HC Deb 20 December 1954 vol 535 cc2425-6
38. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware of the renewed claim to Gibraltar made by General Franco and widely publicised in the Spanish Press; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Turton

Yes, Sir. The Spaniards have been persistently making claims to Gibraltar since 1714. The Spanish Government know our attitude to these claims, which was made clear in my right hon. Friend's replies to Questions on 24th November.

Mr. Davies

Does the Parliamentary Secretary recall that in those replies the Foreign Secretary stated that these attacks in the Spanish Press had diminished in recent weeks, and he expressed the hope that the trend would continue? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in actual practice the trend has been reversed, and only recently General Franco stated that a cheque drawn on Gibraltar would be cashed in due course? Is it not time for a protest to be made at the renewal of these attacks?

Mr. Turton

I think it true to say that the statements in the Spanish Press have decreased in intensity since the last reply, and I think that the observation of my right hon. Friend about the intention of Her Majesty's Government to take care of Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians has had a salutary effect.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Would not my hon. Friend invite the party opposite to carry its enlightened patriotism about Gibraltar up the Mediterranean to Cyprus?