HC Deb 23 March 1949 vol 463 cc345-6
7. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether during his coming visit to the United States of America he will discuss with the other signatories of the Atlantic Pact the future position of Spain; and whether, in view of her great strategic value in any future defence of Western Europe, he is now prepared to propose the annulment of the United Nations' resolution recommending the severing of diplomatic relations with Spain.

Mr. Mayhew

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend has no present intention of holding any such discussion; nor is he prepared to propose the annulment of the United Nations' resolution of December, 1946.

Mr. Teeling

If this question is raised, will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that Spain is vitally necessary for the defence of Western Europe and, furthermore, that there is such a thing—

Mrs. Leah Manning

What about 1938?

Mr. Teeling

—as Christianity and forgiveness, and is it not about time we forgave anything we were angry about?

Mr. Platts-Mills

Link up with the country's enemies and with the Fascists. That is what you want.

Mr. Mayhew

There are many other factors besides these strategic considerations we shall have to bear in mind.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Is not this severance of diplomatic relations a direct intervention in the internal affairs of Spain? There is no justification for it at all, and is it not time it was brought to an end?

Mr. Mayhew

We have not severed diplomatic relations with Spain. The Ambassador has been withdrawn. And we have certainly not violated any Article of the Charter relating to infringement of internal affairs by our action.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Why did we withdraw our Ambassador?

Mr. Bramall

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the clause in the Atlantic Pact saying that this is for the defence of democratic institutions?

Major Lloyd

Is the Minister aware of how much out of touch he is in his stubborn reply with public opinion throughout the world?