HC Deb 09 May 1960 vol 623 cc26-7
37. Mr. Meodelson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the speech which Sir Ivo Mallet, British Ambassador to Spain, delivered in Madrid on 19th April at a luncheon at the British Chamber of Commerce, in which the ambassador criticised those people in Great Britain who were critical of the Franco régime as taking too rigid a view of democracy, was made with his authority.

Mr. Ormsby Gore

No, Sir. It is not the custom for Her Majesty's Ambassadors to submit to my right hon. and learned Friend in advance the texts of the many speeches they may be called upon to make in the course of their duties.

Mr. Mendelson

Is the Minister of State aware that, at the same time as the Ambassador was pronouncing his praise of the Franco régime , not so very far from where he was making his speech some prisoners were being forcibly fed because they had protested against being kept in solitary confinement and against the generally inhuman conditions under which they were forced to be imprisoned? Will the right hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. and learned Friend to instruct the Ambassador that he should not in future pronounce praise on behalf of the United Kingdom of a Fascist régime which was imposed upon the Spanish people by the armies of Fascist Italy and Hitlerite Germany?

Mr. Ormsby Gore

Incidentally, the speech by Her Majesty's Ambassador did not contain praise of the Franco régime as referred to by the hon. Member, but I will arrange for a copy of the whole speech to be available in the Library, when it will be seen to have been a well-balanced speech in which our attitude to Fascism and Nazism was made abundantly clear.