§ 22. Mr. Ernest Davies
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent there has been a relaxation of the restrictions on the export of arms to Spain.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
As the hon. Member is aware, only obsolescent or "common-use" military equipment could be exported to Spain before the relaxation of the restrictions announced in my reply of 14th December last. In future, applications for the export of more modern equipment will be considered.
§ Mr. Davies
What justification is there for this further appeasement of Franco? Are we receiving anything in return for this relaxation? If not, is it not a question of giving Franco everything for which he asks and receiving nothing but brickbats in return?
§ 26. Mr. G. Jeger
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will suspend the sale of arms to Spain until the hostile Spanish references to Gibraltar cease.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Can the Minister say whether the commercial considerations which govern the sale of these arms include a covenant that they will in no circumstances be used in an attack upon Gibraltar?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Has not the pre-war principle of approving arms sales abroad on purely commercial grounds been 1449 abandoned since the war? Why should it be revived in favour of General Franco?
§ Mr. Lloyd
That really is the position which governs our sales of arms to most countries at present. In fact, under the heading to which I have referred, of "common-use" and obsolescent equipment, £1,300,000 worth of equipment of that sort was sold to Spain last year. The reason for that was commercial—to help this country to make a living.
§ Captain Duncan
Can my right hon. and learned Friend assure us that no considerations of political fanaticism will prevent friendly relations with Spain?