HC Deb 12 May 1952 vol 500 cc844-5
23. Mr. John Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the principal commitments entered into by this country in the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373; and what revisions of the Treaty have been made since it was first signed.

Mr. Nutting

The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373 has never been revised and it has been confirmed in later treaties on a number of occasions. The Treaty is couched in general terms and under it the two partners undertake to give one another mutual aid and assistance.

Mr. Rankin

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the only copy of this Treaty which is available in the House is written in a language which is now commonly regarded as being dead, but that it is alleged that there is a copy in Norman French which cannot be found? Does not the hon. Gentleman think that it should now be brought up to date and put into a language commonly understood by all those who will have to carry out its commitments? For the information of the House and people generally, could the hon. Gentleman say what some of the commitments are?

Mr. Nutting

As I said in my answer, this is a general Treaty. Perhaps I may read an extract from it to indicate how general it is: As true and faithful friends the contracting parties shall henceforth reciprocally be friends to friends and enemies to enemies and shall assist, maintain and uphold each other mutually by sea and by land against all men that may live or die, of whatever dignity, station rank or condition they may be, and against their lands realms and dominions. I will most certainly undertake to place a copy of this translation in the Library for the information of the House.