries and Spain, because there was a legally elected democratic Government in Spain which was overthrown by force, whereas that never happened in South America?
§ Mr. Wilson Harris
Plenty of democratic governments in South America have been overthrown by force. But I do not want to press that point. I ask the Under Secretary to tell us what is really being achieved by the policy we are pursuing today. The hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick), about whose speech I should have said more if he were still present, drew some analogy between Spain and another totalitarian country in the East of Europe. I would draw some analogy between Spain and her nearest neighbour, Portugal. Portugal is under a dictatorship, under a totalitarianism which has proved much more successful and more beneficial to the people, but complete totalitarianism none the less. But Portugal is our oldest Ally and we are on the most cordial terms with her today. What are we achieving by this policy which we have pursued so long?
The hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick looks forward to a day when we will have a republican government again in Spain. Is there any foundation for that expectation? Nobody would be happier than I should be, if we had such a government, but I do not want to see it come by civil war and I do not want to encourage the Republican exiles in what I believe are false hopes. Exiled governments have an unfortunate record for themselves since the last war. None of those who went back to their own countries lasted, and there is no reason, as we survey the facts, to imagine for a moment that the exiled government of Spain are capable of going back and forming a successful government.
How long is our attitude towards Spain to continue? General Franco has been in his present position for ten years. In spite of the remarks of the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick, he is as 1777 firmly entrenched as ever he was. There is no sign whatever of his overthrow. He is 52 years old and he has a reasonable expectation of another 20 years of life. Are we to keep up this petty, ineffective, semi-ostracism for another 20 years? Will it really do any good? Have we so little faith in our own principles and our own democracy that we cannot believe that Spain would be affected if we could get much more in touch with the Spaniards, if we could travel there and mix and talk with them? If I wanted to overthrow Franco, as I should like to do if there was a better régime in view, the first thing I should want to do would be to tear down the iron curtain which we are trying to construct, let in some air, communicate with the people and try to tell them of the better political doctrines which we follow.
Along those lines there may be some possibilities. The hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick is most anxious that Spain should not be admitted to the Atlantic Pact and to O.E.E.C. I cannot imagine anything more likely to overthrow General Franco than for Spain to be offered all the privileges of Marshall Aid and for General Franco to oppose them. If he is going to do that, then I think there is really a chance of overthrowing him. For that reason, I should like Spain brought into Western Union, into O.E.E.C. and the Atlantic Pact. If we worked for that, it would be a far more realistic policy than that which we are pursuing today.
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
Does the hon. Gentleman want Spain admitted to all these things with or without Franco? If he wants them without him, I should be with him. One of the most effective ways of getting a change of régime would be to say that as soon as Franco goes Spain shall be included.
§ Mr. Wilson Harris
Surely the hon. Member, with his knowledge of Spain, cannot believe that that would have any effect on the people of Spain. The one effect that it would have would be that the people would say, "Oh, you are trying to change our government from outside." That is the very last thing to do.
I want Spain brought in, with Franco, as an effective way of getting rid of Franco. I believe it would be a most effective way. Those are the reasons why it seems to me that the policy we 1778 are pursuing is ineffective and most undesirable. If Spain were any danger to us externally, if she were a danger to peace externally, there might be some reason for the policy we are following. But once we ostracise countries because we do not like their particular shade of government—and I admit this is a pretty dark shade—we are entering upon a campaign of discrimination in which it is very difficult to draw lines. We shall be thrown into endless difficulties and we shall be transgressing all the principles which we have always followed in foreign policy. I realise that the Under-Secretary has come here with a good brief and he will duly say his piece. But I ask him to convey to the Foreign Secretary the very cogent arguments which speakers like myself have been laying before the House tonight.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Dr. Morgan (Rochdale)
Tonight we have heard some most extraordinary views from alleged democrats in a democratic country. It was most amusing to hear the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick) telling us how grandly, in secret conclave, General Franco penetrated into his heart, with all the secrets of his democratic love for Great Britain and Spain, and also his great democratic love for the Church and the monarchy. I have been in touch with people in Spain since I was chairman of a well-known committee, the Spanish Medical Aid Committee, during the civil war. I have been in touch with Catholic democrats in Spain, particularly in the Basque country and Catalonia. I tell the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor) that I get my letters by ordinary post after they have reached France. I could narrate tale upon tale of drastic, brutal methods employed by Franco against the people in the Basque country and the Catalonians. [An HON. MEMBER: "And against Catholic priests."] I have been reminded by an hon. Member that these methods have been used not only against the ordinary common or garden people but against the Catholic priests, who, in many cases, are opposed to Franco.
Franco ordered the bishop of a certain city in Spain to do a number of things in connection with a memorial service. The bishop replied that Franco had no right to tell a churchman what to do. 1779 Franco approached a higher bishop and attempted to tell him to instruct the bishop what to do in his church. The first bishop faced disruption from his church to fight for his democratic principles, and refused to do what was instructed. There are still people in Spain—Catholic democrats, Basques, Catalonians and others—who hate Franco with greater hatred than that with which many of the Germans hated Hitler. The hon. Member for Eastbourne, and the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Teeling), whose faith is the same as mine, come here and want to pretend that Franco wants a monarchy. I have heard recently from a celebrated countess, whom I have never met and who has been in gaol for speaking in favour of the monarchy.
Franco only wants the monarchy to protect himself. He knows perfectly well that there are some men in the Church who would prefer a monarchy to Franco. He wants to buttress himself by pretending that he could be the statesman who will move under the cover of religion in order to retain some of his power. I speak feelingly, because I was brought up in a cosmopolitan Catholic democracy without distinction of race, sex or colour. I find that in Spain time and again Franco deliberately selects religious people in order to wreak his vengeance on them.
§ Dr. Morgan
I am against the same kind of thing being done in Hungary or Poland. I am not taking sides against a particular country. I am taking sides against the principle of totalitarianism wherever it shows its head. After all, Franco is nearest to us, occupying a dominant position on our trade route to India. Franco got his power by a civil war, in which I witnessed some of the things he did. I saw men who had been tortured and ruined for life, after treatment by his troops.
One of my hon. Friends, the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick), an old-new recruit to the party, is now trying to teach the old veterans the principles of the Labour Party. Only the other day, Dr. Halliday Sutherland said that Spain has got everything except political freedom. The Labour candidate 1780 for the Scottish Universities in the 1935 election had the effrontery to say, in a democratic country like this, that Spain had everything but political freedom. Everybody knows that political freedom is the pivot of all our democratic institutions in this country.
I want to tell the Foreign Secretary that we support him in every way in his antagonism to Franco; we, who know the facts and know the sufferings of all classes in Spain, but particularly the democrats, irrespective of religion or whether they were Monarchists of Republicans. We know how they have been treated. We know about the spies, the torture and the imprisonment for years without trial or justice. We, who know these facts, can say that Spain should be treated with a very strong hand and with an aloofness which is only justified by our dislike of their regime.
I do not wish to say much more, because my voice is croaking and the subject is very emotional to me. I have had many friends in Spain, and have had many friends among the priests whom I have lost. I implore the Foreign Office having regard to the situation in Europe, to Franco's behaviour during the war and to his hypocrisy and his pretence to want to come in with us now for trade purposes, to stand firm. I think the Foreign Secretary should be congratulated on the firm stand he has so far taken on this point, and I hope he will continue his policy and win the respect of democrats throughout the world.
§ 8.53 p.m.
§ Mr. Peter Roberts (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
I would like to take up two arguments which have been put from the other side of the House; first of all, those about the Monarchy and the Republican cause. I would tell the House that I have been to Spain on one occasion each year for the last three years in order to watch what was happening there, and I hope I shall be able to give the House a fair and objective view.
Three years ago, when I went there, the position was that the Spanish Government were afraid. The war had just been won by us, and they did not know what we were going to do with their regime. Everybody was looking for a way out, a "hedge"; they were considering a monarchy, which at that time was popular. The next year, sanctions 1781 had been imposed, the Ambassadors had been taken away and there was more or less a battle of isolation going on. This year when I went to Spain, the position was changed. The Spanish people had begun to realise that their regime had withstood the attacks of the Foreign Secretary and the Americans; the people were no longer looking for a "hedge" or to the monarchy. They were saying "We recognise that Franco is here." His position was actually very much stronger than it was three years ago, and I think the House should realise that fact at the outset.
I think it will be very helpful if hon. Members understand that point and accept the idea that Franco is stronger in his seat now than he was three years ago. This I believe is the result of the policy of the Foreign Secretary. I believe that this is the almost exact result of what the Foreign Secretary has done. He has shown the Spanish people that the Franco regime can get along quite well without the assistance of Western Europe, and that may be the reason for some of the remarks in a speech by General Franco which were quoted by the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker).
On this third occasion when I went to Spain, I considered that the standard of living of the people there was higher than it had been three years earlier, or at any rate as far as the poor people were concerned. There was more rice, more oil and more wheat available, and there was a great deal of social security for the working people. I believe that, as long as a working man is not a Communist, he is better off in Spain today than he was three years ago. Those are facts which I want to put before the Foreign Secretary, and I want to base my argument upon them.
What have we heard tonight? We have heard three main arguments. First of all, hon. Gentlemen opposite oppose the Franco régime on political grounds. We have heard that argument before, but I cannot understand how, if we say that, we can also have diplomatic relations with the Communist countries. It does not seem logical to me as a Yorkshire-man, and I cannot understand that difference. The second argument is based on social grounds, and I consider that the social position of the non-political working man in Spain is as good as, if 1782 not better than, that to be found in Eastern Europe. The third argument was that of past history and all the events of before and during the civil war. Foreign policy has always been changing. In the past, we have had battles with France, Holland and Denmark, but we cannot keep up those enmities indefinitely. Foreign policy must change, and we cannot say that, once an enemy, always an enemy.
Behind it all, the whole crux of the matter is the fact that Russia at present does not want Western Union or a strong Western European combination. If one looks at all the propaganda which comes out against Spain at the moment, we see that it emanates from Russia and from the Russian satellite countries. I understand why there was a move to take the Ambassadors away from Spain, and why it came from Poland, because it was supported by Russia with the whole idea of keeping Spain—and I am not now talking about politics so much as from the strategic point of view—away from Western Union. If one looks at the resolutions passed by the trade unions, one finds that they nearly always come from the Communist-dominated unions.
§ Dr. Morgan
The hon. Gentleman says that Communist resolutions come from his part of the country, but the trade union branches do not decide trade union or Labour Party policy. If any body does, it is the central body of the T.U.C.
§ Mr. Roberts
I am sorry, but trade union branches do pass resolutions and send them to me. I have read them. I believe it is the Communists who are pressing the idea of keeping Spain away from Western Union.
§ Mr. Scollan
Obviously, the hon. Gentleman is trying to make the House believe that everybody who opposes Franco Spain is a Communist or a fellow-traveller. Would he say that of the American Government?
§ Mr. Roberts
The hon. Gentleman has misquoted me. I say that the propaganda stir is coming from Moscow. It has been stirred up by Moscow. Hon. Members opposite, who have a past history in this matter and who made statements during 1783 the civil war, are very easy material to stir up. The hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick is himself very easy material to stir up. I suggest, although they may not like it, that the propaganda which is stirring up hon. Members opposite is emanating from Moscow. Hon. Members opposite take sides in this matter. I have come in rather late in the day on this political issue, and I am trying to deal with it objectively. I cannot say what I saw in the civil war and use that sort of argument. I cannot take a prejudiced attitude one way or the other, and I hope that will be understood.
I want to make this observation on Spanish political life. Politically the Spaniard has not got the same idea as we have of conducting affairs. I would like to relate one story of an anarchist to whom I spoke down in the south. When the revolution broke out he and his friends took some dynamite and blew up three of the managers of their mine. When the Franco troops came along and over-ran that site, they took 103 of the workers and shot them. The people in the village said, "That was not fair. If they had shot three we should have understood it, but 103 are too much. We now know where those soldiers are and, given the chance, we will get our own back." That is politics in Spain, and I hope hon. Members will take note of it.
§ Mr. Scollan
I understood the hon. Member to say that he could not quote with the same authority as my hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Dr. Morgan). The hon. Member is now quoting some Fictional anarchist, and is telling a secondhand story.
§ Mr. Roberts
I said that I have not the prejudices of the past one way or the other. I am telling the House a story of a man I met and spoke to, which I hope is relevant.
My second point is that the prisons at least are clean. It was suggested that when there is a political change, usually the members of the party in power go to the prisons, so that there is a vested interest in keeping the prisons in a clean and healthy state. That is politics in Spain—politics by the bullet. Earlier in the Debate it was said that the civil war was started by Franco. At that time the people in power, the so-called Government—
§ Mr. Roberts
I have spoken to people—mainly British subjects who were in Spain at the time—who definitely said that a few weeks before the revolution took place there was a great deal of force politics, to put it mildly.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
I was interrupted a great deal by the hon. Gentleman when I was speaking. I only wanted to point out to the hon. Member that at the time the Fascist rebellion broke out there was not a single Communist in the Spanish Government.
§ Mr. Roberts
I am not talking about the Government; I am talking about the people in the streets. If hon. Members really think they can go back and set up again that form of Government, they will find that they will come up against a great deal of resentment in Spain itself, because, as has already been stated, the one thing of which the Spanish people are frightened is another civil war. That seems to be the big factor which must be borne in mind. I feel that our interference in Spain is resented. It has not been successful in the way that the Foreign Secretary thought it would be. The policy of the Foreign Secretary has been bad and full of misunderstanding. I also think that the isolation tactics have already failed. We must have another approach.
I suggest that the right method of approach is for us to open the gate from our side; we should send back our Ambassador and try to get our way of political thinking over to the Spaniards. That seems to be the only answer—apart from going back to revolution and civil war all over again. I suggest very seriously that the Minister should bear in mind the position of Spain as it is today, and I hope that he will realise that he will not get the result he wants by following his present policy. I hope that he will also realise that the only way to get a freer understanding between Spain and this country is by having freer intercourse both diplomatically and through trade and other methods of communication.
§ 9.5 p.m.
§ Mr. George Jeger (Winchester)
In the very few moments left to me, I cannot go very far over the ground covered by previous speakers, although I should have liked to reply particularly to the hon. Member for Ecclesall (Mr. P. Roberts). In common with every other speaker, I resent any meddling and interference in Spanish internal affairs, but the difference between myself, together with my hon. Friends on this side, and the hon. Member for Ecclesall, is that I started resenting it in 1936 when Hitler and Mussolini started interfering and meddling in Spanish affairs and when, with their help, Franco was enabled to seize power by force. Of course, the Spanish people resent that meddling and interference in their affairs. We on this side of the House do not suggest that there should be interference. What we do suggest is that by our giving a helping hand to Spanish democrats in Spain today, they would be enabled to get in Spain a democratic form of government and allowed to choose what sort of government they wanted to rule them.
I disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick) who wanted to impose arbitrarily a monarchist system in Spain, without any mention of a democratic election or of allowing the Spanish people to choose for themselves what sort of government they want. I find this pro-Fascist attitude of some of the Conservative Party very strange. I can only conclude that their hatred of this Government makes anyone who is hostile to Britain and to this Government acceptable to the Conservative Party, or to some sections of it, as a friend and an ally. I consider that attitude on the part of some of the Conservative Party deplorable. It is a continuation of the appeasement policy which has been condemned by the country over and over again. If they come out into the open and confess that policy, they are certain of that sound licking at the next election which they deserve to have on home policy, too.
There is no doubt that Franco Spain has always been the enemy of Britain. It has been the enemy of all that we stand for and all that we fought the last war for. Democracy and freedom, which mean everything to us, mean nothing to Spain, and the contempt and sneers with which Franco refers to this country 1786 have been going on since 1936 and have continued even up to yesterday, as my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) quoted. Franco's attitude in the recent war was shown quite clearly by his behaviour with the Blue Division and his attitude in allowing German submarines to use Spanish ports. The hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor) denied that Spain had aided and abetted our enemies.
§ Mr. Taylor
I never said anything of the sort. I said that Spain was neutral during the war and that she could have been very much against us in letting German troops through Spain into Gibraltar.
§ Mr. Jeger
The hon. Member said that Spain was neutral. Spain was neutral against us. Franco himself said that he was not neutral but had adopted a policy of non-belligerence, which is very different indeed. It is on record in documents which have been issued by the State Department in Washington that Franco pledged his aid and loyalty to Hitler. If our words of condemnation of Franco are suspect—if, as the hon. Member said, we are suspected of having Communist leanings or of being fellow travellers because we attack the Franco régime, what about the quotations which have been referred to from his right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill), who condemned Franco in terms just as strong as any which we on this side of the House have used? What about Lord Templewood, whose book "Ambassador on Special Mission" contains a number of very useful quotations which I regret I have not the time to read to the House?
§ Mr. P. Roberts
There is the essential difference that for three years we have seen that one policy has failed and I 1787 am suggesting that we should try another one.
§ Mr. Jeger
There is an essential difference of three years in time but no essential difference in the attitude of Franco towards this country. If Franco were the enemy of this country during the war and after the war, he is still the same enemy of this country, as instanced by the interview he gave to the "Daily Telegraph," which was published only yesterday. I would particularly refer the hon. Member to Lord Templewood who during the war had intimate contact with Franco and disclosed the whole of his relationship with him in his book "Ambassador on Special Mission." In April, 1947, in an article in the "Evening Standard," Lord Templewood said this about Franco—discussing Franco's spurious offer to restore the Monarchy after his discussions with Don Juan—He himself has no constitutional right even to call himself Chief of the Spanish State.Lord Templewood, who is a member of the Conservative Party and very high up in their hierarchy, has strong and informed views on this and I would suggest that the Conservative Party has an internal discussion on the question of Spain to decide what exactly is its policy on this matter.
I have exceeded my time, but I want to remind hon. Members that the majority of people of this country are against any friendship whatever with the Franco regime in Spain, although we are very friendly in heart and mind with the Spanish people. Unlike the hon. Member for Eastbourne we differentiate between the Spanish people and the Spanish Government. The people who feel this enmity towards Franco and all he stands for include large numbers of people who were fighting Fascism when some of the hon. Members opposite were flirting and fraternising with Hitler and Fascism. They contain a large number of people who are even, as I am myself, against continuing our trade relations with Franco and who regard with pleasure the Foreign Secretary's statement that he detests the Franco régime. We hope he continues with that view. I hope the Government will do nothing to encourage General Franco, but encourages our real friends, who are the democrats in Spain, those who are still struggling for 1788 democracy underground in conditions of great personal danger in the hope that one day they will reach their day of liberation.
§ 9.14 p.m.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler (Saffron Walden)
My right hon. and hon. Friends on these benches do not regard this Debate as an occasion for a pronunciamento on the Spanish problem. If the problem is to be settled in any way it would have to be done at the most suitable moment. Diplomacy, like everything else, is an art and I am not convinced that the ingredients for settling this problem exist at the present time.
I do not underestimate the passions which the Spanish question always arouses in the House. I have had plenty of experience of that myself and, unlike the Bourbons, I have learned something about this matter. I am aware also not only of the differences between parties on this matter, but also that there are differences on the opposite benches between the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick) and some of his hon. Friends. Incidentally, I do not propose to follow the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. G. Jeger).
I do not want to use any words which will make the political situation more difficult either on that side of the House or on this side of the House. I am aware of the great difficulties which have recently been excited in Norway and France by the raising of this issue of the recognition of Franco, and so forth. I have little doubt that the Under-Secretary, who is well informed, will be aware of the recent ructions in Norway on that subject. Therefore, I think it would be very wrong for any hon. Member to underestimate the difficulties of the question we are facing.
I did not like the tone of General Franco's interview in the newspaper which has been mentioned, the "Daily Telegraph," extracts from which have been quoted in the House and which most of us have read. I draw the Government's attention to his remarks about Gibraltar. To a certain extent I am afraid I am old-fashioned; I sometimes talk about the British Empire, and I am extremely interested in our lines of communication in the Empire. If I can excite the Government to memories of the past greatness of Britain, I would like them to pay some attention to these remarks 1789 about Gibraltar, which was described by Franco as "the single evident wound." It is vital to Great Britain and her world position that we should regard Gibraltar as an integral part of our Empire defences.
I did not like the tone of this interview on the subject of U.N.O. or our general approach to unity in the West. In fact, I have material here which would astonish the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) on the subject of the views of Dr. Negrin, who had himself called for Spanish inclusion within E.R.P. on the grounds that the Republic can never be restored by means of poverty and starvation. We have on both sides different views on Spain which makes the situation even more confounded. I have personal knowledge of Dr. Negrin, as well as Señor Del Vayo, and I was interested to see him make so intelligent a remark about the value of E.R.P. to his country.
I did not notice quite the right tone in the article to which I have referred and therefore I cannot see at the present time that any solution to this problem can easily be made. I would like to say a few words, however, on behalf of the Opposition. We desire to see at the earliest possible moment the resumption of normal diplomatic contact with Spain for the very good reason that I think it is always easier to understand a country if you have diplomatic relations with that country and if you have a diplomat of a high level in the capital city of that country. I am aware that the Government are at present bound by the decisions of U.N.O., but I am also aware of the language, of which I have full particulars here, used by the British Delegation on three occasions when this matter has come before the Security Council, or has come before the sub-committee appointed by the Security Council, or has come before the Assembly as a whole. On each occasion the British Delegation, in my view, used temperate and sensible language.
On the first occasion the British Delegate maintained that before taking action the Council must be quite certain that it was not impinging upon the domestic affairs of a sovereign State, and that is the cardinal view of the Opposition. In this we are in agreement with the Government and their original remarks as put by the British Delegate in 1946. On the second occasion the British Delegate 1790 added that Spain was not a potential danger to international stability. With that view we also agree. On the third occasion, after attempting to reach a compromise, the United Kingdom agreed with the other nations on the present situation as it is.
All I ask is that every opportunity be taken, whether in U.N.O. or elsewhere, to restore normal diplomatic contact. It is not the desire of the Opposition or of any of my right hon. Friends or hon. Friends to invite Spain to enter Western Union at the present time. Some confusion arose on that matter on the last occasion when this was debated and I have been authorised to make that statement. Hon. Members may ask what are the advantages of diplomatic contact. I can only say that during my recent visit to Rome among the many personalities I met was a prominent Spaniard whom I met by chance. He took me aback by coming up to me and saying, "I have here the Order of the Golden Fleece; I am asking you to take it back for your Foreign Secretary and to give it him on my behalf." I said, "Thank you very much," and added that I had not much room in my luggage but I would do my best to take it back. I asked him for his reasons. He said that the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary had done so much by his attitude to consolidate General Franco at home that he was extremely grateful to him. That little story indicates the effect of the Government's present policy. No doubt owing to the pride of the Spanish people, the more one takes an attitude antagonistic to their present ruler the more they are likely to consolidate behind him.
Every time I have mentioned the Spanish problem I have stated my view, which I believe is shared by hon. Members on this side of the House, that we are against dictators and dictatorships. We do not sympathise with the present type of government which is holding its sway in Spain. We do not believe that by action in this House alone we can overthrow that Government but we believe that we consolidate such a Government if we adopt the sort of attitude we are adopting now. We realise that it is quite reasonable that the Under-Secretary is at present bound by the decisions of U.N.O., but we ask him to take the earliest possible opportunity 1791 to try to restore those contacts which may lead, one way or the other—we do not say which today—to a different situation in Spain and at any rate to a drawing closer of the Iberian Peninsula to us and our interests.
I conclude by saying that I have not entered into the political argument or tried to make the political atmosphere any more difficult, because I am intensely anxious, as the hon. Member himself must be, as all patriotic Britons and all Members of this House must be today, at the lowering clouds of the international situation. The Iberian Peninsula has played a great part in history. It has played a great part in the history of the British race. It is situated in a vitally strategic position today. Heaven knows how things will develop in the world, but one thing is certain, if we have any knowledge of history and of our great history, that if things get worse we shall have need in one way or another of the Iberian Peninsula. We have been close friends for centuries with Portugal. It may well be that that is the entrance door to the problem of Spain. But if we can make relations better with Spain, I ask the Government to look for the way and to find it if they can.
§ 9.21 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Mayhew)
The speech we have just heard by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler), though it contained some constructive criticisms of the Government, I believe must have impressed the House by being in refreshing contrast to the other speeches we heard from the other side of the House tonight. It showed a very welcome understanding of principle and good judgment in relation to the Spanish question—
§ Mr. Mayhew
—which was not there in the Conservative ranks in 1936; and certainly was an answer to all the other speeches we have heard from the other side of the House tonight. The right hon. Gentleman said it might be that the problem is not soluble at the present time, and I think it is fair to say that that attitude is shared by my right hon. 1792 Friend. He stated that he did not like the views which General Franco had given to a correspondent of the "Daily Telegraph," especially on Gibraltar and on the United Nations, and there again, I am sure, my right hon. Friend would find himself in agreement. As to me point of disagreement and criticism, on that concerning our diplomatic representation in Spain, I hope to say a word later.
There are few subjects on which the British Conservative Party has a worse record of lack of judgment and principle than it has in relation to Franco Spain. I am bound to say that hon. Members opposite have managed tonight to add a few more blots to an already dirty copybook. They have tried to make out a case against the attitude of the Government by a series of quite extraordinary arguments. We started with the good tempered argument of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Wilson Harris) that the way to get rid of Franco was to embrace him and consolidate him. It seemed to me so simple a theory as to be almost a contradiction in terms.
§ Mr. Wilson Harris
I did not say we should embrace Franco but the Spanish people, and that we should give them a better economic life, and that if Franco opposed that he would fall.
§ Mr. Mayhew
I think that that is a slightly different emphasis, and certainly a more realistic and objective attitude to the problem we are facing. The hon. Member for Ecclesall (Mr. P. Roberts) showed a completely unrealistic attitude to our problems at the present time. He said constantly that Franco's attitude in the war had been strictly neutral. He was partly supported by the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor), who began by saying he detested the Spanish régime, and for the rest of his speech did all he could to defend the record of Franco during the war.
This theory of the neutrality of Franco during the war cannot be held for a moment. The simple facts are wholly against it, as my hon. Friends frequently pointed out tonight. As far as I can judge, their assertions were entirely correct about the use of the Blue Division, about the refuelling of German submarines, about the facilities given to German intelligence agents, about the propaganda gestures such as the Hitler- 1793 Franco correspondence. All these things can be considered un-neutral, and all of them are difficult to forget for those who, for six long years, fought in the war.
Spain is unique in certain respects. It is unique in being the only country whose régime has constantly supported our enemies in the war. This factor was fully recognised by the Opposition and by the Powers in the early days when the United Nations organisation was being established. It was considered and is considered a sufficient disqualification of Franco's Spain for membership of the United Nations. Feeling throughout the world against the Franco régime are still deep, natural and intelligible. The right hon. Member for Saffron Walden referred to Norway and France. His information, I think, is accurate, and I think we have to take into consideration not the views of the British people alone, which, I think, are plain enough, but the views of our associates in Western Union and in Western Europe on this problem. It is hard to expect those people to take kindly to a régime which was helped to power by our enemies, a régime which helped our enemies during the war, a totalitarian régime on our enemies' own detested pattern.
I come now to the question of our diplomatic representation. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Saffron Walden correctly pointed out, we are bound here by a United Nations resolution.
§ Mr. Wilson Harris
Am I right in thinking it was a recommendation from which we could free ourselves if we chose, although we supported it at the time? It is not right to call it a decision, I think.
§ Mr. Mayhew
It was a resolution which recommended action by certain Governments and is as binding as any resolution of the Assembly can be. Of course, no resolution of the Assembly is binding on Governments, since resolutions are merely recommendations to action by them. This recommendation recommended to members of the United Nations the immediate recall from Madrid of their ambassadors and ministers plenipotentiary accredited there.
The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Teeling) constantly used the word "recognition." I think it is the wrong use of the word, since we still have diplomatic 1794 relations with Spain. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the speeches we made at the United Nations on this subject, and correctly gave the impression to the House that the United Kingdom delegation was doubtful about the value and efficacy of this move. We made our view clear then and have done so often since, that there are practical advantages, in our view, in having an ambassador in Madrid. We still feel that, whatever value the gesture of withdrawal may have, there are practical advantages in having a channel of information and a possible means of humanitarian representation in the form of an ambassador in Madrid.
I do not want to mislead my hon. Friends into thinking that the Government attach great importance to this question. I think, indeed, that in this debate there has been an over-emphasis of these two points. For the moment we consider ourselves bound by the United Nations' resolution, but I am bound to say that I am not prepared to commit the Government to opposing a move to annul this part of the United Nations' resolution if it comes up again.
There were not, in fact, a large number of criticisms of His Majesty's Government in the Debate to-night. It is true that it was a lengthy Debate and several hon. Members spoke, but I think that there was only criticisms on two questions—the sending of ambassadors to Madrid and membership of the United Nations by Spain. On the subject of membership of the United Nations, which was not, I think, advocated by the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden, we feel, first of all, that it is an extremely academic subject. As my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. F. Noel-Baker) quite correctly pointed out, General Franco's own attitude, as expressed recently to a journalist, makes clear that he is not considering himself as a candidate for the United Nations; and certainly if he were considering himself a candidate, the language of the interview and his various suggestions make it an extremely unfortunate overture for an invitation to join the United Nations.
§ Mr. Teeling
Surely in that interview General Franco pointed out that he had not been asked, and when it came to a question of Marshall Aid he pointed out that, of course, Spain wanted it. A starving people would naturally want it.
§ Mr. Mayhew
I do not think that what I said is inconsistent with the view that, if General Franco really wished to join the United Nations, he showed it in a remarkably surprising way.
Secondly, when one considers the whole question of the admission of members to the United Nations at the present time, and when one realises that Ceylon, Eire and Italy have been refused admission by the Soviet veto, it seems to me to be slightly academic, apart from any other consideration, to consider at this time the application, if it occurs, of Spain. Let me make quite clear that, whether academic or not, His Majesty's Government are not prepared to support the application of Spain to the United Nations. We have made our view quite plain on this matter before, and I am afraid that in what I am now saying I am covering ground that has already been covered.
I associate myself with the views of my hon. Friends in many respects. On the general problem of our attitude to Franco Spain, we have been told by hon. Members opposite that Franco Spain would be an ally in the defence of Western democracy against Communism. It seems to me that, as an ally against Communism, Franco Spain is an extremely doubtful asset. I agree with much that the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick said on this subject. It would be fatal to regard the defence of Western democracy too much in military and strategic terms and too little in terms of politics and moral principle. The defence of Western democracy implies the maintenance of the integrity of Western democracy, and not merely military considerations about the Pyrenees, and so on, to which reference has been made today. I believe that the growing force of Western democracy means that we do not have to run after such a doubtful ally as this. We must not divert the energy of this growing force and not risk loss of integrity by Western democracy by pursuing such extremely dubious allies.