HC Deb 07 March 1960 vol 619 cc22-3
21. Mr. R. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what arrangements have been made for the visit of Senor Castrella, the Spanish Foreign Minister, to the United Kingdom; and what is the purpose of the visit.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I hope that the Spanish Foreign Minister will accept my invitation to visit the United Kingdom this year. No definite arrangements have yet been made. The purpose of the visit will be to improve relations between the two countries.

Mr. Edwards

Is the Foreign Secretary aware that this gentleman received the Iron Cross from Adolf Hitler and that he fought in the Blue Division against Allied Forces? Would the Foreign Secretary not agree that had Spain not been technically neutral this man would have been tried as a war criminal? Will the Foreign Secretary read the book by this man in which he states that the Second World War had been planned during the Civil War in Spain? If he reads the book, he may take a different view about 1936?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Member is talking about things which happened a long time ago—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] —indeed, that is so—and we have to live in the world as it is today. This gentleman is the Foreign Minister of Spain, and it is my duty to do the best I can with him to improve relations between our two countries, an objective I should have thought hon. Members on both sides of the House would wish to attain.

Mr. Doughty

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the visits of Foreign Ministers from friendly countries of Western Europe will always be welcomed by the people of this country?